A Journey To Happiness And Self-confidence

Discussion in 'Education & Personal Growth' started by gamma50g, Feb 8, 2024.

  1. gamma50g

    gamma50g Gold IL'ite

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    Have you ever stopped to ponder how you truly love yourself? It's not just about indulging in occasional self-care rituals or treating yourself to something nice. It's about nurturing a deep, unconditional love and respect for yourself that permeates every aspect of your being. Unless you truly love and respect yourself, people around you will not respect you.

    Loving yourself involves embracing your flaws and imperfections, recognizing that they are what make you uniquely you. It's about practicing self-compassion and forgiving yourself for past mistakes, understanding that growth and learning come from those experiences.

    Finding happiness within yourself begins with identifying the things that truly bring you joy and fulfillment. Take the time to explore your passions, hobbies, and interests. Whether it's painting, hiking, cooking, or simply spending time with loved ones, prioritize activities that nourish your soul and make you feel alive.

    Building a positive relationship with yourself requires cultivating a mindset of self-awareness and self-reflection. Take inventory of your thoughts and beliefs, and challenge any negative self-talk or limiting beliefs that may be holding you back. Replace them with affirmations and empowering mantras that uplift and inspire you.

    Moreover, surround yourself with positivity by curating your environment and relationships. Surround yourself with people who support and encourage your growth, and distance yourself from those who drain your energy or undermine your self-worth.

    Ultimately, developing self-confidence is an ongoing journey that requires patience, dedication, and self-love. By prioritizing your well-being, nurturing positive thoughts, and embracing your authentic self, you'll cultivate a deep sense of confidence and fulfillment that radiates from within.

    Once you are there, no one - absolutely no one can take away your power because your power comes from within. You do not need external validation of your words and actions. You are at peace, content and happy with yourself.

    What have you done for moving towards your happiness and self confidence?
     
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  2. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Good one, gamma50g.

    Self-love and self-care are not only about me-time but also about being nice to myself time. Being as nice to myself as I am to my best friends. Surprising how we often realize this much later in life than we should.

    Very true. People will respect you and your time & effort as much as you respect yourself and value your time and effort.

    This is so important but as mothers we often put ourselves last. We do that even if no one is expecting us to do so. It takes a lot of un-conditioning to change these habits. It is very easy to mistake the fulfillment we feel when taking care of others and their smallest wishes with that which we feel on taking care of ourselves.

    As I read this paragraph, I am nodding like a bobblehead doll. : ) Literally.. I had to straighten my glasses and push them higher up the nose as they slid down due to the nodding. : ) I am over the limiting beliefs that held me back but am still a work in progress with the scourge of second guessing a few major life decisions that impacted others.

    This was one of the major steps I took - evaluating friendships and relationships. In particular, I cut down time spent 1-1 with people who vex my soul. I still meet them in groups, but no meeting 1-1 or even 1-1 chat in WhatsApp.

    Where earlier I used to spend hours dissecting conversations and what people might have meant, I give an eloquent shrug and mentally say an eff-you to them.

    Again, so true. That sense of confidence and fulfillment or peace radiates from within. Dispensable modesty aside, I was quite pleasantly startled to find myself making brand new friends as a result. Acquaintances became friends and then close friends. When we first met in a group and they took me aside and asked to meet more often and just us two, I almost thought they would try to sell me some pyramid scheme or fundraiser. : )

    In addition to the long katha listed above, I read a few books and followed a few life coach type persons. They helped me crystallize my take on forgiveness, friendship, and how (much) to help others. Forgiveness is not accepting or excusing other people's behavior. It is about letting it go, distancing yourself from it, protecting yourself, and preventing their acts from destroying your peace. OK, this is becoming a snippet by itself, will stop here..
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2024
  3. maalti

    maalti Gold IL'ite

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    Beautiful. Every sentence is true and beautiful. As @Rihana stated, we realise this only at a later stage. Thank you for such a nice and good post.
    Regards
     
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  4. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    A super note centering around joy rejoice and happiness. I doff my hat to OP & first respondent sister @Rihana . This write up & response both deserves to be nominated for FP of Feb,'24.

