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5 Ways to Boost Self-Confidence

5 Ways to Boost Self-Confidence

5 Ways to boost self-confidence.

On April 6th I get to celebrate 35 years of life, love and walking down this path we call life!

Why be shy about it? 
Why hide it?
Why down play this celebration of life?
Why not shine like the bright star you are?

This was not always my style of thinking. I use to be uncomfortable with the thought of shining too bright. I use to worry others would notice me and because I would be noticed, others would judge me.

That people would criticize me, and because they didn’t know my whole story…get the wrong idea that yes, I am a recovering addict. But I am successfully in recovery (well always working on myself). Except, even though I clawed my way into recovery, I still lacked the self-confidence to let my light shine bright. 

In 35 years I have learned a lot. 
In 35 years I have slowly come to a place were I am OK with who I am. 
And more importantly, I am less concerned with what others think. 

Let me explain. 
My entire life I have been WAY TO FOCUSED on what others think of me, my choices and life, and as a result my self-confidence was zilch. 

I would run myself into the ground trying to please others and often time end up depleted, frustrated, and rundown. 

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I truly began to understand this is no way to live and no way to get ahead in life and as only killing my self-confidence at every pass. And it was around that time which I realized this entire approach to life was a learned behavior that I could in fact… unlearn.

To say that the process of breaking such a habit would be as easy, would be a lie. 

Slowly, taking one situation at a time I have grown to a place where I am more confident, where my self-confidence shines more each day. I care about others, respect others, but no longer am willing to sacrifice my happiness and or my desire to walk the path my Creator has set for me simply on the fear others may not be happy. 

I struggled with this because I would get wrapped up in my thoughts thinking that this was selfish, rude, and un-yogic like. 

But it was yoga which taught me caring for myself and living my life in the best light I can, the way I feel I am called to do is how you can best care for others.

Here are five things that come to mind when I reflect on my own self-confidence and what helped me cultivate it.

Self-Confidence Blog Hope Zvara

5 Ways to Boost Self-Confidence:

  1. Learn to be Uncomfortable. First on the yoga mat with poses, then in life with people. Just sitting with emotions, breathing, and letting things pass.
  2. Use Your Voice. First through teaching, sharing my point of view with the understanding that others may not agree. Then in life, at first little things, and when someone would disagree, letting that conversation be, and not recanting myself to appease the other person.
  3. Began to Ask Yourself What Feels Good to Me. Not one thing is going to be 100% right for everyone. No diet, no exercise, not even yoga. And knowing that is OK, there is no need to convince someone of your practice or lifestyle.
  4. Get Quiet to Get Loud. Not yelling, but to use my voice with confidence I first needed to get real quiet and listen, feel, and process. As someone who would often shoot from the hip in life. This has served me well.
  5. Realize and Fully Understand That Not Everyone in Life Will like You, and That is OK. I know some of you will feel the need to email me and tell me “I like you”. And I appreciate that, but it’s not necessary. I have found great strength in others not liking me, not agreeing with me, or flat out rejecting me. It has been one of my best muscle builders to help my light shine bright.
 

So today, let your light shine bright. Let it beam with self-confidence. Don’t worry a thing about whose eyes may not like it. Shine baby, shine and let your self confidence burn bright!

From my heart to yours,

Hope

SMILE! Life is sweet: What do you love about yourself?

SMILE. Today is going to be an amazing day!! Your alive and breathing!

It is easy to feel that life is just not on your side, but know that how the world feels has a lot to do with how you look at it.

For so many years I hated myself, I did not like who I was, I had very little self-confidence and very little self-esteem, despite the confidence I projected.

It is O.K. to love yourself and show it, to love yourself and tell the world! Hiding underneath your pillow because you don’t feel like you match up to the rest is sad and totally unnecessary!

Today is a new day! Today is a great day!

Today you have a lot to smile about!

In order to offer authentic love out to the world loving yourself and heck even just starting out by just liking yourself without the need for others approval is essential for life to become even sweeter!

