A good self image or vanity at it’s best?


With Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, there is more pressure than ever to look good. Most buy into this need for perfection while a selective few check out. A good self image is important but has vanity sneaked in through the back door?

How you see yourself matters far more than how others see you.  You are stuck with yourself for however long you are on this earth – now would be a good time to appreciate your good and not so good points.

If you know who you are, who you truly are (give or take the make up) then it will be difficult for someone or life’s circumstances to change your perception. Compliments and flattery come and go but at the end of the day you are left with just you. 

A good self image must go deeper than how one looks on the outside. Yes, you should present well at all times as it shows that you respect yourself but your confidence cannot merely rely on what others say about you.

I particularly like this saying:

” If you live by people’s acceptance, you will die by their rejection.” 
Lecrae, Christian Hip Hop artist.

If you model yourself on how others see you, you are setting yourself up for a fall or on the road to becoming conceited.  You cannot please everyone and you should not be aiming to. Learn to like yourself just as you are. You may want to work on particular areas, for example experimenting with make up, changing your diet, exercising but ultimately you should love you even whilst being a work in progress.

Having a good self image ultimately requires positive thinking and speaking positive words. You need to work on this daily in order to overcome your battle. It can be hard going especially if you have spent years being negative – believe me, I should know! I began by writing positive affirmations about myself and spoke them aloud each day. I spoke them into being. I printed a copy to hang on the inside of my wardrobe. I saw this every time I opened the wardrobe – a great reminder which left me beaming! 

Has the world gone ‘vanity’ mad?

How much do you rely on the compliments of others? 

What does success mean to you?


To me, success is fulfilling the goals and plans you set for yourself. Granted, these will change over the course of the years; financial stability for your family, a nice home, good health care and can extend to creating a multi-million dollar company or leaving a legacy for your generations to come.

Our view on success is heavily impacted by the environment we grew up in, the encouragement we received from our parents/guardians, our education, the people we spend time with and so on.

Dictionary.com gives the following definition of success;

1. Prosperous termination of attempts or endeavours; the accomplishment of one’s goals.

2. The attainment of wealth, position, honour or the like.

Despite the two definitions given above and the information we are constantly fed by the media, I do not believe success can only be equated with money and fame. If this was so, when would one stop striving for more?  At what point does contentment stop and greed start? It is a thin line.

If I wrote a book that for some reason I decide not to publish, it would still be a success. You may ask “a success to who?” as no-one will read it but I would have read it. I would have put in the hours and stretched my writing skills to beyond and back. 

Another example is if an individual excels in church ministry or within a charity (both voluntary positions), would their contributions to society be overlooked due to the lack of monetary gain and status?

So, to wrap this up, success holds something entirely different for each of us. Whatever we are aiming for should be guarded and valued. Our hope for success is no better or worse than others, it is just ours. 

What does success mean to you?

How much did your upbringing contribute to your thinking?

Who do you serve; yourself or others?


I came across this quote by George H. W. Bush;

“There is but one just use of power, and it is to serve people.”

If I were to ask you, who do you serve, what would your immediate thought be?  You may think of the obvious; your spouse/partner, children, your employer or if you run a business, your clients. As a Christian I serve all of the examples given above plus God. 

To serve means a life of sacrifice; 

As a parent you put your child’s needs before your own. You ensure they are fed and warm before you are as it is your responsibility to nurture and care for them. 

As a wife or husband you put the needs of your spouse first; you give them their favourite piece of meat even if you also like it, you do what you can to make their life more comfortable and secure.

As an employee, you arrive to work early to start on time and put in the hours for which you are paid. You bring your ideas to the table and work with colleagues to meet the goals of the organisation. 

As a business owner you place your clients needs as high priority. If they are unhappy with your product/service you apologise profusely, fix the issue or reimburse them even if it is at a cost to you.

As a Christian, you serve God by serving others in and outside of the church; practically, emotionally and financially. Quite simply – you see a need and meet it. If you cannot, you help in any which way you can.

Society encourages the ‘me, me, me’ attitude and it is unfortunate that many have bought into it. More and more people live for themselves first and others later. Some may pretend to put others before themselves but if you delve deep under the surface, there is something in it for them. 

When you notice selfishness creeping in (it happens to the best of us), you should immediately reign it in. You should also keep your heart in check to endure you are serving out of love, not obligation or with resentment. 

Yes, at times you will feel hard done by when serving. If you find yourself in this place, remember why you are doing it.

Who do you serve?
Do you serve with a good heart? 

What are your key achievements?


Throughout life, we work towards achieving; by way of studying, going for promotion, running a business, participating in a charity run and so on. 

Achievement brings a great sense of satisfaction. One is elated that they have moved to new heights.  It will give you the confidence to aim higher – to head for the top!

From a young age, children are encouraged to work to the best of their ability. In the classroom, children are praised when excelling and encouraged to develop skills when struggling in a subject area. 

I recall leaving secondary school (many years ago!) with a National Record of Achievement (NRA). This folder displays certificates of my achievements throughout the five years. I cannot help but smile when I occasionally browse through my college and university certificates. The five years of post school education impacted on my life greatly. It gave me a sense of hope for my future.  

Your “hoped for” achievements may well be personal, therefore only the people closest to you will know of them.  It is not always advisable to discuss your dreams and goals with all and sundry. Allow your achievements to do all the talking!

Questions to consider when planning towards your lifetime achievements;

1. What are you passionate about? 
What makes you tick? 

2. What have you always wanted to do but were hindered from doing so due to your age, finances or responsibilities?

3. What is your planned retirement age? Do your current pensions/savings plans support this?

4. What adjustments will you need to make to your personal life? 

To round up, working towards your achievements will keep you focused in a world so full of distractions. Nobody can take or own your achievements – they are yours to do as you please. 

What is your key achievement?

How to face your challenges


Given the choice I would like nothing more than a comfortable, straight forward life where everything is as I want it to be. Who would have it any other way?

I often think about staying at home working on projects that I enjoy which fit nicely around dropping and collecting my daughter from school. The reality is leaving my home early and returning late, having managed my blog and online business whilst on my long commute.  I know this is for a season and I remain focused on my goals, one of which is to work entirely for myself.

We are well aware that challenges are inevitable, therefore it is important that we find strategies in order to deal with them. Often, once I overcome a challenge, another one is waiting behind it to greet me! I am sure many of you can relate to this. 

Below I have placed challenges into three categories;

1. Challenges that we cannot control such as an illness in the family or the way in which we are treated by others. These challenges are the most painful as we know there is absolutely nothing that we can do to change the situation. We cannot make an illness disappear or change someone’s attitude towards us. 

2. Challenges that are for a season such as working in a job that we do not like. Although this challenge will not be long term,  it can be hard to manage whilst going through it. 

3. Challenges that we can change immediately but do not (feel we) have the strength to do so such as removing ourselves from a toxic/damaging relationship. Others may advise us to leave but when you have bound yourself to another, you will need to be willing to experience a loss. 

Reflect on the following question;
Do I have any control over my situation?

If no, you can seek support and advice to assist with coping either day-to-day or long term. Many charities exist to provide practical and emotional support to those who require it. 

If not at present, you can learn to accept your situation until you are able to change it. Do what you can to make life more bearable. Perhaps give yourself a weekly ‘treat’ day.

If yes, be willing to step out into the unknown. You will be scared but do it anyway.  Do not stay in a situation through the wrong belief that this may be the best that life has to offer you.  

How do you face challenges?

Have your coping mechanisms changed compared to five years ago?