But It’s Just Not Fair! #LifeAdvice

From the time were young we’re taught this formula:

1+1=2

But in real life this formula doesn’t always ring true. In fact, life tends to throw out much more complex equations like:

(-3 ± sqrt(19))/2^ 2×2+6y÷4/z-5 = ???

You’ll frequently find people complaining about how unfair life is. Maybe you are one of these people (I know I definitely was).

“It’s not fair that I’m a good person and seem to have such bad luck.”

“It’s not fair that my friend with the bad attitude is married with kids and I’m not.”

“It’s not fair that I don’t have the job that I want.”

“It’s not fair that society values superficial things instead of what really matters.”

When we complain about what’s not fair about life, who exactly are we expecting to fix it? Some outside force? The government? A divine act from God? The scales of justice? Who do we want to come to the rescue? How can “they” put and keep things in balance?

The fact of the matter is that the world is the way that it is because of the individual people in it. We each have free will to make our own choices and make our realities. We are responsible for the condition of this world and everything in it.

There are things that we can change and things that we can’t change as individuals. As the prayer goes (The Serenity Prayer), we have to learn the difference between the two:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
– Reinhold Niebuhr

You are responsible for your corner of the world, so the focus shouldn’t always be on what others are doing or what others are getting away with that doesn’t seem fair to you — it should be on making your corner of the world more beautiful. Make life as wonderful and fulfilling for yourself and the people you love as you can, because that’s totally in your power.

We can literally drive ourselves crazy wondering why the world isn’t fair. And yea, sometimes the way things go just don’t seem fair, but when you meditate on that simple prayer “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” the answer seems clearer.

It’s not really our job to figure out why things aren’t always “fair” according to our own definition. It’s not our job to fix all of the imbalances in the world.

Our resources are best used when we focus on SELF-improvement first. In that, we develop the courage to change the things that we can. (And those things might just turn out to be larger than life.)

At least that’s my understanding of it.
Go be great.

Love Lynn


Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive?and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

“Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History” – What Does That Really Mean?

Marilyn Monroe is credited with popularizing the saying “well-behaved women rarely make history.”

Unfortunately, a lot of young women take this quote to mean that they should live recklessly, flaunt their sexuality, try to be “bad b*****s” and treat people with disrespect in order to be “famous” and unforgettable. That’s what the reality stars and celebrities of today are doing to stay relevant, after all.

But it’s just not true. This is just what our popular media would like young women to believe so that they will continue to consume, consume, consume. It’s a way of keeping the minds of young women clouded with these images so that they will do (or pay) whatever possible to live up to them.

The truth is that the majority of the people we see everyday in the media who have adopted this approach to being “unforgettable” WILL be forgotten. No one will talk about them 25, 50 or 100 years from now.

Let’s look at a few women who weren’t “well-behaved” according to society’s standards for women, yet held themselves to a high regard and still made history, never to be forgotten. 1,000+ years from now, they’ll still be a part of history.

Queen Elizabeth I

They called her the “Virgin Queen” because she refused to take on a husband to rule by her side as society deemed “appropriate.” She knew that if she got married, her husband would take over and she would probably be pushed to the side or even overthrown. During her rule, she led her troops to an important victory when the Spanish Armada threatened her shores. Queen Elizabeth ruled for many decades during what many call the “Elizabethan” era. To this day, many historians try to sully her name–I believe it’s because they refuse to believe a woman was able to reign alone without a man for so long. She is a great example of a woman who went against the status quo, made her own way in this world and will always be remembered in history.

Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston was and is one of the world’s most treasured woman writers in the history of the United States. She went to college at Howard University in D.C. She was one of the first initiates of Zeta Phi Beta sorority and joined Alaine Locke’s literary club. She studied anthropology at Barnard and Columbia University. After graduating she chose to travel the U.S. recording the stories of the interesting people she met. She took a record of African American history that few people understood at the time (and to this day) in her best-selling books Mules and Men and Their Eyes Were Watching God. Though her talent and treasures weren’t fully appreciated during her life, her legacy lives on to this day and will continue.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) is one of the most well-known and liked presidents in the history of the United States next to Abe Lincoln. His wife, Eleanor Roosevelt took an equally prominent role in politics as the nation’s First Lady during that time. She was a champion for human rights, an outspoken voice for women at a time when women barely had the right to vote. She became known as “one of the most esteemed women in the world” and is also famous for her quote: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Harriet Tubman

When I first heard the story of Harriet Tubman, it was hard to believe. She escaped slavery, but instead of enjoying her freedom as most people of those days did, she decided to make 13 dangerous trips back to the place where she experienced so much pain to save others. Harriet was definitely a woman who wasn’t “well-behaved” but she will always be remembered for her heroism.

