When Words Hurt: Picking Your Battles With Bullies

I love award shows. I enjoy every aspect: the red-carpet interviews, the fashion, the spectacle of the award show itself, I love it all. So, like many I was parked on the couch this past Sunday getting my fill of all things Oscars and rooting for Benedict Cumberbatch because he is fantastic! And along with millions of viewers, I watched Will Smith slap Chris Rock. My first reaction was that it was part of the show. I quickly learned that it wasn’t a staged bit, but a raw and visceral reaction to a cruel “joke” made by a bully at the expense of Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Words Do Hurt


I am not going to get into the whole right versus wrong part of the discussion here. Clearly everyone understands that what Will Smith did was wrong. What I do want to say is..I get it. I get why Will Smith reacted the way he did. As someone who has had many a verbal insult flung my way over the years because of my bilateral cleft lip and palate, I completely understand the impulse to lash out, even physically, when you’ve had as much as you can take.

For those that have had the experience of being bullied, you know that kind of pain cuts deep. And I don’t care who says otherwise, words do hurt. I can still remember the exact situation and cruel words said to me by a bully I had when I was in middle school. So, I don’t buy the whole “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” mantra. Words can cut deep, hit hard, and linger in our minds for years.

Being A Bully Is Not Comedy


Making fun of someone’s appearance is not comedy. It’s petty, uninteresting, and shows the true nature of the person making the insult. That’s why when Chris Rock made his “joke”, I rolled my eyes just like Jada Pinkett Smith did. If nothing further happened, Chris Rock would have been made to look petty and uninteresting through his own words. However, by Will Smith reacting the way he did, he gave away his power the moment he struck Chris Rock.

Now, instead of talking about how out of line Chris Rock was by making fun of someone’s appearance -and let me just clear up the idea that just because he may have not known Jada has alopecia somehow how makes his “joke” ok..it does not. Whether or not he knew does not excuse his crassness and pettiness for using someone’s appearance as a punchline – we are now talking about how out of line Will Smith was for his reaction because it was “just a joke”.  The power has shifted from the victim back to the bully.

Lessons To Be Learned


As I think about how all of this played out on Sunday, I realize that it is the perfect teaching opportunity for ourselves and our children. The lesson: We must learn how to pick our battles. Does Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith really care what Chris Rock thinks of them? I’m guessing not. We must consider the messenger when it comes to how we react to hurtful words or rude comments.

Now, of course, as soon we start school and become part of social groups, we care A LOT about what others think. It’s part of the growing up experience – learning how and where we want to fit in. Did I care what my bully thought of me when she hurled those hurtful words my way all those years ago in middle school? Yeah, most likely because they stayed with me for a very long time. Do I care now? Of course not.  We must ask ourselves – do I really care what this person thinks of me? If the answer is no, then that person’s opinion on anything we do will have zero impact. They are not worth the time or energy it would take to respond.

Not Every Bully Is Worth Your Time


I’ve learned that not every bully deserves my response when it comes to reacting to a rude or hurtful comment. I have learned how to pick my battles. And now, as a parent myself, I am teaching my daughter to do the same. I encourage you to have conversations with your children about how they view the people who have said mean things. When it comes down to it, do they really care about what that person thinks of them? Use this particular incident with Will Smith and Chris Rock as your jumping off point. There are complicated feelings and emotions locked up inside this singular incident that can spark wonderful and helpful conversations. By using this as a learning opportunity, you and your children can strengthen the skill of learning to pick the battles that truly deserve their time and energy.

~Vickie


Mask Removed: It’s Never As Bad As I Imagine

A few months ago I shared in a blog that at the beginning of the school year, I met another mom at the bus drop off. Of course, because of all things pandemic related, we were wearing our masks. Over the next few weeks of hanging out together, we exchanged numbers and decided it would be fun to get together for coffee and chat.

