The Favored Child…which one is yours?

The Favored Child…which one is yours?

The Favored Child

If you have more than one child in your family, the chances are great that you have the favored child. Whether you think so or not, I guarantee that your children think you do. This is a tough one to swallow, isn’t it?  As parents, we try so hard NOT to focus our attention on just one child. However, the truth is that it may be beyond our capacity to show love and more about how our children internalize our actions.

I did a poll on my Facebook page a few days back asking if people have a favorite child. They had two choices…Absolutely not and it depends upon the day. The vast majority agreed that it depends upon the day. So let’s explore what may be the resoning behind that answer.

A day in the life

Look, I get it. Parenting is hard. As moms, we are expected to put aside our own needs to meet the continual needs of others. I have always said that becoming a parent is putting your needs aside for your child’s wants. Truthfully, that is sometimes easier said than done. And let’s face it, each child is different and each child has good days and bad days just as we do.

But wow…when we all have those bad days together, things can go from perfection to destruction in a matter of seconds. My two boys are like night and day. Their demeanors are so different from one another. Honestly, I try to respect their differences regardless of how trying that can be. The irony is that when we found out we were having another boy, I was stoked because I thought i knew what I was doing.

Let’s just declare right here that I was wrong.

Where it all began

My family loves watching Last Man Standing. We get such a kick out of watching another famiy work and often laugh at their antics. We also talk about how we would handle those same situations. If you are a fan, you already know that Mike, the father always claims that Eve is his favorite daughter.

I took this to a whole nother level in our home and began telling the boys that they were my favorite child after they did something helpful or amazing. This little interaction resulted in them trying to outdo one another in order to be “mom’s favorite child.” Fast forward a few months and I began wondering if there will be any  psychological ramifications to their adult psyche.  Both the social worker and mom in me is always worrying that I am jacking these boys up. That struggle is real.

Adult Relationships

Which led me to my thoughts as an adult. I always though my parents favored my brother. After all, he was rarely in trouble, he was the first in our family to go to college and he went on to be a very successful and respected professional. I, on the other hand was the difficult child and while I used to joke with my parents that they would have been bored if I had been more like my brother, they didn’t necassariy agree.

Looking back, he may have thought that I was the favored child. After all, we grew up very differently, as he was raised by my grandmother, my mom and dad and I was primarily raised by my mom in the younger years and my dad and brother as I grew older. 

Grandparents and the favored child

The favored child doesn’t just stop in one generation. That favored child’s kids will also feel the difference in how their grandparents interact with them. Where the grandparents choose to spend their time and the relationships they may or may not cultivate say more to the next generations than they may have ever thought.

According to an article on Owlcation, there definately can be long term ramifications when children do not feel as though they are always being compared to their siblings or are always in continual disagreement with their parents. Wow, no pressure, right?

The truth is that as parents, we need to be aware of how our interaction are delivered AND how they are being received. each child responds to interactions based upon their individual experiences and expectations. And, as parents, we are responsible for interacting with each child according to their own indivudal needs.

What if you clash

Let’s face it. There will be many many times where our kids will do something that just make us shake our heads. And there will be times as parents when we make a decision and shake our heads. As parents, our job is not to be their friends, rather our job is to teach them about how they fit into the world around them. It means that sometimes we all lose our shit and we can model how to apologize and own our actions.

It also means focusing on the postives and letting our children know they are loved and accepted for who they are…not who we want them to be. Maybe that is the key. Allowing the children to be who they are rather than holding on to a dream we had for them. Allowing them to fail so they will learn how to work through the tough times. It’s been said that it takes seven positive statements to undo one negative statement. Those are some big numbers, however I think we can do it. 

I will leave you with one last thought. Don’t push yourself so hard that you have nothing left to give. These children didn’t ask to be brought into the world, we brought them here. Take care of yourself, mama because these littles are only little for a short period of time. Grant yourself some grace and model setting boundaries so your child can also learn to do the same.

 

 

Embracing 50: age is just an illusion

Embracing 50: age is just an illusion

 

Age is an illusion

Or is it? As a freshman in high school, I thought the seniors were old…and by seniors, I meant the 17 and 18-year-olds!   I would panic when a senior even looked at me and my young self, as the age of 18 was technically an adult! Furthermore, someone in their 20’s was fricken ancient, which made anyone near 50 a senior citizen!  Needless to say, back then, I  was also that woman who was not going to get married, nor was I going to have children. I was going to complete my Ph.D. and take care of the world.

Ah, best-laid plans, right?

