Self-Esteem is about knowing, owning, and taking pride in one’s abilities. How do you garner and/or build self-esteem? Well, the first step is knowing yourself. The rest is just about loving who you are. This week’s challenge is all about tracking, honoring, and challenging yourself. This week and the weeks ahead, play and share Mavens 101 Self-Esteem Bingo.
Stay Mindful on Social Media
As we take precautions from the Coronavirus, and refuge from the panic it induced, many of us are practicing social distancing, working and schooling from home. It is also important to maintain your mental health over the next several weeks. Our minds can become infected by the hysteria-inducing hoaxes that spread as rapidly as a virus. So, be wary of false information currently circulating. Before you believe, check the source. When in doubt check the myth-busting site snopes.com and think before you post and repost.
This Week’s Positivity Challenge Practice Social Mindfulness
So this week’s positivity challenge is to practice social mindfulness as a way to promote mental well-being for you and all your social media neighbors. Besides tuning out hoaxes, here are some other things you can do to maintain mental steadiness this week and for weeks to come:
No Explanation Required
This week’s challenge; Say no and leave it at that to establish boundaries and stay true to you.
Mavens 101 previous weekly positivity challenges have focused on collaboration, avoiding negativity, and acts of kindness. This week’s challenge is to harness your inner bitch and to say no. Okay, so you don’t have to be nasty, but saying no is an essential aspect of establishing boundaries. In other words, have a clear self-understanding of what you will and will not accept and convey. No explanation and no apology required.
Think about it. Have you noticed that when you follow a “no” with a “why,” you open yourself to a “yes”? That is why I don’t bother with detailing my reason. Say what you mean and mean what you say. By simply saying no and leaving it at that, you close the door for a comeback. Not comfortable with the word no? Try, “No, Thank You.” And if someone comes back with a “why.” A simple cause I don’t want to will suffice.
Act With Kindness
My Aunt Mel used to ask me, “if you’re not serving a purpose, why are you here?” Sounds ice cold, but know that she took it a step further as is her way. “Everyone must serve a purpose. Otherwise, you are a waste of space.” She would tell me. Granted, Aunt Mel wanted to know why I thought I was too good to wash the dishes, but I took this question to heart. I absorbed this thought into my very being. In essence, living a life with purpose became a practice of checking my thoughts, words, and actions. Sounds cumbersome, but when you do something enough, it becomes embedded in you, this is the case with everything; good and bad habits alike.
So this week, I encourage you to serve a specific purpose; do something kind for someone this week. Give flowers, buy a coffee, pick up your sister’s kids and take them for ice cream, or check on your elderly neighbors. I could go on, so be below.
The act of making someone else smile will fulfill your own need for meaning and contribution. This action will be the first step that we will build on in next month’s self-awareness exercise when we guide you to your purpose.
Guard Your Joy
One of the best ways to stay positive is by not allowing anyone to steal your joy. There will always be those who seek to get a rise or elicit a negative response. Whatever their reasons, don’t take the bait. Don’t wonder why or try to analyze their behaviors or motives. Ignore and walk away. What is the point in reading someone who may not be able to comprehend your words?
Think about it, if you push a button and a light does not come on, you may keep pushing the button, but once you realize the light will not come on, you stop trying. Maybe you change the bulb, perhaps, you walk away, but you are not going to keep pushing a button that clearly doesn’t work! That is what happens when a person seeks a negative response as well. They will keep pushing until they decide to change their tactic.
Here is the thing you are not an immobile object. Negativity may try again, but if you walk away, who are they pushing? My granny always told me that to argue with a fool makes you look foolish. I take that to heart in staying positive. When someone approaches me with life-altering negativity or something that hinders my life journey, I choose another path. Repeat after me:
You may not have my joy
You may not mess with my contentment
You will have to excuse me while I continue to shine
Case closed. Stay Positive, and Productive. Do not visit with negativity-don’t allow anyone to push your buttons.
Recently, my friends and I spent the evening reliving our youth at a Prince tribute concert. Still showering in the beauty of Purple Rain, one friend suggested we all hang out a little longer. Immediately, I thought of paying a sitter more. As a result, I wanted to go home, get in my bed, and drift off to plans for my tomorrow. However, in true YES AND spirit, instead of shutting my friend down, I suggested we go to a nearby bar for one drink.
Next, another friend picked up the momentum and suggested we go to a specific bar, which was nearby. All of a sudden (loud on top of that), friend three broke our flow. She responded, “No, I don’t like that atmosphere. Let’s go here instead.” While the flow may have been broken, it was not undeterred. Friend one (me) and friend two laid down a little Mavens 101, the life practice of saying “YES, AND” instead of no and but.
The practice of “YES, AND” is essentially to agree to whatever your counterpart states. This action is the second rule of improv; to accept and add your own. Basically, say cool and expand upon that scenario. Even if you don’t agree, you validate another’s contribution then, add your own.
Now let’s apply this practice to my post-concert puzzle with friends. How can we change the NO to a YES, AND to keep things moving? She could have said:
- “Sure, we can pop in, and if it is sleepy, I know a great place nearby.” or
- “Okay, and after, if we decide to go for another drink, I know a spot on that is typically more upbeat.
In staying in the yes spirit, we all stay upbeat without anyone feeling dejected.
In saying YES, AND you continue to foster a positivity and productivity. Besides, YES, AND keeps things moving and lets everyone involved know that they and their thoughts matter. Think about how you can apply this practice into your daily life. Try it with your family, friends, colleagues, customers, PTA, and on and on. My next steps are to try it with my kids. I will let you know how that goes!
You may not always agree with everyone, so agree with the ones who count.