How to validate yourself: Learn five ways to start validating yourself today

How to validate yourself

 

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As a mentor, career, and personal development coach I am always touting the importance of self-validation. The importance of taking back your power from others and living an empowered life. Struggling with this issue myself for many years I am well aware that learning how to validate yourself does not happen overnight, and even after learning different tools to use there is a process. But the sooner we begin to practice the faster we can see small strides of achievement. The following are five ways to start the process of healing and validating yourself.

Loving Yourself First

If you asked most of us if we loved ourselves, we would look at you with a smirk and say most definitely; I love myself. When I started my journey many years ago before I got married, I found out that I really didn’t love myself as I should. One night in a conference of my mentors was sharing about what love looks like and how we all have so many different ways of measuring it but that there is only one true measurement, and that’s how God sees love. That night, that statement hit me like a ton of bricks. I went home thinking about how I measure love and what it looks like to me. Now, I consider myself to have a pretty high standard of love but looking at Christ’s love compared to mine; there was very little to argue.

When I thought about all that Christ did and took because of his love for me, I was completely overwhelmed. Thinking about how he left a heaven I can’t truly imagine and came to earth to die a death no one should have to endure all because of the Father’s love for us; there is no comparison. We can only strive towards the mark of that high calling.

I decided to rake it down a notch and view love from a more common or natural perspective. I asked myself what does love look like to me.? If I wanted love from another person what would I expect of them? How would they treat me? What would they do for me? Where would they take me?

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I saw myself writing down all of those things we say love is, from the intangibles like respect, care, and concern, to the tangibles like flowers dinners, beautiful gifts and jewelry and the like. My list got longer and longer as I let my mind roam free with a limitless picture of what love looked like to me.

At the end of my very long list, I had to face the tough question of how much of these things that I expected from someone else had I given to myself? That was a huge moment for me. I sat in stunned silence and had to will myself to breathe. Right then and there my whole thought process changed. I knew I had to start with loving myself. Without giving you the whole laundry list of things I wanted from others I can say I am making a lot of progress on my journey of loving me first. I challenge you to write down your list of what love looks like to you. And begin to check off the list of those things that you have done for yourself. 

Positive Affirmations

Part of loving yourself is speaking to your spirit and endowing yourself with love. Deep down inside we all want to hear great things from others. We want to hear how special and lovable we are. Well, there is no time like the present to begin endowing yourself with the positive affirmations you want from others.

Even if you have never had anyone in your life to tell you that you are special. It’s important that you begin the healing journey by affirming yourself. We often want from others what we are not willing to give to ourselves. The laws of the universe work just the opposite. It’s a paradox of sorts. We must give to receive. We must love to be loved. So all of those great things that you desire someone to say to you. Begin to say them to yourself. Tell yourself how wonderful you are.

Tell yourself how special, kind and considerate you are. Look yourself in the mirror and tell the person staring back at you that they truly are the sweetest, kindest, most wonderful person in the world. I challenge you to try it right now. Below are five of my favorite affirmations. You can start saying them right now.

• I am a beautiful shining light, a beacon for all to see and follow

• I matter, and I have amazing gifts to share with the world

• I was created on purpose and for his purpose

• I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am the great artistry and design of my creator

• When God created me he said I was good, never once did he take it back

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Be Your Healthiest Self

Begin your journey of self-empowerment by becoming your healthiest self. Our physical health has a lot to do with how we feel about ourselves emotionally. When you are ill or not in the best health, it is very easy for depression and other emotional issues to crop up. So start working on being your healthiest self. You will begin to see immediate results in how you start to feel about you. As you make progress, you will find your self-worth is increasing with each goal or milestone made. Some ways to work on being healthy include:

Exercise

Start an exercise regime and be consistent. Exercise is not just for the overweight. Exercise helps to clear your mind and releases stress

Eat Healthy

Change your diet and ensure you are eating the right foods that your body needs. Every diet is not for everyone. Sometimes consulting certified nutritionist can help you optimize your health efforts.

Help Others

Believe it or not helping others and giving of your time, effort and resources to someone in need can be one of the greatest self-worth boosts you can get. I have found the greatest knowledge of who I am and my capabilities comes from my work as a professor, mentor, and career coach. Helping others help you to see yourself in a different light and from a different perspective. While helping others (becoming a mentor, volunteering at a nursing home, etc.), you learn more about yourself and your gifts and talents. Often we will find talents that we never knew we had. Before I started volunteering for a nonprofit organization, I never knew I could or even wanted to work with kids. All of my professional life had been spent working in administrative positions training employees and managing departments. After leaving hospitality, I found myself teaching classes as a professor in colleges and universities. I was very content. That was until I asked to be on the board of directors for P&P Helping Hand Foundation. My experiences had brought to this place of preparing our youth for success. Working with young people as the director of our literacy program has become one of my greatest passion. I have found that helping others helps you to continue to grow in your journey, but it also helps you to realize that you matter. That you have something to offer and you and will continue to impact someone’s life for the good. That a huge self-validation booster.

Attract Healthy Relationships

As you become healthier emotionally, you will find yourself shedding old relationships. Most times they will walk away from you. You will find people saying that you are different. You’ve changed. And that’s the truth. You have. Embrace the change. Don’t feel bad about it. You are in a different frequency, and your conversations and behavior will no longer be the same. So it is okay to lose unhealthy relationships. So it’s okay to attract healthy relationships. Notice I said attract not seek. When you are emotionally healthy your energy and aura speak for you; you will automatically begin to attract the right kind of people that will continue what you have started.