My 20’s

This decade was an extension of my teens, albeit while attending college. Looking back, I can’t imagine how I would have prospered if I had actually studied more and partied less. I honestly don’t know where the energy came from, as all I did was worked, studied and went out. Repeat. And repeat again.

The transition to adult employment was less tragic than I would have imagined. It turns out I was pretty good at what I went to school for (who would have thought). And amazingly, I could live easily it up at night and work all day! I moved into my first apartment, purchased a pack of smokes and a six pack and consumed both while sitting in front of my giangantuaous platform tv watching Beverly Hills 90210 (I didn’t smoke, just like the independence). Suddenly, I was a somewhat self-respecting grownup who paid my own bills and was fast realizing that there was more to the world than going out and being social.

My 30’s

As my friends began to settle down, I was still in denial that settling down was for me. I surrounded myself with others who loved to live life to the fullest and enjoy the world. I worked, worked out (less as I began to work more) and went out.  It was during one of those nights out that I picked up the phone and left a message for a long lost crush of mine (yes, it was one of THOSE calls). We all have that “one” that never leaves our mind or our heart. And after dating on and off since we were 16, we made the decision to move forward…together.

This was a challenge for this wild and independent girl. Now I was sharing a bathroom with a boy!  lol And we were making plans for a future…together (gasp)! Thank the Lord that he was patient and understanding because anyone who knows me also understands that I am not the easiest person to be around.

We got a puppy…together…it was the ultimate commitment in my book. That is until he proposed.

My Mid 30’s

Chad and I were married at the same time that some of our friends were getting divorced. It always seemed as though I was in a different life stage than those around me, which was probably true, since I was the one to do things my way. About the time that Chad was settling into his profession, I decided to go to graduate school, still thinking I would pursue my Ph.D. I did get my Master’s; however, I stopped there, as our priorities changed when we had our first son at the age of 39.

For the midwest, 39 is really pretty old to be having a baby. So not only did we endure the whole “Advanced maternal age” comments within my chart, my body was pretty shocked at what I was asking it to do.  This pregnancy knocked me on my ass and bedrest soon took me out of the world, but it was all worth it.

And this woman who wasn’t going to have kids? She became a stay at home mom.

The 40’s

So, if 39 is old to have a baby, our prayers were answered when we had our second son at 40. Truth be told, this decade is a blur. Two babies, four dogs, three moves to two different states and three different homes. Multiple surgeries, multiple injuries, hormone changes, weight changes…blah, blah, blah.

My 40’s were dedicated to my failing body and raising my boys. For someone who was never going to have a family, I can’t imagine my life any other way. I don’t believe we have kids to teach them the ways of the world, I believe we are given children so they can teach us. Watching the world through my children’s eyes is simultaneously amazing and terrifying. These boys reminded me there is more to the world than what I was focusing on, and thank God for that.

This is 50

50 is a time of rebirth for me. The boys are getting older and more active, just like their mom. 50 is when I give myself permission to be selfish and focus on me. It’s time to get back to basics by making my wellness a priority and learning to say no to what doesn’t feel good. It’s a time of discovery and soul searching. If you need help on this journey, please see this previous blog post I wrote.

For me, it’s a time for reflection and asking God where He wants me. After seeing so many of my family members and friends leave too soon, I vow to never take a birthday for granted. Where I used to cry on my birthdays, now I embrace the opportunity for another day with my loved ones. So, thank you, Lord, for your work in me.  I am excited to see where you lead me next as I step out of my comfort zones. After all, God has never left me through this adventure and I trust He knows the next chapter of my story.

I just need to stop trying to take control of the journey.

 

 

Motivation is intrinsic, or is it?

Motivation is intrinsic, or is it?

Resolutions

December typically draws out a feeling of regret from failed resolutions. Humor me and take a moment to look back upon 2018 and assess your goals. Now, be honest with yourself…did you meet them? Why or why not? For me,  this year was tough. I did NOT meet my business goals. Furthermore, here’s the hard truth. I did not meet my business goals as a direct result of not working hard enough. Ultimately, I wasn’t focused enough on what I wanted.

Ouch.

But that’s the truth. It wasn’t the lack of someone’s help or the result of my team not working. Consequently, it was me not doing what I needed to do to make things happen. So let me ask you again, did you meet your 2018 goals?

Motivation

On a positive side, I did meet some wellness goals, so that’s a win. However, I digress.

In truth, I used to wonder why people weren’t internally motivated. Naively, I also used to think that I could externally motivate people to make the changes they needed to. However, now I know better. Today, I realize that I can’t change anyone any more than someone else can make changes for me. That really sucks.

