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When Others Rely on You, How Do You Strengthen Yourself?

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Tara McCausland our Mom It Forward guest author, has been in the business of teaching, training and coaching for 5 years and is the owner of Joy Quest Coaching. She has been married for four blissful years and is the mother of a hyperactive bundle of boy joy.



Do you remember Stuart Smalley from Saturday Night Live?

You know, he wore those tacky 80’s sweaters and at the beginning and ending of each segment he would look himself in the mirror and say, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and – doggonit – people like me.” As a youngster, I remember thinking this was just downright silly. But now, twenty plus years later, I am recognizing more and more how important this “self love” is to our personal well-being. As women, with so many voices swirling around us saying that we are not good enough, not skinny enough, not capable enough – believing in our innate value and treating ourselves with care is imperative.

Here are 4 things we can each do to treat ourselves right so that we can maintain a healthy self-image and, most importantly, be happy.

Invest in Yourself: Imagine yourself as a walking cash box and each day, people are taking out withdrawals (i.e. your 3 yr old flips out in the grocery store, your co-worker needs a pep talk, etc). Withdrawals take time and energy. So, if you are not consciously putting something back into that box, what will eventually happen? Sooner or later you will have nothing left to give and it is near impossible to feel good about girl ponder yourself when you are running on empty. Make self investing a priority and recognize that in order to be the best you can be – you need to invest in your physical, mental, social/emotional, and spiritual self. This needs to be a daily, weekly ritual. When you block out some time to exercise, brush up on a skill, spend time with friends/family, and ponder what is important to you – you will feel good about yourself and have the energy and desire to then give to those around you.

Stick to your Guns: It seems the world has gone a little topsey turvey where in some cases good is labeled as bad and bad celebrated as good. Regardless of our race or creed, we all have an inner voice that warns us when something is amiss. If you encounter a trend or belief system that does not resonate with you, be courageous, stick to your guns, and live with integrity. Do not fret if you appear to be the only one that possesses that value. Chances are there are others like you around the world carrying a similar banner. When we stand up for what we believe in, this – more than any thing else – will help us maintain self-respect and allow us to hold our head high in any company.

Dream BIGGEST: Often we put ourselves in an invisible box, limiting us to what we think we should or should not do, or worse, what we can or cannot do. Do not allow fear of failure or pressure to fit a perceived mold hold you back from living your dreams. You may be a busy wife and/or mother (or you may not be). But whatever you are, if you love to bake, bake. If you love to write, write. If you love to ski, ski. In every case, I believe there is a way to live your dreams without losing sight of what is most important. Living with passion is what keeps life novel and exciting. Without it, our days can feel joyless and mundane. Contributing something unique to the world is a great source of fulfillment and self-confidence.

Eliminate Guilt: Finally, gavelself-judgment ain’t on the to do list. Throw away the gavel! Constantly putting ourselves down only zaps our confidence and rips the beauty out of every life experience. Instead, simply do the best you can and then give your self special permission to be satisfied with that. Remember, it is not what we do that makes us valuable. We are valuable simply because we are!

Like Mr. Smalley said, you are good enough and smart enough so do yourself a favor and treat you right. It is the key to living confidently, successfully, and joyfully!

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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