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5 Ways to Boost Self-Confidence

5 Ways to Boost Self-Confidence

5 Ways to boost self-confidence.

On April 6th I get to celebrate 35 years of life, love and walking down this path we call life!

Why be shy about it? 
Why hide it?
Why down play this celebration of life?
Why not shine like the bright star you are?

This was not always my style of thinking. I use to be uncomfortable with the thought of shining too bright. I use to worry others would notice me and because I would be noticed, others would judge me.

That people would criticize me, and because they didn’t know my whole story…get the wrong idea that yes, I am a recovering addict. But I am successfully in recovery (well always working on myself). Except, even though I clawed my way into recovery, I still lacked the self-confidence to let my light shine bright. 

In 35 years I have learned a lot. 
In 35 years I have slowly come to a place were I am OK with who I am. 
And more importantly, I am less concerned with what others think. 

Let me explain. 
My entire life I have been WAY TO FOCUSED on what others think of me, my choices and life, and as a result my self-confidence was zilch. 

I would run myself into the ground trying to please others and often time end up depleted, frustrated, and rundown. 

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I truly began to understand this is no way to live and no way to get ahead in life and as only killing my self-confidence at every pass. And it was around that time which I realized this entire approach to life was a learned behavior that I could in fact… unlearn.

To say that the process of breaking such a habit would be as easy, would be a lie. 

Slowly, taking one situation at a time I have grown to a place where I am more confident, where my self-confidence shines more each day. I care about others, respect others, but no longer am willing to sacrifice my happiness and or my desire to walk the path my Creator has set for me simply on the fear others may not be happy. 

I struggled with this because I would get wrapped up in my thoughts thinking that this was selfish, rude, and un-yogic like. 

But it was yoga which taught me caring for myself and living my life in the best light I can, the way I feel I am called to do is how you can best care for others.

Here are five things that come to mind when I reflect on my own self-confidence and what helped me cultivate it.

Self-Confidence Blog Hope Zvara

5 Ways to Boost Self-Confidence:

  1. Learn to be Uncomfortable. First on the yoga mat with poses, then in life with people. Just sitting with emotions, breathing, and letting things pass.
  2. Use Your Voice. First through teaching, sharing my point of view with the understanding that others may not agree. Then in life, at first little things, and when someone would disagree, letting that conversation be, and not recanting myself to appease the other person.
  3. Began to Ask Yourself What Feels Good to Me. Not one thing is going to be 100% right for everyone. No diet, no exercise, not even yoga. And knowing that is OK, there is no need to convince someone of your practice or lifestyle.
  4. Get Quiet to Get Loud. Not yelling, but to use my voice with confidence I first needed to get real quiet and listen, feel, and process. As someone who would often shoot from the hip in life. This has served me well.
  5. Realize and Fully Understand That Not Everyone in Life Will like You, and That is OK. I know some of you will feel the need to email me and tell me “I like you”. And I appreciate that, but it’s not necessary. I have found great strength in others not liking me, not agreeing with me, or flat out rejecting me. It has been one of my best muscle builders to help my light shine bright.
 

So today, let your light shine bright. Let it beam with self-confidence. Don’t worry a thing about whose eyes may not like it. Shine baby, shine and let your self confidence burn bright!

From my heart to yours,

Hope

SMILE! Life is sweet: What do you love about yourself?

SMILE. Today is going to be an amazing day!! Your alive and breathing!

It is easy to feel that life is just not on your side, but know that how the world feels has a lot to do with how you look at it.

For so many years I hated myself, I did not like who I was, I had very little self-confidence and very little self-esteem, despite the confidence I projected.

It is O.K. to love yourself and show it, to love yourself and tell the world! Hiding underneath your pillow because you don’t feel like you match up to the rest is sad and totally unnecessary!

Today is a new day! Today is a great day!

Today you have a lot to smile about!

In order to offer authentic love out to the world loving yourself and heck even just starting out by just liking yourself without the need for others approval is essential for life to become even sweeter!

So today I want to invite you to name (list) at least 5 great things about yourself. AND post a fun-loving selfie!!

