Take The Time To Learn Their Story

“When I was young, I would see all these people with blemishes. But as I got closer, I saw they weren’t blemishes at all. They were scars.”

We as humans have a natural tendency to compare. We look at someone else and judge them while we wouldn’t dare judge ourselves. We find ourselves making comments like, “I would never do that!” My sophomore year of high school there was a boy in several of my classes who was loud, disobedient, and I’ll be honest, downright obnoxious. I felt like we never got anything done in class because he would always have to interrupt. I ran into this kid just a few months ago and we ended up talking. He even apologized to me for his behavior throughout school and proceeded to tell me his dad left when he was 5 and that he was always dealing with his mom bringing home a new guy. He never felt like he received any attention at home and like he was taking care of his mom all the time instead of the other way around. I just sat in awe. I could not believe I had ever been so judgmental. The reason why I would look at that boy’s actions in high school and say, “I could never do that,” was because I had never been through what he faced. It isn’t so much the behavior, but rather the scars that brought them to behave in that way. I’m a firm believer that there isn’t a single person you wouldn’t love if you just took the time to learn their story.

How Can I Make A Difference?

Maybe you are wrestling with your own troubles and concerns, or looking for ways to support a loved one, or feeling passionate about making a positive difference in the world at large. No matter what your journey is, there are all kinds of ways that you can make a difference in your own life and in the lives of those around you.

Here are five steps you can take to make a difference:

1. Love yourself. Whether you know it or not, it is extremely challenging to help someone else if you are not taking good care of yourself. So take the time to find what you are passionate about, what you love about yourself, what makes you unique and valuable. Practice loving yourself and being grateful for those things that make you.

2. Work to be comfortable with who you are. When you give yourself permission to be authentic and confident you are also sending a message to others that they can feel free to do the same. Smile at people as you walk by, say good morning or have a good day. Always be kind.

3. Don’t judge a journey that is not your own. We will never know exactly what someone else is going through. While pieces of their story may sound trivial compared to others you’ve heard or even your own, listening and allowing that person to explain exactly how they feel in their life could make an enormous difference.

4. Volunteer. As you start to build your skills, you may begin to think that you could do this for people who really need your help, maybe people in crisis. I can say confidently that volunteering for a Lifeline Crisis Center has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. I would encourage any and all of you who have a passion for helping – even if you don’t have experience – to check out the opportunities to help in your area.

5. Never stop learning. There is a lot to learn about suicide prevention and the more we learn, the more of a difference we can make. A lot of people could use your compassion and expertise.

There Are Plenty Of Opportunities To Shine Without Having To Invent The Next Space Shuttle

Statistics show that 80% of society will follow the status quo.
The world has a need for people that will have the answer in the midst of everything going wrong. If you don’t like something, YOU are the answer. People all over the world are waiting for the world to change. Yet, the world is so desperately waiting for people to shine their light brightly and change the world. There’s a quote that says, “I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that. Then I realized I am somebody.” You don’t have to invent the next space shuttle to shine. You just have to step out. An easy lie people tell themselves is that they are not enough. If the creators of the internet had told themselves they weren’t enough, you wouldn’t be reading this blog. You will ALWAYS be enough. The only person holding you back from shining is yourself. Go shine!

What People Think Of Me Is None Of My Business

Many of us are concerned about what people will think – about how we look, how we dress, what we do, how we speak, how many friends we have and on and on. We dress to please. We change our behavior to please. We tell little lies because we’re afraid the truth won’t please. We do so many things all in an effort to please. Do we please them? Who knows? And, frankly, who cares? The fact of the matter is you probably couldn’t please them if you were the smartest, most attractive, most interesting person in the world because it’s not about you – it’s about them. When you come to like yourself and who you are, you are less and less concerned about what any one else thinks of you. What we can be is exactly who we are. “The better I feel about myself, the more able I am to give to others.” So where do you start? Do an honest assessment of your strengths – get someone to help you if you need to. Begin to work on your strengths. Many times, when you do that, the weaknesses take care of themselves. And remember, what other people think of you is none of your business.

What Are You Saying About Yourself?

Think for a second… 

Every time you make fun, talk badly, or criticize someone, you’re actually talking about yourself. Think about someone you know that loves to talk about others in a negative way. Are they extremely successful? I didn’t think so. How you make others feel about themselves says a lot about you. I heard a quote just recently that really clicked with me. It says, “Have you ever met a hater doing better than you? Me neither.” If you’re constantly tearing others down, it shows others how you view yourself. People who strive for success and are confident in themselves want to build others up. If you want success, you need to spend time around positive and successful people. Confidence is silent, but insecurities are loud. 

Lies You Tell Yourself When Your Self-Confidence Is Low

Lie #1: You are not worthy of love.

Everyone in this world is worthy of love, and that includes you. The great thing about love is its abundance—it does not run out—and you can start with the first rule of confidence, which is to love yourself.

Lie #2: You are not enough.

Says who (other than you)?  Maybe there were people who told you this lie at some point in your life.  Maybe you started fabricating it on your own.  Either way:  it’s not true. You are more than enough! You are good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, and then some. It starts with believing it before you can live it.

Lie #3: You do not deserve happiness.

Yes, you deserve happiness in abundance, and the funny thing is you cannot have happiness while you hold on to the lie.  Happiness flows to you when you fully expect it, not when you resist it. Stop resisting it and start inviting it.

Lie #4: You are not unique or special.

This one still shocks me. Every human being—all seven billion of us—is born with unique fingerprints and unique voices. Does this gift alone not shock you? It is the best perspective to instantly remember that you are oh so unique. There is not another one like you. There never will be. Know this and the list of things you can accomplish is endless.

Lie #5: Your dreams are too unrealistic or impractical.

It takes reading one inspirational biography or life story to switch you out of this mindset, so pick your favorite hero and go. Big dreams are more irrational than they are practical.

Lie #6: Your circumstances dictate your success.

So many of us go through life carrying the shadows of our past which taint our future. If we had great failure in the past, we let it define our identity and severely limit our potential for any future success. If you take a look at countless success stories you’ll begin to notice a lot of them came from something terrible and made it good. The idea that circumstances dictate your success is only a choice.