Archive for the ‘Authentic Self’ Category

Who’s Behind Your Mask?

November 15, 2011

Whether they’re literal or figurative, masks can’t hide our true character. Here’s how to strengthen positive character traits.

I was walking past Ribbons BoutiqueVillage Runner and Salon Riviera in Redondo Beach when it occurred to me that during the days before Halloween, you feel this mysterious energy in the air. This magical, mysterious feeling often brings out a hidden side in us—a side often seen in our choice of costume.

Halloween is a fun time when we may attend costume parties, decorate a scary front yard or visit homes on All Hollow’s Eve and get a bit spooked. Halloween is also a great time to try out a new character. Our new identity can even protect us from judgment and criticism.

Let’s face it, many of us spend day after day trying to maintain a certain image and behave in socially acceptable ways, and we will seize the opportunity to express our feelings and desires without worrying about someone condemning us. The great thing about wearing a disguise at a costume party is that we can find comfort in being conspicuous. Wearing a mask or creatively applied make-up can transform us into a character that will keep people wondering in awe all evening—or at least for awhile. We can choose a costume that fits our personality or one that is the total opposite! Either way, we will surly find comfort beneath the mask.

Sometimes in real life, we try to wear a mask that shows the world a different face, and we hide behind it for as long as possible. But no mask can ever hide a person’s true character.

Have you ever thought about the importance of how a person’s character can affect each day of our life? Our true character is revealed by the clarity of our convictions, the choices we make and the promises we keep. What we do defines who we are, so we should feel empowered to hold strongly to our principles!

You may have heard the phrase, “Your true character is who you are around others and when no one is watching.” Perhaps you prefer character traits such as responsibility, perseverance, citizenship, caring, honesty, courage, fairness, respect, integrity and patriotism.

How does character affect our lives? Here are a few tips to strengthen specific positive traits that can improve our overall character:

  • Character is the true foundation for all true success. Keep in mind that a person could have money and power but unless they have character they are not considered to be truly successful. What are some quality traits you admire in others whom you view as a true success?
  • A friend of mine has a son who was struggling with math. He overcame this struggle by being diligent about studying and solving math problems every day. He persevered when he was tired and would have liked to quit. These character traits will encourage him to succeed in many other areas of life. When in your life have you felt like you wanted to quit, but no matter what you diligently focused and conquered your issue?
  • If you really want to achieve a specific goal in life, such as becoming a better runner, develop your skills in part by practicing every day or several times a week. By doing this, you demonstrate determination and persistence. Many of us may have been practicing determination and persistence in our favorite sport or activity from a very young age. Have you noticed how determination and persistence has helped you succeed in other areas of your life?
  • Lastly, make a list of five to 10 character qualities that you would like to either improve on or add to your life. Choose one to focus on each week; make it become a true part of you. During that time, seek to understand as much as possible about the character trait—what it really is, and how it has been illustrated in a positive or negative way in your life. How does this character trait apply to your life situations? Attempt to live your life as if you fully possess the character quality upon which you are focusing. Becoming aware of how the quality—or the lack thereof—is demonstrated in the lives of those around you and evaluate the results and consequences you see in their lives.

We can recognize the vital importance of character to the success of our lives, our businesses and the groups to which we belong. We can seek to influence those areas in our lives that we touch and become more involved in developing better character traits.

Find more inspiration in my Uber Empowerment Books. Get a sneak peek at some of my Uber Empowering Quotes in this video and you will find more empowerment quotes in my books.

Coaching: nancyhovde@gmail.com http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-Hovde/114122028622994

Discover What Resonates Within You

October 4, 2011

Do you know when a word, a song, a painting, a phrase or something else really resonates within you?

As we left Marmalade Cafe in Rolling Hills Estates, my friend said she was recently reminded of a quote by Napoleon Hill: “Any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought.”

This quote fully resonated within me.

Something resonates when it reflects back upon us—a certain feeling or emotion arises or a past situation or experience is remembered. For example, many of us have a favorite song that we’ve listened to for many months and many years, and often, the song reminds us of a memory connected with it. Music has a repetitive pattern, and if a song resonates within us, it harmoniously strikes a chord of sadness, longing or happiness—among other feelings—and touches our core.

A quote or poem may have a message that resonates with us. Perhaps when we see a painting of a landscape, we are reminded of a vacation we took, and we feel a tug to go visit that place again.  Sometimes certain words in a song or quote resonate within us, allowing us to connect in a deeper way with our heart. We may feel enlightened and recognize the essence of who we really are. This is where we find our true strength, joy and well-being.

We can become more connected to who we truly are through listening to the voice of our heart.

