Motivation Monday: Best Case Scenario

Good Morning! The topic of today’s post came to me kind of suddenly but not really because it’s been on my mind for awhile now but I wasn’t sure how to articulate my thoughts into a comprehensible post. I had a long phone chat with my friend Kimmy over the weekend (hey girl!) and we were talking about how our thoughts and words carry so much weight and that you have to be careful yet intentional with how you think and what you say. Thoughts and words have power and you attract what you put out into the world (law of attraction and all of that!) so be mindful of what you say and do. I realize that even though I may say I want things to be a certain way, my thoughts do not match my words and as a result, the actions behind those words do not usually come to fruition. I always thought that it was solely based on my lack of confidence at times but after reflecting on our conversation as well as a previous conversation with my therapist, I finally figured out what the issue was that was holding me back from greatness and what needed to change in order to let go and move forward.

After talking to my therapist a few weeks back, I realized that I have a tendency to ‘catastrophize’ everything. By catastrophize, I mean that I always think about the worst things that can happen in every situation. If I go on a job interview, I think “What if I can’t demonstrate that I am the ideal candidate for the position?” or “What if I appear to be incompetent?” I’ve done in in the past when dating especially when things didn’t go my way. I’d think to myself, “What if he leaves as a result of our argument?” I always think about the ‘worst case scenario’ and that pessimism seems to linger in various parts of my life. I realize that my mother is the queen of catastrophizing and even though I know that many disappointing moments in her life have led her to always think the worst about people and situations, I also feel that her negative thoughts attract negative emotions and as a result, it is a never ending cycle of dread and fear. Some of those behaviors have trickled down to me and although I am not as pessimistic as my mother, I know that when bad things do happen, I have a tendency to let them consume me instead of dealing with my emotions in that moment but allowing them to pass and learn from what mistakes have occurred. My biggest fears are my fear of failure and fear of death and although I cannot control the latter, I can deal with my fear of failure by changing my perspective, Instead of seeing a failed job interview as a failure or loss, I can use the situation as a learning experience on what not to do. Instead of being fearful of losing someone I really care about based off of an argument, I should focus on the honesty of my words and never to minimize my thoughts or feelings even if it means losing someone in the process. If we aren’t able to get past the argument, that in itself should tell me all that I need to know. In other words, instead of thinking about the ‘worst case scenario’, I needed to shift my thinking to the ‘best case scenario’ and let my actions follow suit.

By thinking about the ‘best case scenario’, I will enter a situation with a positive mindset because I will be able to see the bright side of any outcome and use it to push me closer to my goals instead of seeing the experience as another way of holding me back. There are many things that are out of my control but I can control the way I view the situation and most importantly, how I respond to it. I’m going to try this ‘Best Case Scenario’ mindset approach and I will be sure to let you  know how it goes. I believe that it’s definitely going to improve my life going forward 😉 (see what I did there!)

What do you do to ‘decatastrophize’ a situation? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this so leave them in the comments below or on my social media (IG:@amoreluxe_ FB: Angela Cherai) so I can learn a few things from you guys! My next post should be up on Wednesday but if not then, I’ll definitely have something for you on Friday. I hope everyone has an amazing week and until the next time, always remember to love and live luxuriously!

#FearlessFriday: Learning How To Take (Constructive) Criticism

Image result for constructive criticism quotesGood Morning Lovelies! Back in 2016, I planned on doing a #FearlessFriday post every Friday where I would share something that I was fearful of or that held me back from reaching my full potential. It could be something as extreme as conquering my fear of riding on airplanes without having a mini panic attack before takeoff or something as minor as going outside of my comfort zone and trying something new like online dating for example (check out my previous post to read more about that!). Today I wanted to discuss something that has held me back from being the best version of myself because of my own personal insecurities. The thing is, I do not take criticism well AT ALL. Like its to the point where I become defensive or embarrassed and lose the motivation and passion to do what I initially set out to do. At first, I didn’t understand why I was this way towards people who were just trying to help me out. As I thought about it and went deeper into my past, I realized that criticism for me was a way of pointing out my flaws and failures which in turn meant that I wasn’t worthy of whatever it is that I desired.