    A journey performed by average DIL in joint family encounters enormous hurdles to her moments being happy . I presume these notes would be useful to such unhappy DILs both in India and USA & Elsewhere.
     
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  5. gamma50g

    gamma50g Gold IL'ite

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    @Rihana, thank you for the thoughtful response. My post is a note to myself on where I want to see myself. For that I myself need to change. Like @Thyagarajan sir mentioned, I am also a DIL living with her in-laws and am facing tremendous hurdles. This post actually stemmed from that, but is applicable to all aspects of our lives. On deep introspection I realized that change begins with me.

    So I truly want to move from my present state to a state of happiness and contentment by following my own thoughts on it. I do know I will have a lot of starting troubles. I have never opened my mouth for anything for more than a decade and have a lot of bottled up internal stress. Even now, it will be extremely tough for me to speak up. I am not someone who openly disagrees because I hate conflict.

    However I know that if I dont speak up for myself there is no one to defend me or speak up for me. I absolutely have to speak up to save my own self respect.

    I no longer want to bottle up stress. I dont want to ever stick to the old adage that elders shouldn't be talked back and must be respected. Respect has to be earned. Be it from a 4 year old or an 80 year old. If they don't treat me with respect, henceforth they get back what they give with interest :).

    I have started talking like I used to (before my marriage ) with everyone including strangers. I used to mourn the loss of that bubbly social girl replaced by this unhappy woman with a lot of internal stress. However the more I talk to people, the more 'deeper' conversations I am able to have with a few them, I actually feel like a huge burden off me even if its just general talk.

    I want to get rid of all the negative emotions because of all the bottling up. I want to truly be free and positive even if it means rift in closest relationships. At this stage of my life, I value my happiness and my emotional well-being over everything and everyone else.

    As a mother I have always de prioritized myself doing over and above my capability for kids. However, now I feel that kids will be okay in the long run whether I do things for them or not. However if I dont self care for me now, I will be broken beyond repair.

    We get one life to live and we sometimes we feel that we dont really have a choice and feel stuck in this spiral where we dont see a way out to happiness and positivity. I am someone who thinks that way too. But, I have promised myself to get out of this self-pitying spiral even if it means clawing my way out.

    I read somewhere that the best accessory that a girl can own is her self-confidence. Somewhere in the decade of staying at home and raising a family, I lost that. This post will serve as a reminder to me every time I catch myself reverting to my old habits.
     
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  6. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello:@gamma50g
    I googled and found from it nuggets. The link is:
    Embracing Your Imperfections
    2. But then I presume most of the troubles invariably can be avoided by politely asking counter-questions and brevity in communication. Right word at right moment uttered in presence of right person or people or group would straighten the situation and eventually reduce conflicts.
     
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  7. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    Dear @gamma50g ,

    Thank you for concisely sharing such powerful thoughts. You are right, as much as occasional self-care rituals are important, self-love goes deeper than that. It indeed is an ongoing journey and sadly as women, it is when we slow down a little with kids having grown up that we look back to see where we were and how we have come forward. We get caught up in so many situations that we forget about ourselves. We should be taught to carry on with things that bring us joy right from the beginning - the wisest thing that I have heard personally is "You can be sad and happy at the same time". I have realized that a certain amount of discipline helps a lot. How do we continue to do nourishing activities despite our busy schedules? Fortunately for me, I have had good role models in my mom and grandmoms. While one grandmom was all out, nourishing and giving, another taught me to choose silence in situations I cannot change or help.

    To the list of activities you have listed, I will add solitude as well. Also identifying what cheers up our mood goes a long way. It could be something as simple as listening to music or gardening.
    To answer this question honestly,
    I have to say it is being nonjudgemental. That thankfully has helped me grow in a positive manner. I cannot tell you how light I feel when I just let go!
     
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  8. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    @gamma50g,

    Thank you for presenting such a wonderful insight about self-confidence and happiness. Self-confidence is the foundation of the house where Self-satisfaction is the wall, Self-sacrifice is the roof and Self is the dweller. Everything comes down if Self-confidence is not strong. It is the concrete foundation that protects what is called life.