Love Yourself! xx

Love Yourself! xx

Feel like you can’t do it-I want you to move through the discomfort and do it anyway. I struggled for years not sharing myself fully because I cared too much what others thought of me.

Never feel bad about loving who you are!…

So here are my five things I love about myself (there are more, but here is 5)!

1. I’m super funny
2. I have a load of inspiration to share
3. I think outside the box
4. I’ve learned from my mistakes
5. I see life as a journey and one worth giving your all in!!

What about you??

Leave a comment below with your selfie and the five things you love about yourself. Is your mind saying “no”? Move through the discomfort and put yourself out there!

Make sure you subscribe to my blog so you never miss a #DailyDoseOfHope!

Blog with Hope Zvara

What’s In My Gym Bag

What’s In My Gym Bag

What’s in my gym bag?

A few years back I broke down and started to go to the gym. And what I mean by that is, I bought a gym membership. Yes, the girl who can workout at home. Who know exactly what to do and dislikes weight equipment-bought a gym membership?

I’m a Midwestern girl and Wisconsin winters were really beginning to get to me. I mean, I hit 30 and suddenly this who seasonal affective disorder thing became real. Like MEGA real.

But upon buying this gym membership I noticed something that really didn’t click for me even after fifteen years teaching on the yoga mat. – What you wear does matter.

I mean I am not here to say that $200 yoga pants make for a better workout than $20 yoga pants. But what I realized is showing up in a top and shorts or yoga pants that made me feel good. And heck, looked good in those huge wall size mirrors did help for my motivation to stick around a little longer and work a little harder.

Now my yoga studio of 14 years did not have mirrors (for good reason). And this little discovery made me begin to do a little self-reflection. And sure enough, the days I try to do my hair a bit, wear mascara and yes coordinate my outfit for teaching yoga-made a huge difference.

Now don’t get me wrong, I would never EVER discriminate against anyone who would walk through my doors at my studio and surely never ever at the gym. Wear whatever you want. Coming is the most important. But my own personal observation made me think a bit deeper into the psyche of why we do what we do.

What if a quick trip to Walmart (because heck, they have cute workout clothes) and $30 spent could boost your energy, moral, and motivation to take better care of you? And I’ll save you muttering in your head back at me in this post where you tell me telepathically that you don’t have $30 to spend. Because I bet my four-year-old sons little bear Milky that you could easily find $30 when you look back at what you are buying, spending, wasting money on.

And I say this with love, because a few years back I got into the habit of calling myself out on the blame game routine I was taught from childhood. And wouldn’t you know I found that $30 in a snap!

Ok this post isn’t about where you are spending your money (that for another day) this is all about what to wear to workout. And why that matters more than you think. Here are my favorite workout looks and my absolute essentials for at home, at the gym and travel.

These are my NON-NEGOTIABLES and MUST HAVE workout gear!

What if your journey starts here?

With one new outfit. Feeling good one move at a time? Let’s shop!

For yoga, Pilates & Dance –

Well most of you all know yoga is my love. Yoga saved my life. Yoga is a big part of my style. Yoga is probably my favorite workout next to long walks countryside. Yoga is the biggest reason I am healthy, fit and feel great. I am in love with a good part of yoga capris. You know, the ones that hit just above the ankle and hug to your body. Not because I want to show off my legs. But because I hate interference. I dislike with a passion my belly rolling over my pants. The butt of my pants looking saggy and worn out. And I don’t like to feel restrictive in anything I wear.

These yoga capris are from Zyia. Their prices are not Walmart. But they are quite a bit cheaper than Lululemon. So that means you save and look amazing! Plus, their pants will last forever. I mean, come on, this company was started by two mom’s who were sick of the high prices of workout wear and wanted to make clothing that fits real women. – You can sign me up!   

Zyia Fitness Clothing What is in my gym bag blog post

To date I’ve literally owned about 100 pairs of yoga bottoms and now I wear all of my 5 pairs from Zyia rotating throughout the week and get compliments everywhere! Best part. The pockets! Yes, those amazing sleek side hip pockets!

