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Olivia Lovenmark

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Focusing Within

Posted: 10/24/11 10:13 AM ET

When was the last time you did a check-in with yourself? I think sometimes we are so busy thinking about the world around us that we forget to reflect on and nurture ourselves. Now, I don't mean go get yourself a Cosmo or a new pair of shoes kind of nurture; I'm talking about the quiet, simple moments when we are really able to examine ourselves from the inside out.

You know that confidence some people have that seems to be innate and just shines out of them? You notice it even before you notice their designer shoes. I believe that sense of confidence stems from understanding, loving and having pride in oneself. These thoughts and this writing come from a reflection I did upon myself not too long ago.

I was sitting with a cup of tea on my balcony overlooking Vancouver's West End one morning. No distractions, other than my kitty, Marie, who was doing figure eights between my feet. In that quiet time I made a point of reflecting on what I was feeling about my relationships with family and friends and with myself. I've made quite a serious list of goals recently; have I been able to check off any of those goals yet? Have I made any strides towards accomplishing those goals? Here were my answers:

My sweet grandmother wrote me a letter weeks ago and I still have yet to reply. Knowing this makes me feel bad about myself.

I called my mother and wrote to my sister yesterday -- family: check. (Insert pride here.)

I had told myself earlier in the week that I would do the dishes and laundry; both were still sitting waiting for my attention. Knowing I so easily broke a promise to myself was like lightly chipping away at my own self-esteem.

Those big goals were still big ideas, no steps done to bring them to fruition. If I want to believe in myself I have to prove to myself that I can accomplish these things. What has kept me from doing so? No reason. Seems I'm just very good at justifying doing other things first. But those other things (ie: painting my nails, checking Facebook, watching TV), were given importance over building a relationship of trust with myself. (Am I getting a little Dr. Phil here?) Broken nails be damned, I thought, I'm going to prove to myself that I am worthy of accomplishing my goals (setting up my own company, among other things)!

At the risk of getting Pollyanna on you, I resolved to write that letter and do the dishes and laundry immediately. I also made a list for that day: what was possible for me to achieve today that would bring me closer to setting up my own company? Perhaps I can do a little research on applying for a business license. Well now that's not too hard, and being able to check off an item on my list sure feels good. Look at that, easy pieces to building a more positive perception of myself. You wouldn't believe how much lighter and happier I felt with myself after leaving that balcony. I bet I was even smiling, soo that's how those shiny people glow with confidence. They're good to themselves! Try it, I bet you'll be amazed.