That day, as soon as I left the bus stop, the thoughts started snowballing through my brain. I thought “I met this mom while I was wearing a mask. She has no idea that I have a cleft. What is her reaction going to be? What will I say? Will I have to endure the inevitable look to my nose and mouth and then the quick look away?”.

It’s Always Worse In My Head

Fast forward a few months, and we finally were able to make our coffee date plan. Admittedly, I was still having all those initial anxious thoughts of what her reaction would be when we removed our masks and she saw my full face for the first time.

I can tell you, that the thoughts I have about removing my mask around people I have never met before is always worse than what really ends up happening.

Fear Can Mask Our Minds

If we let it, our minds can come up with some pretty crazy scenarios of how people may react to our facial difference. But if we let our fears take control, we rob ourselves of truly wonderful experiences. And with mask requirements lessening in many places around our country, the idea of people seeing our facial difference, for the first time in some cases, can be quite nerve racking for many of us.

But do you want to know what my new friend did when I took off my mask? ABSOLUTLEY NOTHING! We had a lovely chat and talked about all kinds of things and found several commonalities between us.

If I had let my initial hesitation stop me from going to the coffee date, I would have missed out on this new friendship. What a tragedy that would have been!

Make A Thought Correction

So, when you feel those thoughts of insecurity start to creep in, make a thought correction. Tell yourself that you know what you are thinking isn’t true or accurate. That nothing about your outward appearance needs to be explained away. You are made up of a million little things and if someone doesn’t take the time to get to know you just because of what they see on the outside, it is their loss, not yours.

~Vickie

A Million Little Things

I’m a sucker for the emotional television dramas -( hello This Is Us and Downton Abbey!) Do any of you watch the show A Million Little Things? I do, and in episode 7 of season 4 there was one scene that felt like it was written just for me.


Can’t Take the Insecurities Out of the Girl

In this scene two characters are discussing how one of them recently met a woman he would like to ask on a date, but she did not know he uses a wheelchair because they met when they were both in a parking lot and sitting in their cars. The guy is nervous because he doesn’t know how to tell this woman that he is in a chair. He feels he must explain it to her so she can be prepared.

Let me tell you, I feel like I lived this scene in real life. Let me explain: At the beginning of the school year, I met another mom at the bus drop off. Of course, because of all things pandemic related, we were wearing our masks. Over the next few weeks of hanging out together every morning watching our kids get on the bus, we exchanged numbers and decided it would be fun to get together for coffee and chat elsewhere besides the cold of the bus stop.

That day, as soon as I left the bus stop, the thoughts started pinballing through my brain like well..a pinball. I thought “I met this mom while I was wearing a mask. She has no idea that I have a cleft. What is her reaction going to be? What will I say? Will I have to endure the inevitable look to my nose and mouth and then further endure the quick look away?”.


A Million Miles an Hour

My brain was going a million miles per hour thinking out all the awful situations that could occur, and I was paralyzed. I couldn’t think any further than my immediate reaction – which was..can you guess? Fear. I was feeling afraid of being rejected by this nice woman who I genuinely liked chatting with every morning. I was feeling anxious because before this woman, I haven’t met anyone new that couldn’t at least see what I looked like when they met me. Just the thought of “unveiling” myself was almost too much.

I may be 44 now, but all those insecurities that were there as a young girl born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate never really go away. They came roaring back with a vengeance. So much so that I contemplated trying to cancel our yet to be scheduled coffee hang out before it even was on the books.


A Million Little Anxieties

Fast forward to me watching this particular episode of A Million Little Things, and this scene comes on. It was just the wake up call I needed. As the main character is talking out his thoughts of should I call her and tell her that I am in a wheelchair”, the other character in the scene dropped some knowledge. He said “Sure, you can do that. While you’re at it do you want to tell her others things like your credit score?” It made me laugh out loud, not just because the actor’s delivery of that line was perfectly dead-pan, but because of how silly it would be if the guy really did that! The actor continued… “She liked you for you. And if the chair changes that, then it is her loss, not yours.”

