Proud

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One thing I am is very proud about the way my family do life. I always want to shout it to the hilltops. I want to do this not because I think I am better than anyone else but because what we do brings me joy. From the way we organise our time to the practical and emotional support we give each other, there isn’t any area that I am not proud of. Yes we are always looking to do things better and ways to improve but it’s that want to look after each other in the best way possible, which makes me so happy.

The sad thing I find in today’s world, that it is so hard to be proud. When you act proud for some reason it feels like you are rubbing other peoples faces in it and saying that you are better than other people, that your life choices are better than there’s. It seems to be hard to have a good day and celebrate that good day when others around you are having bad days. I hate that we live in a world where someone’s success can make another person feel inadequate or a failure. I don’t want to celebrate something good to make others feel worse, all I want to do is share good news.

Not better than anyone else

When I celebrate achievement I’m not trying to say I’m the best or say that I am doing things in the right way and that everyone should be doing this. I am simply saying – this is working for me and I am happy it is working for me. Yes I want happiness for other people and would love them to get success from doing things that have worked for me but I’m not saying it’s the only way or better than anyone else’s.

It feels like I am constantly having to censor myself, which I don’t like doing. It’s like when you have a conversation and someone says something negative like ‘sometimes I feel like strangling my kids’ you feel compelled for some reason to go along with it and agree even if you don’t feel this way.

When did it get this hard?

I just don’t know when it got this hard to be proud. I think in the modern age we are too busy trying not to upset anyone that we stop being happy ourselves, which in the long run just makes everyone unhappy. I hope that in years to come it becomes easier to be proud, as I never want to be anything other than proud.

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Pride

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A big way to drive traffic to a blog, is putting a link to your blog posts on your social media feeds. Last year when I started the blog I did that for every blog post, publicizing every new blog post on my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr. This helped me attract a lot of traffic to the site, with Facebook being my biggest driver of traffic.

Last year I however stopped publicizing my blog on Facebook. I kept publicizing it on all the other platforms but not on Facebook, after I saw friends posting negative things about my blog. After reading the comments my pride was hurt and I didn’t feel confident sharing it on that platform any more, as my blog was all about trying to do something positive, so I wanted to shield myself and the blog from anything negative.

Missing out

My pride and confidence took a bit of a hit, my opinions and my blogs didn’t change but I was missing out on a huge market for my blog. My pride was hurt. I talk a lot in my blogs about stepping out and being confident, but sadly I fell short of what I blog about.

In my blog I stand for a lot of things and am outspoken because this is the way I like to live. I would rather be standing for an opinion and speaking my mind rather than standing against something or hiding my thoughts. I don’t quite 100% agree with it but I do like the quote “if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” I would also rather try and fail than fail to try.

A few weeks ago I got brave and posted a link to one of my blogs on Facebook:

https://adamsibley.wordpress.com/2015/07/08/kingdom-building-not-church-building/

I was blown away by the amount of positive feedback I got and the amount of traffic that came to my blog because of the link. It built my confidence so much that I will now be putting more blog links on my Facebook. It is strange what a bunch of people clicking a like button and typing on computer keyboard can do.

Affecting people

If I was outspoken in an outrageous non-politically correct way, I would understand the negative response but I just never thought I would get any negative feedback from trying to do something positive. I will learn however, that whatever response I get positive or negative, that responses mean I am affecting people and that is a good thing.

I think we are all very prideful people at heart, but a key thing I am looking forward to master is how to take a comment and use it to help educate me, drive me and improve me. You may not agree with everything I think or believe in, but if you don’t I would be more than interested in hearing what you think and believe in. If we all instead of reacting with negative comments, used social media and the Internet to share our own thoughts and beliefs I think the world would be a better place.

A thought and opinion has more chance of impacting the world if it is shared and if you believe in that opinion enough, what people say about it shouldn’t matter.

Taking pride and not shame

Over the last year I have noticed even more than before, that people are really starting to invest in themselves and are feeling strong enough to share it with the world. Things that people wouldn’t have talked about as much in the past, are now things people feel proud to share. With the rise in social media it is ‘Trolling’ that grabs the headlines but I think amongst friends, social media has been a key tool for people to feel good about themselves and get support.