As far as intimate relationships go, I think in loving relationships we nurture each other and feed each other with love and spiritual healing, our mates will give positively affirm you because you are both giving each other what the other person needs, but it shouldn’t be anyone’s responsibility to validate us. When we talk about validation, we speak in terms of others substantiating our being. Others being the reason we live. Needing others endorsement to feel okay with our essence. There is only one person that can substantiate your being, and that is you. God already put his brand of approval and called his creation good. So who else do you need to say that you are good?

I encourage you today to embrace your greatness. Embrace the very essence of who you were created to be. Stand in the mirror and smile at him/her and declare your victory. You are all the validation you need. Your brand of approval is all that truly matters. You came into this world alone, and you will leave alone. Your character will be the legacy left behind. Take back your power and know that you are amazing just as you are. That is all the validation you need. As a career and personal development coach I am always happy to help you find your purpose and your peace. For more information please review my website www.exclusivelyyoucoaching.com or contact me at Tonya@exclusivelyyoucoaching.com

Please share your stories of how you struggle with or overcame the need for validation. We would love to hear it. Leave a comment below. 

Be Empowered,

Tonya

 

 

Why do people need validation?

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I am pretty sure I am not alone when we ask the question why do people need validation? The question of validation is a relevant question. Maturity teaches us a lot about validation and being secure in one’s own worth. I am a firm believer of when you learn, teach. These days I am much more secure in my own skin that I was, even ten years ago. But this security, this wisdom came at a price. But as I have heard one of my mentors say many times, no price is too great if you learn the lesson.

I remember very clearly being young and insecure in my being, in my essence. Unsure of myself in many ways. Granted, in some ways, I was over the top secure. People who knew me would say, but you were always confident. And yes, professionally, I was confident in my abilities, and I felt unstoppable professionally. But personally and emotionally I was a mess. I was broken and heartbroken. Searching for love in all the wrong places. Even today I recognize it when I see it. So, I understand very clearly the purpose of my “going through” was so that I can relate to the signs and symptoms when I see them today. And truthfully, I am good with that. I am better than good, I am grateful! My stories provide inspiration for my sharing. My stories have encouraged many young women on their journey and for that I am grateful. And so if I had to do it all over again. I would.

Still today, my heart aches and reaches out to those who are still in the grips and vices of needing others validation, requiring someone to approve of them or make them worthy. Today, I see relationships destroyed because of the emotional bondage that needing and wanting validation from others can cause. I see young women giving up and never reaching their full potential because of their inability to see and embrace their greatness. I see young men falling by the wayside and succumbing to alcohol and drug addictions or gravitating to the world of uncertainty and danger in gangs. All of this due to their need to belong.

 

Why we need validation?

Throughout my life, I have asked this question many times. Why do we need validation? Why do I need validation? After a lot of soul-searching, learning from my own mentors and reading some of the great teachers like Wayne Dyer and Louise Hay and some psychological journals I have learned how profoundly we are impacted by our past. What we don’t understand is just how much our present is affected by our past. Who we are today is a model of our formative years if not intercepted by either a positive or negative force. Remember Newton’s first law of motion. An object in motion will stay in motion unless intercepted by another external force. This is the cyclical formation of life. We become what we see, and we are constantly searching for that we desired and did not have. We all are a reflection of our childhood. For some those formative years were filled with love, assurance, and approval. For many it was just the opposite. No demonstration of love. Little to no support or encouragement and no feeling of belonging. And so as we transition from one stage to another, from childhood to adolescence to adulthood the void gets wider and wider and our yearning gets greater and greater.

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Reality strikes…

Years ago, while unknowingly following my pattern of lack and need, someone that I cared about deeply told me in a moment of anger that it was not his job to validate me. I had no clue that my actions in relationships (possessiveness, clinging), demonstrated just how much I needed and wanted to be loved. I didn’t truly get that what I needed so much was eluding me at every turn because of my inability to attract good and positive into my life.

While my head heard the stinging words loud and clear, my heart still yearned for approval. Many years later I looked back on that relationship in disbelief and asked myself why, why was I even in that relationship? What did this person have to offer me? What could I have possibly needed from him? Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and it’s very easy to see clearly when your glasses are not so fogged up with rose colors. While the relationship started out well in my mind, there was no real substance there. I was grasping at straws. Anything that resembled what I so desperately craved I was willing to take. We are not even on the same level let alone the same page. Time has proven this disparity. Of course, I couldn’t see that, and no one could have told me. I used the word desperate several times because that’s exactly what it was. Desperation. Somehow in my mind, I had convinced myself despite all of the love and kindness I had to offer, despite all of my professional success. Despite all of the accomplishments to date, there was no one in the world that could love me for me.  So I had to settle for someone who could not love me the way I needed to be love.

So, what’s different today? The difference is my perception now and my perception then. Perception is relative. It changes. It grows. It becomes clearer. It gets foggy. Experience and maturity can catapult perception to a whole new level. Now, I need less validation from others than I did then. Because I am now looking through the eyes of love for myself, I can clearly see that love was not existent in that relationship? Today I see through love. Then I was looking for love. Perception makes all the difference in the world. 

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 When it all started….

