Ugly Duckling or Majestic Lion: Who Do You Want To Be? by Favour Scott

How did the famous neurosurgeon Ben Carson make his breakthrough? Why is a lion the king of the jungle? And who do YOU want to be?

Who do you want to be?

You probably remember the story of the ugly duckling. The ugly duckling, an ugly young duck was criticized by the other ducks. Whenever it desired to play with them, it was mocked at and told;

“Get off, you ugly duckling”.

And this caused it to develop low self-esteem. It never saw anything good in others, neither did it see anything good in itself.

But what it didn’t know is that it was beautiful in its own unique way. It wasn’t a duck, but a beautiful swan. One of the most beautiful of all birds.

White, Nature, Water Bird, Water, Swan

Who are YOU?

Do you know why people harass you, mock you or probably embarrass you? Have you ever wondered why most people look at you and criticize you?
Why most people underrate you?

People treat you the way they do, not because you are stupid, or because you really are what they say you are.

People assess you based on the way and manner you carry yourself.

A lion is the most feared, respected and majestic animal in the wild.

A lion will never associate with any other animal because it knows who it is. When a lion roars, all the animals in the forest will hear it and shiver. When a lion steps its foot on a particular place, the inhibitors of that place will tremble because they know that something great has arrived.

Lion, Predator, Dangerous, Mane, Big Cat, King of the jungle
People can only pull you down if you allow them to do so.

Never underestimate your potential.

If only you know exactly how blessed, mighty and great you are, you’ll stop underestimating yourself.

You are greater than you think. Yes, I’m talking to you. You are underestimating your potential.

Who do you WANT to be?

You are not an ugly duckling, you are a majestic lion.

“When the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable”

Myles Monroe

You still haven’t unravelled the mystery behind your existence, you still haven’t discovered your purpose. If only you knew.

The mockery and scorns from people should be the force that propels you to greater heights.

Remember the nicest necklaces, wristwatches and most beautiful of all ornaments all went through the hottest flames.

My dear friend, you are like a seed. A seed cannot be buried, it will always grow back into a beautiful and mighty tree.

Environmental Protection, Environment, Tree, Nature, Seed grows into tree

People will never stop trying to pull you down because you make them enjoy doing it.

Do you know why people never stop criticising you?

Assuming you had let the scorns, the mockery from people shapen you in the right direction, they would have stopped a long time ago,

Instead, you blame yourself for being YOU. But have you paused to ask yourself, who do YOU want to be?

Beloved one, people laugh at you because you are different, but instead, you should laugh at them because they are all the same. Being different is not a bad thing, but being like everyone else is as deadly as a poisonous viper.

Imagine how the world would have been, if everyone were to be the same. The whole world would have been boring and stagnant.

But God created room for variety. He made everyone uniquely different in their own uniquely different way!

So be happy you are different because “the different one is the one that progresses.
Smilies, Emoticons, Unique, Be different, Who Do You Want to Be

Never let anyone bring you down because you are;

  • Wonderful,
  • Beautifully created,
  • Awesome,
  • You are an embodiment of God’s greatest creation,

And above all, there’s no one else like you in this world. You are unparalleled.

God created you without blemish, you are perfectly perfect in perfection.

God commanded other organism, trees and planes but he took time to create you so as to make you perfect.

Ben Carson was mocked by his classmates, they called him a dullard and this saddened him. But thanks to his mother, he realised that their scorns were the force he needs to propel him to greater heights.

And today, he’s one of the best Neurosurgeons in the world.

Ben Carson, Neurosurgeon, Take the Risk, Book, Author, Motivation, Who Do You Want to Be

Have Self-Esteem.

Self-esteem means confidence in one’s own worth and satisfaction in oneself.

No matter what happens, never let what people say becloud your self-esteem. The opinions of people do not matter. No one has a say over your life, so why should you care?

Believe that you are the best because if you don’t, no one will. It’s what you say to yourself that manifests in your life.

Assuming you continue reminiscing over what people say about you, you’ll eventually blame your parents, yourself and everyone around you.

