SECRETS OF A SOCIAL WORKER

Find peace. Find happiness. Find yourself.

Tag: focus

You don’t owe anyone…

An answer

Your time 

Clarification about your beliefs or feelings 

Reasons for telling them no 

Private information 

Explanations

Unquestioned commitment

An apology 

Favors  

-keep shining

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
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The Power of Vulnerability

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It’s true….The word ‘vulnerable’ is viewed pretty negatively. It makes sense that the word is viewed negatively because to be vulnerable means that we are in a state of weakness, being more susceptible to physical or emotional harm. It reminds us that we have insecurities and cannot cope with everything that comes our way. And who wants to ever be in a state of weakness? Who would want to have insecurities?

In this society, there is so much importance placed upon being strong, independent, and smart. People strive to appear confident and unbreakable. It is a part of our society that has been engraved into our brains, especially for males. But, being strong and confident all the time is exhausting, is it not? Wouldn’t it be nice to put down the facade from time to time and admit that we just cannot handle it anymore?
Well what if I told you that embracing your weaknesses will make you a more confident individual? Would you believe me?

I want you to know that is it okay to be vulnerable…There is no greater strength as a human than to be open to vulnerability.

Personally, I have difficulty admitting to being wrong and apologizing. I feel extremely vulnerable when I know I am wrong because I know I need to own up to those mistakes and voice my apology where an apology is due. I know I cannot escape my mistake until I own up to it and make it right. I dread it, and frankly, I am bad at it. However, there is a huge feeling of relief and a huge feeling of empowerment when I own up to vulnerabilities such as these. There is something about breaking down your walls, being vulnerable, telling the truth, and admitting your weaknesses that feels so good. And do you want to know why?
Because we are human. Humans are supposed to have moments of weakness, humans are supposed to have faults. How do we learn if we do not let ourselves be vulnerable? It is in times of weakness that we learn our strengths, we learn what we are made of, and we learn how we are going to come out on top. That is immense strength. To be vulnerable is the ability to put our egos aside and know that doing so is okay. It is a part of healing wounds, it is a part of working on those vulnerabilities to make them our strengths. Having failures, feeling uncertain, and being accountable are all a normal part of life. So, since we have to deal with those things, why not embrace them and make it easier on ourselves?

When was a time where you felt your weakest? How did you overcome that, and what did you learn?
In the moment , feeling weak or hopeless is not ideal and not something we want to face. But afterwards, it can feel really great if we open ourselves up to accepting our weaknesses and work on them. Self-awareness plays a huge role here, and being open to looking at each vulnerability as something we need to learn from. Why is this something that makes me feel vulnerable? What about my past makes this situation so difficult to overcome? Why is this insecurity of mine coming to the surface? And how can I make the most of this situation?
Another important piece of self-awareness is to set healthy boundaries with others. You do not want people to take advantage of your vulnerabilities, so to be aware of them is to protect yourself as well.

I challenge you to start verbalizing how you feel in each moment and be open to revealing your flaws to others. This step is truly exhilarating.
Vulnerabilities are purposefully put into our lives because we are meant to put down our walls and overcome barriers. Ask yourself how you can make your vulnerabilities your biggest strengths.

We all have fears of sharing too much and not being accepted by others. We neglect ourselves of truly connecting with people when we are always focused on being desirable rather than being who we are. It takes courage to accept the parts of ourselves we are ashamed of. Embrace and celebrate your shortcomings, and be open to other people’s as well. Ironically enough, you will find that embracing your flaws will make you a more confident individual.

Moving on, I want you to know that vulnerability helps us to be more humble. One huge gift that vulnerability provides us with is to ask for and accept help from others. Being able to accept help and genuinely thank someone can be as difficult as saying I’m sorry. But we must have a healthy balance between giving and receiving. We feel strong when we are the giver, the ‘one who knows’. We love to give, which is a great thing! But, it takes a healthy dose of humility to accept help and admit that we do not know everything. It is overwhelming and stressful to always be the giver. Graciously accept help. To ask for help is to look at a situation squarely and know that you cannot do it all. Humans are not made to be perfect. Needing help is being real with yourself, it is being smart and realistic.

Tidbits to review today:
1. Focus on self-awareness in moments of weakness. Be aware of your vulnerabilities so you can set boundaries with others.
2.  Connect with people on a deeper level, do not focus on being desirable but instead on being YOU.
3. Celebrate and embrace your insecurities. They make you who you are, and by being more self-aware you can improve on those insecurities.
4. Failure and mistakes are normal. They make us human and help us learn.
5. Be open to revealing your flaws to others and verbalize how you feel, and know that it is okay to be uncertain sometimes.
6. To ask for help is humbling. It is smart and realistic to know that we cannot do it all. Asking for help and being the receiver is healthy. Accept help and provide thanks to the giver.

I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. To be human is to be in vulnerability. –  Brene’ Brown

 

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In The Craziest Of Times, Be Present.

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Picture this:

You are alone in the woods and are running away from a big, mean, and hungry bear. In the exhausting and terrifying moments that you’re fearing for your life, you find a bridge with a tall gate that you think you’d be able to squeeze through. Thankfully, you make it through the gate and escape the terror of the hungry bear behind you. Once through the gate and looking forward while trying to catch your breath, you notice that the other side of the bridge has broken off and the falling pieces  are ever-so-slowly creeping towards you. Looking below, you realize you’re too high up to jump off the bridge and land safely on the rocky terrain hundreds of feet below you.  Between the angry bear attempting to break through the gate, and the fate of falling from the cliff you reside on, you’re stuck and panicked.
During your state of terror, you notice hanging off the side of the bridge the most beautiful, colorful, and lively flower you’ve ever seen. Its beauty is memorizing, and you can’t help but go towards the flower and feel happy in its presence. You sit next to and admire  the flower, feeling relaxed when smelling its aroma and feeling comforted when touching its silky petals. In that moment, all is good with the world and you are at peace.

…Do you see where I am going with this?

Sometimes, all that we can do  is focus on the present moment. Sometimes, everything surrounding us is scary, chaotic, negative, hurtful…And these situations may sometimes be out of our control. How can we be more present in those situations, in the exact moment, and focus on what is in our control? How can we find the good, and focus on the good when we are in an environment that is anything but peaceful? There is always something we can focus on that is good. In any situation, we have the ability to know and understand that things can get better. In any moment, we can choose to surround ourselves with positive thoughts. We may not be able to choose what is happening around us or to us, but we can choose where our focus lies and how we respond. Sometimes, the best way to react is to focus on the beauty right in front of us, what makes us smile, and how lucky we are in the present moment.

In scary, chaotic, negative and hurtful moments…find the flower.

Think positive, be positive, and positive things will happen.

-keep shining