Posts Tagged ‘Authenticity’

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.

Avoid Comparing Yourself to Others

August 6, 2011

As I sat waiting at Riviera Car Wash in Redondo Beach, I couldn’t help but overhear a conversation between two men about a beautiful, shiny new Porsche. They were discussing the different features of this recent purchase and comparing it to a Porsche their mutual friend had. I sensed they both felt slightly envious of their mutual friend.

How often do you find yourself comparing yourself to others? Maybe you compare your home, clothes, income, career, accomplishments, achievements or recognition to your friends, neighbors or even complete strangers. It is natural for us to compare ourselves to others who seem to have more success in a particular area.

Nevertheless, the more we focus on what we feel we lack, the greater our insecurities will become. Measuring our lives, success, bank account or career impacts our confidence and self-esteem. Comparing someone’s strengths to our weaknesses is a sure-fire recipe for a drop in self-confidence. Frankly, it isn’t a useful way to spend our time.

Some of us experience the desire to compare ourselves with others as a minor irritation or distraction from time to time—we may, on occasion, think about the comparison, but we decide to focus our energy and thoughts on something more positive. For others, however, the need to compare may be more akin to a tiny devil sitting on our shoulder, constantly whispering words into our ear and creating a life of suffering and negativity.

Ongoing comparisons can cause anxiety, worry and doubt. Comparing does not have to be a part of your life. Once you become aware you are comparing more often than necessary, you can stop yourself and choose to focus on you. Here are some tips to minimize it from your life:

  • Remember, everyone has weak and strong points. Nobody is perfect; no one has a perfect life. Nevertheless, many people continue to build perfect images in their minds of what they should be like and what their life should be like.
  • Put the focus on you. Compare yourself with yourself. Look at where you have grown and what you have achieved. Appreciate all you have done. Notice how far you have come and what goals you are planning to do.
  • Take time each day to be thankful and grateful for what you already have—this can help minimize any envy you may be holding. Make a list in your mind or write a few things you are grateful for in your journal.
  • Instead of focusing on the competition, focus on you and what you have put into practice today that you didn’t yesterday. When we focus on improvement, we can reflect on what we did today that we don’t want to repeat tomorrow, and we can recall what we did today that was good and implement that tomorrow.
  • Feel empowered to be yourself, no matter your size, color, religion, race or gender. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Nobody but you has the power to dictate your definition of success or your beliefs. If you have forgotten the true you, take some time to find yourself again.

The more focus we can put on our unique strengths, the more fulfilling our lives will be. We all are here for our own journey. If we stop looking at life as a competition and stop constantly focusing on how we rank in comparison with others, we can become somebody and learn and create.

Everybody comes into the world the same way—we all feel, age, analyze and eventually die. Nobody is more special than another. We are all different. This journey has nothing to do with how well other people rank, what they are doing and what they have. It has everything to do with you and what you want to be and where you want to go.

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

Find more inspiration and empowerment in my books Uber Empowerment available on Amazon.


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