By Diane Forrest,
The other day I was talking to my cousin. She had mentioned that her family had celebrated National Pie Day by having pizza pie, fudge pie and apple pie. I informed her that I had just written an article about pie day, so she wanted to read it. I sent her the website and when I heard back from her, she was raving about the site and the other articles. She was mentioning how good they were and that she could claim knowing someone famous. I laughed her off, but inside I was beaming. It always feels good to have someone compliment you for the things you do, or the way you look. Those compliments make you strive to continue to do better. It’s called positive feedback.
When I was younger I married a man who constantly criticized me. He quit his job after we married, then laid on the couch all day, watching television and sent flowers to other women. I became pregnant not long after our wedding, and as they pregnancy began to show, his criticism increased. It wasn't surprising that a month before the birth of my son we separated. When all you hear is negative feedback and complaints, it lowers your self-esteem and makes you feel bad about yourself.
Luckily I was fortunate to find a wonderful man to marry. He spent every day raising my self-esteem to greater heights. He would constantly tell me how beautiful I was, how delicious the meals I prepared were, how wonderful the house looked, and how he loved everything I picked out, whether it was a birthday gift for someone, or the color of tile for the bathroom. I can't recall a single complaint or bad comment coming from his lips. Even when I would try and cook a new dish he would say, “well, I like it, it’s very good, but don't ever cook it again".
Self Esteem is a term used to describe a person's self-worth. If a person has constant negative feedback or negative reinforcement, they will begin to believe and suffer low self-esteem and self-worth. February is International Boost Self Esteem Month. Ways to boost your self-esteem is to get rid of all the negative reinforcements in your life. If the negative comes from friends or family, explain to them how their negativity is affecting you. Like my mama always said, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Surround yourself with positive people who encourage you to improve on things in your life. I love to bake goodies and take to people. The constant positive encouragement I receive makes me want to do more and more. Do things that make you feel good about yourself, and don't worry what others may think. Don't forget to share the positive reinforcements with others. Find something positive to say to everyone you meet, you will be surprised how far a compliment will go in boosting self-esteem. Just a simple I like your hair today, or that color looks good on you, or you have a nice smile, will make someone feel 2 inches taller.
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go. ~Dr. Seuss
February is also Expect Success Month. I can't imagine anyone starting a venture with the expectations of failing, but I’m sure it can happen, especially if someone constantly receives negative feedback. This month though, start something new with the expectations of being a complete success, whether it be trying a new recipe, rearranging furniture, or learning a new dance step. Just trying something new already makes you a success. Being able to break away from the comfort zone of tried and true activities puts you ahead of the game. Just remember, you can do anything you put your mind to.
When people believe in themselves they have the first secret of success. ~Norman Vincent Peale