The point that this scene so perfectly makes is that nothing other than who you are on the inside should determine whether or not someone likes you.


You Are More Than What Is On The Outside

So the next time you are feeling nervous, fearful, or anxious about meeting someone new, or going into a new situation, remember this –  nothing about your physical appearance needs to be explained away. Who you are is more than your physical appearance.  Who you are is a combination of a million little things. And if someone doesn’t take the time to get to know you just because of what they see on the outside, it is their loss, not yours.

~Vickie


What’s In A Name

Have you ever wondered, what’s with the name Dragonfly Paradigm, anyway?

I’ve explained it a handful of times via my blog and social media posts, but I thought I would elaborate a bit more since there are many of you who have only recently joined the community, and may not know what the symbolism is all about.


Run For Your Life

The dragonfly part is an homage to my father. It sounds silly and you’ll probably think it sounds ridiculous, but when I was young and would see a dragonfly flying about in the back yard, my dad would say “Watch out! They’ll sew your lips shut!”. Anyone else’s parents use this saying?!

Eventually he told me that his parents used to say that to him too, so it was really just a big joke, but it would still send me screaming and running for my life. All in good fun of course, and clearly I’m not traumatized by it (not like chickens, which I may tell you about at some point), and so it became one of the endearing things he and I shared.

Once I started looking for a name for my business, I kept thinking about the Dragonfly and started doing research into what the animal symbolizes.


The Name Represents the Vision

The dragonfly has long been a symbol of transformation, self-realization, and change. I mean, talk about a perfect representation of what I was envisioning this community to be for.


Change the Way You Look at Things

Now, onto the Paradigm part. In addition to the Dragonfly, I wanted the name of my business to represent what I was trying to do at the core. I wanted to change the way we in the cleft community think about and view ourselves. So, while I was knee deep in thesaurus searches (I LOVE a good thesaurus search), Paradigm kept coming up.

A Paradigm is a model, framework, or way of thinking. It was a perfect word to describe what I wanted to do. I wanted to help others find a new way of thinking in regard to the handling of obstacles and struggles that those of us on the cleft journey go through. It was a perfect fit.


Choose to Own Your Power

So there you have it. The back story on the name Dragonfly Paradigm. And truly, it is also a backstory on why I’m here doing this work. I am passionate about helping all of us within the cleft community realize that they are born with all the strength and power they need to live a full and emotionally supported life.

It is my hope that you continue on this shared journey with me. I know it will be amazing!

~Vickie


PIVOT!

Be honest, when you saw the title of this article, you immediately heard Ross’ voice screaming it out, right?! Whenever I hear or see the word PIVOT, I cannot help but smile and remember one of the funniest moments from Friends.


Not What We Were Hoping For..

However, when thinking of pivot this week, my smile was a dimmer than usual because the pivot my family had to do was return (albeit for a much shorter time – fingers crossed) to remote learning. Ugh.

Talk about a wrench thrown in the works. Of course I knew in the back of my mind it was always a possibility due to all things COVID, but geez, when we received the word from the school I was so mad. I mean, really mad. Anger rose up from the depths and took over my entire mind and body.


Boiling Up From The Deep..

My strong reaction to this news, I realized, was rooted deeper than in just the immediate inconvenience, frustration, and disruption to my daughter’s schedule. It was coming from a place where all the former frustration, inconvenience, and disruption I felt from my daughter’s entire year of second grade had been hiding – just waiting to rear it’s ugly head.


Bringing Up Old Issues..

From my own experience growing up, I can remember many times when what I thought was going to happen regarding an upcoming surgery or dental procedure, was changed due to varying circumstances, and I would feel anger, confusion, and fear.

As parents of a cleft child, or a cleft individual yourself, I’m sure you too can relate. A small change to an upcoming procedure schedule, or a big adjustment to an overall treatment plan, can bring up BIG reaction, that can cause you to feel even BIGGER emotions.


Pivot Power..

So, what can we do when these events happen that bring up these BIG reactions and BIGGER emotions?