It all goes back to having low self-esteem as a child and teenager and although I have grown and changed drastically since then, some of the doubts and triggers linger from those times that create doubt and wariness as an adult. Back then when I was picked on, I took it personally not realizing that kids prey on weakness and can sense it from a mile away. My insecurities were a weakness that held me back from speaking my mind and embracing everything that makes me, me quirks and all. Even though I learned that self-confidence is essential to do well in life and to gain respect from others, constructive criticism still felt like a punch in the gut and instead of using critiques like “You need to post more content that will appeal to a wider demographic.” or “Your inconsistencies with your blog come across as laziness and you need to do better” as motivation and encouragement, I looked at it from a pessimistic point of view as me not being good enough. These critiques and suggestions that came from my friends were only meant to help but instead I turned it into a ‘woe is me’ party and didn’t heed their advice. Needless to say when the light bulb finally went on in my head, a lot of time had been wasted that could have been used to create content and achieve my goals. When you know better, you do better and now that I get it, I’m going full speed ahead!

Now let me be clear, constructive criticism is totally different from being negative, petty or just a certified hater. If someone you know is being critical just because of their personal preferences, do not offer any solutions to the issue that they are being critical about or are coming from a place of negativity, anger or resentment, that is NOT constructive criticism but is destructive and toxic. Limit or avoid these kinds of people because they will only bring you down in the end. Constructive criticism should be helpful and beneficial to your life and if the critique doesn’t offer a solution or valid reason for your problem or concern, you might want to take a second look at the person that is offering their unwanted opinion.

To my friends, thanks for always providing me with love and support but most importantly, being truthful with me about things that I needed to improve. The truth can hurt but the constructive criticism has made me stronger and more determined than ever and for that, I am forever grateful 😘

 

I will be posting a book review from one of my favorite bloggers/motivational speakers on Monday so stay tuned for that! Have a great weekend and remember to love and live luxuriously!

 

Toxic People

toxic_people_learn_to_love_yourself_Adlandpro_QuoteGood Afternoon! I wanted to discuss an issue that I have dealt with in my personal life for quite sometime. I mentioned this briefly in an earlier post of mine but I didn’t realize how serious this issue was until I started thinking about the changes I wanted to make in my life this year and what I would need to do to make sure that they were achieved. One of my major goals is to think and act in a positive way to attract positive energy into my life. I know that one way to attract positive energy into my space is to do things that make me happy and give me fulfillment and joy “Amore Luxe” and everything the site stands for fulfills me. Being able to share my message with others is also fulfilling and most importantly, being around family and friends who believe in me and urge me to be the best version of myself helps me to build myself up and stay strong no matter what obstacles come in my direction.

Unfortunately, not everyone in life will care about the things that you are doing or even want to see you do well. They will not usually say these things to you directly but instead will shut down every great idea that pops in your head and block any great opportunity that comes in your way. The telltale signs of  “toxic” people are usually easy to spot Many times, these people are pessimists who don’t have anything positive going on in their lives. They have learned to see the glass as half empty and instead of changing their perspective on life, they decided to contaminate the minds and souls of the people who have positive energy radiating around them and have attracted love, success and anything else that they have desired and earned. Instead of trying to focus on what it is about this person that has brought them all of this good fortune and try to have some of these positive attributes for themselves, they find it easier to bring the positive person down to their level. They will do this by way of indirect insults, backhanded compliments and gossip. Gossip is like a virus that spreads and all of us are guilty and spreading gossip at one point or another. Gossip is usually malicious and is intended to insult and belittle the subject that is being spoken about. Toxic people have a sharp tongue and gossip is their weapon of choice to hurt others so they are no longer seen in a positive light.  Toxic people will also try to corrupt the people with positive energy by gossiping about others and sucking them into the negativity. It is difficult to stop bad habits such as gossiping but bringing others down does not lift you up in any way shape or form.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. emphasized this point perfectly when he said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” You have to be the better person and rise above the negativity by spreading positivity not only in your words but your actions. One of those actions that you will need to take is to dispose of the toxic people in your life. This is not wishing any ill will or harm to them but you cannot have them in your personal space and expect to grow and evolve. They are not ready to continue on this path that you are creating and do not deserve your time or energy. In order for you to be the best version of yourself, you have to let go of anyone or anything that is holding you back. These people may be a part of your family, one of your friends (which is the case for me) or anyone in your space that your deal with that tend to suck the light out of your soul. You won’t be able to shine with their dark spirit in your space so release them so their negative energy can float elsewhere.