But if you say good things to yourself, your mind begins to work in that consciousness that you are the best, and in a short while, you actually become the best.

The mind is the greatest asset God bestowed on us.

Take every negative word said to you as an encouragement, and you’ll see, the sky won’t be your limit, but a starting point.

Never let anyone limit you. You can do beautiful things for this world, it all depends on you. All you have to do is put your mind to it. And keep asking yourself the question that matters – who do you want to be?

Favour Scott
Favour Scott

Favour is the driving force behind the website Seven Exceed. He’s an author, enthusiast and a futurist. His goal is to reorient people on the pros and cons of life.

Your Future Self, By Serena Rogers

A powerful guest post by Serena Rogers, about discovering your Future Self with steps to become one with your ideal version.

Self-limiting thoughts, self-doubt and negative self-talk are the main reasons why people do not carry out their dreams, dare to try new things or challenge themselves. Fear of failure, loved ones and societal expectations stop us before we even get started. Picturing yourself carrying forth your passion should not be a challenge, but in today’s world it is… So, where to start? 

Simply by imagining…

If I were to ask you to imagine your future self, what would you say?

Most people would uurrmm and ahhh and probably think of something that someone else said, along the lines of… “Well my other half has always said I should do…” or “I’m kind of good at ____ that’s what my boss said anyways…”

Nothing definitive, nothing concrete, very vague and almost cautious. Ok, so let’s try it again… And now, dig deep! Think about your passions, your dreams, your wants and desires. It is limitless!

Don’t put a cap on it by thinking, “Well I’ve got a child, so I couldn’t do that!” or “I’d need to be qualified to follow that path” Just for a minute, let your restraints of every day adult life go, and picture…well…whatever you want! It doesn’t hurt anyone to do that and it doesn’t mean that you can or can’t.

Just simply imagining a completely different version of you could be the thing that opens up your mind to different possibilities! 

Remember when you were young and you had a dream, let’s say it was to be an Archaeologist, like Indiana Jones? (Yes, I’m showing my age now!)

Indiana, Jones, Adventure, Self Discovery, Future Self, Imagination

You didn’t start thinking, well I’d need to get a visa and have X amount of money, I’d need specific training… you just simply imagined it.

Your imagination had no limits, right? Even as a teenager, there were less boundaries, you had more energy, yes of course, but you were freer! 

As we get older, the weight of adult life starts to weigh heavily on our bodies, to the point where doing something as simple as imagining, becomes a task that we have to find a greater purpose to. We need to remember that our young soul still lives inside us and to let it venture out every now and again.

If you were your future self, what would YOU want YOU to do right now? 

A difficult one to get your head around, I know. But if you had the knowledge you do now, when you were, let’s say, a teenager. I’m sure you would want to pass that on, so you could flourish and maybe, well, enjoy life, just that little bit more. I know I would!

I would not concentrate on unimportant things like how popular I was, what other people thought, but maybe concentrated more in other lessons, enjoyed going to school a bit more and the freedom that being a teenager comes with.

Laughed harder, complained less, loved more.

Couple, Hugging, Laugh, Smile, Girl, Man, Happy

I think we get so bogged down with adulthood, the responsibilities, the routine, the pressures, the expectation.

The desire for a comforting life, to know where our next meal comes from, being the ever-reliable predictable employee and other qualities that secure our monthly pay cheque, that we have forgotten how to live, how to dream, what our passions and unique abilities are.

You would be bold and daring to go for those less obvious choices, the ones that push and push you to your limits, that challenge you and help your mind expand and change. 

You would be kinder and more caring to yourself, to others, help more, be selfless. Not focus on financial rewards and be more intrinsically motivated. Do things because of the way they make you feel, the memories they give and the relationships they build.

You would keep those emotions in check! Be more mindful about the words you use, not act out of strong emotions, like fear, grief, anger or sadness and learn to feel them and let them pass because you know they won’t last forever. Think back to a time when you’ve acted out of, let’s say anger. How did it end up?

