SECRETS OF A SOCIAL WORKER

Find peace. Find happiness. Find yourself.

Category: Self Development (page 1 of 8)

Honoring Your Uniqueness

If there is one thing we are all guilty of, it’s living our lives for other people. We forget to step into our power and own who we are. We forget to focus on our own aspirations and instead worry about pleasing those around us. And when we do this, we lose the ability to understand who we are. We lose track of our own feelings, and we set aside our wants and needs without even realizing it.
I immediately notice when I give up power over my own life. I know this because when I am asked a question, my response is to immediately think about others; their feelings, their reactions, their perspectives, and I completely forget to focus on what’s most important…Myself.
People don’t ask us questions or want our expertise, help, opinions, support, etc.. so we can provide them perspectives of others. They are asking for us. However, we get so easily pulled into this habit that we forget about honoring our own unique selves. 

This is one of the biggest mistakes we make in our short and well-intentioned lives. It is so easy for us to be pulled into someone else’s reality; it takes focus and assertiveness to keep our own dreams in the forefront of our minds. But if we don’t focus on and work towards our own dreams, someone else will get us to work for theirs. And this happens to us every.single.day.

Decide what you want. Once you become precise in your wants and conscious of your own dreams, goals, aspirations, you become better at deciphering decisions and what path will lead you to where it is you want to be most. Once you decide what you want, it will be easier for you to determine the decisions that will pull you into your own power versus the decisions that lead you into living your life for other people.

A question I ask myself to help stay on top of my own power is, “what is my ideal situation?” or, “what is my ideal outcome?”. I take everything else out of the equation; risks, fear, opinions, other people’s reactions or feelings, potential set backs, etc…And I force myself to answer the question.
What is your ideal situation? What is your ideal outcome? Once you can firm up your answer and find your power, the more you can understand the path you need to take to reach your goals. When we believe in our own power and believe in our uniqueness, our confidence skyrockets. And trust me when I say you will waste so much less time. The greatest gift is a feeling of knowing, and a feeling of complete confidence over where we are at in our lives. 

You are powerful. Step into your own power and step out of the shadows you place yourself in. You have something to offer this world that is unique; no one else can provide to this world what you can. And how awesome is that?

In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different~

-keep shining
FacebookInstaTwitterPinterest

A Letter To Yourself

Dear Self,
I am sorry. I am sorry for being so hard on you. I am sorry for not accepting you just the way you are. For not loving you the way you deserve to be loved. For not taking care of your needs, and putting others first. I am sorry for letting opinions outside of your own dictate your life and your future. I am sorry for suggesting you be sad all by yourself rather than sharing that sadness with the world. I am sorry that I make you fear judgment from others instead of letting yourself shine. I am sorry that I don’t encourage you to be true to yourself but rather make you worry about people not understanding you. I am sorry that I do not give you the time you need to heal. That I expect you to pull yourself up by your bootstraps when you do not have any boots. I am sorry for not allowing you to cry on my shoulder and not allowing you to be vulnerable. I am sorry that sometimes I do not trust your judgment, even though deep down I know you’re right. I am sorry for expecting you to be perfect and allowing the portrayal of perfection in our society to ruminate in your mind. I am sorry that I do not remind you of how brave, resilient, and pretty you are. I am sorry that I make you feel as though you cannot make mistakes or take any risks. I am sorry for not allowing you to be honest with yourself in difficult moments. You do not deserve any of this, and you need to know that I see you trying. And because of that, you deserve happiness. You deserve happiness because of who you are…Because you are incredible, you are extraordinary. You deserve happiness because life should be more than pretending to be perfect. You deserve happiness because your flaws are beautiful. But most importantly, you deserve happiness just because. And I am so sorry that I have made you feel as though you are not worthy of this.

-keep shining
Facebook, Insta, Twitter, Pinterest

Failing Forward

What is the opposite of success?
(*Hint*   The answer is not failure)

The opposite of success is quitting. 

When we quit, that is when we give up any opportunity we have to succeed. We miss out on the opportunity to see what it is we’re really made of. And how can we succeed if we don’t try? We have to put ourselves out there and learn to be vulnerable to failure…To fail means that we tried, which is different than quitting. Failing helps to push us forward.