So today I want to invite you to name (list) at least 5 great things about yourself. AND post a fun-loving selfie!!

Love Yourself! xx

Love Yourself! xx

Feel like you can’t do it-I want you to move through the discomfort and do it anyway. I struggled for years not sharing myself fully because I cared too much what others thought of me.

Never feel bad about loving who you are!…

So here are my five things I love about myself (there are more, but here is 5)!

1. I’m super funny
2. I have a load of inspiration to share
3. I think outside the box
4. I’ve learned from my mistakes
5. I see life as a journey and one worth giving your all in!!

What about you??

Leave a comment below with your selfie and the five things you love about yourself. Is your mind saying “no”? Move through the discomfort and put yourself out there!

Make sure you subscribe to my blog so you never miss a #DailyDoseOfHope!

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What’s In My Gym Bag

What’s In My Gym Bag

What’s in my gym bag?

A few years back I broke down and started to go to the gym. And what I mean by that is, I bought a gym membership. Yes, the girl who can workout at home. Who know exactly what to do and dislikes weight equipment-bought a gym membership?

I’m a Midwestern girl and Wisconsin winters were really beginning to get to me. I mean, I hit 30 and suddenly this who seasonal affective disorder thing became real. Like MEGA real.

But upon buying this gym membership I noticed something that really didn’t click for me even after fifteen years teaching on the yoga mat. – What you wear does matter.

I mean I am not here to say that $200 yoga pants make for a better workout than $20 yoga pants. But what I realized is showing up in a top and shorts or yoga pants that made me feel good. And heck, looked good in those huge wall size mirrors did help for my motivation to stick around a little longer and work a little harder.

Now my yoga studio of 14 years did not have mirrors (for good reason). And this little discovery made me begin to do a little self-reflection. And sure enough, the days I try to do my hair a bit, wear mascara and yes coordinate my outfit for teaching yoga-made a huge difference.

Now don’t get me wrong, I would never EVER discriminate against anyone who would walk through my doors at my studio and surely never ever at the gym. Wear whatever you want. Coming is the most important. But my own personal observation made me think a bit deeper into the psyche of why we do what we do.

What if a quick trip to Walmart (because heck, they have cute workout clothes) and $30 spent could boost your energy, moral, and motivation to take better care of you? And I’ll save you muttering in your head back at me in this post where you tell me telepathically that you don’t have $30 to spend. Because I bet my four-year-old sons little bear Milky that you could easily find $30 when you look back at what you are buying, spending, wasting money on.

And I say this with love, because a few years back I got into the habit of calling myself out on the blame game routine I was taught from childhood. And wouldn’t you know I found that $30 in a snap!

Ok this post isn’t about where you are spending your money (that for another day) this is all about what to wear to workout. And why that matters more than you think. Here are my favorite workout looks and my absolute essentials for at home, at the gym and travel.

These are my NON-NEGOTIABLES and MUST HAVE workout gear!

What if your journey starts here?

With one new outfit. Feeling good one move at a time? Let’s shop!

For yoga, Pilates & Dance –

Well most of you all know yoga is my love. Yoga saved my life. Yoga is a big part of my style. Yoga is probably my favorite workout next to long walks countryside. Yoga is the biggest reason I am healthy, fit and feel great. I am in love with a good part of yoga capris. You know, the ones that hit just above the ankle and hug to your body. Not because I want to show off my legs. But because I hate interference. I dislike with a passion my belly rolling over my pants. The butt of my pants looking saggy and worn out. And I don’t like to feel restrictive in anything I wear.

These yoga capris are from Zyia. Their prices are not Walmart. But they are quite a bit cheaper than Lululemon. So that means you save and look amazing! Plus, their pants will last forever. I mean, come on, this company was started by two mom’s who were sick of the high prices of workout wear and wanted to make clothing that fits real women. – You can sign me up!   