Here’s what I’ve learned. Humans have a need to be approved by others. God made it so. We were created that way. We were created to need each other. If we take it all the back to the beginning, we can argue that woman was created because of man’s need. Upon sight, he vowed to leave father and mother and cleave to his wife. That’s how great that need was. We were created to support each other and encourage it other. But where does it start? How can you give something you don’t have? Here is where the gap is found. At a very early age, a child’s worth is defined by their parents. If a child is abandoned and rejected his self-worth can plummet. Growing up we want our parents to be pleased with us. We do things to get their attention. We crave the positive feedback from our mothers and fathers, and rightfully so. And even when we don’t get it we find ways to act out to get some attention, even if it’s negative.

We look up to grandparents, preachers, friends, teachers. Little girls need their dad’s approval and love. Dad should be the first to say you are beautiful. You are precious. You are the first man she comes in contact with. The very first model of love. Little boys are just as needy if not more. We all tend to look up to people in authority. This approval in the early stages of our lives helps to build our confidence and boost our self-esteem. It helps us to know who we are and what we are capable of. It becomes our ladder to self-validation and put us on the path to success. It supports us until we can support ourselves. It becomes a firm foundation from which we can stand on all of our lives.

But when we don’t receive this approval and support as a child we grow up seeking it from others. Most if not all our lives are spent trying to please someone so that we can feel like we matter. So even though we may be chronologically perceived as an adult, we are still very much little girls and boys on the inside seeking validation from those we esteem as better or in higher authority than we are. Thus, when it comes to relationships we look to our spouses, partners, girlfriends, and boyfriends for validation. Somewhere deep inside we are yearning to hear some form of approval. We want to see a smile or hear a great job. We are always looking for our parents love. The first love we were supposed to receive.

 Taking responsibility….

As a young adult and struggling with this need myself I realized long ago that you just don’t wake up one morning and no longer need validation from others. Overcoming your validation struggles requires patience, time, effort and energy. It is not an overnight process. Replacing your “I need and want love” sign on your forehead to “I have abundant and plentiful love” can take considerable time, effort and practice. You have to come to the conclusion that others don’t have what you need, in fact, you can’t even attract the right kind of people into your life because of your lack. In true paradox fashion, you must have to get. You must give to receive.

Changing your thought process is the only way to begin to heal yourself and take back your power. Understanding that no one can ever give you the validation you crave is the starting point for true healing and can begin to change the cycle of impoverished thinking to a more abundant thought process. Instead of needing others to validate you. You can begin to validate yourself. We cannot go back to those days of childhood and get what we needed, but as an adult you can take full responsibility for your needs right here and right now and began to take back the power we gave to others.

The key is you have to be prepared for putting just as much energy into validating yourself as you want others to put into you. Today, as I continue my journey I coach others on how to begin their journey. While it is not an overnight process, every step you take is one step closer to your goal. With every step, you begin to strengthen your validation muscle. One day you will look in the mirror and see a whole different person staring back at you. You are stronger, more confident and empowered. You are now ready to teach others what you’ve learned along the way.

To learn some of the methods I used in my healing journey to self-validation. Click here.
I firmly believe that when you learn you should teach. I believe that is one of the purposes for struggles. I would love to hear your thoughts on why we need validation. Please comment below. We would love to hear from you?

Why you should embrace your inner greatness

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One of my taglines, slogans, and brand of sorts is Embrace Your  Inner Greatness. I use it in hashtags on twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It’s my message to people everywhere but especially the lost, wounded, hurt, heartbroken, and in particularly young women. It is expressed on the back cover of my book Words of Inspiration, Sister to Sister: So Then I Learned. And while you can probably find those words anywhere. Just do a quick google search and it will come up in many places. And, you probably think you know what I mean with those words, I want to clarify my thought process behind my positive affirmation for you to Embrace Your Inner Greatness.

You see before I started using it I had no idea it was such a used phrase. My usage of the phrase comes from two thought processes. One, as a professor, having taught many students I see too often how low self-worth and low confidence stunts the growth of our young people. Somewhere in their background, typically, their childhood they were told, you can’t, you are not capable, you are not the right color, or the right size or the right…and the list goes on and on. They are hardly ever told that they are good enough just as they are. This low self-worth manifest in their grades and behavior. They act out because they are seeking attention. They do poorly in school because they feel like what’s the use anyway and so the cycle of impoverished thinking continues.




As I began to see through these external actions to understand the internal self-loathing, I challenged myself to make a difference. I challenged myself to be a positive influence in their lives. I started looking with my heart and not my eyes. I challenged myself to look beyond statistics and stereotypes. I challenged myself to look beyond dreaded hair, gold top and bottom grills, pants hanging below the butt, Goth makeup, half naked bodies with beautiful young ladies baring their precious vessels so everyone can see, the profaned filthy expressions that comes from not knowing any other way to express themselves. I challenged myself to look beyond all of that and see the soul that God created. And behind the external armor of low self-worth is a beautiful soul that caused God to smile and say “it is good.”

Looking through his eyes of love and compassion for the human soul there is greatness in every soul that breathes. There is ability and capability. There is creativity and creative powers. There is powerful and prolific thought processes that can result in brilliant writers, authors, doctors, surgeons, pianist, musicians, athletes, activist, actors, humanitarians, entrepreneurs and so much more if someone took the time to look beyond the external and see the greatness that abides inside of us all.

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Secondly, when we embrace our inner greatness we can clearly see greatness in others. For those of us that believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord, the scriptures says Greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). In this battle between good and evil. Greater came to overcome evil. And he showed himself mighty as he died a horrible death on the cross and rose again on the third day claiming victory over death and the grave. That Greater power left this physical world but not without leaving a gift behind. He promised to give his spirit to anyone that would accept it. If you are a believer then you have accepted the gift of his spirit and so in you and I resides the same power that he had. He is limitless and so are we. So when I say embrace your greatness to believers. I am asking you to embrace the Holy Spirit that lives inside of you. Know that there’s nothing you can’t accomplish. Know that all things are possible for you. Know that you have the greatest power that ever existed living inside of you. When this power is acknowledged there is nothing that can stop you from being the best you that you can possibly be. You and I will reach our destiny as long as we embrace our greatness!!

