New Beginnings

What it Means to be Capable PLUS 3 Steps to Recognizing Your Self-Worth

In last week’s blog post I discussed the importance of recognizing your self-worth.

Humans have infinite worth

I mentioned that, as a human being, you are completely capable of developing yourself so that you can give meaning to your worth.

So my question for you today is: Do you know what it means to be capable?

Let’s start with ruling-out what you probably think capable means, and that is “the skill or power to do something”.

INCORRECT. That is actually the definition of the word able. On the otherhand, the word capable takes able to a whole new level. The word capable means to have the mental capacity or know-how to do things in the best way possible.

So as a human being, you may have certain physical characteristics and skills which help you reach your goals, but most importantly you have the brain power to strategize and figure out different ways to reach your goals.

Take the story of Nick Scott as a great example:

Nick Scott was a football player in high school. During high school, he got in a horrible car accident which ended his football career and put him in a wheelchair for life.

Even though Scott couldn’t walk, run, or play football, he still had the ability to bench press at the gym. So he capitalized on that ability and committed himself to benching more weight than anyone else in his high school. Nick Scott began to recognize he was still capable of creating a good life for himself even though his accident left him with a physical disability.

Scott’s weightlifting hobby soon turned into more than that — he decided to compete in a body building competition. After finding a new passion and talent, Scott fought to have a wheelchair bodybuilding competition established under the IFBB (International Ferderation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) so that him and others could compete professionally. He began winning shows and bodybuilding.com eventually signed him as one of their athletes.

Nick Scott wheelchair bodybuilder

Scott is now, a motivational speaker and a personal trainer for other men and women in wheelchairs who want to learn bodybuilding.

The moral…

Even though Scott wasn’t physically able to play football or use all the equipment in the gym, he used his mental capacity to figure out HOW he could become a winner in the body building world.

Nick Scott might have injured himself physically but he still recognized his infinite human worth – after he was injured, he exercised his CAPABILITIES to reach a new goal in the best way he could.

Just like Nick Scott, YOU are capable of reaching your goals. You are capable of strategizing and learning and developing yourself so that you too can be successful.

So if you don’t know how to access your capabilities try following these steps:

1) Make a list of your goals, both short term and long term, career related or personal.

List of goals to achieve

2) Write why you are or are not able of achieving each goal. Be realistic in your assessment.

Why am I able to achieve my goals?

3) Write down why you are capable of improving your abilities to meet your goals.

Why am I capable of achieving my goals?

Final Step: Realize that you just created new pathways of success for yourself.

New path to success created using my capabilities

In the words of Nick Scott, it’s not about your glass being half empty or half full, it’s about being grateful that you have a glass at all.

There are so many paths that can lead you to a single goal, so remember that if one path becomes impossible to go down, you can take another. Also remember that you can dig out a new and completely unique path for yourself. And even cooler than that, you can take a path that leads toward a different goal, one that you haven’t tried to reach before. You can do all this because you are a human and you are not meant to do just ONE thing in your life.

You are meant to THINK, DEVELOP, and ADAPT. You are meant to work hard and exercise your capabilities to give your worth some meaning.

And most importantly, you can do all those things and make the next 365 days the #YearOfYou.

As always, Happy Monday ❤✌

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Selfcare Tips

Bonus: My Top 8 Books for Self-care

Bonus blog!

If you read my most recent blog post, you know I did a lot of reading during 2018. Most of the books I read were all about being introspective, attempting to understanding the universe we live in, and ultimately how to be happy and fulfilled in life.

So I decided to compile my top 8 books for self-care. If you read any of them, please let me know what you think in the comment section below 🙂

Please note that some of the links are affiliate links which means I will make a small commission off each purchase. Any commission I receive helps me to continue creating free content.