For me, I always fall back to a great piece of advice my mom gave me when I was younger. Whenever I was feeling down, she would tell me “Go ahead, take today and mope. Feel down. Feel the feelings you are having. But tomorrow, pick yourself up, put one foot in front of the other, and start doing something about it.”

So that is what I did. I took that day and felt all my feelings. I commiserated with my friends and family about what I was feeling and let all that anger and frustration out. Then, the next day, I picked myself up, put one foot in front of the other, and started making a plan for my daughter’s change in schedule.

I may not feel good about what is going on, but I am feeling capable and ready to tackle this challenge.


Take The Day and Then Rise Up..

So, if you find yourself dealing with an unexpected challenge or change right now – give yourself some grace to feel your feelings, but remember my mom’s sage advice: Take the day, but then pick yourself up and do something to get you moving forward.

~Vickie




I’ve Come a Long Way, Baby! Reflecting on the Journey.

“In moments of quiet reflection our minds embrace the sea that we have crossed.”

~ Holmes

Big news my friends!

October is my birthday month! Yep, I’m one of those people that likes to celebrate all month long! Packing in as much fun and opportunity for shenanigans to be had as is possible! How do you like to celebrate? All month long like me, or pack all the festivities into the exact special day? One of the ways I love to celebrate is through music – and I’ve created a special birthday playlist to accompany my celebration. Click here to check it out!

Taking the opportunity..

I have always enjoyed every aspect of my birthday! When I was younger it was all about how much fun I could cram into the month. As I have gotten older, and especially as I have begun the journey that is Dragonfly Paradigm, I find myself reflecting often on where I have been, and just how far I’ve come.

Nobody said it would be easy..

Growing up as I did, with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, the struggles were real. There were many surgeries and many emotional hard times. They populate my memories as I look back on my soon to be 44 years on this beautiful Earth. Life in and of itself is hard. Living with a facial deformity makes it even more so. Those of you in the cleft community know what I’m talking about. In those times of great challenge, it felt completely overwhelming and isolating for me, and at times I thought it would never get better. Oh, how I was wrong.

One step at a time..

With the encouragement of my parents, I took one step at a time into the big world that was waiting for me. I found activities that I enjoyed such as piano and dance. Through those activities I grew more confident in myself. With each piano recital or dance performance, I faced my fears of being in front of a crowd. I proved to myself that I could indeed stand on my own two feet. The confidence gained from these early experiences helped to carry me through my young adulthood years. Although my fears of what people may say about my face remained, I didn’t let the fear get so ingrained that it stopped me from living my life and to try the things I wanted to try.

Older and Wiser..

As I look back now with much older eyes, and as a parent, I can see that it wasn’t in the big moments that I became the strong and capable person that I am today. It was through the small, less significant events that my resilience was shaped. The close bond I had with my parents. The friendships I formed when I was young, with several still lasting to this day. The courage I felt in knowing that if I stepped out of my comfort zone and failed, I had a safe place to return to and receive the support, encouragement, and acknowledgment I needed. Resilience is formed through the experience of adversity, and living with a cleft lip and palate definitely gave me the opportunities to experience quite a bit of adversity.

Paying it forward..

Now, as I embark on yet another year, and another “out of my comfort zone” journey, I am hopeful and excited. As I share my stories and experiences of living with a cleft I hope that it will resonate. I aim to instill in my own daughter the skills of self awareness and empathy that will serve her well as she continues on her own path in this big bold world.

Looking back and moving forward..

So I am going to take this month of October to not only celebrate another trip around the sun for me, but also take the time to recognize and appreciate just how much I have overcome. No one said life would be easy, and I certainly agree with that. But life is also wonderful and beautiful. It is full of rich experiences that we have to be courageous enough to try. So let’s be brave! Celebrate all that we are! All that we have overcome! And all that we can do with this one precious life we have.