    All your thoughts, words, and actions should reflect your Self-confidence. When you lack Self-confidence, it gets reflected easily and observed by everyone around you. Sometimes, you give too much credence to the opinion of people around you. You should take in only what you believe is needed for Self-improvement. You should control what you take in and if something is not useful to you, you should just broom it out. If you live taking everything in, then, it leads you to expecting appreciation from others. That is a perfect recipe for killing the Self-confidence. Imagine your thought as a steel, words as the brick, and deeds as the sand and it doesn't become rocksolid until we pour water (Self-love) into it.

    We have to understand it is not what is said and did that affects us but how we reacted to it. When we spend aweful lot of time in reacting inside of us something that is not building any development for us, it weakens our Self-confidence. It is like a parasite slowly building inside to destroy you.

    If I were you, I wouldn't make any change externally and do all my changes internally. I will decide what to receive, and what to react and what to respond and so on. You begin appreciating yourself for every contribution you do to your family internally including small domestic work you do that helps the family. It is going to have a significant impact in your subconscious mind and it is like building a firewall to eliminate others to access your wifi. Please do not let anyone live in your mind without paying rent.

    If you are not unique and precious, you wouldn't be born. You don't need certificate from anyone to know how unique and precious you are! Frankly, imagine yourself as divine and all other instruments like body, mind and intellect as precious instruments given to you to achieve happiness. Confidence in Self (divine being residing inside of you) is Self-confidence. That entity that is precious and activates all your instruments resides inside of you. Why would you allow anyone to downplay it mentally? Gold doesn't stop glittering because it was called, "iron". Leave the noises outside and get deep into your incredible Being. That doesn't get diminished and it is unborn and never dies.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2024
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  9. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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  10. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    @gamma50g,

    I hope you don't mind me making a second response here with something I had posted earlier about setting boundaries. Setting boundaries is an essential part of protecting your Self-confidence. Your personal boundaries protect the inner core of your identity and your right to choices. The first step in setting up boundaries is to know and understand oneself. There are so many types of Self-care that includes physical consists of sleep, stretching, walking, exercise, healthy food, yoga, and rest, emotional consists of stress management, emotional maturity, forgiveness (it doesn't necesarily mean communication for forgiveness), compassion, and kindness, social consists of boundaries, support systems, positive socialization, communication, time together with the family, and asking for help, and spiritual consists of time alone, meditation, yoga, connection with nature, journaling, and sacred space, personal consists of hobbies, knowing yourself, personal identity, and honoring your true self, Space consists of safety, healthy living environment, security and stability, and organized space, financial consists of saving, budgeting, money management, and splurging paying bills, and lastly work consists of time management, work boundaries, positive work place, more learning, and break time.

    In my view, physical boundaries should be comfortable instead of intolerable and abusive, emotional boundaries should be convenient as opposed to questionable and violative, psychological boundaries shouild be dignifying as opposed to dominant and fearful, and lastly spiritual/intellectual boundaries should be knowledgeable as opposed to conflicting and controversial.

    There are multiple boundaries the first innermost one is around you and then around the family, then around friendship, then around acquintance, then around community helpers, and then around strangers.

    The signs of healthy boundaries include

    a) saying 'no' without guilt
    b) asking for what you want or need
    c) taking care of yourself
    d) saying 'yes' because you want to not out of obligation or to please others
    e) behaving according to your own values and beliefs
    f) feeling safe to express difficult emotions and have disagreements
    g) feeling supported to pursue your own goals
    h) being treated as an equal
    i) taking responsibility for your own happiness
    j) not feeling responsible for someone else's happiness
    k) being in tune with your own feelings
    l) knowing who you are, what you believe, what you likd

    10 signs you lack personal boundaries:

    a) you fail to speak up when mistreated
    b) you give away too much of your time
    c) you agree when you actually feel like disagreeing
    d) you feel guilty for dedicating time to yourself
    e) you feel taken for granted by others
    f) you have toxic relationships
    g) you have chronic fear about what others think of you
    h) you over-share details about your life with others
    i) you constanly feel like the victim
    j) you attract people who try to control or dominate you.

    When you set boundaries, you should communicate it with people involved. If they fail to comply with the boundaries, they should know the consequences. You should never compromise on enforcing boundaries and its consequences.

    I know it is hard to set them up initially but over a period of time, it would begin to work.
     
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