Understanding your character strengths.

In the last post we talked about character strengths and gave you a link to use to find your strengths. If you missed that and want to take the character strengths test, click here. Okay, so now that you know your strengths, what are you supposed to do with them? Good question.

Our top five strengths our known as our signature strengths. When we are able to use these strengths this is when we feel our happiest. As you look through your list of strengths, pick one of the top five first, and remember a story about when you used that strength.

Try to remember as many specific details as you can about the story. What you did, who was involved, how did you feel? Pull out as many details that feel important as possible. Then write about the story as you remember it and reflect on what you think the story says about you. You can use bullet points with the major events if you don’t want to write it all out. The important step is the reflection and getting the major points written down.

After you have finished, pick another strength and repeat the process. Try to do at least three of these but you can do as many as you like.

The writing doesn’t have to be punctuated or neat, just recall the events and reflect on it, really feeling the emotions involved.

Do you have a particular goal or situation that you are working on? If so, how could you use these strengths in a new way to help accomplish your goal?

What could you do today to use your strengths to bring more pleasure into your life right now? Write down whatever comes to mind.

If you have strengths that are lower down your list, but would like to strengthen them, think of ways you could use your current strengths to do that.

We all have strengths that make us the beautiful humans that we are, but we don’t always know what they are or how to use them. I would love to help you discover your strengths and work to incorporate them more into your day to day activities.

If you would like a free one hour Positive Psychology Life Coaching session, just send me an email at jenny@jenniferhester.com and we can get it scheduled.

Aware is Freedom and I believe this is one of the most beautiful gifts that we can give ourselves. I’m sending you all my best and look forward to our journey together.

Success is our own responsibility.

www.jenniferhester.com

www.jenniferhester.com

When I got out of high school I chose to stay home and attend the local community college to get my Associate’s degree. At one point, I held three part time jobs at the same time while going to school. No it wasn’t easy and yes I was tired most of that time, but I did what I had to do to get what I wanted. It’s always that way in life. We do what we have to, to get what we want. Those jobs that I held were not my dream jobs. I also knew that I didn’t have to do those jobs my entire life. I just had to do them long enough to get where I wanted to be.

Instead of thinking short term, we need to be planning long term in our decisions. What do we have to do short term to achieve our long term goals? This is called taking responsibility for ourselves. It all starts with us. Our attitudes, drive, goals, decisions, and personal choices are all our own responsibility. At some point we have to cut the cord from relying on others for our own success. We will only succeed when we choose to do so in our own minds. This is not done by telling others what we are going to do, but by showing it through our actions.

This week make it a goal to write down what you want in life, then break that down into actionable steps to achieve those goals. I would love to help you get started. Email me at jenny@jenniferhester.com to get you on your way. Go out today and show everyone how AWESOME you truly are!!!

Can I just lay on the couch today?

We needI admit there are days when vegetating on the couch in front of the TV feels pretty good. Some days the TV wins and some days my desire to improve myself wins. When I take the time to do something productive or improve myself in some way I always feel better about myself. Why can’t we lay on the couch AND feel better about ourselves?

We have a part of us deep inside that craves self-improvement whether that be exercise, taking a class, cleaning the house, or reading personal development material. It is when we ignore the yearnings that we allow ourselves to get into a funk. We have a tendency to beat ourselves up for laying around the house and not being productive. There is a reason for all of this. We are meant to be creative, productive, life-long learners.

Make it a point every day to have at least one productive goal. It could be as simple as doing 5 jumping jacks, or organize one kitchen drawer. Make it something simple that can be accomplished. If it is too large, we can get overwhelmed and not tackle the task. As you start to accomplish your goals, you will get even more motivated to keep going because that is how we are wired. We need goals and we need to accomplish them. If you need help setting your goals simply send me an email at jenny@jenniferhester.com and I will help you get started. Go out and show everyone you’re “AWESOME” today.

New unique service offered.

I love new and unique ideas. When someone comes out with helpful services I feel drawn to share that with others. A new service was just created by a friend of mine for blended families.  This is a highly needed service today due to all of the divorce and people trying to start over in second marriages. Sherry L. Carver offers sound advice on combining families in second marriages.

Sherry Carver

Sherry Carver

Sherry has worked as a Family Law Paralegal for 15 years. She says she was drawn to that aspect of law because she was a child of divorced parents, is a divorced parent, is in a second marriage and a step-parent. Sherry’s first-hand experience with divorce and experience in working with those getting divorced has given her great insight into blended families.

I have not heard of anyone else offering this service and it’s a great opportunity for others. She brings many issues to light that I think are not even considered when contemplating divorce. Her guiding is for first, second and subsequent marriage couples. She addresses blended family issues, finances and communication to build strong couples preparing to achieve their goals.

Sherry realizes the issues that come with remarriage.  Most couples think that once divorced, the hard work is over, but divorce creates many new issues such as: two residences (and the bills that go along with it); children going back and forth and trying to make a home; becoming a one parent home and watching your ex-spouse take on a new life without you.