Zyia Fitness Clothing What is in my gym bag blog post

To date I’ve literally owned about 100 pairs of yoga bottoms and now I wear all of my 5 pairs from Zyia rotating throughout the week and get compliments everywhere! Best part. The pockets! Yes, those amazing sleek side hip pockets!

Add in a great top to go with. And you got yourself a self confidence booster you can wear out the door.

I used to buy all my bras on the clearance rack. Who needs a good bra? Wow was I wrong. Every woman on the planet needs a good bra. Did those words just come out of my mouth? I know I am talking Zyia-again. But seriously their sports bras with the sheer coverage on top have been a game changer for me.

What is in my gym bag bra top blog post

  • Support
  • Sexy coverage (sorry not interested in seeing your goods during yoga and not interested in showing you mine).
  •  Doesn’t look like a “sports” bra
  • Washes easily

Shoes?

Well on the yoga mat, no shoes required (but washing your feet is a nice bonus). But when I go to the gym or for my countryside walk (most would say my walk is faster than most people jogging) shoes are a huge decision for me.

Ask my kids and they will tell you if they don’t bend, twist and flex, I’m not buying them. I struggle to find success in those categories for my wide foot and long check list with brands like Nike and Sketchers (sorry I’m not a fan of walking around with pillows under my feet).

But I do love Under Armor Women’s Street Precision Street Shoes. Comfortable and I am not a big fan of overly padded shoes as they mess with my gait (fancy word for stride). I want my foot to feel the ground as much as possible and at the same time taking into consideration the concrete jungle many of us live in. 

A little secret to buying shoes for running or the gym. Look on the side of the box and see if it says what they heel support is. Most people don’t catch onto this, but even sports shoes can be a high heeled shoe. This changes your gait, hip and hip muscle activation and response of your body. Not to get off topic, but if you are having running, standing or walking issues, don’t just change your shoes, get pro advice and change how you move. Because the shoes were probably not your first problem.

For outdoor fun –

Did someone say hiking?

Climbing?

Camping?

You may have just described my favorite summer fun! (Yes people I live in the Midwest, we have only 12 weeks of summer to shove all our outdoor fun into before the parkas come out). I am obsessed with a good fanny pack for my cell phone or car keys. And love a great hat. I used to hate wearing ball caps but now that I am a mom of three in my 30’s, it appears your taste in things does change.

When it comes to outdoors, I love layers. And always something I can tie easily around my waist, or even roll up into a small backpack (one of us always has one). I tend to be plain with prints. But being more conscious about my pieces now, I tend to gravitate towards business on the bottom (solid colors) and party on top (quotes, fun images, or prints). I absolutely love Prana’s Graphic Crew Sweatshirt. Soft and cozy, perfect for camping or hiking, or just drinking coffee in my office. 

Outdoor wear Prana Graphic Crew

So, what do I actually wear to the gym? Well, you’ll most likely see me there during non-peak hours with a loose pullover sweatshirt or zip up (I hate when my headphones get caught on my top as I’m trying to remove it). And always a tank not a tee, because I don’t like overheating. That cute top mesh bra and always a carpi (the ankle is like the bodies cooling vent). Plus my non-spill water bottle and because my capri’s have a pocket on my hip I have a place for my phone when I’m working it out with free weights in front of the wall size mirrors.

And to be honest, when I see myself as put together, it does truly motivate me to stick around a little longer. And in my book, anything that can help create motivation when I may not have it, is a win for me!

 

The 5 Best Books to Read Right Now

The 5 Best Books to Read Right Now

The 5 Best Books to Read Right Now!

I’ve never really shared with you all some of my favorite reads. In the last few years I have to be honest, I’ve shifted over to an audio book kind of girl. This helps me maximize my time and due to a head injury, staring at words doesn’t really help my cause.

And the last several podcast I have been a guest on have all asked me what I am currently reading. So I’m going to tell you right now. What inspires me behind the scenes. And as you all know, I believe we always get exactly what we need at the exact right time. And some of these books have taken me months to read through, as you can only take in so much before your brain is full.