Add in a great top to go with. And you got yourself a self confidence booster you can wear out the door.

I used to buy all my bras on the clearance rack. Who needs a good bra? Wow was I wrong. Every woman on the planet needs a good bra. Did those words just come out of my mouth? I know I am talking Zyia-again. But seriously their sports bras with the sheer coverage on top have been a game changer for me.

What is in my gym bag bra top blog post

  • Support
  • Sexy coverage (sorry not interested in seeing your goods during yoga and not interested in showing you mine).
  •  Doesn’t look like a “sports” bra
  • Washes easily

Shoes?

Well on the yoga mat, no shoes required (but washing your feet is a nice bonus). But when I go to the gym or for my countryside walk (most would say my walk is faster than most people jogging) shoes are a huge decision for me.

Ask my kids and they will tell you if they don’t bend, twist and flex, I’m not buying them. I struggle to find success in those categories for my wide foot and long check list with brands like Nike and Sketchers (sorry I’m not a fan of walking around with pillows under my feet).

But I do love Under Armor Women’s Street Precision Street Shoes. Comfortable and I am not a big fan of overly padded shoes as they mess with my gait (fancy word for stride). I want my foot to feel the ground as much as possible and at the same time taking into consideration the concrete jungle many of us live in. 

A little secret to buying shoes for running or the gym. Look on the side of the box and see if it says what they heel support is. Most people don’t catch onto this, but even sports shoes can be a high heeled shoe. This changes your gait, hip and hip muscle activation and response of your body. Not to get off topic, but if you are having running, standing or walking issues, don’t just change your shoes, get pro advice and change how you move. Because the shoes were probably not your first problem.

For outdoor fun –

Did someone say hiking?

Climbing?

Camping?

You may have just described my favorite summer fun! (Yes people I live in the Midwest, we have only 12 weeks of summer to shove all our outdoor fun into before the parkas come out). I am obsessed with a good fanny pack for my cell phone or car keys. And love a great hat. I used to hate wearing ball caps but now that I am a mom of three in my 30’s, it appears your taste in things does change.

When it comes to outdoors, I love layers. And always something I can tie easily around my waist, or even roll up into a small backpack (one of us always has one). I tend to be plain with prints. But being more conscious about my pieces now, I tend to gravitate towards business on the bottom (solid colors) and party on top (quotes, fun images, or prints). I absolutely love Prana’s Graphic Crew Sweatshirt. Soft and cozy, perfect for camping or hiking, or just drinking coffee in my office. 

Outdoor wear Prana Graphic Crew

So, what do I actually wear to the gym? Well, you’ll most likely see me there during non-peak hours with a loose pullover sweatshirt or zip up (I hate when my headphones get caught on my top as I’m trying to remove it). And always a tank not a tee, because I don’t like overheating. That cute top mesh bra and always a carpi (the ankle is like the bodies cooling vent). Plus my non-spill water bottle and because my capri’s have a pocket on my hip I have a place for my phone when I’m working it out with free weights in front of the wall size mirrors.

And to be honest, when I see myself as put together, it does truly motivate me to stick around a little longer. And in my book, anything that can help create motivation when I may not have it, is a win for me!

 

The 5 Best Books to Read Right Now

The 5 Best Books to Read Right Now

The 5 Best Books to Read Right Now!

I’ve never really shared with you all some of my favorite reads. In the last few years I have to be honest, I’ve shifted over to an audio book kind of girl. This helps me maximize my time and due to a head injury, staring at words doesn’t really help my cause.

And the last several podcast I have been a guest on have all asked me what I am currently reading. So I’m going to tell you right now. What inspires me behind the scenes. And as you all know, I believe we always get exactly what we need at the exact right time. And some of these books have taken me months to read through, as you can only take in so much before your brain is full.

And other books I have read (or rather listened) through in hours! And then over again.

Some are very motivational, others parenting, and some the art of selling (which when you read between the lines has everything to do with all the mental garbage we carry with as to why we resist, or over indulge in things we don’t need).

I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do.

Here are my 5 BEST books to starting reading right now!