1. The Book of Afformations: Discovering the Missing Piece to Abundance, Health, Wealth, Love and Happiness by Noah St. John
Why I love it: This book changed the way I think about creating success habits. Unlike anything I’ve ever read, this book presents easy questions which automatically result in authentic answers to improve life and well-being!

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2BIg4iM

2. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Dr. Jordan B. Peterson
Why I love it: This book is written in such a way that is is IMpossible to NOT realize where you need to improve your life. Learn why creating meaning in life is more important than anything else, and how meaning acn lead to happiness and fulfillment.

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2BI06p1

3. You are the Answer by Michael J. Tamura
Why I love it: This book allowed me to connect with myself on a spiritual level. After reading this, I realized exactly what the title suggests: I am the answer to my difficulties in life, and only I can create the path toward the solutions.

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2SnZNXn

4. Resilience: Navigating Life, Loss, and the Road to Success by Lisa Lisson
Why I love it: Wow. Just wow. Reading Lisa Lisson’s account of hardship as well as personal success made me incredibly grateful for my life; I realized I must stop taking things (and time) for granted as I pursue my life goals.

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2BIgGFi

5. The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything by Neil Pasricha
Why I love it: I realized success does not equal happiness. You must find harmony in what you say, think, and do.

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2Vb6z4A

6. Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What is Sacred by Mark Nepo
Why I love it: Introspective and Poetic. This book allowed me to find hope in the world and hope in my life.

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2CAq0MP

7. Top Brain Bottom Brain: Harnessing the Power of the Four Cognitive Modes by Dr. Stephen M. Kosslyn and G. Wayne Miller
Why I love it: This book provided me with a new understanding of how the brain works. Forget the limiting idea of left brain versus right brain, and instead open yourself up to multiple functions of your top brain and bottom brain!

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2LCy1np

8. Ten Messages Your Angel’s Want You to Know by Doreen Virtue
Why I love it: This book provided me with the realization I am not alone, as well as the courage to take my first step toward self-development.

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2VeMuKA

Check-out my entire book list on Goodreads @ ellasssofia 🙂

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New Beginnings, Selfcare Tips

Passion >>> Complacency

!PSA! Take this 3-question quiz that will guarantee 1 of 4 possibilities: (1) you have an a-ha moment, (2) you give yourself a pat on the back (3) you have an oh-s***-what-am-I-doing moment, or (4) some combination of 1 & 3!

Question 1- How old are you?

Question 2a – What are you doing in this chapter of your life?

Question 2b – Is what you’re doing considered “normal” for your age?

……If yes, say “yes it is but who really cares if my life is normal” and move to question 3.

……If no, say “no it is not but who really cares if my life is normal” and move to question 3.

Question 3-Is what you’re doing making you truly happy?

…..If yes, then please accept this emoji high-five *insert emoji high-five*.

…..If no, why are you doing it? (And accept an emoji high-five anyways because you’re probably the bomb).

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Two weeks ago I posted a blog about “investing in yourself” and in it I mentioned I wanted to draw out that belief. I wanted to hold on to that belief with both my hands!

Recently I decided to take that belief and crank it up a notch — I wanted to live and breathe that belief so I could hold onto it with my WHOLE HEART!

So how did I do this?…I stopped my normal life, decided to follow my passion, and started this blog. And now I am dedicating the rest of my life to helping others realize they should follow their passions too. Super exciting, right!?!?! …Wrong…(ish).

It’s actually a bit nerve-wracking. And sometimes I feel like the picture below:

It is definitely not easy to take a huge risk without being certain you’ll be re-paid. So why take such a risk???…PASSION! Seriously, that’s it. Sure I have the support of my immediate family and closest friends, but even if I didn’t, I swear passion alone would keep me going.

If you are complacent with your life and that is the way you want to keep it, that is totally fine – no hard feelings. But I am telling you with 100% certainty that pushing past complacency to complete fulfillment will bring you joy like nothing else will.