It sucks because I have many amazing ideas. I am chock full of motivation and inspiration. Furthermore, I may believe in you more than you believe in you, probably because I am not bogged down by the same old tapes that you are repeating.  I see through the bullshit to who you can be if you only trusted yourself to make it happen. If only I could do the same thing with myself.

Intrinsic

When you were learning to walk, you didn’t quit trying every time you fell down.  You got right back up and tried again (I love this analogy). That desire to move on two legs was intrinsic…it came from within. Somewhere in your life, you began to doubt yourself and those doubts are what is keeping you from reaching for more.

Tell those self-doubts to fuck off. You were created on purpose and you are NOT an accident. You have a purpose. What are you passionate about? Where are you when you feel the most alive? That’s what you need to do. Trust me, you aren’t too old and it isn’t too late. Dig deep, say some prayers and go for it. God wouldn’t put it in your heart if He didn’t want you to fulfill that dream.

Goals

It will still take work. You have heard the old cliche, that it begins with a dream. That’s true…however after that dream comes goals. Goals are brought to life when they are written down, so take a moment and free write what you would do if you weren’t limited by your own self-beliefs or current circumstances.

Now, write a workable time frame next to those goals. Be honest with yourself about what you can achieve and feel free to break the goals down.

Take a look at what you have done. You, my friend, have just created a plan for your dream to come to fruition. That takes courage and many people do not even get this far in their planning.

Go make it happen and let me know when you hit your first goal!

Why you will never have success unless you change the outcome.

Why you will never have success unless you change the outcome.

 

Did you find success with your 2017 goals?  If you didn’t, let me tell you why. However, let’s first agree to define a goal as reaching toward something we desire.  Each January brings an influx of desires, wishes, and promises to ourselves and to others.  For example, every January, gyms are full of people who have resolved to get fit.  Maybe after binging on sweets and alcohol for the last three months of the prior year, they make a promise to work on their own wellness and undo all of the damage they did.

Unfortunately, getting out of shape didn’t happen overnight and it will take time to get back into shape.  Therefore, when the majority of people fail to see instant results, they become frustrated and stop trying.  Seems like the same can be said for nearly any resolution made.  Ultimately, we fail when our desire to change is overshadowed by our willingness to stay the same. Click To Tweet Consequently, here are my top reasons we fail and how to overcome our own objections to becoming successful in achieving those desired results.

You stopped caring.

Point blank.  Much as you may want to, you just don’t care anymore.  After all, you can buy larger clothes, save money by purchasing generic coffee, you can sleep later if you don’t have to be at the gym early.  Sound familiar?  Subsequently, when the effort to move forward becomes shadowed by apathy, you can kiss your goal and therefore success, goodbye.

How do you stay focused?  WRITE DOWN YOUR GOAL(s). Begin by putting your thoughts in writing and hang it somewhere you see it every day.  Better yet, make multiple copies and put them on the bathroom mirror, in your car, your purse, your pajama drawer, in the kitchen pantry.  Ultimately, this will be a constant reminder of your desired goal and help you to stay on track.

You didn’t believe in yourself.

You never believed you would be successful. Initially, you made a goal because you felt like you should, not because you actually thought you would reach it.  As a result, you wanted to test the waters and see how you would do without really putting in your all.  Sound familiar?

When I started my home-based business, I originally gave myself 3 months to find success…that soon changed to six months and now I am going on five years.  Why?  Because I realized that growth is ongoing and I am continually learning and pushing my own boundaries. There are times when I believe in myself wholeheartedly and there are times I feel as though I have no idea what I am doing.  So, how do I get back on track?  If you want to pursue this train of thought further, see my blog post on broken thinking and how to fix it.

Affirmations.

One of my favorite shirts says “fake it till you make it.”  You have to walk the walk and talk the talk.  I have learned that repeating affirmations truly does help me to believe in myself and what I am doing.  You truly have to envision your end result before you can even take the initial steps to reach that goal.

Pinterest has amazing affirmations for virtually any goal you are looking to meet.   I know it may feel awkward to use them if you haven’t tried them before, but trust me, once you believe in yourself, you become unstoppable!

You failed to make yourself a priority.

In January you were on fire and worked daily on meeting your goals.  You had post-it notes of your to-do plan everywhere you could see them and you talked about your goals to anyone who would listen.  However, February came around and you found yourself being drawn into more activities and by May, you had forgotten about your own priorities.