And other books I have read (or rather listened) through in hours! And then over again.

Some are very motivational, others parenting, and some the art of selling (which when you read between the lines has everything to do with all the mental garbage we carry with as to why we resist, or over indulge in things we don’t need).

I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do.

Here are my 5 BEST books to starting reading right now!

Best Book #1: Sell or Be Sold by Grand Cardone

And I know what you are thinking. Why would I want to read that? I’ve read it 4 times now. And it has taught me a LOT about confidence and believing in what I offer to the world. I didn’t want to read it at first, and you’ll see why. We often resist what we need at that time as an unconscious means to stay safe.

This book taught me that even though I love what I do, I am very good at what I do, my self confidence when it came to asking people to work with me, buy my product or support my cause would fall flat. Not because my offering was crappy. But rather I didn’t truly believe I was worth the investment.

And this book helped me evaluate my words, actions and thoughts as to how I was the one sabotaging my own business. This best book pick was a game changer when it came to building my business.

Best Book #2: The Dolphin Way by Shimi Kang M.D.

The best parenting book I have ever read! I recommend this book to everyone when in conversation about parenting. The book is insightful for the parent that is willing to step back and evaluate how they interact with their kids. WARNING: Not a book for parents that bubble wrap their kids (or maybe it is).

Words cannot even describe how much I love this book. And maybe because it game me reinforcement in my parenting choices of no team sports before they are a teen. Let them fall, give them responsibilities. Step back so they can step forward. No technology. I could go on, but this best book is for all the parents out there who are open and read to step back so their children can step forward.

Best Book #3: Meditations from the Mat Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison

This is not a new release by any means. But still my go to book for daily devotional. 365 days of inspirational messages to keep you on track. I often share these messages in class, but most importantly this book helps bring meaning to my day, and is a surprisingly insightful combination of all beliefs, faiths, and philosophies.

It always amazes me that when I just open this book for a daily inspirational message that it is exactly what I need to hear that day. I have learned in my life to trust that the Universe always has your back. And that we are always being guided. You do not have to practice yoga to grab this best book pick. It will surely speak to everyone who reads it.

Best Book #4: Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

I just recently finished this book. And it is everything many of us are thinking, but few say. And everything we need to hear out loud because deep down we know it’s true. If you are looking for a reality check (for lack of better words) this would be your grab).

Girl, I see you. Biggest take away from this read: it’s OK to choose you. And in doing so, everything else will have more clarity, focus, and purpose because you are not trying to be everything for everyone. Including your kids. I’ve wavered with wanting to be home with my kids but feeling a huge pull to follow my passion and use my gifts RIGHT NOW. Rachel, you are my #4 best book pick because you helped me make a mind-shift that when I choose me I choose my kids at a higher quality.

Best Book #5: How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell

This book is one of my favorites in his series. It’s small, but packed with knowledge. We can all use a reboot on our thinking at times. And this book gives it to you in bite size pieces. Get out your highlighter, because you are going to need it.

I bought this book at an airport a few years ago and it’s still my airplane book. I take it when when I travel. And open it up and just read a few pages. Again perfect timing. This book reinforced the need to organize and prioritize mentally. And in doing so the physical experience became so much sweeter.

Every step we take no matter how large or small on the path to bettering our lives deserves a pat on the back. I know from my own personal experiences that when my mind has time to wander (I’m not talking about meditation) it’s a dangerous road to go down. And I spent years digging my way out. Books assist me in my journey. And these five are my best books because they have all taught me something in a big way. And I want to share that will you.

Anytime I read something and it makes me self evaluate…That is a huge shift for me. And that means a huge win! So I can then dig deep and develop personal insight and decide what information I need and what I can leave behind.

How To Ensure Fitness Routines Will Promote A Healthier Mind

How To Ensure Fitness Routines Will Promote A Healthier Mind

We all appreciate the benefits of regular exercise for our bodies. Staying fit supports your body image, organ health, posture, and more. However, the rewards are not limited to physical wellness and can have a telling influence on your mental health too.