Whether it’s starting a blog, writing a book, or spending more time with family, follow your passion and you WILL find true happiness. Whether you’re 14, or 20, or 56 years old, do what brings you fulfillment and I promise you WILL find a passion for life itself 🙂

Selfcare Tips

Fifty Shades of Monday

This is a follow-up to my last blog where I talked about Mondays being my favourite day of the week.

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One of my friends asked if I could recommend more things for people to do on Mondays. So instead of listing off a few items, I decided to write a full list of 50 Things to do on a Monday. If you don’t feel like reading the whole list, at least read #49-50.

Enjoy!

1. Yoga – My favourite is Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. She has a whole series for beginners, and a class for pretty much anything else you can think of.

2. Bullet journalling (or using an organizer/agenda) – When Monday comes along, I open my journal and flip to a beautiful new blank week. Then I get to create my schedule the way I want!

3. High Intensity Interval Training – My ABSOLUTE favourite trainer for these types of workouts is Melissa Bender. Check her out on YouTube as well as her blog at BenderFitness. Her workouts are ALL done at home so you don’t need a gym membership or any fancy equipment.

4. Take-up a recreational sport – check out what your local rec centre has to offer. You can usually find sports year round at a reasonable price. And don’t be afraid to try a sport you never played before!

5. Read – whether it’s a physical book or an audio book, you can’t go wrong here. I recently discovered that YouTube has lots of audiobooks for free.

6. Listen to motivational content online – whether you drive or walk to work, you can definitely hype yourself up by listening to motivational content duting your commute. One of my favourites is Patrick Bet-David. His YouTube channel is called Valuetainement!

7. Stretch – Before getting ready for work or eating breakfast, try alotting 7-10 minutes to do a full body stretch. It will get your blood flowing and your muscles feeling ready to face the day.

8. Colour – Yup, you heard me, break out those crayola crayons for this activity. You can purchase “adult” colouring books on Amazon and at Chapters.

9. Read the news – I honestly try to avoid this one because every news report seems biased, BUT if you have time to check out a few news sources, maybe you’ll find at least one thing to research and gain more knowledge on the subject.

10. Eat your favourite breakfast – What better way to start a week than to eat your favourite food? If you don’t have time to do this in the morning, try to get it ready the night before (even if that means pre-scrammbling eggs and putting them in a jar to cook in the morning).

11. Wake-up your brain by playing a game like sudoku or crossword (you can download these games onto your phone from the app store).

12. Walk to work – change up your regular routine and walk to work if you can! Can’t walk? Take a little stroll on your lunch break.

13. Make a big a** salad for dinner. Get in the vitamins and nutrients your body craves on the first day of the week.

14. Eat a smoothie for breakfast – again, get in those vitamins!

15. Try a fast – Hold out on food until dinner time, and drink lots of water. You may be surprised how refreshed you feel!

16. Watch a documentary – instead of your normal Monday night sitcom.

17. Do a puzzle – another great way to stimulate your brain!

18. Make your favourite dinner.

19. Go to a cafe with a book or your laptop.

20. Take a bath

21. Make a dish with an ingredient you’ve never used before.

25. Do your grocery shopping – seriously! I prefer getting my groceries on weekday evenings because it is so quiet at the store. Plus most stores put out fresh produce on Mondays so you get first dibs.

26. Paint night. Painting is a cheap hobby to get into. You can buy everything you need at the dollarstore, and follow a Bob Ross YouTube video at home! Alternatively, you can buy a ticket for Paint Nite (this is also a great date idea).

27. Go to a board game cafe, or just grab some friends and play at your house!

28. Sign-up for a Masterclass or for Skillshare to learn a new skill. Both sites have every class imaginable so you’ll have no shortage of options.

29. Make some buttery popcorn and watch an old movie.

30. Make something from scratch! There are tons of sites and books that teach you how to make things like soap, deodorant, household cleaners, bathbombs etc!