There are so many more amazing women who can be added to this list, but I believe this to be a good start. So whenever you hear that saying “well-behaved women rarely make history” please keep it in the proper perspective.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

How to Stop Complaining & Start Thriving

Do you complain too much? What do you complain about? Here’s a little tough love from Lynn

I used to be a major complainer. I would spend much of my time writing and sending complaint letters to companies who I felt wronged me. It didn’t matter if it was a fast food worker who didn’t get my order quite right or forgot to give me ketchup — I would probably take the time out to write a letter.

I was also a silent complainer. I held my pity parties all alone and in my head:

“No one is ever there for me.”

“No one cares about me.”

“I can’t trust anybody.”

Over time, I learned a hard lesson. In most cases, no one really gives a care about your complaints. They are focused on what is going on in their own worlds. Think about it — do you care much about the complaints of others? Or do you just find them annoying?

If you open your eyes and your mind, removing the tendency to complain about what’s going wrong in your world, you’ll probably see that you have some pretty great things going RIGHT.

You have privileges, talents and benefits that others don’t have, but if you spend all of your time focusing on the negative you’ll never get a chance to see them.

So here comes the tough love that you may find difficult to accept. Everything that you experience in this life as an adult is your own fault and you always have the option to “opt out” of experiencing negative consequences.

You don’t like how a fast food worker talked to you? They get paid minimum wage and most don’t like their jobs, so if you want pristine treatment maybe you shouldn’t be going to a fast food restaurant. Cook healthy food at home instead.

You hate your job? Quit it and try something else that you love to do. It might not make you as much money and you might have to sleep on a few couches along the way, but guess what? You no longer have that job to complain about!

You’re tired of being treated like a disposable woman by men? Don’t allow them to sneeze all over you and then toss you away without a second thought anymore. That’s 100% in your control, just say NO.

There’s value in making your voice heard on certain issues, because if we never spoke up about problems in society, change wouldn’t happen. But there’s a difference between complaining and voicing your opinion — in the former case you’re just sending out negativity (venting) but in the latter case you have a positive outcome in mind that can be universally beneficial. Know the difference.

If you want to #THRIVE, stop complaining about what’s wrong in your life, and start focusing more on positive solutions.

Love Lynn

 

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Out of 250 Million Sperm …

Whenever I’m feeling a bit unsure or confused about life I like to think about the fact that out of 250 million sperm I was the chosen one. This is true for every human being on the planet — in other words, WE MADE IT.

To fully understand how important this point is, let’s have a quick biology lesson about how fetuses form.

During the process of conception, approximately 250 million sperm are competing to fertilize an egg. For a sperm to succeed at this goal it has to overcome a number of challenges:

– The acidic environment of the vagina kills some off quickly before they can reach the cervix.

– They have to navigate their way to the egg’s location without GPS. Some of them wander off in the wrong direction

– They’re swimming in competition with millions of other sperm with the same goal.

– The egg has to actually be there when it arrives (ovulation). If the sperm gets there too early or too late, it’s a no go.

– There are two Fallopian tubes — if the sperm gets to the wrong one, well that’s that.

– If the egg is there the sperm has to be the FIRST to push its head into the resilient exterior of the egg. Hundreds of other strong sperm are trying to do the same thing.

– Once the sperm does make it inside, it has to still be energetic enough to activate its cells with the egg’s and create a person.

That sperm is me. That sperm is you. That sperm is a fighter and a winner.

We are not mistakes. We are not losers by any stretch of the imagination. Our outer environment (the media, peers, family members, teachers) may tell us that we are “not enough” in one way or another, but it’s just a lie.

We were put here for a reason. Each of us came here to do something amazing. Why the heck else would our “stock” (the sperm we were formed from) be so strong and resilient in the face of so much adversity?