 

Given our increased understanding of mental health, this is a massive incentive to invest in a better fitness strategy. Here are 10 simple steps to ensure that fitness feeds the mind.

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Image – Pixabay CC0 License

1| Be Geared Towards Results

 

All exercises will release endorphins and dopamine. However, there’s no greater sense of satisfaction than hitting your goals. Working with experts like Conte Health & Fitness to set defined objectives and milestones is key. When workouts are tailored towards them, the momentum gained with each success will work wonders. Aside from boosting your confidence in relation to workouts, it should inspire you in other areas.

 

2| Focus On Fun

 

Exercise can be a great way to reduce your stress levels. Those benefits are greatly increased when you actually enjoy the workouts. They can become the thing you look forward to during a tough day of work. Whether it’s playing team sports or working on the gym actions you enjoy most doesn’t matter. When getting fit no longer feels like a chore you’ll be far more likely to keep up the good work too.

 

3| Add Social Aspects

 

Getting fit is a self-centered and personal task. However, surrounding yourself with the right people can enhance your relationship with exercise. As well as personal trainers, you should look to form new friendships and try working out with friends. Trading a midweek trip to the pub for a workout class, for example, will boost your mindset. Better still, it will make you feel less guilty about the weekend drinking sessions.

 

4| Include Bucket List Items

 

We all have a bucket list of things we’d like to achieve in our lives. Most of us include something fitness-related. Whether it’s running the London Marathon, completing a mini-triathlon, or winning the local netball league doesn’t matter. The aspirations will provide a huge source of motivation and can be the driving force behind your workouts. The emotional rewards of getting it right will stay with you forever.

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Image – Pixabay CC0 License

 

5| Use It To Build A Schedule

 

If regular exercise is going to play a truly positive role in all aspects of your life, it needs to be integrated into your schedule. Other commitments cannot be ignored. However, if you leave fitness as an afterthought, you will continue to neglect it and skip sessions. Make sure that your daily and weekly schedules have dedicated times for fitness and you won’t go wrong.

 

6| Focus On Your Comfort

 

While the idea of setting goals is a priority, you should not forget that the purpose of getting fit is to boost your quality of life. Therefore, you should always keep a close eye on personal comfort levels. Exercise can actively help you get a better quality of sleep. When supported by the right recovery tips to fight muscle fatigue, you will feel better in daily life. In turn, your mind will remain in a better place at all times. 

 

7| Make Nutrition Exciting

 

If you are planning to exercise more, it’s likely that nutrition will be on your list of priorities too. It’s important to eat healthily and enjoy balance. However, the great news about the increased activity is that your daily calorie limit will increase too. So, you’ll be able to enjoy a few extra traits. When you use online recipes like BBC Good Food, you can enjoy beautiful meals and tasty treats without any guilt.

 

8| Use Fitness To Help Others

 

Are you conscious of living an eco-friendly life? Or maybe you want to support communities that aren’t as fortunate as yours? You can use fitness to make this happen. One option is to raise money for charity when completing your bike ride or half marathon. Alternatively, cycling to work will reduce your carbon footprint compared to driving. The emotional rewards gained from supporting others are huge.

 

9| Take Time To Reflect On Progress

 

The ambition to keep improving is a wonderful thing. Nonetheless, if you always focus on the fact that you are not quite where you want to be, confidence may fall. So, taking time to reflect on your progress and how far you’ve come can be a pivotal step to gaining a better relationship with fitness. Just be sure to avoid resting on your laurels or thinking that the job is complete. Otherwise, sustainability won’t follow.

 

10| Celebrate With Treats

 

As mentioned, your improved fitness routines should be linked to achieving a better quality of life. With this in mind, it’s vital that you learn to actually let yourself enjoy the improved body and mindset. New clothes that show off your new and improved physique are a good option. Days out, homely products, healthy snacks, and a host of additional items can be used too. They will all highlight the fact that exercise makes your life better. Perfect. 

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