Do you look back on it fondly or do you scold yourself and have deep regrets and think how you’d do things differently. I’m far from perfect and when I think back to times when I’ve acted out of strong emotions; I think of what I’ve learnt from that and how I’d act now if I was faced with a similar scenario. 

What else could you do? 

Surround yourself with positive influences.

It can be hard in today’s world at times, I know. I started my Facebook group for this exact reason. If you haven’t the positivity you need right now, go and find it. People aren’t as horrible as we’ve been made to believe. 

Smilies, Sit, Rest, Friends, Happy, Future Self
Challenge self-limiting thoughts and self-doubt by recognising them.

Not holding onto them but letting them pass. Because they will and do not let them rule or overwhelm you. Distract yourself with a bit of self-love, lean on those supportive people around you, flip those negative thoughts to positive ones or use them for personal growth.

Face your fears.

Then, challenge negativity with your strength of giving something new a try and getting out of your comfort zone. Then you will grow in confidence, self-esteem and have concrete belief, whether failing or succeeding, that you can achieve your dreams.

Exercise gratitude daily.

Remind yourself to be happy of the life you have made for yourself.

Read More : 8 Ways of Grateful Living

Be happier by living intentionally.

And being in the here and now. Don’t weigh yourself down with regrets of the past or busy your mind with worry of the future.

Good, Bad, Opposite, Choice, Choose, Future Self, Positive
Stop comparing your life to others.

They are not you and you are not them. You haven’t lived their lives and they haven’t lived yours. Realise you are right where you’re supposed to be now, which might not make sense whilst you are living it.

Which brings me onto another point.

Trusting the process.

Don’t fret or worry about if what you’re doing is right or wrong. Instead ask yourself, does what you’re doing now, support your plans, goals and dreams. Does it benefit you and others around you? Go from here…

Last and certainly not least, have fun! Enjoy your life! After all, life is for living! 

So, what are you going to do, now? 

I’m not one for telling people how to live their lives or being over prescriptive, take what you like and leave the rest or take the whole lot and see how it fairs for you…

However, going through this journey I found, doing the above is helping me enjoy my life more and giving me the courage to continue daring to go for my dreams. It’s too easy to quit, it’s too easy to sit comfortably, it’s too easy to let negative thoughts win.

I’m passionate and firmly believe that living more positively and believing in yourself, is the key to unlocking your true potential, abilities and forgotten passions, in order to achieve your dreams, goals and your own version of success. 

Pencils, Heart, Red Heart, Be Different

What is innately in you that, what’s your drive, when are you in your flow, what are you good at? Sometimes, you’ve just got to dig deep! My aim is to inspire, motivate and connect with like-minded everyday people and achieve our dreams together. Fancy joining me on my journey? 

Thanks for reading. Give your future self a chance…Your dreams are waiting, go get them! 

Until next time…

SR

Serena Rogers
Serena Rogers

Serena has over 15 years of working within the Housing, Health and Social Care sector; facilitating workshops, teaching, training and supporting individuals with multiple and complex needs in the UK.
Having built a following through blogging and Instagram; a space for people to explore all that is human and feel safe to do so. Allowing people to move from passion to purpose.

5 Ways to Increase Self-Love, by Iman

A guest post by a repeat writer for the blog, Iman Walker on five simple strategies to increase self-love. Read this for some new year motivation!

A guest post by a repeat writer for the blog, Iman Walker on five simple strategies to increase self-love.

“Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.” – Louise L Hay

Contrary to what some people think, self-love is not a bad term. It doesn’t mean you’re a narcissistic, selfish or self-absorbed person. Quite the opposite. As a matter of fact, it means you make the effort of recognizing your worth and value.

Self-love is accepting that as human beings, we’re imperfect. And that’s perfectly okay.

In a world where we’re always reminded to compare ourselves to others, to change our lifestyles or looks to fit silly societal standards, self-love is what we do to accept who we are as individuals.

Now, this may sound like sweet, cliche talk, but it’s true. Putting yourself first in your life is a practice that can transform your relationship with yourself.