I am a work in progress and am dealing with a toxic person in my life that I want to help but I know that I need to let go because dealing with them is draining.  I may have some of the answers but applying them to my life will be necessary for me to get to the next level. I hope you are able to do the same:)

Always remember to love and live luxuriously!

Throwback Thursday- Who I was 10 years ago

Pic of me and my date at prom in 2004 (crazy how time flies!)
Pic of me and my date at prom in 2004 (crazy how time flies!)

I tend to take part in #ThrowbackThursdays on Instagram now and then but have been hesitant at times because thinking about the past brings up some unwanted memories. Many of those tie in to my adolescent life. In earlier posts, I have talked about the shy, awkward person I used to be when I was a teenager and how I wasn’t sure of who I was or where I wanted to go. I didn’t have confidence in myself so I would just stay to myself for the most part and read and surf the internet as a way to escape. I always thought that if I was a bit thicker and didn’t have the glasses or the braces that I would be somebody special but after gaining a few pounds, wearing contacts and losing the braces, the amazing transformation I expected still wasn’t obvious in my eyes. It was then that I realized that what I needed wasn’t something tangible like contacts or curves. I needed to have confidence in myself and walk with my head held high and no matter what anyone thought of me, my opinion of myself was what mattered most. The so-called “popular” girls had it (or at least faked it) and the same could be said for the guys. I could look like a movie star but unless I possessed that power in my presence, none of it would matter. It took me a few years after high school to fully realize this and when I finally did, I decided to work my way to becoming the best version of myself.

 

I had a problem maintaining eye contact because when I was in school and someone made me feel uncomfortable, my eyes would shift downward or focus on something non-threatening instead of looking the person in the eye to show that I was trustworthy, honest and most importantly, someone who should be taken seriously. This was crucial when meeting new people especially in job interviews because non-verbal contact speaks volumes. Next,I told myself that I would work on my posture when walking because slouching and walking with my head down can appear as if I am sad or upset even if that isn’t the case. The biggest change I have tried to make in my life was speaking up for myself. I used to let people talk to me any old kind of way and when things bothered me, I would let it slide to avoid confrontation but now I feel that to be true to myself, I have to speak my mind no matter what the consequences are. I feel that as long as my intentions are good, speaking out is the right thing to do. I still slip up from time to time and can fall back into patterns from the past but now I am conscious of it and try to correct them as soon as they rise to the surface.

If I could talk to the Angela that existed 10 years ago, I would tell her that the voice that should be her motivation and guiding force in life should be her own. Confidence is something that comes from within and people can sense it from a mile away. It’s just like when a predator is hunting for its prey, people who spot weakness and insecurity in others will use that to their advantage and attack when they feel that you are at your most vulnerable. I have learned that from experience the most influential people aren’t the ones that spend hours in the mirror making sure they are seen so they can put on a show for the world. They are the ones who stay true to themselves and what they believe in even if they stand alone from time to time. I strive to be that person that ignites positive change from being completely honest with everyone who comes on “Amore Luxe”, the people I meet in my day-to-day travels and most important, stay true to all the things that are of value to me. These things cannot be seen with the eyes but can be felt with the heart and I hope that I am able to spread the positive energy and encourage others to be open and free from the constraints others may try to place on you. That is my mission and I plan to follow through on it!

 

Always remember to love and live luxuriously!