~Vickie



I’m Just a Soul Whose Intentions are Good

Did you ever play the game “telephone” when you were a kid? I remember playing that game so many times in school. All the kids would line up, and the first kid would whisper to the kid next to them a simple sentence like..”My dog has brown fur”. Then that kid would have to repeat what they heard to the next kid, and so on and so on, until the very last kid would say out loud what they heard. The results were always so funny because “my dog has brown fur” would turn into something like “my mom wears gowns to work”.  I started thinking about this game because recently I had an experience where what I said to someone was received not at all as I meant it. My intention was lost in translation.

Oh Lord, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

Intention can be a tricky thing. Often times we say “That wasn’t my intention”, when something we have said is received by another person the wrong way.  Communication in general is hard these days. Even in the most comfortable of relationships, words can often be received in the opposite way from how they were meant. Add in the faceless anonymity of social media, the cold and inflectionless reading of words via email and text, and we are setting ourselves up for loads of “that wasn’t my intention” experiences.

That Wasn’t My Intention

Growing up I had many “that wasn’t my intention” experiences. When someone would ask in a cold, sometimes cruel way, “What happened to your face?”, I would often react with aggression. I’d say “It’s none of your business!”, or I’d say “What’s wrong with your face?!” I reacted from a place of defensiveness, and both myself and the questioner would be left with feelings of embarrassment.

If you are part of the cleft community, you know what I’m talking about. I’m sure you’ve had experiences already where a well-meaning person asks a question in an extremely insensitive manner. Much like the usual “What happened to your face?”, there are others like “Did you get into an accident?”, “Were you bit by a dog?”. The list is endless.

What is Their Intention?

Over the years I have relaxed A LOT when I get asked these questions. What I have come to realize is that most people are genuinely curious, not malicious. They want to ask in a kind and sensitive way, but they don’t know how to go about it.

No matter what question is asked of me, I can usually tell if the person asking is sincere or simply voyeuristic. If I’m unsure of their intentions, one of my tried-and-true responses has always been, “If you are genuinely interested, I’m happy to talk to you about it another time.” This way it helps me feel more in control, and that I do not owe this person an explanation about myself. 99 out of 100 times, if the person is asking for nefarious reasons, they simply walk away.

My Story is Owed to No One

There were many times growing up that I felt I had to explain myself, no matter what. That as someone being born with a cleft made it mandatory that I had to share everything. Nothing could have been further from the truth, and honestly, I wish I had learned this lesson a little sooner. No one is owed our story unless we want to share it, no matter how nicely they ask. So, if you are not comfortable sharing something about yourself, you know what? You don’t have to. You can simply say, “No.”. “No, I’m not comfortable talking about that with you.” Or “I don’t know you well enough to share that part of my story with you.” Keep it short and sweet and with no room for further explanation.

Same Goes For Me

The same goes for when I want to know more about someone, or a particular aspect of their story. As someone who never saw another person with a cleft in my small town I grew up in, I would always get excited when I would see another adult with a cleft, and it would take all my power to not run up to them and say “Hi! I have a cleft, you have a cleft, I want to know everything about you and let’s be best friends!”

You’re Just Like Me!

I’m sure you can relate. We tend to get super excited when we see others that have similarities to ourselves. But we must remember to slow our roll. Let the excitement die down and if we are interested in knowing more about this person, put the ball in their court and ask respectfully if they would be open to talking to you sometime. But remember, they, just like you, do not owe anyone their story if they don’t want to share it. Be prepared for them to say no.

The Best Intention

Communication will always be a tricky thing. Just like in the game of telephone, words and meanings get quickly muddled these days. But by seeing others with an empathetic eye, asking questions in a respectful manner and without expectation of what the outcome should be, we can engage in meaningful and heartfelt conversations around shared experiences.

~Vickie


Are you a parent of a cleft affected child? Are you looking for support in how to build their resilience skills? Then click the button below to get my free 10 Keys to Building Resilience in Your Cleft Affected Child guide right now!


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Skunked: It’s as Awful as You’d Imagine.