You have to be willing to fail in order to obtain success, it’s the price we pay for success. Life’s greatest teacher is failure. Who would you be today if you never failed, if no mistakes were ever made? Failure is how we learn what it is that we want, and it’s how we make changes to ensure more success the next time we try. It’s when we learn to be vulnerable that we can truly succeed…

Make Mistakes
Mistakes gain us experience. And mistakes will always help us learn resiliency. Trial and error is our best friend when it comes to failure because we will forever be making mistakes. It’s a continual process. We’ve all heard the saying, “nothing worth achieving comes easily.”

Roll The Dice, Shake Things Up
It is true that when we try something new there is risk of failing, but isn’t that when we also succeed?  Risk comes with reward. To risk means to be bold and find what it is you really want in your life. Embrace risk, embrace failure and make it a part of your routine.  Success will not always come naturally. To have success in every aspect of our lives would be boring. I do not view complete success as a good thing…It means that we are not pushing ourselves enough, we are not risking enough, and we are not leaving the comfort zone we’ve created. Risk keeps life interesting.

Focus On You
Most people experiencing numerous successes have more than likely encountered negativity and setbacks. Remind yourself that you cannot always see this on the outside. We all have a story, focus on yours. Reflect on your own setbacks and mistakes. Focus on moving forward, always. If something is not moving forward, if something is done and over with, leave…Move on. You cannot continue to water a dead flower.
And as a small tip-if you continue to experience the same setbacks and make the same mistakes, you may have to take a look at yourself to see if you’re the problem. We cannot take shortcuts–in order to succeed we have to be patient, focused, and disciplined. It’s all about baby steps here.

Feel The Fear
We can’t live with regret, and so often we fear it… We live in a lot of fear. But we cannot let our fears hold us back. We need to feel into our fears. We can still move forward even when we are fearful.
Ask yourself, what is it that you want when you eliminate your fears? If there was no such thing as failure or regret (AKA fear) what would you try to achieve? When you’re honest with yourself about your fears, life starts making more sense.

It’s Temporary
Both success and failure are temporary. The beautiful mistakes you make and the various achievements you experience will not last forever. So count your blessings, and also take a deep breath because it can only go up from here.

Be Humble
Our failures have kept us humble. As humans, we can better relate to one another when we can be honest and accepting of failures. We need these reminders of what it is to be humble. If it wasn’t for failing,  we wouldn’t know what it is that we are capable of. Success is so much sweeter when it is earned! We have to accept and admit to our failures.

The best mistakes of our lives are made when we fail. Get out there and make those mistakes, roll the dice, focus on yourself, face your fears, know that all things are temporary, and choose to be humble.
Be easy on yourself. Be flexible with yourself. Think outside of the box. Oh, and most importantly, put yourself first (it’s okay to do that sometimes).

Failure is success in progress ~

-keep shining

Secrets of a Social Worker
Facebook, Insta, Pinterest, Twitter

Finding Peace Through Pain

The entire concept and culture around emotional pain completely fascinates me. We hurt a lot as humans; it’s a part of our growth and resiliency while we venture through life. And most of the pain we deal with day to day is our thoughts. What is fascinating to me is that we choose to let pain burden us, and because of that we experience things like confusion, irritability, difficulty concentrating, fear, anxiety, anger, rejection, humiliation, perceived failure, mood swings, guilt, shame, and self-blame (to name a few)…And to add to this long list, pain causes us to mentally rewind time, replay situations, ruminate,  and wish for different outcomes. AKA-we are constantly and subjectively experiencing mental suffering. And do you know the worst part is? It’s addicting…

It’s easy for our minds to focus on and discuss the negative; what isn’t going well, what hurts, what upsets us, what we don’t like. Our minds are hardwired to have a stronger focus on and easier pull towards pain rather than happiness and optimism. It’s engrained into our cultures and entangled  in our every day life to focus on negativity…It’s contagious to experience pain because it helps us relate to others and gives us something to talk about.  We are motivated by pain and negativity, and we gravitate towards focusing on others’ pain and negativity more so than what is going well in their lives.