This is easy to do as we get busier and our calendars quickly fill up.  At this time, you begin to make yourself a priority by scheduling yourself in your planner.  This is critical if you find yourself slipping on your goals.  Find a time slot and book time for YOU…and keep those appointments.

You let other’s dictate your decisions.

We have all been there.  It is easy to succumb to the pressure of a good friend or loved one and we get suckered into an activity we are not so sure about.  Maybe it was a networking group or a business opportunity.  Perhaps it was a new gym or book club.  Regardless, we didn’t really think it through, however, we decided we would give it a go…because we felt pressured by someone else.

Here’s the scoop.  This will never work unless you are all in. Get out.  Say no. Let go of the guilt.  Bye Felicia.

You got lazy

Right?  Let’s be honest.  Sometimes it just takes too much effort to keep going.  It takes work to stay on task.  You must have vision, passion, and forbearance.  There must be a deep desire to want to reach a destination, regardless of the roadblocks or life events.  Things will happen.  Suddenly you become very ill or require surgery or you may experience an overwhelming loss.  You may doubt yourself and/or the process.  Regardless, YOU are the reason you have not successfully met that goal.

Every year more dreams die due to failure to continue the process than any other reason.  When we get lazy, we no longer care about the outcome, we stop believing in ourselves, we stop making ourselves a priority, we let others dictate our actions and we fail to meet our goals.

Do You really want Success?

Are you ready to make a resolution or two for the New Year? You are if you are committed to being a better you.  Resolutions and goals are promises to ourselves that we will do better because we deserve better.  What if we treated ourselves as we do a valued loved one?  Would you continually disappoint someone important in your life? No?  Why are you willing to do that to yourself? After all, you are responsible for your success.  Don’t leave that up to chance.

I invite you to go to: http://cindijeffrey.wtfitworks.com  and join the movement.  This is a free app that will provide you will motivation, fitness regimes, healthy eating tips, and opportunities to win prizes.  Remember, we are stronger together.  Feel free to send me an email via the contact form below to set up a free consultation to talk about your own 2018 goals.  I would love to help keep you accountable.

 

 

Help me be accountable!

6 + 9 =

broken thinking…5 ways to fix it

broken thinking…5 ways to fix it

Thoughts

They can be our biggest advocate or worst enemy.  These little reflections can dictate our behaviors without ever being seen by the naked eye. Thinking is continual within our stream of consciousness and until we realize the depth of our thoughts, we will never realize the power and control they have over us.  Broken thinking creates negativity and fear.  Until we consciously focus on our thoughts, we may have no idea where they are leading us.

Try this…sit quietly for a few moments.  Do NOT focus on the number of minutes or set a timer.  Refrain from anguishing about what else you should be doing.  Just sit. What did you think about?  Were you able to focus on one specific thought or did you jump from thought to picture, to list of things you need to do, to memories, to ideas?  This exercise demonstrates how much power thoughts have each one of us. Consequently, when those thoughts are continually negative they impact our lives in destructive and deplorable ways.

What did you think about?  Were you able to focus on one specific thought or did you jump from thought to picture, to list of things you need to do, to memories, to ideas?  This exercise demonstrates how much power thoughts have each one of us. Consequently, when those thoughts are continually negative they impact our lives in destructive and deplorable ways.

How to Fix Broken Thinking

  • Awareness.  Become connected with your thoughts.  How?  Become aware of those dysfunctional “old tapes”.  Many of us have a loop of old tapes playing continuously in our head.  Become aware of those triggers, those words, those thoughts.
  • Challenge them.  When those old tapes appear, challenge them.  Ask yourself if those thoughts are true.  Are you really fat?  Are you really not worthy of success?  Remember,  those tapes typically come from a negative influence in our lives, past or present.  So, challenge those thoughts.  Tell yourself, you are healthy and strong, you deserve this promotion, you will pass this test.
  • Replace those negative thoughts with positive ones.  Rather than tell yourself you will fail the test, tell yourself why you will pass. You have studied, you are prepared, you are quick to learn new concepts.  This can also be done with affirmations.  Find affirmations that connect deeply within your soul and print them out.  Place them throughout your environment, so you always see them and be reminded of them.
  • Gratitude.  Practice a daily ritual of gratitude.  Every evening before you go to sleep, write down ten things you are grateful for. While you may find this difficult at first, the longer you practice this, the more quickly you will think of things to write on this list. When you fill your mind and heart with gratitude, it is hard to be negative and you begin to take note of the blessing in your life.
  • Remove the toxic people from your life.  When you surround yourself with people who love you and lift you higher, it is easier to be more positive and you begin to see what they see in you.  You will also increase notice energy as you will not be bogged down with the negativity and critical thinking of others.