In the UK we have clubs like ‘Weight Watchers’ and ‘Slimming World’ that people can join in an effort to get their weight down and get fitter.

http://www.slimmingworld.com/

http://www.weightwatchers.co.uk/index.aspx

These clubs have been around for years, but one thing I have noticed this year, is that many people are sharing on social media that they are going and after they go they are updating their social media platforms with a status or a photo of their success. These updates then tend to get a lot of likes and positive comments from people they are connected with.

Support

I think the more we can do to support people who want to improve themselves, the better. That kind word or that like may be all that person needs to start something or to keep going. Lets try and not scroll past updates about people wanting to improve themselves, lets get behind them, it takes all but a few seconds to do and could make a lifetime of difference for that person.

If someone you know is trying a new skill lets encourage those first efforts. If someone is taking a cooking class or a pottery class, lets praise their first efforts regardless of what they look or taste like. If someone you know is taking a course to help them find employment, lets take the time to motivate them to keep going when the course is getting hard and exams are looming.

If you have a friend that is starting a creative project like making music, making art or writing a blog, lets support them with viewing or listening to their project and sharing it with your friends. In these ventures the best way to help them is to help increase the size of their audience and spread the word.

The power of a kind word

Just never underestimate the power that your words and actions have on other people. That email, that text, that post can all make a difference. I have found in life that if you support others, others will support you and you will find yourself in a more supportive group of friends and acquaintances.

Sharing in the success of others is a very uplifting thing to do. Doing this can help make you feel happier and can spur you on to try and achieve things in your own life. The only way we can achieve more and to achieve better is by trying and that is the thing we need to be applauding. Lets forget about the end goal for a minute and what might happen later, as nothing will ever happen if we never try.

We need to encourage as many people as possible to try things and then once we’ve done this, we then need to encourage people to keep on trying and to try other things. If someone tries something once they might not succeed but if he or she keeps on trying they will increase their chance of success by a massive percentage.

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Combating ‘Trolling’

The best way to combat ‘Trolling’ is building people up and not breaking them down. Before anyone has the chance to say something negative about someone or what he or she is doing, get in there first with a positive comment.

It is hard not to worry about what other people are going to say when you try to do something, but you have to keep remembering why you want to do it and what you want to achieve. It is important that we don’t let the words of people that don’t want you to succeed, dictate how your life is going to play out, because if we stop trying after the first negative word we may never try again.

Always remember there is no shame in trying to improve yourself, your situation and the world around you.

I’ll Ride With You

I know I am a bit late in talking about this, which is not a good thing as everything about the online world is about being instant but I had to blog about this.

Earlier this week a siege in Sydney was shown on news outlets around the globe as many were kidnapped inside a café and some lost their lives. This was an awful story and big news, as compared to some other developed countries Australia had not had to deal with too many headlines about terror attacks in their country before.

I came home from work that day saddened by the news but then my wife told me about something that gave me hope. My wife showed me the online postings of many Australians using the hashtag #illridewithyou. For those not familiar with this, this is what Australians were posting soon after news broke of the attack to tell the Muslim population, their fellow Australians that if they were worried about travelling anywhere because of fear of reprisals that they would accompany them on their journey.

From an event that sparked fear in the hearts of many, Australians reacted with a message of love, tolerance and community. We may never know how many people did ride or walk with someone who was fearful but I think that this worked on many levels. Not only was this practical support it also spread a message to everyone, that Australia isn’t a country that would tolerate the harassment of others because of their faith which I think probably stopped a lot of that kind of behavior before it had chance to start.

In crisis and terror situations I think many members of the general public feel helpless or feel that they want to help but don’t know how but this simple hashtag showed that people can take back control. This campaign started spontaneously and was people power at its best. It showed that love is how you win people over and support them not fear or hatred.

I had the pleasure of spending 3 weeks travelling across Australia in 2011 and I can honestly say that I found Australians on the whole to be an amazing bunch of people that really do care and look out for each other. If you were ever thinking of going to Australia don’t concentrate on the siege, think about how the masses showed how much they cared for each other.