I am constantly being asked how I manage pain from my personal life experiences as well as the secondary trauma I acquire from helping those that have endured horrific pain. I did not realize how much pain could gradually seep into my life until working in a career filled with it. That being said, I have come to live by a few very important rules regarding pain and how I ensure it doesn’t control me…

  • First and foremost – every painful, broken piece of us doesn’t need to be analyzed, collected, or remembered… Some pieces need to stay lost because they don’t belong to us, they happened to us. Let the pieces go. Move forward, and do not hold onto these things. Do not claim the pain, just understand that it was an experience. And as hard as it is, do not tie emotion to it. It just is, and let it be just that.
  • Change your beliefs about the pain. We cannot experience love, humility, positivity without an understanding of gratitude. And without any pain, we would fail to see how great life can truly be. How can you look at the painful experience as a learning curve, or a helpful step in the right direction? What positives can come out of this pain? How can you change the belief about the purpose of the pain to help it motivate you?
  • Do not run away from pain, allow yourself to feel everything. Be present with your feelings, allow whatever it is that wants to come up to do so. Do not be embarrassed; purge the emotion. This is how we move forward, otherwise we stuff things deep inside to be dealt with later, on top of all the other pain we try to avoid. Embrace what you need to feel; it helps to understand and accept the pain… A very good tool for this is meditation.
  • Slow down. We cannot allow ourselves to feel if we are constantly going at a pace of 100 miles an hour. Give yourself time to breathe, and figure out how to move forward with these painful experiences. I am guilty of purposefully going 100 miles an hour so I do not have time to ruminate on pain… It’s how I distract myself, and it is not healthy. Take time to be with yourself, and work through the pain before it gets stuffed deep down to come up later. And trust me, it will come up later.
  • When you are right in the muck of your pain, ask yourself if there’s any piece of this that you can control. If the answer is no, you cannot control or change anything about this, then learn to let it go after you process through it. *Meditation is super helpful here also*. We cannot hold onto pain that serves us no purpose. If we can’t make any positive changes, and if the situation is not in our control, we must move on and move forward.  What other option do we really have?
  • And lastly – how can you make your pain a part of you? Always remind yourself to use pain to your advantage. Remind yourself that pain makes you who you are, and it has helped to develop you into your current self…Your soulful, resilient self. And isn’t that a beautiful thing?


You are never more than one thought away from peace~

-keep shining

Insta, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter

Turning People Into Trees


When you go out into the woods and you look at the trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent and some of them are straight. Some of them are evergreens and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light and so it turned out that way. And you don’t get emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans you lose all that. You are constantly saying, “you’re too this“, or “I’m too this“. That judging mind comes in. So I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.  –
Ram Dass

This is easily one of my favorite quotes of all time. Do yourself a quick favor (pretty please) and read this quote again, soak it up, and think about how this pertains to your life.
Now what I need all of you to do is ease up…Ease up, people! On yourselves, on others, on the trees, on everything. Life is too short to live each day judging everyone. And most importantly, life is too short to live each day judging yourself. Nothing kills love quicker than judgement.

There is nothing more beautiful or worthwhile than discovering who someone is. Beneath it all. Everyone has a story, and we miss out on that by all of our preconceived assumptions and opinions. Everyone can teach you something, and we constantly lose out on the opportunity to learn. How boring would life be if everyone were just like you, if everyone thought the same way you did? If you allow yourself to let people just be without creating any immediate assumptions about who they are and/or treat them as such, they will blossom, and they will remember how kind you were. That is what makes life worth living. People are doing the best that they can in the best way that they know how. 

We all have our struggles and life is hard enough. Be sure to remind yourself each day why you are important, why you matter, and why you love yourself. We forget to be kind to ourselves because we are so scared of judgement. We care far too much about what others think about us and we care far too much about things that do not matter. We cannot control those who judge us, but we can control how we judge ourselves….

If judging others and yourself and making assumptions about people is something you struggle with, I challenge you to practice this skill and see how it changes your life. And let the trees be a reminder of how positive life can be.
Appreciate yourself, and appreciate those around you.

-keep shining

« Older posts