Allowing the gift of the Holy Spirit to reign in our lives through the reading of his letters to us (the bible) you will begin to see others through his loving eyes and heart of compassion. When we all look with those eyes and hearts we understand we are all united in one mission, to love each other as He loves each of us. This brings about a clarity that allows us to see clearly the greatness that’s in us all.

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I love you with Christ love,

Embrace your inner greatness and inspire someone today

With Love,

 

Tonya

 

How to Change Negative Thought Patterns?

how to change negative thought patterns

How to change negative thought patterns?

 

how to change negative thought patterns

If you find yourself asking the question, how to change negative thought patterns this article is for you? Have you ever wondered why it so easy to see the negative things in our lives before we see the positive things? Even as a professor I have to stop myself from picking out the wrong things in a paper before seeing the correct things in a paper. This is something I have had to work on. A little later I will share with you how I am working on it.

Let me say, If you are not used to evaluating yourself in honesty and truth on a consistent basis, it will be hard for you to recognize even when this is happening. Even then there is always the denial phase that we go through. I know this because I went through it as well. It was a complete shock to me when I realized just how cynical I had become and how it was so very easy to see the negative before seeing the positive.

Once I accepted this was indeed the truth I began to carefully evaluate my thoughts and my behavior and one by one I began to see the pattern. It may take you a little while to realize, but you see you can then begin to do something about it.

I decided to write on this subject because just this very week I saw negativity rear its ugly head regarding a  a big project I am working on. Not once has this person for whom the project is being done for,  stopped to say thank you or to demonstrate that he sees the effort put into the project. But, what is painfully noticed, is all of the things about the project that is not right. I’ve come to realize that this thought process  is human nature. Our world, our environments has made us so cynical that it’s hard to see the beauty when our vision is so tainted with so many other negative thoughts.

Now the real revelation came as I was sharing with a friend how sad it was that this person could not see the good things that were taking place in the project. At that very moment, the light bulb came on, and I saw that I was doing exactly what I was accusing him of doing.

Now, here’s the kicker, was I telling the truth about this person’s behavior? Absolutely! Were they telling the truth about some issues with the project? Absolutely! But how does any of mine or his complaints solve the problem? Well, it doesn’t. Here’s what’s happening. Because of the negative backlash, my teammates and I are going to get tired and not do the job with the enthusiasm we started out with. Let’s face it! Negativity is demotivating. Many people, particularly use it as a tool to motivate. Let me tell you. It doesn’t work.

Telling your child that he or she is not good enough or that someone else is better than they could enhance their competitive nature, but ultimately, the resentments and hurt from the spoken words meant to motive can cause a wound that may not ever heal.

Their competitive nature may propel hem towards some success in some areas of life. But the wounded spirit left unmanned and can lead to further complications down the road. Often acted out in many vices that are in the world today. That is one of the reasons why so many seemingly successful people tend to be alcoholics, drug addicts, or hide in shame while attending to other vices such as overeating and cheating, etc. The other thing that can happen is that due to the lack of motivation and let’s face it, heart put into the project, it will not turn out right. So the end results will be a self-fulfilling prophecy for him.

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But what about my teammates and me? Should we allow his behavior to deter us from doing the job we set out to do. The obvious answer is no. But the truth is, who among us feel good about doing something for someone that is seemingly unappreciative. In all honesty, no one does.
Back to the revelation. As I was pondering this situation and my reaction I asked myself how I can change my thoughts about this situation? Now, of course, one of  the first thoughts that came to me was that this person, we are working on the project for is not going to change his thoughts. Again, that’s a true statement, but how does it benefit me at this time to think that truthful, but negative thought? How does it help me to persist in this thought pattern? Simply put, it doesn’t.

When I am lecturing this subject sometimes, students ask, how is it negative if it’s the truth. Here’s the quick answer. The thought is negative if it does not propel you in a positive direction. This thought was very quickly driving me into a depression. A mindset that says stop! Let it go. Don’t do it. Now mind you, what I had to come to grips with is that these were not my thoughts. At least not my initial thoughts. So which thought was real? Which thought was mine. Was it the original thought that had me excited and gung-ho about the project? Or was It, this now lackadaisical, I don’t care thoughts?

The other critical question was who was I giving my power to? Was it this situation? This seeming unappreciative person? Or am I the master of my thoughts, my actions, and my behavior?

So I had to quickly make some changes. Here’s the truth of the matter. He will most likely not change his behavior. This behavior is a pattern and has become ingrained. The older we get, the worse it gets. We speak, live and walk in this type of behavior every day. Indeed, it has become a pattern. A bad pattern of behavior. So how do we change it? How do I change this pattern? Here are the following steps to changing your negative thought patterns.

Recognize the truth about you

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Accepting the truth is sometimes very hard to do. This too has become a pattern, a way of life. The only way to break the destructive habit is to be completely honest with you. It’s so important to accept the good, bad and ugly about oneself. It is our imperfections that keep us humble, continually refining our character and striving toward the mark. Dealing with the truth that we often see the bad before the good is illuminating. Does that make you a negative person? Yes, pretty much! This is the ugly about me that I had to recognize. But the great thing about it is that I created this pattern so I can most certainly break it. I have the power, and so do you. Today, you can take back your power!