If you saw my social media post last week, you know that my family adopted a new dog into our family! He’s a big (100 pound), lovable (won’t stop with the face licks), funny (lays on his back 50 % of the time just waiting for someone to walk by to give him a belly rub), and as we found out the other night, a dedicated protector. Turns out, that when given the opportunity to protect his new found family from an intruding skunk in the back yard, our lovely Apollo would not back down! And so, as you probably guessed, he got skunked!

Never Been Skunked Before

I’ve had dogs all my life, but this was a new experience for me. If you and your dog haven’t had the pleasure, it is as awful as you would imagine. We made the mistake of letting him in the house, so it wasn’t just a smelly dog, but a smelly house as well. In our defense, this event did take place at 3AM. So in our tired, sleepy stupor, we didn’t quite realize what had happened to him until it was too late,. He attempted to get the skunk spray off by rubbing his body and face on every surface he could find.

Let’s just say, it was a VERY LONG day. Lots of cleaning, lots of bathing, lots of telling our daughter “Don’t hug the dog!”, lots of saying out loud “Ugh, everything stinks!”.

Pepe’ Le Pew is a Punk

You can be moving easily along, putting one foot in front of the other going about our business, and then BAM! You get Pepe’ Le Pewed! With a few days reprieve from Skunkageddon, this entire experience has been a good reminder that when life throws a wrench in your plans, and the unexpected happens, you have two choices. Resign or Rise.

Skunks Show Up When You Least Expect It

Going through my early years living with a cleft there were plenty of times that things did not go entirely as planned. For example, my mother has told me a story about the second surgery I ever had. To avoid an additional procedure, my surgeon attempted to close both of my lip clefts in one surgery. It was successful, but during the healing process one side reopened, and I had to have the additional surgery anyway. It was not at all what either the surgeon or my parents wanted or expected to happen. Both parties were understandably upset at the result, knowing that they now had to send a not yet 6 month old back into surgery so soon. They had been skunked.

My parents had to do the hard work and prepare both themselves and me for the second unplanned surgery. My surgeon had to put aside the failure of the first attempt and focus all of his efforts on this next procedure. Both sides chose not to dwell on to the failure, but instead accept what had happened, and work with what they had to create the best result possible for me.

Resign Or Rise

We all have a choice in how we react to the circumstances we find ourselves in. We can resign and think we have no power to improve our situation and rail against the unfairness of it all, or we can rise and look for workable solutions. The choice is always ours.

It All Works Out In The End

The surgery to close the reopened cleft was successful and there were no more unforeseen issues during the healing of my lip. Either way the surgery was going to have to happen, but because my parents accepted, not rejected, the initial failure, they avoided getting stuck in cycle of blame, frustration, and sadness. Therefore they were able to work through the situation and ultimately provide me with the steadfast support and care that I needed.

Skunked No More

When have you been confronted with your own “skunkageddon”, and had to make the decision to rise instead of resign? Whenever we do, we are actively building up our resilience muscles. Remember, resilience is forged through adversity. Confidence comes from taking action, not the other way around. So be brave. Choose to rise and face your challenges. You will be stronger for it.

~Vickie


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The ABK’s of Yard Sales: Always Be Kind


Last weekend my family had a yard sale. It was a good way to rehome a lot of my daughters’ clothes and toys that she had outgrown (the girl grew over an inch in 6 weeks, so she basically had to get a whole new wardrobe), and miscellaneous household items that we had collected over the past several years. I love a good clean out from time to time, don’t you?! My daughter also got to have her very first lemonade stand (she’s been asking to do it since January) and I learned something new about her. That girl has the sales gene.

I don’t have it..

I have never been skilled at sales. In college I took a beginning sales class and ugh..it was torture! I felt confident speaking in front of people right up until the point I need to “sell”, and then my throat closes, and I can’t remember what it is I want to say. It just feels unnatural!

She’s got it..