31. Knit or crochet – Try making a dishcloth. You can use the most basic stitch and it can be done in 1 night!

32. Start a gratitude journal. Find an empty journal and each day write down what you are grateful for.

33. Call a friend and chat with them.

34. Call your mom or dad! I guarentee you’ll make their day.

35. Go see a movie at the cinema. Pro tip: see if you can find a cinema that plays older films. Or find a cinema that serves drinks while you watch the movie in a comfy armchair.

36. Meditate – Not sure how? Your local buddhist temple may have classes, or download the app Headspace to your phone.

37. Compliment somebody – You have no idea how good this makes you feel until you try it. And you will likely make the other person’s day.

38. Wash your bed sheets – Laundry isn’t fun, I know. But how can you not love jumping into freshly washed bed sheets on the the first day of the week?

39. Sit on your balcony or look out the window and admire the night sky. Realize how amazing it is that you are a living, INTELLIGENT organism in the big wide universe you’re looking at.

40. As soon as you wake up, tell someone you love them and that you hope they have a great day. Do this because you genuinely mean it. And tell them what a great friend/partner they are to you.

41. Join a club. Not sure where to find one? I highly recommend the app, “Meet-up” to see what’s close to you.

42. Join an art class. Your local community centre will probably offer inexpensive classes.

43. Join a professional club like Toastmasters.

44. Check-out EventBrite for any and all events in your area! I loveeee this app!

45. Love coffee? How about trying a tea! Switching up your normal habits is a great way to stay motivated and stimulated.

46. Create a vision board/write down your goals.

47. Open a self-directed investment account.

48. Go to the library!

49. Follow my blog! And read my latest post as I usually post every Monday.

50. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. Don’t make me tell you what that is because I am NOT you. Deep down in your heart you know exactly what you want to be doing right now. And there is no way you can give me an excuse as to why youre not doing it. If you work your a** off it WILL pay off. Maybe not in 1 year or even 5 years, but use your time wisely and fulfillment will come.

Work hard and spread the love! Happy Monday!

Selfcare Tips

“Invest in Yourself” – Givin’ er a Whirl…

Throw back to my first bujo post.

“Invest in yourself” – that has been and will continue to be a daily reminder.

Do not live your life worried about what others might think about you. Each moment you are concerned about the opinions of others, you lose an opportunity to live for your whole being. Isn’t that bonkers!?? You can literally stop yourself from doing things that make you genuinely happy simply because you are worried about the opinion of Sally (who you barely knew in high school but follows you on Instagram).

When I first heard the phrase “invest in yourself”, it struck a chord in me. I gave the phrase some good thought and realized I did very little “investing in myself”…which was probably why I felt completely burnt-out.

Long story short, I figured I should bite the bullet and give “investing in myself” a whirl.

So I started making time in my life for little things I enjoyed: walking outside, going to church, yoga, drawing, and reading. To be clear regarding the reading, I mean recreationally…NOT something written by Michel Foucault [side note: you’re cool Mr. Foucault but really not my type…someone let me know in the comments if you feel me on this]. After about 2 weeks of making time to invest in myself, I realized it was pretty sweet. It was not easy, and obviously took away my precious time to stress about random sh** to the point where I couldn’t fall sleep at night [insert eyeroll emoji] BUT it was definitely worth keeping-up.

In fact it was so worth it, I thought, “I should draw this phrase in my bullet journal to make it a concrete belief”. You know…so I could really hold my belief with both my hands.

…and I did just that [check-out my photo below]

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After drawing it I thought, “I should really post this to Instagram. I’m sure there are people out there that need to hear this message!” And that’s when I froze…. What will people think when I post this? Maybe they’ll think I’m weird. Maybe they’ll think it sucks. Maybe they’ll unfollow my account! … I could go on and on. So instead of posting it, I chickened out and saved it as a draft.