Best Book #1: Sell or Be Sold by Grand Cardone

And I know what you are thinking. Why would I want to read that? I’ve read it 4 times now. And it has taught me a LOT about confidence and believing in what I offer to the world. I didn’t want to read it at first, and you’ll see why. We often resist what we need at that time as an unconscious means to stay safe.

This book taught me that even though I love what I do, I am very good at what I do, my self confidence when it came to asking people to work with me, buy my product or support my cause would fall flat. Not because my offering was crappy. But rather I didn’t truly believe I was worth the investment.

And this book helped me evaluate my words, actions and thoughts as to how I was the one sabotaging my own business. This best book pick was a game changer when it came to building my business.

Best Book #2: The Dolphin Way by Shimi Kang M.D.

The best parenting book I have ever read! I recommend this book to everyone when in conversation about parenting. The book is insightful for the parent that is willing to step back and evaluate how they interact with their kids. WARNING: Not a book for parents that bubble wrap their kids (or maybe it is).

Words cannot even describe how much I love this book. And maybe because it game me reinforcement in my parenting choices of no team sports before they are a teen. Let them fall, give them responsibilities. Step back so they can step forward. No technology. I could go on, but this best book is for all the parents out there who are open and read to step back so their children can step forward.

Best Book #3: Meditations from the Mat Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison

This is not a new release by any means. But still my go to book for daily devotional. 365 days of inspirational messages to keep you on track. I often share these messages in class, but most importantly this book helps bring meaning to my day, and is a surprisingly insightful combination of all beliefs, faiths, and philosophies.

It always amazes me that when I just open this book for a daily inspirational message that it is exactly what I need to hear that day. I have learned in my life to trust that the Universe always has your back. And that we are always being guided. You do not have to practice yoga to grab this best book pick. It will surely speak to everyone who reads it.

Best Book #4: Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

I just recently finished this book. And it is everything many of us are thinking, but few say. And everything we need to hear out loud because deep down we know it’s true. If you are looking for a reality check (for lack of better words) this would be your grab).

Girl, I see you. Biggest take away from this read: it’s OK to choose you. And in doing so, everything else will have more clarity, focus, and purpose because you are not trying to be everything for everyone. Including your kids. I’ve wavered with wanting to be home with my kids but feeling a huge pull to follow my passion and use my gifts RIGHT NOW. Rachel, you are my #4 best book pick because you helped me make a mind-shift that when I choose me I choose my kids at a higher quality.

Best Book #5: How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell

This book is one of my favorites in his series. It’s small, but packed with knowledge. We can all use a reboot on our thinking at times. And this book gives it to you in bite size pieces. Get out your highlighter, because you are going to need it.

I bought this book at an airport a few years ago and it’s still my airplane book. I take it when when I travel. And open it up and just read a few pages. Again perfect timing. This book reinforced the need to organize and prioritize mentally. And in doing so the physical experience became so much sweeter.

Every step we take no matter how large or small on the path to bettering our lives deserves a pat on the back. I know from my own personal experiences that when my mind has time to wander (I’m not talking about meditation) it’s a dangerous road to go down. And I spent years digging my way out. Books assist me in my journey. And these five are my best books because they have all taught me something in a big way. And I want to share that will you.

Anytime I read something and it makes me self evaluate…That is a huge shift for me. And that means a huge win! So I can then dig deep and develop personal insight and decide what information I need and what I can leave behind.

Family Fitness: 4 Ways to Stay Fit with the Family

Family Fitness: 4 Ways to Stay Fit with the Family

From even before I had kids I knew several key points that would become the cornerstones of my parental approach. I feel very passionate about my kids seeing themselves as unique (like most parents) but in that uniqueness I wanted them to understand what it was like to develop individual skills and interests before engaging in the big wide world of pee-wee sports. We chose to skip the pee-wee games and guide our kids towards self-confidence using self-discovery and independent activity development. That meant family fitness activities. I know this is not for everyone, but for us-our kids getting down and dirty means playing in the mud, dancing in the rain, and walking in our woods searching for deer tracks and turkey feathers. I believe whole heartily that this is the foundation of childhood and developing into an independent-thinking adult. Yes, that’s right, family fitness is a foundation for our kids.