Not for my kid though. The moment the first person showed up to our house, it was like she hit her “on” button. She was engaging, personable, pleasant, and genuinely interested in what the people were saying in response to her questions. Let me tell you, the minute she made her first 25 cents from her first cup of lemonade, she was hooked! As soon as anyone got out of their car, they first thing they heard was, “Would you like to try some of my fresh lemonade?” It was adorable.

Everyone gets a piggy bank..

But she did not stop there. As the day went on, she grew more confident in her ability to talk to the people who stopped by. She walked around our tables of items, picking up one here or there, and making conversations with her customers. Watching this usually reserved little girl come out of her shell and be self-assured enough to engage and sell to people she did not know was amazing. And let me tell you, she sold 4, count them 4, gigantic ceramic baby piggy banks. She’s that good.

As she worked her magic and sold countless ceramic knick-knacks to the people who came to our yard sale, I was filled with pride but also awe. I kept thinking to myself “How is she so comfortable talking to these people she doesn’t know? I was never like that when I was her age.”, and “Look at her be so at ease making sales, like it’s no big deal!”. It was amazing. She is an amazing little girl.

Keep it simple..

So, what was her secret? After our sale was done, I asked her how it was that she was so comfortable talking to these people she had never met and selling to them. She said two things in response – that she was having fun, and that she wanted to be kind to them.  

It is as simple as that, my friends. Do you want to feel as confident and at ease in your life as my 7-year-old daughter selling old picture frames and giant baby piggy banks? Have fun and be kind. Leading with kindness will bring joy to not only those your meet throughout your day, but also to you too. It’s a win-win.

~Vickie


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Investing: If Not Now, Then When?

I was having a conversation with a friend a few days ago, and as we were talking about all sorts of things, she said something that struck me. She said that women rarely invest in themselves before investing in others.  

There is truth to this..

Think about yourself right now. When an opportunity arises to take a class, go to a retreat, or participate in a workshop that you know will be a benefit to you personally and emotionally, what do you feel in your gut? Hesitation? Fear? If you let that feeling grow, what comes next? I’m guessing a myriad of excuses as to why you cannot attend. Not to mention creation of imaginary scenarios that “could” arise that end up making you say no to the current opportunity. Believe me, I have heard them all, because I have told them all to myself countless times.

Investing does not mean money..

There is plenty of research and articles out there that talk about just this specific issue and try to get down to the root of WHY women tend to put their personal growth aside for the sake of others.  So, what is the WHY? Time? Money? Nope, it is neither of those. Even though they both play a part, they are not the root cause of why women continue to put themselves down. The number one reason? LACK OF CONFIDENCE. If you are interested in reading more details, there was a well written article in The Atlantic several years back that still holds up. Click the link here to check it out.

It all comes back to this..

Confidence is key to just about everything we do in life. If that makes you cringe a bit because you feel that you are lacking in confidence, then try thinking of it this way. Your attitude determines how well you function in the midst of all of life’s challenges. Do you have a positive outlook or negative? When presented with an opportunity for personal growth and challenge, do you see it as a way of investing in yourself or do you see it as something else you don’t have the time or money for. As one of my favorite spiritual motivational speakers used to say “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Dr. Dyer is right on with that, and it really is that simple.

So, is there something you want to learn? A workshop you want to attend? Is there a skill you want to hone? Do not let the immediate fear of “I’m not worthy” stop you from doing what you want.

Confront the fear..

Are you still consumed with all the excuses? Use my Brain Dump Worksheet (link to download below) and write down all of the excuses you can come up with. Next, go line by line and right a T or F by each one. Is that excuse true or false? Is it your fear talking or a legitimate reason? Be honest with yourself and if by the time you get to the end of your list you have realized that most of your excuses are false, then my friend, there is your answer.

If you do not invest now, then when..

Invest in yourself. You are the greatest gift you have to give to others, so nurture yourself. Love yourself. Take the time to show yourself that you believe you are worthy of your own time and energy. As Robin Sharma says, “Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.”

~Vickie


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