Commit to change

Recognizing the truth is good but for change to take place we must commit to making a change. Consistency is the key. We must be vigilant in discovering the truth about our behavior. We must carefully analyze ourselves at every opportunity and commit to changing the destructive behavior. Commitment equals dedication. Dedications equals demonstration.

Identify the cues

The next step is to determine the cues that cause us to persist in this pattern of negativity. How do we feel when this behavior crops up? What are you doing? What’s happening around you? What’s happening in your life overall? Are you at peace? Most often, we are not at peace. There is some upheaval that going on in our lives. Unfortunately, this event or circumstance happens to get the brunt of the negatively that’s inside of you and truly has nothing to do with this situation.
As you analyze yourself, you will begin to catch yourself when you are looking for the negative instead of the positive. As a professor, I realized that one of my cues was frustration. I am always in awe of how 80% of my students can read, hear and see the same thing and yet 200% of them get it wrong. So, I have noticed that if student A is a good student and following directions, it shows in their papers. After grading one or two of these papers, my body is relaxed whenever I get to student A and I am looking forward to commenting on the good things in the paper. Now, student B previous papers demonstrates that he or she does not take the time to read and follow the directions so in subsequent papers I began to look immediately for what’s wrong with the paper and not what’s right.

Breaking that habit was hard. But identifying the cues was enlightening. The bottom line is when I am feeling good I see nothing but the sunshine and good things. When I am not, I see the negative before the good. Now this is pretty much truth for all of us, but it is eye opening to recognize how often you are feeling good versus feeling bad.

Reframe the issue

The next step in the process is to reframe the issue. I love this word. REFRAME. What does it mean? Hers how I see it.
If we are talking about pictures. We would take the picture out of the ragged and broken frame and place it in a beautiful new picture frame. We have just reframed that picture.
It’s the same thing with words, expressions, and situations. We have to look at the situation from a different angle, from a different perspective. What helped me in the case mentioned above was two reframing thoughts.

First, I looked at it from his perspective. The person whom we are working on the project. It is important to know that this is a not a paid project. It is voluntary. I make that point because of the reframing thoughts would be I am getting paid to do a good job if this was a paid project.
However, looking at it from his perspective was a great place to start reframing. There was truth in what was said, just not expressed well, but that’s beside the point for my reframing. The concerns were legitimate. The way the words were spoken was not helpful. However, the message behind the words could lead to a better project.

Second, I had to look at it from my perspective of working towards refining my character. As stated earlier, I must stay true to myself. I cannot allow someone else’s negative behavior take me out of my own character of giving it my best. That’s my personal value. My personal credo is to do everything in excellence.

So even this, shrouded as it is in negativity, must be done in excellence. Moving forward several months in the future I will be happier with myself if I know that I gave it all I could. That I did everything within my power to make the project successful. Regardless of what is said even regardless of the outcome, I will feel good about my contribution.
And that’s the essence of reframing the issue. It’s turning it around to see the good and not the bad.

Now, this is not something that can’t be done once. It has to become a pattern. Because I live my life this way now, some of my friends who are used to seeing the negative first looks at me a bit differently. Most people want you to agree with them when they are in their negative rants. In fact, one of my friends bought it to my attention last weekend that growing up I was always the one to say smile and don’t let it get to you. She saw it in a negative light. Funny, how that works out huh? Something good like encouragement to behave appropriately in public was seen as negative. Like I wasn't true to my feelings. But the truth is even then I was reframing the issue. I refuse to allow someone else to dictate my behavior. I can indeed accept my emotions and honor my truth. But I don’t’ have to let anyone control my behavior and how I respond. I choose to reframe the issue.

From reading my story about recognizing my negative patterns, can you see yours or share with us what methods or tools you used to overcome. Some of us are still overcoming, and that’s okay. We would love to hear from you. What’s your best overcoming negative thoughts tool?

Avoid Online Marketing Scams

Avoid Online Marketing Scams

A Review

The Circle of Profit vs Wealthy Affiliate

(Scam or not? –you be the judge)

Avoid Online Marketing Scams

So how does the average small business owner, entrepreneur or new online marketer avoid online marketing scams?  I say follow your gut. It always knows. And when it does not seem to be working, research, research and research some more  before you put any money out there. In my entrepreneurial journey I have fallen for a few scams, but there would have been a whole lot more if there were not some caring people that dared to write a review and tell the world about possible scammers. In an effort to pay it forward I decided to follow suit.  

Truthfully, I am just really over people that try to get over on other innocent and honest people in this whole marketing game. Now I am not naive enough not to think that we are all in the game to make money, but at the end of the day, I want my clients and customers to say that I am honest and fair. I want my legacy to be that I gave people good information, good service and they feel that whatever they get, they got it at a great value. I want them to feel that whatever they received was valuable and worth the time and money. So that’s the reason why I am writing this review. I am writing this review for the little people, the small businesses, the entrepreneurs, the online marketers that are often taken advantage of  in this world of scams and scammers.

My Online Marketing Story

Let me back up a bit. I am an entrepreneur. I left my full-time job back in 2013 to pursue entrepreneurial ventures. Like most people I knew enough to come up with an idea and start a website so that I can provide great information and or products.  The problem was I didn’t understand the many avenues that could come from providing great content. I always thought it was just about selling my products and services. I had no clue about affiliate marketing. I didn’t understand how my website could be a one-stop shop for customers. That not only would they get great content. They could also find other deals and items that they needed while browsing around and getting good information. In a nutshell and in laymen speak this is what affiliate marketing is all about. It’s about giving people what they need and want wherever they are on the internet.

