self-esteem

The Stories We Tell…

For each and every person on the planet the only reality we know is the one shaped by our own mind. Throughout our lives that reality may have become skewed because of the words and/or actions of others. Perhaps your parents were cold, you never felt heard, or you were abused by someone you loved. All of those things can lead you to believe that you aren’t good enough; or that you aren’t deserving of love.

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When the truth is, you do deserve love. You deserve to wake up every morning feeling okay in the person you are. Many people don’t feel that way. That friend of yours who you love so dearly, most likely spends a majority of the day putting themselves down. Saying they are stupid, ugly or a host of other awful things and believing it’s true. How would you feel if you heard someone you love speak like that to themselves? Why is it okay to speak to yourself in that way?

 Often times the words that hurt us the most are the ones we always believed about ourselves but hoped no one else could see. That’s why one remark can cut us down and ruin our day. Those are the things we can believe so easily. What if at your core, your personal truth was that you are deserving of love and happiness? Because you are, everyone is, you just need to believe it.

Start to notice the way you speak to yourself, without judgement. Be aware and decide if you want to continue to do that to yourself. Choose to believe in the good you have within you.

“Happiness is always there. You just have to choose to see it. There’s no point dwelling in the dark and ignoring the light of the stars.” – Carrie Hope Fletcher

A gift to yourself

The only thing any of us can control are our reactions and the only people we can change are ourselves. If you want to make a positive change for yourself check out this 8 week course for a happy new you.

You can learn:

  • how to have more confidence
  • increase your self esteem
  • feel less stressed and anxious
  • the skills to attain your own personal goals

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The course is offered in Dublin city centre and begins the 19th of January from 7 – 9.30pm. The cost is €320 for the eight weeks where snacks and materials will be provided.

If you feel like you want the new year to start with a new more positive you, I recommend you get moving as places are limited.

For more information contact Gerry: siochancounselling@gmail.com

“And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.” – Libba Bray

Reflecting

Today marks my blog-a-versary. Sounds like a made up name you say? You are correct, I made it up. But it’s my blog-a-versary I can do what I like! A year ago today the blog began and within that year I feel there have been many positives. I was published numerous times, lovely changes have occurred within my professional and personal life AND I have been able to regularly communicate with all of you.

Thanks to this blog I can easily look back at the last year. How often do you allow yourself a chance to look at the positive events that have occurred for you? We can often get stuck in a rut seeing only the negative, or only counting major successes. Do you find it easier to focus on personal failures? Forgetting all the times you succeeded?

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If you find it easier to locate your flaws, please don’t berate yourself about being negative. Just become aware of it. A year from today you may notice this is when things started to change. You recognised that you deserve the same compassion you show to others. Start acknowledging your successes, no matter how small you feel they may be.

  • Did you finally finish that project you started years ago = success
  • Did you keep your cool when your kids/partner/parent was driving you bananas = success
  • Were you able to show kindness to a stranger for nothing in return = success

Today is your blog-a-versary as well. Celebrate your month, your year, your life. You made it this far didn’t you? And I am sure that was no easy feat.

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” – Gautama Buddha

Course Information

Empowerment Through Self Care

Far too many of us focus on the day to day in our lives. Forgetting to mind ourselves amidst all the hustle and bustle. We are busy with jobs, children, friends and family. In all that busyness do you ever take time for yourself? Can you, without feeling guilty?

I have always loved the analogy of oxygen masks on an airplane. We are told to put our masks on before helping anyone else. Why is that? Because if you need that mask to breathe but focus on everyone else you could suffocate. Are you going through your life making sure everyone else can breathe without asking if you can?

If so, why not take two hours a week, for eight weeks, just for you. Giving you the chance to better get to know yourself. Through this self development you can learn how to better care for yourself. We will cover subjects such as: guilt, motivation, self esteem, trust and more.

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Past participants of the course have had this to say:

“This course has been a real help to me, to understand me! For the first time I am in tune with me.”

“I would highly recommend this course, it gives you an inside view of yourself. It seems to cover a lot of issues and it’s an introduction to yourself, to see who you really are.’

“It gives you insights into your behaviour and habits and how to make improvements in emotional well being.”

Further Information:

  • When: Beginning September 24th and running for 8 weeks, from 6:30pm – 8:30pm.
  • Where: Siochan Counselling, 9 Fitzwilliam Street Upper, Dublin 2.
  • Cost: €15 a week. Pay in full to get one week free > €105
  • All supplies including tea, coffee and snacks will be provided.