Our true self always resonates within us. Here are is a exercise to recognize what really resonates within you:

  • First, find a quiet place with no distractions, where you’re by yourself. Then think of all the people you admire—real or fictional, though preferably real, and as many as you can think of. Take time to write them down.
  • Write a quality or adjective next to each of the names, and the reason you admire them. Write as many words as you can think of. For example:
    • Mother Teresa: Selfless
    • Napoleon Hill: Inspirational, Successful, Positive Mental Attitude
    • Winston Churchill: Courage, Boldness, Leadership
    • Student leader: Attractive, Intelligent, Popular
    • A parent: Loving, Dedicated, Decisive, Puts Family First
  • Once you have your list of people you admire and why you admire them, combine all the qualities so each unique quality appears only once. You would have a list of all the qualities that you admire.
  • Ask yourself why these qualities are important to you. Reflect on them.

Usually, this is a list of qualities that resonate with who you really are and what you want, and many of these will align with your core valuesThese qualities can include love, justice, fairness, forgiveness, gratitude, doing good to others who cannot return the favor, or faith.

Knowing what resonates within ourselves helps us know who we are, which allows us to feel more confident when we stand up for our beliefs.

Find more inspiration in my Uber Empowerment Books. Get a sneak peek at some of my Uber Empowering Quotes in this video and you will find more empowerment quotes in my books.

Coaching: nancyhovde@gmail.com http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-Hovde/114122028622994

Discover more about your Authentic Self in my book Uber Empowerment.

Define Yourself Through Your Core Values

August 27, 2011

Do you often find yourself questioning or thinking about day-to-day issues differently than you usually do? This is listening to your inner guide. Whether or not we realize it, we all have a set of personal core values.

While we were having a conversation at H.T. Grill in Redondo Beach, a friend of mine confirmed this. He said that although everyone in his family is a doctor or dentist, he knew his purpose and passion was in sports marketing. He pursued this and is living a successful and fulfilling life.

Most of us have lived our lives doing what is expected of us by society. Each of us learns from what surrounds us; however, we have to ask ourselves whether what we learn really affects our own personal values. Often we can feel conflicted when it comes time to make customary decisions about personal preferences, time and money. When we take the time to process what is really important to us, we can live a life by what we truly believe in.

Values are traits or qualities that are considered worthwhile; they represent your highest priorities and deeply held driving forces. Out values are influenced by everyone we know and everything that has happened to us in our lives, including parents, friends, peers, your reading, religion and more.

When we live by our values, our lives become those of our choosing and not directed by the decisions of others. Our values help us build and maintain our identity as unique individuals. Having well-defined personal core values helps us avoid making choices that work against who we want to be. Our values become a clear set of guidelines for our words and actions, consistently moving us in the direction aligned with our highest priorities.

There are many benefits of living by our own core values:

  • When you seek alignment between your words and actions you will feel more fulfilled. Far more important than just articulating your deepest values is demonstrating them. When your values and integrity are in alignment, you will feel fulfilled. Over time, solid neural pathways develop that stimulate certain attitudes and habits, which produce seemingly instinctual “right” actions. These actions are not based on animal instinct; right actions result from human desire and practice.
  • Reduce stress and prevent discontent, conflict, frustration and lack of fulfillment by consciously choosing the values by which you want to live. If living a healthy lifestyle is important to you, you will want to consciously choose to eat healthy, exercise daily, ensure you have quality sleep and manage your stress by maintaining balanced life.
  • You will find you make better decisions in times of confusion or conflict. The main benefit of knowing your values is that you will gain tremendous clarity and focus. By defining a list of personal values that are truly your own, you’ll be better prepared to make decisions. You’ll focus more on what matters. Discovering your values improves the results you get in those areas that are truly most important to you.
  • Your personal core values should encourage you to fulfill your purpose in life. Great personal values that are read daily will uplift and motivate you to take on the day’s challenge. Sometimes it can help to reflect on your personal values while enjoying nature such as a walk or run on one of the many trails in Palos Verdes.
  • Be part of a growing contribution and choose work and community activities that bring you fulfillment and success.

Keep in mind that values should be long lasting; this is about creating your future. Expect that your values will evolve as you grow, mature and gain life experience. This is not about following the latest fad. If you expect a personal core value to change next week, it likely isn’t a top core value.

Next blog post we’ll discuss how to define or redefine our core values.

Find more inspiration in my Uber Empowerment Books. Get a sneak peek at some of my Uber Empowering Quotes in this video and you will find more empowerment quotes in my books.

Coaching: nancyhovde@gmail.com http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-Hovde/114122028622994

Additional empowerment on defining your core values is found in my book Uber Empowerment available on Amazon.


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