Since I am also an author, one of my first ventures was  my first book. Words of Inspiration Sister to Sister: So Then I Learned!
I wanted to have a platform to allow people to come and check out my website. Offer great inspirational thoughts and my book for sale.

That’s a good plan, right? Of course, it is. So I did it! It was like crickets. After the initial rush of my family and friends telling me what a great website it was. There was nothing. Thankfully, my book was also on amazon, so I did see some traction. The problem was I didn’t know how to bring customers that were in my niche to my website. I didn’t know how to get organic traffic to my website based on search engine optimization, keywords for my niche market, etc.

My next venture was Exclusively You Fashions, my little online women’s boutique that sells  both resale and new clothing for women. I had some success with that because by sheer luck people do happen to look for things like clothes, and dresses and skirts and all of the stuff  I was selling. While it was getting some traction, it was not nearly enough. I was not making the money I needed to make to stop doing some of the other stuff I do to bring income.

The Circle of Profit (scam or not)? You be the judge

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At this point, I am getting frustrated, but I am not giving up because that’s just not in my nature. I do realize I need to learn more about SEO and online marketing, so I start looking for information. On my Facebook page, I see a celebrity, whom I admire, Les Brown, someone that I follow,  giving kudos to an online marketing guru, Anik Singal. I stopped to tune in. This is exactly what I am looking for. The message was quite compelling, so I clicked on the link to learn more.  For a limited time (don’t you just love that phrase), Anik Singal offered a free book on how to effectively market your business online. Essentially, how to make money on line. I was super excited, and I have to say his enthusiasm was very contagious.
The book is called The Circle of Profit. Now let me just say for the record. The circle of profit offers some great information and advice. And the premise of the book, staying with what works is absolutely great. I also have to mention that had it not been for this book I wouldn’t be on the right track now. So I am forever grateful. I did receive my free book in the mail as well as a digital download. I was so excited to finally have some knowledge on what I had been attempting to do for years that I read this book all 200 + pages in one day. It was quite engaging. The digital download comes with videos and other interactive lessons that allow you to be actively engaged in what you are learning.

I was enjoying what I was reading, but some things didn’t quite sit right with me. My gut was saying in all capital letters Avoid Online Marketing Scams! Some of the methods he spoke of made sense and I saw how companies used these methods on a daily basis,  but I still didn’t like it.  Some things just didn’t feel right. For example, He likened the “sales funnel” to McDonalds that upsells you at the counter. Would you like fries with that? Would you like a drink with that? Ok, I get it. I was okay with that part. Because you could just be doing the customer a service. They may drive off and think, why didn’t I get fries with that right?

The Sales Funnel Scam

This is the part that I have a problem with. In the sales funnel. There are three levels. At the first level you sell the customer an item for say $47, then you try to upsell another item for $127, if the customer says yes, then you try to sell them an even higher priced item. This is where it get’s a little scammish. If the customer says no at the $127 item, then you down sell that same item for $77 so that you don’t lose the customer. Did you get it? I hope I didn’t lose you there. It’s brilliant, but wrong. My question is. Is the item worth $77 or $127(with some profit)? If they are a valued customer why not give them the item at $77 in the beginning.  This whole sales funnel did not sit right with me.

I thought it was quite ironic, but not so funny that while he was teaching us, this upsell (sales funnel) method,  he was doing it to us as well. We would click on a link to something in the next lesson, and then he would try to sell us something else and when I said no, down come the price. I was like wow, you are going to show us how to do this and then do it to us as well? Very interesting!

Mind you I have the book, and I will keep it because it has some valuable information in it, but I found other disturbing things as well. I think the impression that was left was that he had come up with all of these ideas, and now I know that every idea presented has already been here. These are all marketing techniques that have been around for ages. Most effective marketers know all of these techniques. But I do have to give credit because as he stated it might take someone a long time putting all of the pieces together, and he had brought it all together and put it in a book. So yes, I think he gets credit for that.

The Lurn Academy: Scam or not? 

So here’s where another scam comes in. The circle of profit book was free for a limited time, but to get even more information and to really learn the ins and outs of online marketing and to have a coach at our beck and call to help us build our business we would need to enroll in this academy. This is what I have a problem with. To enroll in the Profit Academy is $2997. By the way I just checked and the profit academy is no longer there. What’s up with that? The Publish Academy, which is supposedly different, is $2, 997. Now who has $3,000 just laying around? 

And while no gun was put to our head to enroll I have been able to find the same information if not more in an organization called Wealthy Affiliate.  Because I am always on the lookout for scams and my gut just felt like something was wrong,  and because I was on the verge of purchasing some of the other resources he shared , when I finished the book, I decided to google Anik Singal and the circle of profit. In that same search, I typed the words online scam. Well, wouldn’t you know it? All kinds of reviews and information started popping up about the many companies Mr. Singal has had over the years and how they only last for a couple of years and then he is on to the next. I’m thinking if you have a good thing  and it is of value, why do you dump the company and come up with something different?  Why not keep the same company and just enhance it. Well, the answer is, changing the name makes it something different and now you can charge a much higher premium. After reading more and more reviews, I was thoroughly disgusted and grateful that I had not put any money into this program.

