What Makes Us Shine?

We don’t always realise how valuable our contribution is to the world. We don’t realise we are awesome. All of us….

 

I watched a little child praised for something he had done well this week and saw how his face lit up and saw how he walked with a spring in his step for a while, knowing he was valued: he was able to shine. It got me thinking about how we all need a little time to shine as we go about our day – our year and even our life. Because being given time to shine helps build our confidence and the way we view the world. Like a plant that shrivels without sunlight we can shrivel if we aren’t shown appreciation.

It could be said that our ego steps to the fore when we are made to feel good – made to feel special, and there is that very English thing a lot of us have had instilled in us from an early age – the thought that if we are praised or shown appreciation we may end up getting ‘ideas above our station’. We may ask ourselves , ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? We have to remind ourselves now and again that being small or insignificant does not serve the world. There is nothing good about remaining in the shadows so other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to have our time to shine at times, just as children do –  not just some of us but all of us; we grow with the recognition that we are doing well or are on the right track.

Constructive praise is a wonderful thing. We can expect it when we have done well but there is always room for praise even when there has been cause to point out someone’s bad behaviour or mistake – reminding someone we love them and focusing on their positive points can be a good turning point at a difficult time.

We may lack confidence at times – we may literally forget HOW to shine, perhaps we need a little bit of inspiration….

As inspiration to shine unabashedly, there is a wonderful quote by author Marianne Williamson:

    ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us most.’

If we release that fear of being in the spotlight we can reach immense heights – we can realise there is nothing really to fear for we are all striving in this world to do the best we can. Also, when we remember that most people are worrying about how the world views them and not you, (it’s just human nature not selfishness) you can feel less self-conscious.

We can help others shine. Compliments are free! When you give someone a compliment, you are more likely to get one in return so it helps all round. When you make someone feel special, it can be enough to carry them through the rest of a difficult day and keep them happy and productive.

Kindness doesn’t actually kill! You can never harm anyone with kindness. Kindness will kill a bad mood or a bad memory. A kind thought or deed will create a good memory for someone. Even if you are having a bad day, being kind to another human being will make both you and them feel better.

Ways to help your self shine

Remember positive moments, and build your self-confidence for future endeavours.

Let yourself shine based on your character and personality – don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Nuture the relationships that are encouraging and supporting.

Look after yourself.

Practise mindfulness – the state of being conscious and aware – sounds obvious but do we really notice everything that is going on around us.

Remember that it is often the small things that are more important than the big ones.

Love makes us shine

Do you remember when you first fell in love? That feeling like you were walking on air, when your senses were heightened and the whole world seemed to be aglow? We may not be able to capture that feeling all the time but we would do well to remember the power of love. Whatever sort of love we feel, whether it is the love of a partner or our child, a friend or even self love, when we feel love we thrive and we truly shine.

YOUR LIFE WAS MEANT TO SHINE.

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Why Do We Need Approval?

Is it really necessary to follow up every time?

 

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For the last few weeks we have been settling into our new home. Maybe it is because we have needed to connect with a lot of new services and make several purchases but it has brought this more into the spotlight: the need for appraisal and the need for approval.

So many times when ordering new products on the phone, querying accounts or being served in shops, we go through the lengthy process of getting our point across, buying  goods etc, only to be asked at the end to answer questionnaires when we get home/end a call, and often we are asked to give a glowing report. If this isn’t given then you are made to feel someone’s career may suffer. This brings us yet another thing to think about along with remembering loyalty cards, the constant need to get online to check and send new emails and the ever increasing pressure of using more and more technology. Of course, if we are served well and happy with our treatment then most of the time we are happy to comply. If it means that overall customer service improves then there is a positive side to giving feedback but I do wonder if it is encouraging an atmosphere of possible insincerity and even vindictive response on occasions by disgruntled consumers. We have been served so well recently –  there has been nothing to complain about, only praise to give and I am the first to want to thank someone for doing a good job, but surely a good ‘thank you’ at the time is enough? What if we get distracted when we get home and forget to give feedback? Spontaneity is being lost and often it’s the people on the shop floor who suffer.

As is often the case in life, eagerness to improve can often result in over zealous actions and new problems, prompting us to yearn for a return to how things ‘used to be’. Yes, of course we need change but sometimes it needs to be reigned in. A gradual change is often better than a radical overhaul. In our often turbulent world, is it any wonder that we find ourselves anxious and worried about the future? It seems that what was acceptable yesterday is completely unacceptable today and there is little time to adjust.

From the moment we start out in life, we feel the need to be given praise. We are encouraged to work hard and to seek rewards. If we aim high we can gain the elusive gold star. If we follow the rules we will satisfy the authorities. If we reach higher targets we can gain financial reward. We just need to comply. Sometimes that has to be done of course; we need to live in a safe and law abiding way, but do we really need those seemingly trivial yet time consuming  extra demands on our time that seem to have crept up on us?

In relationships we like praise. We are human and there is nothing wrong with basking in a bit of praise now and again. Emotionally, we fly high when those close to us show how much they love us; equally, we can feel worthless if we are not shown the love we seek.  When we are in a good relationship that thrives on mutual love and understanding then everything falls into place and we don’t feel the need to be constantly seeking approval. This applies to all sorts of relationships; parental, sexual, friendships etc.

With all relationships, when love and praise are given unconditionally then our confidence grows. The need for approval and praise lessens and we become less needy and life doesn’t revolve around other people’s comments or opinions. We can be strong and face the world knowing we are worthy. Unconditional love has nothing to do with doing something because you have to, it just comes naturally.

Okay, we probably can’t always show unconditional love in the workplace or when we are asked to pass comment on those who serve us but we can hope that a bit of spontaneous warmth and genuine appreciation will go a long way.

Ps…please don’t get me started on accepting ‘cookies’ left, right and centre! Internet browsing has entered a whole new world!