So keep that “250 million” thought handy whenever you’re feeling insecure or unsure about yourself. Keep it handy whenever you’re feeling worthless or useless. Keep it handy when you’re wondering what your purpose is here and if you even have a purpose.

You beat out 250 million other living entities and came out on top. That means you and I are really special and powerful, so I think it’s time we start acting like it.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

What Causes Depression (My Theory)

For the most part, doctors and experts are confused about what causes depression in people. Some believe it is something that is hereditary while others believe it comes from external factors, like environmental pollution and poor diet.

Here’s one other theory — the theory that I personally believe.

I believe that depression comes from having a “song” unsung inside of you. A song that’s desperately trying to get out into the world, but you suppress it time and time again.

By song I mean anything that would make your heart sing. That might be writing something special, creating something, growing something, learning something, pursuing a certain career or just speaking your mind.

A lot of people bottle up resentment for others instead of letting it out. Those poisonous feelings grow inside and can create a physical imbalance.

Some people are depressed because they never told that ONE person who hurt them deeply exactly how they feel.

Maybe you feel that someone or a group of someone’s has wronged you in some way, but you don’t have the courage to tell them about themselves.

Maybe you want to try something brand new in your life (like write music, write a story, be a fashionista or sky dive from a plane), but you don’t because you lack confidence or someone is telling you that you can’t.

Watching celebrities and other people on TV “live their dreams” while you are not can unknowingly be a major source of depression.

My Bouts with Depression
I believe the bouts of depression I experienced in my life came from a number of situations where I left my “songs unsung” so to speak:

– allowing myself to be teased as a young child and not standing up for myself more

– showing unrequited love and support to family members / friends who thought it was fine to treat me a certain way (and not expressing my true feelings about it to them)

– a failed business venture early in my life that left me feeling devastated, useless and stupid

– allowing men to come into and out of my life, using me up, without telling them exactly how much they hurt me

All of these experiences and more allowed years of pain, anger, resentment and guilt to build up within me until the bubble finally “popped” and it came out in an unhealthy way. To overcome severe depression I had to recognize the source of the issue and release it to God. And yes, in some cases I had to tell a few people off, which felt great. Why spare the feelings of an insensitive person who has wronged you at the expense of your own health and wellness ?

I do believe that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance, but I don’t think it is something that’s *inherent* in you — it’s something that happens over time as you internalize negativity.

You shouldn’t put up with nonsense and negativity in your life.

Can you relate to any of this? If so, take a moment to write down the various people, situations and experiences that may have lead you to suffer from depression. It could help you to identify the source of the problem so that you can work on releasing it.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Review of Beyond Positive Thinking by Dr. Robert Anthony

When I look for self-help books I want someone who speaks to me with down to earth ideas that I can relate to and implement immediately. I found that in Beyond Positive Thinking by Dr. Robert Anthony. Here is my review of the book.

Being, Doing, Having
One of the most important nuggets I grabbed from this book was that most of us are confused about what it takes to be satisfied in life.

We believe of having, doing then being, so in other words we think that we have to have money/fame/success/material things first in order to finally be happy.

But if that were the truth, why are there so many unhappy, miserable people who have plenty of stuff?

America is one of the wealthiest countries in the world but is nowhere near the top of the happiness list.

Dr. Anthony instead says that we have to look at satisfaction in a different way: being, then doing and then having.

First you have to BE happy in order to be inspired to do something with your life that will ultimately lead to having everything you want.

Many of us complain about what we don’t have instead of being thankful for what we already do have: shelter, food, clean water, love from a family member or friend.

Our Lives Are Shaped by Our Beliefs
Another important point that Dr. Anthony makes in the book is that we act out our lives in accordance with our beliefs about ourselves. In many cases our beliefs about ourselves are formed because of what others have told us about ourselves — and we accepted it.

A young man who has always been told he is “stupid” accepts that characterization of himself and goes on to act out being “stupid” throughout his life. A girl who has always been told she is beautiful (even if she doesn’t meet society’s ideal of that) will live out her life as a beautiful woman as long as she accepts that belief.

So we have to accept better beliefs about ourselves first in order to change the course of our lives for the better.