My Saving Grace

Wealthy Affiliate Avoid online scams

Then I came across this one website where someone was giving a review of the Profit Academy with its hefty price tag. Now what I liked is that the review was honest and not degrading. They gave the pros and cons, and you could tell that the reviewer was slightly slanted and a bit disgusted with the whole profit academy, but they were still somewhat objective. The reviewer was comparing Wealthy Affiliate to this new academy. I happened to click on the wealthy affiliate link, poked around, did some more research but was pretty much sold at hello. 

Wealthy affiliate had a free seven day trial period that I could  gain knowledge and ask questions to the community and get free training. I was also given two free websites. I could forever be a free member and allowed to use the basic training videos and lessons and could use the two free websites. If I wanted to I could stay a free member forever. Of course, I would not have access to premium training, but I could stay in the community and read all of the information that was being put out there for community members. I just wouldn’t be able to ask any questions because I wasn’t a member.
I liked that idea. I have to tell you what I learned in one week with wealthy affiliate I have not learned in 3 years on my own, searching the internet, etc. Everything that I had read in the circle of profit book was also discussed in the wealthy affiliate community. The only thing is that they did not approve of certain things that I had already had a problem with as I was reading circle of profit.
They did not encourage and approve of the sales funnel. Thank God! They also did not necessarily approve of investing money in email media. They encourage affiliates to seek for more organic traffic. It may take a bit longer but that way you will know that the people that follow you and subscribe to your sites really want what you are offering. Also, you learn how to write really good content for your website that draws your niche. I kind of like the idea of teaching me how to fish instead of giving me a fish for a hefty price. 

Find your domain and create your site at Weebly.com!

So while the circle of profit is a great book and I actually suggest you get it. I also think you have to go with your gut and take some things with a grain of salt. Use the good and throw away the bad.  Anik Singal’s personal story of  despair to triumph a couple of times is very powerful and motivating.  I can’t say for sure if the book is a scam, but what I do know is that the same information you would get in an academy for $3000 you can  also get at  wealthy affiliate $47 a month when you upgrade to premium.

So you be the judge. Check out the circle of profit and then come back and try out wealthy affiliate for a while and see just how much value you get from both. I wouldn’t even suggest you try out the profit academy or the publish academy , I  just don’t think it’s worth it. In the wealthy affiliate community, I have at any time of the day or night thousands of marketing affiliates with loads of experience at my beck and call. I ask a question and someone is answering within minutes, sometimes seconds. I have a question about my website. Support is right there within minutes helping me figure out the problems.

I have been with Wealthy Affiliate for approximately two weeks now. I have two websites that looks great, indexed in google and actually getting some traffic. I even learned WordPress with the help of the WA community and was able to get rid of some of my websites that were hosted on other platforms.  When you upgrade to premium with wealthy affiliates you can have up to 25 websites all hosted on one platform and no extra fees. Now that was a deal within itself.  So yes, I am stuck on wealthy affiliates. Check them out. I think you will be too. Here are a few more their features and benefits. 

 

If you would like to share your online marketing experience w would love to hear it. Here at Empowered-lifestyles.com we are helpers one to another. We empower each other!

Stay empowered,

Much Love,

Tonya, founder of www.empowered-lifestyles.com and www. howtofindyourcareer.com 


Looking for a great gift idea. Try an Amazon gift card. They will love you for it. I promise! 

5 Reasons to Drink Apple Cider Vinegar: What I Know for Sure

Reasons to Drink Apple Cider Vinegar

Reasons to Drink Apple Cider Vinegar

Reasons to Drink Apple Cider Vinegar

I  am sure if you live on planet earth you have heard of reasons to drink Apple Cider Vinegar. But who could imagine that apple cider vinegar would be the key to revitalized life and health? Certainly not me. And not because I didn’t believe the hype. I just didn’t think I would need revitalizing, especially not this soon. That was before I turned 45 and stuff started happening. Not good stuff. Weird stuff. Painful stuff. Thankfully, a nutritionist friend of mine suggested I start drinking an ounce or more a day. Now, I have ACV in my refrigerator and on the counter, just in case I run out.  I made a vow not ever to be without it again. 

There are numerous studies and research that touts the healing power of ACV. Now, I am a researcher, but I don’t necessarily like just taking what everyone says at face value. I am also one of those people that don’t like to take prescribed medicines and other man-made remedies unless I absolutely have no choice. So as I started to get older, I wanted to know more about natural remedies and how to take better care of myself. I am not exactly a fanatic, but I do see and understand the importance of taking care of your body so it will take care of you later. It’s all a part of my self-empowerment. I call it empowered health. I am taking control of my health, of my well-being. After all, no one else is responsible for my health but me.

I guess I should start at the beginning. The beginning I alluded to earlier. Last year I turned 45. There, I said it out loud and for the world to hear and read. I am 45 soon to be 46. Why is this a big deal? People turn 45 every day right? True! But I had never been 45. I assumed 45 would come and go just like 44 or 40 or even 35; Boy was I wrong!
Age 45 came and so did a slew of other issues, seemingly. While I’m in utter disbelief at my body everyone keeps telling me its age. That’s what happens when you get that age. Well, I don’t just take people’s word at face value either. You have to prove it to me. But something certainly happened in my 40’s. So I guess maybe they are right. But that still doesn’t mean I have to take it lying down. I’m fighting all the way. I aim to take back my power and age gracefully.

In the meantime here are all of these 40 something symptoms that’s happening to me. My metabolism seemed like it completely stopped. I think it was probably at zero if that’s possible. I felt myself gaining weight regardless of my morning walk/jogs, and no matter how much I starved myself, not one pound would drop. Now, my husband, on the other hand, would walk around the house and lose weight. That’s another article. This is not the worst of it So, I’m gaining weight. That’s a big issue in and of itself. I also live in Florida and my head is starting to feel heavy and weighted down and behind my eyes start to ache. My nose is running, and I am constantly sniffling.

