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By associatesforl1144, May 15 2016 03:46PM

Anna Freud psychiatrist and daughter of well-known psychiatrist Sigmund Freud wrote “I was always looking outside of myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time.”

This quote speaks to me because when I was younger I believed that self-esteem came through achievement, how much you weighed, your position in society or how much money you made. However, having accomplished much in life that has included completing the degree, obtaining a great job, making a good living and being at a normal weight helped me to learn that those were not the things that gave me the strength and confidence that I thought I lacked.

The strength and confidence that I believed came as a result of obtaining my degree or reaching my goal weight never changed anything for me. What I failed to recognize is that my strength and confidence really did come from within because without it I never would have been able to pursue any of my life goals.

It took great strength and confidence to go back to college at the age of 36. Millions of times I wanted to give up but I continued to push through, by just putting one foot in front of the other. It took strength and confidence to run in my first 5k and actually win it for my age group at the age of 30. It took strength and confidence to purchase my first home something that I mistakenly believed would never be possible. It took strength and confidence to believe that I had the ability to help care for both of my parents when they each were diagnosed with cancer. It took strength and confidence to cope with their deaths.

Think about the changes you would like to make but perhaps you just don’t feel motivated. What are some of the negative messages you give to yourself? For example, if returning to college is a goal for you then take the step to reach out to the college of your choice and find out how you can enroll. Living in the digital age has made life simpler. It is probably a task you can complete with a click of a button. If organizing is something you want to achieve then start with making a list of things to accomplish. Completing simple tasks lends to motivation and often can give you the strength to tackle the next project. Maybe you a ready to embark on an entirely different career path than the one you are presently in but are filled with fear about making any kind of change. There is nothing wrong with going after what you feel you want. The point is that nothing changes if nothing changes.

Life will continue to just happen and we never know what it will present to us. Many use faith, friends, or even counselors to help them cope with problems of daily living. What I believe we sometimes fail to remember is that more often than not we are more capable and more resilient than we realize. Strength and confidence can be found within if you have a strong determination to succeed, focus on the end result and each day do just one thing toward you goal. You will be amazed by what you can accomplish.

By associatesforl1144, Apr 14 2016 01:00PM

Often, individuals seek help because they feel besieged by the responsibilities that are put upon them as a parent, worker, spouse or even as an adult care-giver for an ailing parent. Living life out of balance can easily happen to anyone but for some it can lead to anger, frustration, stress, physical problems, depression, anxiety and substance abuse. How can one achieve balance and find peace amongst chaos?

A good place to begin might be to examine life in terms of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self. How are you taking care of yourself? Do you neglect any of these areas? Lately, whenever I speak to someone it seems many are running on empty because it is easy to disregard those different areas in life. In order for one to get grounded and manage all of the chaos and responsibilities of living life it is essential to make time for yourself.

For example, you might want to take 10 minutes on your lunch hour and go for a walk, or decrease your use of caffeine or sugar. Sometimes making simple changes in diet or taking time for exercise can give you more energy and improve your mood.

How do you pay attention to the emotional and mental side of yourself? You can begin this by using a simple daily affirmation such as "all is well in my world." It may seem strange to you but positive affirmations tend to lift our mood and help us to stay focused and it can help you to have a positive outlook. According to an article published online in Psychology Today (May, 2013) author, Ray Williams reported on research results that demonstrated that the use of positive affirmations helped to reduce stress and assisted individuals in coping more effectively and enhanced problem solving abilities. One affirmation that I teach my clients is to use the statement "oh well" particularly when things do not always go as planned. That one simple statement, can immediately change your mood when you can begin to recognize that sometimes things are too beyond your control.

Finally, what do you do to maintain a spiritual connection? For some this might mean attending weekly religious services or for others it can be about the development of faith or an understanding of a higher power as a way to help one achieve balance and order in life when it seems out of balance. Do you pray or meditate? These are simple methods that might help to strengthen one's spiritual side.

Paying attention to these different areas in your life can help you to make good decisions for yourself; bring order when life seems to be out of control, and give you peace and balance in the midst of feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

Reference: Williams, R. (2013). Do Self-Affirmations Work? A revisit. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201305/do-self-affirmations-work-revisit


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Associates for Life Enhancement, Inc. is a group of professionals in private practice who provide counseling services with offices located in Atlantic and Burlington Counties. We hope to use this blog as a way to provide you with information on different topics that may be of interest. Please feel free to subscribe to our webfeed that will update you when new articles have been posted!