If you’re ready to start appreciating yourself and your efforts, valuing who you are as a human being and knowing your self-worth, I have five tips that’ll help you out on your journey towards loving yourself.

#1 – Silence the mean, mental chatter in your mind.

Our inner critic.

We all have one. Her opinions are hurtful and useless, and although we realise this, we always listen to her.

silence, stop, mental chatter, inner talk, inner critic,

Let’s admit it. If we spoke to others the way we speak about ourselves, we wouldn’t have any friends. Sometimes, WE are our worst enemies.

One of the first steps to loving yourself is to silence the mental chatter. Don’t give this voice in your mind any attention. Dismiss the criticism. This might be difficult at first because we’re so used to giving in to this mean voice. But with practice, it’ll become easier.

We criticize our bodies, our looks, our ability to do things. And so the best way to combat this voice is to vocally tell ourselves the complete opposite of what she’s saying.

So next time you criticise yourself for whatever reason, flip the script and say something positive instead. You’re always with yourself, you deserve that self-love and appreciation.

#2 – Self-love means you stop comparing yourself.

Before we had billboards, magazines and movies that made us compare ourselves. Now it’s all those things and social media.

Many of us are guilty of using social media in a way that doesn’t benefit us. Every day, we scroll through our feeds, staring at pictures of people we think have perfect lives, bodies, partners, and so on.

If you think about it, what does this do besides ruin your mood?

Embrace your differences, unique, self-love, harmony, meeting, group

I love this quote by Iyanla Vanzant, “Comparison is an act of violence against the self”. Her choice of words shows how damaging it is to compare ourselves to others. It brings about no benefit.

If you want to start loving yourself more, you must recognize that you were created unique, and your journey is different from everyone else’s. Anway, if we were all the same, life would be boring!

#3 – Recite positive affirmations about yourself.

Research has shown that reading or reciting affirmations can influence how we feel about ourselves in a good way. This also subconsciously encourage us to make good choices in life.

self-love, self-care, postive, affirmations, journal, notebook, flowers, be unstoppable, motivational quotes

You can come up with your own self-love affirmations. But just to give you an idea of what you can say, here are some examples:

  • I believe in myself and my abilities to do amazing things
  • I am worthy
  • I’m deserving of love and respect
  • My self-esteem is always increasing
  • I’m always trying to become a better version of myself
  • I have special gifts unique to me
  • I value myself and my self-worth
  • I’m in control of making my own decisions
  • I can make a positive difference in the world

#4 – Embrace your differences as an act of self-love.

This tip ties in with the one about comparisons.

cheer, toast, self-love, healthy relations, success, party, champagne, friends, happy

Society has set an unrealistic standard for how our lives should be. But, in our pursuit of meeting this impossible standard, we put ourselves down for being different.

This needs to stop. We’re not all the same and we were never meant to live identical lives. Don’t look down upon yourself for being different. This is what makes you unique and special.

And embracing your differences is a key ingredient in your journey to self.

To love ourselves is to accept ourselves as we are. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t strive to become better. Naturally, you should always try to improve. It’s important to have goals, but love every step you take towards reaching your objectives.

#5 – Be patient with yourself.

“Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself” – Max Ehrmann

patience, time, gentle, watch, slow, flowers, self-love, love yourself, validate yourself

This is one of my favourite quotes. It can be interpreted in different ways, but I understand it like this: While changing, growing and transforming yourself, be gentle. Be patient. Be loving.

Whatever phase you are at in life, whatever choices you’ve made, there’s always a way to make things better. On some days, you won’t feel good about yourself. But that’s okay. As with anything in life, the goal is to carry on and not give up.

Final thoughts

There you have it. Five pieces of advice to help you increase self-love. I hope you found them useful, but there are many other ways you boost self-love. Check out this post on 7 daily rituals that are essential for self-love.

Iman Walker is a copywriter and blogger for the personal development industry. She enjoys writing on a variety of subjects, particularly those related to self-growth and productivity.

You can check out more of her work at https://imanwalker.com/ and on her Instagram page.

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5 Ways to Increase Self Love