Prayer Request


Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to stop by and ask you all to say a small prayer for my mom this weekend, if you find it in your heart. I know all of you may not be religious, but it never hurts to ask.

I got a text from my mom yesterday, and she said she has to go see a general surgeon for something doctors found on her neck. When she told me, I was shocked but also scared because I know first hand what it’s like going under the knife. I thought about her all day yesterday and all night, and it was like God laid it on my heart to send out a prayer request to my readers.

My mom is one of the most important, if not THE most important, people in my life, and I don’t want anything to happen to her. Please pray that this is nothing major and that the surgeon will have the wisdom to diagnose the problem to the best of his ability. I’ll keep you posted. Thank you all and God bless you.

Re-Post: Telling Tales; Seven Ways to Convince Them You’re Confident!


This post first appeared on Susan Ritchie’s blog, and she has graciously allowed me to re-post it, in its entirety. Thank you Susan. I hope you enjoy the tips she shares to help you feel more confident. Check back this weekend, when I will share my own personal experiences of implementing Susan’s tips to help me be more confident ūüôā

Telling Tales;¬†Seven Ways to Convince Them You’re Confident!

Coping with nerves-convince them you’re confident!

There will be times in all our lives when we need to act confidently, but inside we’re just not feeling it.

Even though we don’t feel confident, it’s possible to act as though we are by presenting a calm and controlled exterior for a short time, to get us through whatever situation we may find ourselves in. Quite often all that’s needed is to begin to do something, and then as we relax into it, our nerves tend to melt away. I’ve found this particularly when I was acting; I’d be a bundle of nerves in the wings, but once I got on stage, I could relax and¬† enjoy myself.¬†

So whether it’s a job interview, the first day in a new role, making that major presentation or having a difficult conversation, having a “Success Routine” prepared in advance can really help. Before the event, you need to be in the best possible mental state.¬† Here are¬†some tips to help you construct yours.

1. Smile. Smiling instantly makes us feel better, and smiling at someone else usually prompts them to smile back, whether it’s an audience at a presentation, colleagues in a meeting, a customer or the boss! And having someone smile at you can help instantly to calm the nerves.

2. See yourself as acting confidently by visualizing. Athletes do this all the time; they visualize themselves winning, and that’s what you need to do, too. In whatever situation you’re trying to cope with nerves, visualize your ideal self being successful and confident. Work hard to banish any other images from your mind; take control of your thoughts.

3. Hold your body confidently. Be deliberately¬†conscious of your posture, as our unconscious will leak through and expose your nerves if you’re not careful. If you’re standing, stand tall: shoulders back, feet shoulder width apart, arms bent at the elbows and hands in front of you loosely touching-what body langauge expert Elizabeth Kuhkne calls the “power position.” Walk into a room with your head high, taking your time to look around and make eye contact with people around you. Use your body to make you feel more confident and in control. Simply standing up straight can expand your lungs, allowing more air to enter as you breathe more deeply, instantly boosting your calmness.

4. Breathe! It’s surprisingly easy to forget to do this, and nervous people tend to take shallow breaths that can make them feel like they are hyperventilating. Breathe deeply down into your tummy. If you have time, try doing a three-minute mindfulness meditation somewhere quiet to focus you. You can find one here.

5. Speak with confidence. This means not only what you’re telling yourself, but how you are telling the world. Nervous voices can seem high and squeaky, so take a sip of water before you speak, clear your throat and make an effort to lower your voice slightly, slowing your pace-this will make you sound calmer and more in control, and you’ll feel it, too. But it’s also important to tune your inner voice to a confident channel. Get rid of wishy-washy words and phrases like “might” and “maybe,” and instead replace them will firm affirmations of success: “I will‚Ķ” and “I am‚Ķ” tell yourself that ARE successful at whatever it is you are doing, and your brain will begin to believe it!

