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Friday, 1 December 2017

Can history repeat itself?



In light of what has been happening in Libya and many other countries around the world, I thought I should make this video to shed light on what you can do, especially if you are feeling helpless at this time.

PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO WATCH THE VIDEO

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

The Swan, Peacock & Flamingo

As a follow on from my previous blog post ‘The Pineapple…’ I thought I should share my thoughts on the destructive nature of beauty comparison through the illustration of three birds.
~

The Swan, Peacock and Flamingo are three very different yet beautiful birds.
The individual uniqueness of their physical appearance sets them apart and without competing with each other, they continue to display their own distinct splendour.

The swan is graceful in the way she conveys herself and serene in character. The peacock, magnificent with her intricate detail of pretty vibrant feathers and secure in knowing who she is and what she carries. Finally, the Flamingo, who not only embodies elegance and femininity, is also balanced in her stand and well poised.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

5 years on...what I have learnt and what I am grateful for.

Earlier this year marked 5 years from when I uploaded my very first video 'Let the journey begin', onto YouTube. So for me, that marked the start of my confidence building and living journey and me truly embracing my purpose in life.

Please watch the video below to see what I have learnt and what I am most grateful for.

Please click the link below to view this video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUixOEj5t3w

Saturday, 18 November 2017

The Pineapple - A symbol of Confidence

"Be a pineapple. Stand tall, wear a crown and be sweet on the inside".

A few years back, I came across the above statement and immediately embraced it as a statement that with a few tweaks I could adopt as one of my personal mantras.

Here’s my version:

Like a pineapple. Stand tall, wear a crown, have tough skin but be sweet on the inside”.

This symbolism of the pineapple represents a big part of what confident living means to me and below is a breakdown of each section, which I hope inspires you as much as it does me.

Stand Tall:
For someone who measures a mere but mighty 5”2 (.5 to be precise 😀), tall is not a word you would use to describe me. But you see, it’s not about what you and I see on the outside, but how I feel about myself on the inside that will eventually project outwards.

I was so used to hiding, being in the shadows and not wanting to be seen, that it eventually affected how I carried myself and interacted with people.
However, like many other things, I have been actively changing my past fear driven behaviour by pushing boundaries, standing up for myself, saying ‘no’ when I want to say no and not ‘yes’ just to please, making eye contact, trying to start and hold a conversation past one liners and doing things outside of my comfort zone, that although may be uncomfortable; will ultimately cause me to grow.

All of these courageous acts have come about by knowing who I am in Christ and standing ‘firm’ in my faith and belief, that through Him all things are possible.

Wear a Crown:
I am royalty. No further explanation needed. I will no longer apologise for who I was created to be and the life I have been called to live, regardless of how many feathers I ruffle.
Without being pompous, I will remain confident in my own skin and my beauty.
So allow me to take a few seconds to straighten my crown and walk with my ‘Head Held High’.

Have tough skin:
Not only does this bare resemblance to the skin of a pineapple, but it also resonates so much with where I am coming from.
Tough skin has enabled me to weather the storms of life and continue to do so. It will also prevent me from taking to heart negative criticism, people’s rejection, misunderstandings or just plain hate.
There is too much at stake for me to continue to fester on the piercing arrows of peoples wounding words, as I’ve spent years trying to heal from the past.

In addition, just like the skin of a pineapple, you may look at my outward appearance and not think much of me or what I may have to offer; but I know just how good, what lies within.

Sweet on the inside:
Loving, kind and generous are all words I want to be described as. These attributes will continue to make me sweet on the inside, pleasing to my Heavenly Father and a delight to those around me.
I want to give so much of myself to helping and loving others that my actions alone exuberate love.

So I’m lovin’ my way to confidently living my life and knowing that although I may not be where I want to be, I am no longer where I used to be. I am a better, more confident person who is taking things one step at a time.

N.B: I am not in any way advocating that you develop a ‘self’- centred’ attitude but if like me, you have spent many years living life without much confidence, then I’m sure you will understand and appreciate my reasons for writing this post.
I think that to be able to possess these qualities, yet remain humble and still have a ‘servant’s heart’, is something I not only desire but also strive towards.
That’s why the below scripture always stays at my forefront to help keep me in check:

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility value others above yourself, not looking only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” – Phil 2: 3-5

I encourage you to watch the below video of ‘How to become/gain confidence’ as a follow on from this blog post and where I share vital tips that I have learnt on this journey so far.
As usual I would love to hear your thoughts on this so please feel free to comment below.

Until next time, remember “It’s one step at a time to becoming confident”.

Love you guys,
Antoinette


PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK BELOW TO WATCH THE ACCOMPANYING VLOG


Please CLICK HERE for a FREE 'printable' on scriptures to help you gain confidence

*Pineapple Illustration by: @abo_akin

Scriptures for Gaining Confidence & Confident Living


Scriptures for Gaining Confidence & Living Confidently
(Words of Affirmation)


Below is a list of 12 scriptures I use to affirm myself in the word of God. I have found this to be most effective, because His words are alive and active. So as you meditate on them and speak them out, they will actively be working in and through you; helping you live life more confidently.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

A piece of heaven on earth

At the end of June, my husband and I travelled to the beautiful Greek island of Zakynthos (Zante) to celebrate our wedding anniversary. However, this was not the only thing we celebrated because as you will see in the video below, I have truly come a long way in overcoming my body confidence issues and how I see myself.