Unhappiness Comes from Comparison
In the book Dr. Anthony says says that comparison is the root cause of unhappiness. When we constantly compare ourselves to others and think that we’re falling short, we become sad and depressed about our current lives.

I believe that one of the reasons why Americans are so unhappy as a nation is that we are obsessed with celebrity culture. We’re constantly inundated with messages, pictures and stories of people who we believe are doing so much better than us at life. The irony is that most of them are only creating an image for others to look at — they’re just as unhappy.

One More Good Point
Have you ever wondered how two children can grow up in the same home and turn out completely different? Well Dr. Anthony offers a theory that makes a lot of sense.

He says that the difference is due to each child’s interpretation of what is going on in his surroundings throughout his young life. So even in an abusive household one child might grow up and become abusive himself because he interprets that as normal behavior. Another child sees the side of the victim of the abuse, interprets it as wrong behavior and resolves to never put someone through that ever.

I really enjoyed Dr. Robert Anthony’s book Beyond Positive Thinking and highly recommend it for anyone looking for solid, clear-cut advice on how to break through to a more satisfying life.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Lucy Movie Review: Women Accessing Their True Potential

I went to see the movie Lucy on opening weekend. This is one of the first movies in a very long time that I’ve supported in the theatre because I really like the premise — unlocking the full potential of your brain.

But even moreso I loved the fact that this is the first mainstream movie I’ve seen in a while where the woman is the main character and isn’t a) oversexualized or b) desperately looking for love. She’s highlighted solely for using her brain.

Now Scarlett Johansson’s character may have been the classic girl “looking for love in all the wrong places” at the very beginning, but as soon as she became more knowledgeable she realized that there were more important things to think about besides finding a man. She used her sexuality to get what she wanted in a couple of cases, but suggestively and not gratuitously.

I try to avoid movies, shows and music where women are objectified and used for their bodies, because I believe women are capable of SO much more. We’ve been told by society that our best assets are on the outside, which is why so many women settle on careers and goals that require them to use their bodies for profit. We grow up with that message — that our bodies and looks are all that matters. (Men learn that as well, which is why they are so focused on looks when choosing a mate.)

Meanwhile men are free and open to any pursuit they can dream of, whether it’s working as a high paid computer programmer, a top salesperson or traveling the world making business partnerships. The social media site Twitter recently released their diversity report and found that their workforce (most techies) is 90% men!

This isn’t a coincidence, this is socialization. Women and girls are being told that they aren’t smart enough to pursue brain-bending jobs like IT or programming.

Sexual Liberation or Exploitation?
Everywhere you turn in our modern society you can find a woman’s body parts on display, whether it’s a music video or a magazine cover. Some call it sexual liberation or empowerment, but for something to be truly liberating or empowering don’t we have to look at the motivation behind it?

When we see a woman half-naked on the cover of magazine, what is the motivation behind it?

– to attract attention of men
– to make another woman jealous of that woman and insecure about her own body so that she’ll try to change herself
– most of all, to make money for the magazine

Are those aims empowering and liberating and if so, to WHOM?

Certainly not women.

The Movie Lucy Has Empowering Themes
In one scene of the movie Lucy, she is underestimated by a large group of men who assume they will get rid of her without a problem. She’s just a “mere” woman after all. Boy were they wrong, and she didn’t even have to break a nail.

It makes me think of how much we women could change this world for the better if more of us chose to unlock our potential, not by using our bodies but by utilizing more of our brain power.

So this is why I really appreciate a movie like Lucy and was happy to support it opening weekend. One complaint: it was too short! I wanted it to delve deeper into the secrets of our brains. I just may see it again to catch a few things I may have missed.

And I can only hope that it’s successful enough to prompt more writers and producers to create empowering films like Lucy for young girls and women to consume.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular dating advice book for women entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Drop the Hot Coal: Letting Go of Anger

There’s a popular quote that makes plenty of rounds in the self-development world that goes: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” -Buddha

When I experienced an extremely difficult time in my life, I watched as everyone who I thought was a friend or loved one quickly drifted away. The one person who definitely would have been there was gone now, he had passed away onto the next plain.

I developed a lot of resentment and anger for the people who were still around, who I thought I could count on. I’d never gone through a time as trying as that and naively assumed someone would understand.

But this was no sitcom — this was real life, and in real life most people are pretty much doing their own thing.