And within those independent activities, I wanted to be able to spend as much time with them as possible because there will come a day that they don’t think I’m top dog and will want to join the other team. But from the start, the team we wanted them to know they are on first is team “Krebs”.

Fitness is essential to me, and family fitness is even more important. The idea of keeping my kids active might not be what you are thinking because my suggestions won’t reference tee-ball, soccer, or dance. My suggestions are practical. They are beneficial, hopefully, to celebrate the little things because the little things are the foundation for your child’s future and who they will become as an adult and maybe one day as a parent.

Every movement matters.

In our house movement is super important. Now that my kids are school-aged, I recognize the extended periods of sitting and studying mean we need to prioritize movement once school activities are complete! I try to have them soak up every hour of daylight outside possible: jumping on the trampoline, climbing on the playset, chasing chickens, riding bikes, and making up games. And as easy as it is to send the kids outside, when you make an effort to go out with them they are not only more likely to explore, but it will make an impression that parents play too. I want to encourage you that if you tend to be a “go play outside parent” to set a timer for 20 minutes and go play with them, and then see what happens. I bet you that 20 minutes will quickly turn into an hour, because in the grand scheme of things- dinner can wait.

Family fitness walks.

Those in town who know me will vouch to say that they have seen me with my red stroller, two dogs, and two kids on bikes all over town. I need my movement, and because I work from home means I’m with my kids almost 24/7, so where I go, they go. And this has its perks. I used to fight for my personal time (I still get it but in other ways), but then I realized that the message I would be sending to my kids was exercise and fitness for adults is always separate. And after ten years of following this philosophy, I can honestly say it has paid off. I have gotten so much out of our walks together and I know I am planting the seed for years to come; plus, my kids love coming, they love my presence and I theirs. I use this time to talk to them about health, staying active as well as singing and playing eye spy. This is one of my most cherished non-winter experiences.

Family chores can be fun.

We have a very large backyard and woods and with all the tree cover a light breeze will drop tree limbs and black walnuts in an instant. My husband and I are not able to pick up this all ourselves and if we did we’d have no time for anything else. Staying active is super important to me and my family, but learning life skills is too. I know that when my kids become adults the impressions I set on them as kids will heavily impact the choices and decisions they make in their adult years. Picking up sticks is always a family affair, and I have to be honest they don’t always love it, but the older they get they realize: it’s not going to change anytime soon. Being outside in the warm sun and fresh air we race to fill our buckets first, who can pull the most roots, who gets the most walnuts and we often celebrate with lemonade and lunch outside afterward! We can easily spend two to three hours together (and don’t get me wrong there can be a fair share of complaining, but that is also part of the process) and after my husband always thanks them and asks them to look out and see what a great job they did. Seeing my kids notice their hard work and efforts and see them as they receive positive praise for helping in the household is a huge bonus too.

Encourage your kids to get dirty.

As parents we often let the end result cloud our willingness to let our kids run free. Stains on their pants, the time needed to then bathe, the worry of if they will get hurt, and the age-old excuse of not enough time. But I have to be honest, there is nothing more liberating than getting dirty with your kids. Sliding down the dirt mound outback with them. running barefoot in the rain, building sandcastles and mud pies at their side. When my husband and I get down and dirty with them, I get to see their eyes light up, not because of the dirt (although that is a big factor) but because we are dirty with them. I can feel the connection between us and our kids grow stronger and for me, it’s liberating as an adult to give myself permission to be a kid again and not try to be perfect all the time. When we get dirty we are reminded that life is messy. The mess is part of the experience.

Now these might not be wild and crazy ways to have fun, but they are free, fun and family orientated. When we instill in our kids that fitness, health, and fun cost money and require fancy equipment or continuous social engagements, we are limiting them in their own self-discovery process and creative development. Plus the time we get with our kids when they are young and we are the greatest thing since sliced bread is limited and I refuse to limit that even more.

Now go out and enjoy some family fitness!

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