If you are interested in joining please contact me at: 085 133 6644, or by email: adastratherapy@gmail.com

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Weight, what?

The Summer months are fast approaching and even if it weren’t for the change of weather I would know. How? Well the push to make people feel bad about their bodies of course. Cosmopolitan has an entire section of their website dedicate entirely to how to be ‘bikini ready’. It seems to me that a bathing suit ready body is more a state of mind rather than a size but I imagine that doesn’t sell as well.

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I was recently reading a great article from Cracked.com where a woman shared her experience of being in a weight loss commercial. I have seen how before and after pics can be doctored, I know about the camera tricks. However it is amazing when you see some of these transformations and hear the ‘testimonials’. She explains how the individuals involved are never on the same program and how they blatantly lie to tug at insecurities many of us face. I recommend a read as it is eye-opening and a little terrifying

No carbs, no sugar, sleep 8 hours a night, drink 8 glasses of water, exercise 5 days a week. We have all been told over and over again what to do to lose weight. On a very logical level we know that if you eat poorly, you feel poorly and look poorly. That little voice in your head beats you up yet you keep munching. Most of us do so the question is, why?

My hunch is that somewhere along the way we’re taught that unhealthy food is a treat. It’s something that is used to comfort, to make us feel better when we’re down. The problem is that a lot of these treat foods can have very addictive qualities. Our brain can get a high off these foods. We love the way it feels to eat them, no matter the consequences.

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If you are hoping to feel better about yourself this Summer I recommend you start with a food journal. This is not about keeping track of your calorie intake, it’s not that type of journal. It is about writing down how you feel when you’re eating. For example:

1:00pm – Had a sandwich for lunch, decided to skip breakfast which felt really good.

2:00pm – Tea break, had low-fat milk and 4 biscuits. Jesus, I feel fat already. What is wrong with me? Why couldn’t I just have one?

5:00pm – Had a take away for dinner. It’s shit food but I had a shit day. Ugh, I feel miserable…

If you have a negative relationship with food that can change. Instead of focusing on a number on a scale take some time to sit with your feelings. As your attitude towards food changes so will your attachment to it. Or maybe you’ll learn it’s how you comfort, numb or grieve. If that’s the case then talking to someone can help, you don’t have to deal with all of life’s stresses on your own.

Starting today don’t beat yourself up for what you’re eating. Take some time to explore why you’re eating. I did an article on body image a few months ago, if you feel like reading more have a look.

“I am beginning to measure myself in strength, not pounds. Sometimes in smiles.” – Laurie Halse Anderson

The self, not the selfie

For any of you unfamiliar with the word ‘selfie’ it is a self-portrait usually taken with a mobile. Recently on Facebook and Twitter a new trend has developed where girls and women take no-makeup selfies. Although I have not jumped on that band wagon, the Irish Cancer Society has in a very creative way.

They have decided to use these no make-up photos as a way to fundraise. Using your Irish mobile and texting your photo to 50300, €4 gets donated to the charity. Or you can just text the number and the money is donated without any picture needed.

I believe this is a great idea and I will be donating but I won’t be taking the ‘selfie’. The reason? I don’t share the idea that showing my makeup-less face is that important. Why is it that as woman have we bought into the concept that we need makeup to make ourselves look good? I prefer my face without any blemishes or dark circles however, I don’t think I have ever asked why that is. Men (majority) don’t wear makeup and seem perfectly content walking around with naked faces.

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I believe this comes down to how woman feel about their inner selves. I get a sense that on the whole, most woman don’t like themselves very much. Using the example of the image above there is a case to be argued that woman are made to feel less. Which means there is a great opportunity to change that and it has to start at the individual level. If we had a planet full of well adjusted, happy individuals this would be an easier place to live I am sure.

Ever heard the saying ‘fake it, until you make it’? When it comes to self worth it’s a helpful belief. A great way to make yourself feel more secure in your being is with positive affirmations. I’ll give a few examples but if you want more, read up here. This exercise will work best if you do it every day, writing down the statements and saying them out loud.

  • I am a happy and healthy person.
  • I feel a divine sense of well being, high self esteem and confidence.
  • I believe in myself and my ability to do anything.
  • I have a positive attitude towards myself.
  • I feel appreciative and grateful for everything in my life.

Instead of the importance of looking good to the outside world, why not focus your attention to feeling good on the inside. The more happy you are in yourself the less you’ll care about others opinions of you. Maybe give yourself time to examine what makes you feel attractive and what doesn’t. Decide what you want for you, instead of what the world wants from you.

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” – J.M. Barrie