Anger Thoughts
Over time this anger grew stronger and stronger, perpetuating and strengthening the depression I was suffering. I day dreamed about ways I could get them all back one day, how I would curse each of them out so bad if I ever saw them again and how I would make them feel like tiny ants that I could step on. I quietly seethed.

I was so consumed by that anger that I had no room for thoughts of prosperity or growth. I remained stuck in a holding pattern, unable to move forward with anything in my life.

Over that time I noticed a number of physical changes happening to me. It was weird. I gained weight in all the wrong places on my normally slim and trim body. My normally smooth and supple skin became blotchy. I developed allergies to things that I had never had a problem with before. Even my digestive system started acting up.

When you harbor inner anger, hatred and resentment toward others it really does only affect YOU. Only when you act on it does it hurt others, but it still comes back to hurt YOU. It might not burn your hand as in the metaphor from Buddha, but it can hurt you in myriad other ways.

Drop it ‘Cause It’s Hot
When I finally FINALLY decided to drop that hot coal of anger that I was harboring toward certain people in my life, I felt such a wave of relief rush over me. I finally managed to put things into the proper perspective — they didn’t owe me anything, and I don’t owe them anything. Even though I would have been there for them in a trying time, they still don’t have any *obligation* to do the same for me. We all have free will to choose what we’re going to do for others. If you do find a friend or loved one who holds you down in a time of trouble, you have a really good thing. Please make sure you do the same for them.

It’s not a surprise that my peculiar conditions slowly began to clear up soon after I “dropped the hot coal.” I felt light-footed/hearted and things began to progress in my life. My businesses regained momentum and I started to see the beauty in going outside on a sunny day again.

Can You Relate?
Are you holding onto a metaphorical “hot coal” of anger toward someone in your life? Maybe an ex-boyfriend, a family member or a friend from the past?

How does holding onto this anger benefit you in the short and long run? Is it really hurting the other person?

Contemplate these questions and I sincerely pray that you can one day find the strength to let go of that anger and move forward with your life. Anger is a poison and it needs to be eliminated as soon as possible.

Remember: you are the only one who is responsible for your own happiness in life. Claim it!

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

What Gives Your Life Meaning? (Questions to Ask Ourselves)

I believe that we all have to have something or someone worth living for — a goal, dream, aspiration or person who makes waking up every morning, bright and early, worthwhile.

Many people fall into depression or cycles of hopelessness because they don’t feel as if there’s anything or anyone worth living for. But I think each of us does have a purpose for being here, even if it isn’t immediately obvious.

If you’ve been feeling a bit down lately or like you don’t have much of a purpose in life, it may be that a drastic change has to happen in your life so that you can finally see it. And you’re the only one who can initiate that change — we all have a choice.

Here are a few motivators that keep many of us pushing forward, even when the road gets rough.

Children
Watching your kids grow from little babies to adults is one of the most satisfying experiences for many women. Then you get to see the whole process continue when you become a grandparent and then a great grandparent. Children are a major motivator for women — they make life full, rich and meaningful.

A Life Partner
In many cases, a person holds onto life tightly because she has a partner who is counting on her (and vice versa). When you have a life partner, a soul mate, a best friend, you want to cherish every moment with that person. They make life special and interesting.

A Cause
Some people find their purpose in a cause. There’s a saying that if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. This cause could be charitable (like volunteer work), political, religious, cultural or motivational in nature. It’s something that you’re passionate about. When you feel like you’re making changes in this world, even in very small ways, it gives you a spring in your step, a shot of espresso in your coffee to keep you motivated each day.

A Hobby or Creative Distraction
It can be so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we stop taking time to ourselves to do what we really enjoy. This is a shame because in many cases, a hobby or distraction can be the one thing that adds a spice to your life when you feel that there’s not much else.

What about music? Maybe an instrument like the guitar? Maybe singing for fun?

Tae Kwon Do – learn how to kick some butt.

Youtube tutorials – teach others how to do stuff you know a whole lot about.

What you may find by exploring your hobbies is that people will eventually start to follow you and look to your for guidance and inspiration. That alone is something to inspire YOU to live life to its fullest and keep progressing.