You are Worthy

When you continually tell yourself that you are not good enough, not good looking enough, are fat, aren’t smart enough, you begin to behave as those thoughts dictate.  How differently would your life look if you changed the direction of your thoughts, therefore changing your actions?

You are worthy of loving and being loved.  Of growing and learning and being successful.  Be patient with yourself, as changing your thinking takes time, after all, it probably took many years to develop those old tapes.  Ultimately, the decision to change must come from within and on those occasions where you feel less than positive, fake it till you make it and keep moving forward.

 

 

 

 

 

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How to cheat Success and make it about YOU!

How to cheat Success and make it about YOU!

I am success. Not successful, rather, a success.

Isn’t that a bold statement?  How dare I put myself out there as being a success? After all, who am I to say that I am more of a success than you are? ME. Seriously, just ME. I am me and I alone know the challenges I have overcome. Click To Tweet I can choose to dwell on them or I can learn from those obstacles and make different choices in the here and now.

Success defined

Let’s talk about the word success.

Dictionary.com defines success as “the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals”.  If I honestly look back on my life and the goals I have achieved, I definitely meet the definition of success.  After all, I graduated from high school.  Trust me that was a success for being the person who rarely attended and dropped every class possible in order to have more time to “hang out”. Shoot, I even went on to attend college and graduate from grad school.

I think where we get caught up on whether we are successful or not may depend upon how competitive we are.  Stay with me here as I explain.  For example, if you neighbor purchases a brand new car and you are green with envy and berate yourself for not being able to afford that car, you may feel as though your neighbor is more of a success than you.

How do you know that said neighbor isn’t looking at your lawn and steaming with rage because his lawn looks so neglected next to yours?  Perhaps he wonders how you are such a success with your landscaping.  You have heard the expression “the grass is greener on the other side” and this is a perfect example of where that came from.  You may be thinking your neighbor has money to waste while he is wishing he had more time to work on his lawn.

Perspective

Here is another cliché…”life isn’t always as you see it”.  We all view our world through our experiences and our own perception of reality.  Here is also where we need to be careful because our perceived reality may be far from the actual experiences of others.  A little friendly competition is good for the soul; however downright jealousy and lusting for something someone else has is self-deceiving as well as self-defeating.

It’s easy to sit back and wallow in self-pity because we are not where we want to be in our life.  Here is some free advice.  STOP BEING A VICTIM!  You are the result of your experiences; however, it is up to you to change your life.

Self-Growth

I am a huge fan of Jen Sincero and I love her forthright honesty in her books (I may also have a little girl crush on her, so bear with me as I proclaim her greatness).  She is no nonsense and has lived through her own decades of doubt and self-destruction.  However, in her book, You are a Badass at Making Money; she spends a great deal of time talking about how we sabotage ourselves when we compare our lives to the lives of others.  Ultimately, her message is simple.  To achieve success, you have to believe that you are success.  I won’t share more of her message, however, I can assure you, it is worth the read!

Self-growth, ongoing education and challenging yourself are all instrumental in moving forward.  Our brains fight hard to hold onto our old thoughts and behaviors and I have referred to these as “old tapes“.  It is only by challenging those thoughts and behaviors that we will ever leave our comfort zones.  One way of doing that is by following people you admire.  No, I don’t mean to literally follow them; I mean follow them on social media, read their books, and watch their podcasts.

Another way to practice self-growth is to practice affirmations.  Find something positive that you absolutely love and paste it everywhere!  Use is as your screensaver and phone screen!  Put it on your bathroom mirror in lipstick and use sticky notes to put those affirmations all over your house and car!  Keep repeating that affirmation and “fake it till you make it.”

Let Go

Part of being a success is letting go of anything that holds you back.  For many of us, this is difficult as we feel guilty for closing doors on relationships.  Imagine this.  You are not closing a door, you are no longer allowing a person to control you or have influence over you. That is different than denying the person your company.

As you move forward, others may become uncomfortable.  As you step out of your comfort zone, you will have to find others who share your same vision.  You are not leaving others behind as much as you are creating a circle of influence to reach your next level.  Don’t be selfish and do not be afraid to reach out.  The truth is, you most likely have something to offer those around you, even if you don’t believe it yet.

Unfortunately, we are typically the last person to see our gifts and believe in ourselves.  When someone compliments you, accept it and file it away in your brain for those moments you are second guessing every decision you make.  In conclusion, let go of the negativity and embrace your dreams.  At the end of the day, it is up to you to make those dreams a reality.