6. Hold something. Body language experts might disagree, but I find holding my glasses while my hands are in the power position gives me something project my nerves into. It allows me to gesticulate calmly and elegantly, and also I feel with¬†an air of gravitas ‚Äď try it.¬†

7. Lastly, using music to help fire you up into the right mental state can be immensely powerful. Have your favorite three power tracks on full blast in the car, or if possible on something you can listen to just before you have to “perform” ‚Äď not always practical I know, but it’s something to aim for.

Creating a “success routine” can help ease your nerves and calm you down at times when your nerves may be running rampant. Have you got any other ideas? I’d love you to add them in the comments below.

About Susan Ritchie

After 10 years travelling the world with her son as a single mum, Susan Ritchie is now the Confidence Mentor, helping successful professionals to minimize their stress and maximize their confidence at work. Her blogs offer inspirational advice and tips to help others to make themselves matter!
 
To find out more about her and her business, and read more of her writing, check out   youtimecoaching.co.uk.

The Master’s Card


By now you have probably seen the catchy television commercials for MasterCard. They start by identifying some things that people can buy with their MasterCard, then show a moment that is priceless and end by saying, “There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else there’s MasterCard.”
 
For example, in one such commercial there is a man and his young son headed to the baseball park. The commercial shows the dad buying his son a hot dog and you hear the words, “Hot dog at the big league game…$3.00.”
 

Photo courtesy abuckeyeinbeantown.wordpress.com

The next scene shows the dad buying a game program and the words, “Program…$6.00.” Then, one of those large, orange hands with the fingers forming a #1 is shown and you hear something like, “Large, orange hand…$15.00.” The commercial finishes by showing the father explaining some important aspect of the game to his son, who is listening intently as he looks up at his father with excitement in his eyes, “Meaningful conversation between a father and a son… priceless.”
 
“There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else there’s MasterCard.”
 
Friends, I’m not unlike those agencies promoting their favorite credit card. I’m here to advertise. You see, my life is a commercial for others to see. I’m a card carrying representative for the Master’s Card. That’s right, the MASTER’S CARD. Let me tell you about it. There are no finance charges, no payments due. My bill has already been covered…it’s a prepaid deal. I couldn’t afford the price, so Jesus stepped in and paid it for me. My Name is written on the card for all to see.
 
It is accessible twenty-four hours a day from anywhere in the world. The MASTER’S CARD has so many benefits it’s hard to list them all. Let me share some of them with you…you might want to apply for a personal card yourself. Just for starters there is UNLIMITED GRACE. That’s right, there is no preset limit to the amount of grace you receive from the MASTER’S CARD. Have you been looking for love in all the wrong places? Then, look no farther than the MASTER’S CARD. It offers the greatest rate on love that has ever been offered.
 
The MASTER’S CARD gives you access to many “members only” benefits. Want real joy despite the difficulties of life? Apply for the MASTER’S CARD. Want a lasting peace? Apply for the MASTER’S CARD.
 
Want real joy despite the difficulties of life? Apply for the MASTER’S CARD. Want a lasting peace? Apply for the MASTER’S CARD. Looking for something you can always rely on in a jam? The MASTER’S CARD is perfect for you.
 
Another great thing about the MASTER’S CARD is that it never expires. Once you’re a member, you’re a member for life…eternal life, that is. Membership has its privileges, you know.
 
How do you receive the MASTER’S CARD. Dial 1-800-ROMANS10:9 “if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Jesus is standing by right now to take your call. Don’t delay. This great offer won’t last forever. Peace, joy and hope: Invaluable. Faith, contentment and assurance: Inestimable. Salvation: Priceless.
 
There are some things money can’t buy. For those, there’s the Master’s Card. Christian, why not be an advertisement for the MASTER’S CARD. Let your life be a commercial today for Jesus Christ.
 
— Author Unknown

I’ll Be Back…


I just wanted to stop by and show the blog some love this morning before I left for work. If everything goes as planned, I’ll be back this weekend with a lot of posts, will try to respond to comments and will also try to read some of the blogs in my blogroll.