A Dream
Some motivational speakers talk about the importance of living in the “now.” They say that we should focus on today and ignore the past and future. But I think there is value in thinking about the future, at least in terms of pursuing a dream or goal. When you have a goal in mind, whether it is to start your own company or to travel the world, it helps keep you positive and motivated about living your day to day life. Each day is a progression toward that goal, but the key is to have a plan that you’re implementing each day, little by little, so that it will actually become real.

First Things First
After much personal reflection, I think that life is about growing and creating. We’re here to grow, create, innovate and evolve into something even grander. Each of us can play a significant role in that process while we’re here, but we first have to pinpoint why we’re here and what motivates us to keep going in the first place.

What gives your life meaning?

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

How to Be the Center of Your Own Universe

I was raised by older women who selflessly gave of themselves. Many of them gave up their happiness, dreams and in many cases their peace of mind for the sake of helping other people. Basically they came last in their own lives.

Some people will call this admirable, but I disagree. I don’t think that’s what God / The Universe / The Higher Power wants for us. We’re meant to care about and help others when we can but not to the point where it robs from our own life force.

Women tend to give so much of themselves to the point where they lose themselves — they lose their identities. Later on in life, they look back at their years spent focused on sacrificing themselves to find that there’s nothing really to show for playing the role of a “martyr.” There are countless divorced women who sacrificed their careers and aspirations for marriage and kids only to find themselves struggling alone and unappreciated later on in life.

On what planet and in what universe is that fair? All of us are important and all of us deserve the pursuit of personal happiness and fulfillment.

Unfortunately, for much of my life I followed in the footsteps of this learned tradition, selflessly giving of myself to help others. It’s not until something life-changing happened to me that I realized no one else I knew would stick their neck out for me the way that I was willing to do for them.

And you know what, that’s probably smart of them.

I believe that each of us should be the center of our own Universe. We shouldn’t feel obligated to give so much of ourselves that it hurts. If we do for others it should be because we genuinely want to — not out of a sense of obligation.

So instead of holding into resentment toward people who won’t sacrifice for you, I think it’s so much more useful to turn the situation around and look at yourself. Here are a few tips for how to make yourself the center of your own Universe so that you can be happy and at peace with yourself and your decisions.

1) Take 15-20 minutes right now to answer this question “what do I need right now?” What do you need for yourself right now that will give you a boost? Write it down point by point. For example:

– I need to take better care of my health / workout
– I need to take myself out for a nice dinner
– I need to save up money to reach an important goal (no more lending — my money is my money)
– I need a vacation / getaway
– I need a massage / spa day
– I need new clothes or a new pair of comfortable shoes
– I need to quietly read a book on my lunch break (instead of listening to my co-worker go on and on about her relationship for an hour)

Now prioritize checking off this list over anything else that is going on in your life. You’ll find that as you check those things off you start to feel more important and alive. For you to help anyone else you need to be okay first.

2) Don’t ever give an immediate answer to a favor request from someone. Tell the person that you’ll think about it and get back to them at a later time. If they try to pressure you for an immediate answer, say no.

3) Before agreeing to do something for another person, ask yourself “would this put an unnecessary strain on ME?” Yes me, because ME matters. “Can I afford to do this and still be okay?” Also, “would this person do the same for me?” One of the keys to a healthy relationship with another person is reciprocity.

4) Understand that your opinion of yourself is the only one that really matters in the grand scheme of things. If someone doesn’t like you because you said no, that’s 100% their problem!

5) Start living your life from the inside out instead of from the outside in. What does that mean? Do you ever feel like you’re observing your life, actions, decisions and conversations as a third party observer? That you’re constantly thinking about what that other person is thinking about you? That you’re behaving the way you believe THEY would want you to behave? Think about it.

Be confident in who you are as an individual. Instead of looking at your life from the outside views of others, look at you from WITHIN. Are YOU happy with how you’re living? What do you think about yourself? This is where self-love comes from.

6) Be perfectly imperfect and proud of it. A lot of us are striving for perfection, which can never be achieved. Not to mention, one person’s idea of perfection differs from another’s. Understand that your imperfections are perfectly okay. Embrace them and cherish them — they’re part of you.

If you feel lost or drained by life, it’s probably because you’re not putting yourself first. Implement these tips for how to become the center of your own Universe starting today.

YOU MATTER.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.