I know a lot of people have not been able to relate to my journey, because they find it odd for a naturally thin person to dislike their body, let alone have issues with it. However, as I have previously stated, the problem really is not in the size or shape of our bodies, but in the mentality we have about it.

I have often used my previous travel vlogs to document how I am getting on in my ‘journey’, but this vlog was definitely different for me, because I feel this year the veil had finally been lifted.
Following on from my last blog post ‘Love Thyself’ [click here if you have not already read it] I am no longer self-conscious about my body, especially in public places like the beach.

Previously, I would get very anxious wearing anything that would show my size and slightly straighter body frame. I did not enjoy wearing a swimsuit or bikini without a cover-up or sarong. This was not necessarily for modesty reasons, but because I hated my body and was overly concerned with what people thought of it; particularly my thigh area which showed my thinness the most.

This mind-set was a true prison, joy-killer and just dulled out the sparkle of life, but thank God for freedom, because not a single thought of what people may think came into my mind the entire trip and I just enjoyed living.

Anyhow, we had so much fun, felt rejuvenated and felI in love with the place I have now tagged ‘a piece of Heaven on earth’.
So here’s a sneak peak into some of what we got up to, the breathtakingly stunning views we saw and most importantly, scenes of me being free in who I am and accepting/loving my body regardless of its size; that in itself is heaven for me.

I hope you enjoy viewing our pictures and mini vlog and not only get inspired for your travels but like me, embrace living a more ‘Confident Life'.

PLEASE CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW THE VIDEO

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Love Thyself

One of the first and most fundamental things we need to live a confident life, is to actually ‘Love Ourselves’.
Sounds simple, but not until I began to see just how far away from God's idea of what truly loving myself was and the freedom that came with it, did I realise how little I knew of this love.

I also saw how my relationships were suffering as a result of this lack of love.
You see one of the greatest instructions Jesus gave was to “Love your neighbour as you love yourself”* and I had never really given much thought to the  …”as you love yourself” part.
I didn't question how I was meant to show love to my fellow man, if I did not truly love myself.
Bottom line: How was I meant to give something that I did not have within?

I asked God to teach me how to love myself and it has been a process through His GRACE, that has not only increased my confidence but has also helped me freely pour out love to others, because I was doing Love His way; unconditionally.

The love I am talking about is not the conceited, arrogant ‘self-love’ that is mainly rooted in self-centeredness. Nor although necessary, is it the nurturing type of self-love in which emphasis is placed on caring for your well-being.
The love that I am referring to sees an imperfect person with flaws and still chooses to love them for who they really are and not what is seen.

I started to love myself like this, which consequently led to me loving my body and becoming more body confident and comfortable in the frame and figure I had been blessed with (notice how I now use the word ‘BLESSED’).

Loving myself was meant to be something that came naturally, but I had allowed lies and destructive words to stop the flow of something normal from taking place.
The layers of hurt, anger, pain and hatred that had built up over time, needed to be peeled away in order to get to the core of who I really was, so that the hidden flower could now begin to blossom. 

For years I tried to hide myself, stay in the shadows so I would not be noticed, because I feared what people thought of me or what comment they would make next. I became socially awkward and my slight introversion did not help, but when I changed my focus and started to intentionally disallow people’s thoughts of me or my body affect me, what I struggled a great deal with became insignificant.

I am not saying that I am there yet, but just looking at the above picture taken on a recent trip, I am reminded of how far I have come.
The irony is my body is not as snatched and prim and proper as it used to be, as
I now have deep stretch marks from my pregnancies, a little mum tum and my breasts do not sit the way they once did. Nevertheless, I love my body and myself a lot more now than before.

I am more appreciative of what I have because I now realise that my previous desire for another body/appearance was just showing my discontent in what God had said is wonderful.

A lot a people may not be able to relate to what I am saying, but for the few that do, I hope this helps you see that ‘Loving Thyself’ is attainable and also one of the best things you can do for yourself and those around you.

You need to start loving yourself now, because you have to live with yourself for the rest of your life. So make your living worthwhile and do it confidently.

DISCLAIMER:
I am not condemning improving your physical appearance or enhancing your beauty in whatever form you choose. However, whatever you choose to do, do it from a place of love not hate.

Until next time,
Antoinette

*Mark 12:31


Sunday, 19 March 2017

Being Self-Disciplined


"Men are anxious to improve their circumstances but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound." - James Allen

As humans, we like to be inspired but do not always move past that inspiration because simply put; it requires self-discipline.
Self-discipline is probably one of the hardest things to master, as it entails us replacing bad habits for good and productive ones, which goes against the grain of what we are used to.

We also do not like talking about it because it shows our weak spots and brings out areas about ourselves that we would rather not deal with.
Nonetheless, I am increasingly finding that the rewards of being self-disciplined can be so great and definitely essential to effective progress.

Do not do what I did and wait until you reach rock bottom before you have no choice but to be forced to change, under circumstances that may not necessarily be pleasant. Make a QUALITY DECISION to embark upon a more self-disciplined life.

...So if you know the right thing to do, but still find yourself doing the complete opposite, or you want to move away from underachieving and mediocrity to living a more fulfilled and confident life, then click the links below to watch my 2 part videos. You will hear some of my tried and tested methods that can make your life a whole lot better.


PART 1