I know I keep saying I’m going to respond and read your blogs, but such is the life of a part-time working man… By the way, living with spina bifida, having no energy, epsecially during the winter,¬†and not being¬†able to do something most people take for granted isn’t a walk in the park either.

I know I shouldn’t complain but I feel like my disability and work have taken time away from my friends and the blog. I’m just thankful you haven’t given up on me yet. Thanks for sticking by my side, when things get tough. Like the old saying, “When the going get tough, the tough get going!!”

Signed, I need a nap

Critiques Wanted


Hi guys. I know its been a while since I posted something to the blog, but such is the life of¬†a working man and aspiring author. For those who haven’t heard I’m currently working on my first book, a fictional look into my life with spina bifida. A few friends on Twitter and at work talked me into writing it, but now that I’ve written three chapters I’m doubting my abilities as an author. I’m working on a few other chapters, jotting down ideas as I go, but something just isn’t clicking.

That’s why I’m putting out a call for other writers and anyone with a creative mind to critique my work and provide feedback about how to make the chapters better. I’m really struggling and could use all the advice I can get. If you’re interested in reading my work and critiquing it honestly, comment on this post or send me an e-mail. I really would appreciate any and all advice you could give. Thanks!!!

Re-post: Lonely Valentine


Well, another Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and your’s truly is still sadly single. But that’s okay, I’ve got the greatest, most amazing friends in the world and a loving family who is always in my heart. I hope you enjoy this poem I wrote last year. Happy Valentine’s Day, wherever you are.

Lonely Valentine

See that blonde over by the bar
Staring at me from afar
Sitting alone in the corner
Does she know how much I adore her?

Eating fries and chicken fingers
The image of her still lingers
Every time she smiles, she’s so hot
How long I’ve been here, I totally forgot

Does she know I exist?
To ask would be a big risk
Happy hour’s over
My courage sinking lower

Over by the jukebox stands her man
My poor heart’s broken again

Love Story


Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge and all the others, including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all repaired their boats and left.
 
Love wanted to persevere until the last possible moment. When the island was almost sinking, Love decided to ask for help. Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said, “Richness, can you take me with you?” Richness answered, “No, I can’t.¬†There is a lot of silver in my boat. There is no place here for you.”
 
Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel. “Vanity, please help me!”¬†“I can’t help you Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat,” Vanity answered.
 
Sadness was close by so Love asked for help, “Sadness, let me go with you.” “Oh….Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself.”
 
Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her!
 
Suddenly there was a voice, “Come Love, I will take you.” It was an elder. Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that he even forgot to ask the elder his name.¬†When they arrived at dry land, the elder went his own way.
 
Love realizing how much he owed the elder, asked Knowledge, another elder, “Who helped me?”¬†“It was Time,” Knowledge answered. “Time?” asked Love. “But why did Time help me?” Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, “Because, only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is.”
 
— Author Unknown

30-second quiz


Don’t bother getting a pen and paper, just read. If you can’t answer them, just keep going.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.

4. Name 10 people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.

5. Name the last five Academy Award winners for Best Actor and Actress.

How did you do?

The point is none of us remembers the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They’re the best in their fields, but the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Now here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. Name three teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worth while.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier?

The lesson

The people who make a difference in your life aren’t the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They’re the ones who care.

Body Image


For the longest time, I was captured inside a body I hated. I thought I was ugly, fat, not tall enough and, therefore, completely unlovable. I was convinced that most of the horrible things that were happening to me had to do with my appearance.

I desperately longed for a different body. I thought my life would turn around completely once I was leaner, had longer legs and was as thin as a piece of paper. 

When I had my first thoughts of dieting at the age of 10, I knew that this was the only way I could make others love me. I knew that it was the only way I could tolerate living.