The next evening I got home from work, opened my Instagram and saw a bunch of photos about #BellLetsTalk. Hmmm…wasn’t I promoting mental health with my message? Duh! So that day gave me an excuse for posting… less people would think I am weird for sure-zies. So I hashtagged #BellLetsTalk, wrote a caption that resonated with me, counted down from 5, probably shouted “OMG OMG OMG!”, and pressed “share”!

Wow…stress city…all over an Instagram post!

Why was it so hard to do something I thought was a good idea? I thought people would think it was silly I was posting pictures of my drawings…like “that’s not what Instagram is for”. Well it turns out, that IS what Instagram is for – and it makes me SO happy when people say they are inspired by my drawings!

Morals of the story:

1. Spread the love and it will always come back to you.

2. If you want to be happy, actually DO the things that make you happy even though that can be hard as f***.

3. Invest in yourself and one day you’ll see it was worth it ✌

Mood and Emotion

Make happy a habit! Even though that can be hard as f***.

For anyone who doesn’t know, I love my bullet journal!! (Check out my Instagram @selfcarelifestyle_ to see my drawings and spreads).

At the end of August, I decided I would incorporate a mood tracker into my bujo monthly spread for September. I never did a mood tracker before that point because I thought I would always forget to actually track my mood!

But… with a big move across the country just around the corner (check out my previous blog post to see photos), I figured it might be fun to see how my mood changed throughout the month.

So I got my creative juices flowing and drew up a mood tracker for the month of September. Check it out below!

Looking at it now, I am glad too see all my happy days. And it does not make me upset to see days where I had sadness, anger, or anxiety. I like using a mood tracker because it challenges me to be happy, and I can reflect on the days I felt negative emotions by asking questions like “What made me feel that way?” and “Could I have reacted differently?”

All that to say, I want to touch on three important things regarding mood:

1) I used to think my sad days were easier to live out than my happy days…and I actually think they still are.

I figured being “down in the dumps” was normal for me so I became content with being sad (a bit of a paradox?). Well, it might be easier being sad than happy BUT I am telling you right now, the best decisions in life are NOT the easiest ones. And when the right decision comes to fruition, there is no better feeling in the world. If things like being happy were easy, then there would be no such thing as jealousy or anger or depression or anxiety. But those negative moods do exist, and I’ll be the first to tell you I feel all of them.

There are more days than not when I actually feel myself working hard to be happy…It’s as if my car engine is working to drive up a hill from Point A (a negative or neutral mood) to Point B (a positive or happy mood). And when I get to Point B and realize how awesome it is there, it motivates me to do the same thing the next time I feel down.

2) Momentum Momentum Momentum!

Like I said in my previous point, getting to the finish line motivates you to run another race. Each day I choose happy, I give myself momentum to do the same the next day. Choosing happy is definitely harder for some people than others, but once you start rolling it actually gets harder to slow down.

On the other hand, I can also say one of the reasons being sad was easy, was because each consecutive day I chose “sad”, I gave myself momentum to keep being sad. If I look at the span of my life and reflect on the days I was sad, I can tell you, in hindsight, they were NOT good days. I was less productive, I had no self-discipline, I was lazy, and I negatively impacted my relationships. So try try try and challenge yourself to make happy a habit!

3) It’s ok to not always be happy!

We are all human right? So having a moment of sad, or angry, or anxious is completely normal. In fact, I think it’s great! Here me out: If I have the ability to to feel one emotion, that means I have the ability to feel all emotions! I think it is fascinating to know I can feel just as, if not more happy one day than I may have been sad the previous day. We, as humans, are lucky as sh** because we have the ability to choose what we want in our lives and feel things we didn’t even know we could feel! So remember if your emotions fluctuate, you are human!! Sometimes it takes a hobby, or a relationship, or a walk alone in nature to clear your mind, but no matter how you choose to go about it, you have the human power to choose “happy”.

So how badly do you want to be happy? If you want to choose happy, it may be hard as f***…but in the end it will be worth it!