I am sure you probably already know what was happening but I didn’t. It had never happened to me before. For me, this was the worst feeling. Fatigue and aching eyes. I thought I was dying. Well, come to find out I have a newfound allergy. I don’t know if its pollen or dust or just to everything. So, I am wondering how have I have lived in Florida for 40+ years and never had an allergy and now I have allergies, not just one, multiple. Yes, so the doctor says oh yeah, sometimes that happens with age. Here we go again everybody is bringing up that age thing.

And as if that wasn’t enough my body is starting to ache. I mean literally hurt. Mind you I’ve never in my life felt these kind of symptoms before so I’m thinking there’s something seriously wrong with me.

This is where the Apple Cider Vinegar come in. Not just any ACV. My nutritionist friend told me it needed to be Braggs Organic with the Mother. I am not a technical writer. I am more like a story teller, so I can’t tell you why it needs to be organic and why it needs to have the mother. Yes, I did ask, but I don’t remember the reasons. At the time, they were good enough for me. I just wanted to feel better

I have a hard time following exact instructions so of course I took a little bit more than an ounce a day. Probably like four or five ounces throughout the day. I would drink it by itself or put in water with lemon. I also found this other recipe for a detox with the ACV that included lemon, and cayenne pepper, with honey. That was great as well.

Anyway, now that you know why I needed it, here are some of the Apple Cider Vinegar benefits I have found. I am sure there are more, but these are the issues I had so that I can say without a doubt, ACV works for these issues.

reasons to drink apple cider vinegar

Relieves Sinus/Nasal Congestion

I don’t think I can explain how bad I was feeling. My head was exploding, and I thought I was going blind. I am not one to get in bed when I am not feeling well. So I kept going just like a soldier, but there were days when I just felt so awful. I just wanted to crawl into a ball and cry. I had started to purchase Claritin-D and other allergy medicines, but I did not really start to feel better until I was combining the ACV and the allergy medicine. Then there were some days I didn’t have to take the Claritin-D at all. I would have a swig of ACV, and I felt brand new. So I absolutely recommend ACV for clearing your sinus and nasal passages.

Detox

Somehow I found the detox recipe of ACV, cayenne pepper, water and lemon, with honey if needed and I started to drink it every morning. I also begin to give it to my husband. Well, let me tell it most certainly will detox you. If you are looking for a good detox? Let’s just say we were detoxing like clockwork. 🙂 No doubt about it Apple Cider Vinegar is a detox.

Energy Boost

Now the energy boost was a bonus for me. I hadn’t really expected that. But if you recall I was saying earlier how fatigued I was. And perhaps it was due to the allergies because I have heard that sinus infections and allergies can drain you. Whatever it was I noticed the immediate energy boost after I drank an ounce or two of ACV. Even today I still take it first thing in the mornings and the evenings when I know I am going to stay up late. Which turns out to be almost every night. But yes, Apple cider vinegar is an energy booster.

Relieves Joint Pain

Yes, this was an added bonus for me as well. One morning I got up and I had no pain No stiffness or weird feeling in my body. My arms were not hurting. My leg was not hurting. Now I had also started juicing as well so it could be a combination but I noticed that even after I stop juicing for a while, I was just taking the ACV I still had/have no pain. So yes, Apple Cider Vinegar relieves joint aches and pain.

Curbs Hunger

While I can’t speak to the weight lost benefits. Not yet anyway. I have to say that it does curb hunger. When I drink it first thing in the morning, whether alone or with the water and lemon detox I find that I am not hungry for hours. It also helps when I take it in the evening. I don’t feel the need to snack. So yes, I can definitely say that ACV curbs hunger as well. 

Now I am sure with just a little research you can find all kinds of scientific studies and other articles and blogs about the health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar. In fact, I am pretty sure there are a lot more health benefits. But I can only share with you what I know to be true for me. I believe those studies, but this is what I know for sure.

I hope you have enjoyed my testimony of how Apple Cider Vinegar have helped me take back my health. I plan to share a lot more with you as we go on this journey of empowered health. If you have some ACV testimonies or any testimonies for that matter we love to hear more about them. Please feel free to leave a comment.
God bless you and take care of you. Remember we only get one chance to get it right. There are no do-overs. So let’s live our best life now.

If you are like me and just have to do your own research. This is one of the most comprehensive books out there on the healing powers of ACV.  Its also great to have in your home library for those “what ails you” moments.  For more information just click on the book link

Be empowered,
Tonya, founder of www.empowered-lifestyles.com and www.howtofindyourcareer.com

Never Let Fear Stop You

Fear is one of the greatest deterrents to success.  Never let fear stop you. Someone said a long time ago that FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real.  I agree wholeheartedly. It’s  an illusion.  Once we do what we were afraid to do we realize it was never as bad we thought it would be. Most times we actually enjoy the ride.

I wrote this article a few months ago, it is still just as much relevant today as I embark upon new territory. Take the time to read it. I think you will be inspired. 


As I was walking this morning I decided to do a mental exercise. I closed my eyes as I walked a familiar path. While my sense awareness told me that there was nothing around me, after a small period of time, an immobilizing fear overtook me and demanded that I stop walking. The demand was so great I had to really fight it, not to stop. It was like my body was under its grip and was intent on stopping.

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