And at the beginning, my prediction seemed to become a reality. When I lost a few pounds, I received one compliment after the other from teachers, my parents, grandparents and friends. Life seemed a bit better, and I felt like I had accomplished something good.

But the way I saw myself did not change. I still always felt too fat, and all the bad things around me did not stop either. So, I continued to restrict what I was eating, and I intensified my workouts always hoping that my world would be brighter once I reached a new goal.

Unsurprisingly, this was not the case.

During the next 14 years, I would completely disconnect from myself and my body. I would be entangled in anorexia nervosa, hating my body more than ever before.

I’d stand in front of the mirror looking like a skeleton and still only see fat and failure. All I wanted was to eradicate the last inch of fat in order to be happy and fill the hollowness inside.

When I finally committed to recovery, I was terrified of having to gain weight. If I could not love my body when it was hardly there, how could I love my body when I was heavier?

In the first few months, I struggled a lot with these thoughts. I thought I could not live without being skinnier than a model. I thought I had no right living and looking healthy. I believed everybody would judge me for having eaten and instantly think of me as inferior.

As the months went by and I gained pound after pound, I went through many phases of despising myself. I was even more self-conscious than ever before, put on big shirts and pants in order to hide the weight gain. I shed way too many tears and probably strained my husband’s patience during this time of transition.

When I reached a healthy weight, I had to get used to not only a completely new body, but also a completely new me. The face I saw in the mirror was not the gaunt one I had seen for most of my life. The body I looked at was not the one of a girl anymore. I had curves now and was not as flat as a child anymore. I hardly knew the person in that reflection and had a few moments of crisis whenever I saw a picture of the new me. I felt unworthy and undeserving of living a rich and fun life in this body that I could not accept as my own.

Intimacy with my husband decreased drastically. One some days, I could not even let him take my hand or touch my back. I just did not want to feel my new reality. This, of course, let to many arguments and moments of huge fights.

I was at a loss and had no idea what to do. I did not want to relapse, but I also refused to keep on living this way.

I had to make a choice. Would I continue to weigh myself down or would I try something new and drastically improve my life?

I decided to challenge myself, and changed my thoughts and my habits. Instead of looking in the mirror and judging myself, I focused on a body part that I liked. Instead of comparing myself with others, which is one of the worst things a person can do, I focused on myself. I started to say positive messages to my body. I stopped standing in front of the mirror over and over again checking my belly and thighs.

I gave myself the permission to grow into the natural shape that I was supposed to be.

The transformation that has taken place since that day is unbelievable. I am not exaggerating that by simply altering the way I look at myself, I completely changed my life. I can walk taller. I dare to voice my opinion with more confidence than ever before. I feel free. I can look on the bright side much more often than I used to. I can laugh again. I can enjoy being intimate with my husband again without worrying about imaginary flaws, and I fell in love with myself again.

I have become so convinced that we are the only ones who stand in our way of a healthy body image and a love for ourselves that I created The Ultimate Guide to a Healthy Body Image. In this guide, I explain exactly what I did to transform my body image, and I motivate you to do the same in video form, work books and audio files.

I would like to stress that I did not lose a single pound, nor did I try to.

All I did was redefine what beauty means to me. I allowed myself to think that I am beautiful now, exactly the way I look today. Nobody has the right to tell me otherwise. Not even I.

I want every single person in this world to experience the joy of living in and with a body that we not only accept, but also love. Everybody can do it, and it is easier than you think.

I would never have imagined that I would have the audacity to say that I love my body the way that it is today. The fact that I am doing it should you give tons of hope that you will soon be able to do it too!

About Anne – Sophie Reinhardt

Anne – Sophie Reinhardt is a world traveler, anorexia survivor, podcaster, blogger, digital entrepreneur, speaker, wife, lover of books, and aspiring yogi and social media enthusiast. Her blogs My Intercontinental Life and Fighting Anorexia are focused on everybody who wants to live a purposeful, free, healthy and passionate life.

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