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Do You Love Yourself?


Do You Love Yourself?

When you look at the relationship you have with yourself, you might notice that you don’t put in the same energy into yourself as you put into relationships with others. Can you imagine how much you would love and respect yourself if you did? Can you think about the persons you might attract into your life if you were operating as your ‘ideal self’?

It’s easy to fall short in this area though. We often tend to put others needs ahead of our own. If you are a mother, you know this all too well. However, when we do for others constantly or fail to work on self, we let ourselves and ultimately others down. There are real benefits to being ‘in love with yourself.’

How often do you take yourself out on a date? Or how often do you say nice things to yourself the way you talk to your best friend or partner? (If you are not saying nice things to your partner and your partner is not saying nice things to you-that’s a different story entirely. Refer to my Fighting Fairly article.)

What defines a loving relationship with self? We will get to that…

Qualities in a Loving Relationship with Others

There are various qualities needed to have a healthy and successful relationship with others. Some of these qualities include: acceptance, affirmation, trust, love, honesty, commitment, respect, freedom of individuality, assertiveness in communication, affection, ability to work through challenges and ability to maintain a sense of humor.  These are the same qualities one could have when in a love-affair with self.

If you are willing and able to accept yourself as you are, then you have worked past being critical of yourself. Unfortunately, people distract themselves throughout their days and perhaps push away the need to work on loving self.

When you are in a successful relationship with another person, you work to accept the person as they are. To love someone, you are attracted to their positive qualities initially. You are typically willing to stay in the relationship because the pros outweigh the cons.

When the Relationship Starts to Fail

Hopefully, the pros outweigh the cons. However, there are individuals out there who are attracted to individuals with poor character traits or notice them as time goes on. At times, the cons outweigh the pros. Or one or two cons are big enough to hinder happiness.

Since we all have flaws or traits that need improvement adjusting a trait or trying to be the better version of yourself is a natural and respectable path. If you are in a relationship perhaps you can stay in the relationship and grow together. However, some people break up and give each other time to work on improving the flawed character trait.

Growth Takes Time

Time apart could be beneficial for growth. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. Distance can make the heart grow fonder. Taking a break and jumping into a rebound or another relationship doesn’t help you grow though.

Being single and focusing on self-improvement helps  you grow. Read self-help books, see a counselor or journal. Figure out what poor traits you have and commit to working on them.

You Cannot Change Other People, Only Yourself

You cannot change other people. Don’t waste time trying to do it. If someone wants to change, that person will do it on his or her own time. It doesn’t mean you have to wait around for the change to happen.

If you want to change, you will take steps on your watch. These changes take time. Failure is a natural part of existence. You can expect failure to happen on your part and another person’s part. Failing forward means, failing but continuing to go on.

Humans are incredibly resilient.

That is the whole message about life. Life is a journey. The fun part is not getting to the destination right away. The journey is the part that matters.

Life is about learning because life is a continual, changing process. That is the one constant in life: change.

When looking at having a relationship with self, you want to build yourself up. Confidence boosters are necessary when trying to love yourself. Confidence boosters include: positive affirmations, sticking with a new hobby, trying new things and recognizing your small accomplishments.

If you have suffered a failure at college or in a sport where it seemed like those paths would set the tone for your life, there is another path…ALWAYS.

You might not want the path at first but lies before you for a reason. It is there to challenge your self-worth, your integrity and your ability to accept.

Understanding Self-Worth

The affirmation of self-worth is main message you can benefit from in having a relationship with yourself. It feels good to hear, “You are good enough. You matter. You are capable.”

How often do you say that to yourself? Give yourself credit. Recognize the positives about you. Affirmations and learning more about them happen in this blog post.

Most importantly, you can say them to yourself and increase the self-worth statements as you go. Remind yourself that your inner-voice is a central part of your own self-worth and growth.

By believing in yourself, you can take steps to improve. Which inner voice you choose to feed determines how positive or negative you are.  The negative self-talk statements devalue you. The positive self-talk statements build you up.

Motivation can be difficult to find sometimes. By starting to improve your curious qualities you could benefit from acknowledging even small progress.

Take time to sit with the little wins and begin to change the neuroplasticity in your brain, especially if the old messages were negative, hurtful and creating an environment of low self-worth. When brain activity gets used to hearing self-deprecating message on a daily basis, you create an environment of hurt and unhappiness.

If you can reverse that pattern and give yourself positive, affirming and loving messages, you become happier on a daily basis. You take ownership of changing the neuroplasticity in your brain messaging.

You begin to trust and love yourself more. Hence, you start having a loving relationship with yourself.




Overcome Post Traumatic Stress

Overcome Post Traumatic Stress

Trauma is a silent creeper. Its triggers can creep up when you least expect it and can sabotage you into a myriad of complex emotions. Just when you think you are living your best life, emotional stress from a past trauma can be presenting havoc in your life. There are ways to overcome post-traumatic stress.

You might not have expected it but trauma can present in the form of low self-esteem or feeling like a victim. It can show up as having uncontrollable emotionally intense reactions, nightmares, flashbacks or anxiety. It can even show up as depressive symptoms. Some people might be wrongfully diagnosed with anxiety or depression and truly suffer from past trauma.