She has great insight in working through these issues and guides blended families through these difficult times. If you are in a blended family or are thinking about divorce, my hope is that you would contact Sherry for some valuable input into your decision. Sherry’s hope is to build strong couples who are well-prepared for the discord that lives in every blended family and who will work together for their family goals.

We are told to seek wise counsel when making decisions and Sherry offers extremely wise counsel. How great would it be to have someone in your corner to guide you through the new challenges that you are facing? Why not give your new marriage every chance possible to get started in the right direction? If you are starting over, have found yourself divorced or preparing to remarry then check out her website at www.sherrylcarver.com and let Sherry help you Invite Excellence into your Life.

 

Do you have emotional baggage!!

Want to know a great way to start out your new year? Make a choice to let go of your emotional baggage. What is emotional baggage? It’s when we lug around our past like a bag full of dirty laundry. It goes everywhere we go, yet we try to hide it in our day to day activities. Instead of facing our past and making peace with it, we keep cramming it back down deep inside letting it fester. We all know what happens when you let things fester. This festering is a continual pain that won’t go away. We continue to hide from our past issues, put on our smiles, and pretend everything is fine.

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If we want this year to be different, we must let go of the garbage. That’s right, garbage. That’s what those old haunts from our past is. Something that wants to drag you down and not let you be what you are designed to be. Our past does not define our future. I recently read an article by Joyce Marter, LCPC that gave 10 tips to lighten your emotional baggage that I want to share with you.

1) Release any shame you carry, for shame is the heaviest burden.

2) Let go of any guilt that is unnecessary and free yourself to lead the life you want.

3) Forgive those with whom you are angry or harbor resentment, including yourself.

4) Accept the past and be grateful for the wisdom it has granted you.

5) Focus on liking yourself rather than pleasing others.

6) Choose to be your best cheerleader, rather than your worst critic.

7) Change your boundaries in relationships that are no longer working for you.

8) Practice gratitude, rather than focusing on that which you have not.

9) Replace self-sabotaging behaviors with self-love.

10) Let go of fear and defensiveness and allow yourself to be vulnerable and authentic.

I desperately want to be authentic and transparent. I believe these are great attributes, especially for someone who wants to grow and be all God wants them to be. These are not possible when you drag your past around with you. One of my goals for 2014 is to focus on making these attributes more prominent in my life.

What would you like to achieve in 2014? Leave me a comment with your plans. I hope these 10 items help you to continue to Invite Excellence into Your Life. Go be all God designed you to be!!!!!

Success starts in the mind.

We’ve all been there, we have a great idea that we want to pursue, then it happens. The enemy starts the assault. What makes you think you can do that? Nobody will buy that product. No one will come listen to you speak about that. You can’t go back to school now,you’re too old. It’s too late in life for you to accomplish your dreams. Does this sound familiar? This is where the battle begins, in the mind.

Those who are successful and have accomplished their goals in life have done so in spite of the enemies attacks. Don’t think that they have not had the same feelings and thoughts as you, because they have. If you are a human being walking this earth then you have been attacked by negative, fearful thoughts.

Ok, so we know we have them, what do we do about them? The first step is realizing that the thoughts are just thoughts and you can change them. When you come under attack, call the enemy a liar and announce to him the truth. The truth is that you are just as capable as anyone else who has succeeded. Successful people don’t have superpowers that we don’t, they just don’t believe the lies. They believe in themselves, their ideas and they proceed with a plan and do it afraid.

All success starts in the mind. You must be willing to fight the battle in the mind. It is not a one time battle. It is a daily battle. Pick up your knowledge of truth and begin to do battle. You are worth it. You can accomplish everything God has laid on your heart to do. We hold ourselves back from the truth. Don ‘t do this anymore. You are an amazing person who has a purpose, go be your destiny!

Are you herding cats?

Have you ever heard the term, “herding cats”? I have actually stopped and visualized this process from time to time. It brings quite a smile to my face. Unfortunately, this term can also be used in reference to our thoughts. We at times allow our thoughts to run uncontrolled. When we do this it causes havoc in our lives.

herding_cats

I think back to Proverbs 29:17, “Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.” The same thing is true for our thoughts. If we don’t learn to control and discipline our thoughts, they will in turn control us. You will have no peace in your life until you teach your mind the correct way to think.

I am sure to some this sounds silly. That you don’t have to teach your mind how to think, but actually it is the most important thing you will ever do in your life. When your mind learns the correct way to think, it will be life changing. This will affect the way you respond to every aspect of your life. Kent Julian teaches us the E+ R = O formula. Events plus response equals outcome. Your thoughts control the outcome of every event in your life. It is your response to those events that is the key.

For this week, take time to notice your thoughts. Are your thoughts positive? Are they bringing you closer to your goals? Are they going to bring peace in your life? If they are great, if not get to work on changing the way you think. You can begin by reading, “The Power of Positive Thinking”, by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. This is one of the first steps of Inviting Excellence into your life. Let me know other ways that you control your thoughts. Leave me a comment and share some ideas.