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The Truth Behind Lies Inside Your Head

The Truth Behind Lies Inside Your Head

Photo Credit: Kat Jayne Pexels

Your opinions and beliefs in your mind can be playing tricks on you. Just because you sincerely believe one thing to be true does not mean it is truth. It can be an opinion and even a negative viewpoint on the world or towards yourself. Your meta-messages could be ruining your life. Here is the truth behind lies inside your head.

What is a Meta-Message?

How you live your life or define your truths is based on your belief system. In counseling, we refer to these “truths” as your beliefs or your “meta-messages.” A meta-message is a message received from reading in between the lines. As you might infer, meta-message itself may not be true but you might define it as being truth. Read more

Have Happy Thoughts

Have Happy Thoughts

Photo credit: Bruce Mars Pexels.com

Let’s get real simple here. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy or CBT is based on the notion that your thoughts and feelings are related to the actions you choose. These thoughts and feelings ultimately may lead to mental health problems if you see things in an irrational or unstable perspective. The notion that you might be seeing yourself, the world and other people’s actions in such ways as irrational or twisted might make you question your interpretation of events and situations. That is exactly what I am challenging you on. Try to look at your interpretation of events from an objective (non-emotional) perspective. The challenge for you is to have happy thoughts. How do you do that? Keep reading…

Twisted Thinking Takes a Toll on Everyone

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Find Your Self-Worth

Find Your Self-Worth

Photo credit: Pexels

In Philip C. McGraw’s book called Self Matters, he references a chapter about labeling. Labeling is a not only something you say to yourself inside your head with your critical voice, but it is also something that others say about you. Labeling has a powerful influence over your psychological development. It can define your self-worth.

Labeling can be living in your subconscious. Labels come from the outside world and inside your mind. Your labels are important because it is the inner core of what you believe about yourself. “Label” means a term of classification. However, you could benefit from looking at these labels to understand your self-worth.

Labels are Judgments

Labels are judgments of self. They crystallize a type of self-characterization. Labels allow someone else to define you based on a personal, perhaps biased perception. You either allow others’ labels to creep inside your head to become a form of self-characterization. Do you beat yourself up by listening and believing what others are assuming about you?

Whether labels are true or not, there is a certain self-fulfilling prophecy that happens with labeling. When you pay attention to labels, there is a prediction that is somewhat made. That prediction can lead you to continue with those types of credits or continue to live life in that manner. Read more

How to Find Your Passion

How to Find Your Passion

Are you wondering how to find your passion or a life of purpose? When I am counseling various kinds of people including younger clients, those struggling with addiction, depression, or even those after retirement, the common theme is they question their life’s purpose. Having not found your passion or life purpose can beg this question at any age. Here is how to find your passion or a life of purpose. Check out these 10 ways… Read more

5 Ways to Be a Happier You

5 Ways to Be a Happier You

Author: Virginia James, M.A., LPC, LMHC, Strategic Life Coach

You Have an Attitude

At one time or another, I am sure you heard what it means to have an attitude. Your parents might have said to you, “You better change that attitude of yours!”

The thing about attitude is that it can be either positive or negative but you get to choose. You get to choose your attitude in life.

Some people live in a constant state of anger: anger towards others, blameful or simply unhappy about personal life decisions.

Maya Angelou said this quote: If you don’t like something change it. If you can’t change it, 
change your attitude.

I saw this couple shopping at Aldi the other night. The man kept patronizing this poor woman telling her things like, “Why did you pick that type of cheese?”, “Move faster! You’re walking too slow,” “You’re just in the way!”

I thought to myself, “This woman just needs to leave him and get away from that negativity. What are those toxic statements doing to her on a daily basis?

Can You Choose Your Attitude?

Have you ever been around someone like that? Someone who emotionally and verbally assaults you on a daily basis. Hopefully you are not the person doing it to someone else.

Or have you ever been around a daily complainer? Unfortunately, it is all-too-common.

One thing is for sure, it’s definitely easier to have a poor attitude. Why not be different? Why not work on having a happier, healthier attitude? For some, having negative thoughts or thoughts that bring you down on a daily basis are totally normal. For others, having positive thoughts or being mainly happy each day is the norm.

If the last sentence isn’t true for you, keep reading. Here are 5 ways to change your 
attitude because attitude is everything in life.

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How to be a Happy Person- My Story

How to be a Happy Person- My Story

How to be a Happy Person- My Story

Online Licensed Counselor and Life Coach

My Superhero story…why I am blogging and starting a business

Author: Virginia James, M.A., LPC, LMHC, Strategic Life Coach
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” ~Chinese Proverb
The launch of my business is happening now and will continue to happen through 2018 and 2019. 
The tools I have acquired in the last 20 years are what I plan to share with you!

“I am a brain-changer.” Are you?

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I Can Be Your Counselor or Strategic Life Coach


Do you want to find an Online Licensed Counselor?

Do you want to find a Personal Strategic Life Coach?

I’m listening! I am Virginia James, LPC and credentialed Strategic Life Coach.

Author: Virginia James, M.A., LPC, Strategic Life Coach

It has been a crazy road the last ten years. In following my husband and his career, I have put my real dreams on hold. Finally, come 2019 I will be adding followers, fans and clients to the “I CAN TRAIN MY BRAIN” tribe. This is super exciting!

In my journey, I have come to realize that I have a personal commitment to helping others feel happier. For over 20 years, I have been studying emotional health and well-being. For the last 10 years, I have counseled hundreds of clients struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma and other limiting issues. Read more