Self-Judgment: It’s Still Controlling

This month I want to work on our self-judgement. At the age of 31, I hear many younger women compare and judge themselves against others and I hear older women judge themselves against others.

To judge is the ability to make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action; I always thought when I was a young-adult that  self-judgment would go away as I became a woman. 

I’m lucky. I have learned to love and appreciate my physical self and my intelligence, BUT many of our female peers still struggle to be confident and continue to think harshly of themselves by constantly comparing their looks, smarts, families, life, and the list goes on.

I’m sure you have experienced many of these feelings as well…If you haven’t, I want to know your secret!

I’ve heard it all (well most), I’ve been put down, picked up, spit out, and swallowed with nasty words from others and the horrible inside chatter with my own self-judgment.

How do we stop the self-judgment?

I’m going to share with you a few ways I’ve found helpful dealing with my self-judgment. For the record, I’m not perfect and I don’t feel 100% confident everyday.

I like to have a down day here and there because how else would I know when I have a great day?  We experience these feelings for a reason, so embrace them all and learn from them.

Be Free of Self-Judgment

The biggest challenge I had was to tear myself away from the mirror. I was spending so much time starring at my features in the mirror and picking myself apart it was destroying my happiness and self-confidence.

To overcome this I would look in the mirror as I needed and move on out. No lingering around to stare and perfect the direction of my eyebrows or cover up that tiny pimple.

If this is one of your bad habits, then set a timer.  Set a timer for a time it normally takes you to get ready in the morning or whenever you go out.  Get dressed, put your makeup on, brush your hair, and move on.

Another trick you can do to minimize the self-judgment is to force yourself to write all the great things about yourself and your life.  Start paying attention to the good and not the bad.

The grass is never greener, trust me. It’s funny because I was reading a story to my nephew and it was about a chameleon who wanted to be like all the other animals, but by the time he stepped foot in their worlds, he missed his world and wanted to go back to being a chameleon. We all have our own struggles, so stop thinking the girl next door’s life is better.

Another most important factor in minimizing the judgment that goes on in your head is to be aware of it. Are you? It’s important to become aware and slowly work to improve those thoughts.

Cut the judgment short as soon as you realize it’s happening. Change the subject or finish it and then apologize and state something positive right after you’ve discovered you’ve said something negative towards yourself or towards somebody else.

Take these small steps towards having less self-judgment.

* Less time in the mirror – the longer you stare and pick, the more you will find the negative.

* Journal all the good about yourself and your life, see the good vs. the bad.

* Become aware of the judgment that goes on in your head, and comes out of your mouth as well as the judgment that goes on around you from your friends and family.

Get rid of the judgment! Stop judging yourself and stop judging others. Take it one day at a time and you will become happier, more confident in yourself, and more successful overall.

~Susan Vernicek

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Susan Vernicek is known as the Identity Energizer. Her purpose and passion is to empower women to get all A’s in the game of life, within themselves and their lives.


Have an Unbreakable Spirit

Most of us have experienced a few of these obstacles and probably more so when we were younger.  It’s a love-hate emotion knowing that we get wiser as we get older. There’s a quote that says: With age, comes wisdom, but sometimes age shows up all by itself! – Tom Wilson

 I remember being at one of my mastermind groups where  some of my Savor the Success friends had told me I had an unbreakable spirit.

In my 30 years of living that was the first time I have heard that about myself. I felt warm, uplifted, and honored that these successful, strong women thought so highly of me.

I also believe any woman can have an unbreakable spirit with some awareness of her own intelligence.

No, I’m not being arrogant, and I still have low moments where my spirit isn’t always as uplifted, but I am pretty darn optimistic when it comes to my life and my business. 

Not everything I do or touch will be right. I have and will  fail at things, but it’s the way I handle the situation at hand and continue to move forward that keeps my spirit unbreakable.

Here are 3 ways of having an unbreakable spirit too:

1. Have Drive, Ambition, and Passion: I believe it takes drive and ambition to use towards a passion.  On the other hand, when you have a passion, you have drive and ambition. They go hand-in-hand in my eyes.  If you have a passion, then you can understand that the majority of us who have a passion also have an unbreakable spirit. Why? Because we have a dream, we see a big picture, we have visions, and no one can break that. If you don’t have a passion then ask yourself, “What makes me smile? What gives me natural excitement? What can I do over and over that won’t make me sick or bored of it?” Find it because if you don’t have passion, then what do you have in your life that’s worth living for?

2. Be Positive, Optimistic, and Realistic: Yes, I understand that life happens and you can’t always be positive and optimistic, but you can be realistic. Being realistic, along with being a dreamer, can easily fit into your daily, mental routine. Work on looking at life, your situations, and experiences as the glass half full, not empty.  Go with the flow, go with your gut, enjoy the journey you choose, and you will have an unbreakable spirit.

3. Focus, Be In Tune, Tune Out: Think back to a time when you were focused.  Can you remember the feeling? Can you remember the zone you were in? Did anybody break that focus? The one thing I can assure you, is that if you are focused on a goal, nobody can stop you.  No excuses.  Live your life each day the way you want, but most importantly live each day mentally the way you want.  Tune out “them” – the negative voices in your life.  There is no room for the negative voices.  So focus, stay in tune, tune out the negative voices, and you will have an unbreakable spirit.

~Susan Vernicek

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Susan Vernicek is known as the Identity Energizer. Her purpose and passion is to empower women to get all A’s in the game of life, within themselves and their lives.


Be Wise

Who makes the rules as to what is wise and what is not wise? What is your definition being wise?

I love when someone says, “Oh, that wasn’t such a wise decision.” Well, maybe it was; just maybe that not-so-wise decision will be teaching me a lesson later on. Or maybe it will end up to be a wise decision after all.

To be wise is to judge properly as to what is right or wrong.  But don’t we all have our own standards? Don’t we all have our own morals and values? Doesn’t that mean we all are wise on different levels and in our own ways?

I know there is a general wise standard that the average human being is aware of and abides to, but I want to take this deeper and share some ways to embrace your wise identity. Having a wise intuition, wise actions, wise dreams and to be a wise role model is a fantastic way to start having a wise identity.

Below are a few steps in the direction to be a bit more wise…if you choose to.

1. Be Wise with Intuitions – Intuition is being aware, knowing something without yet discovering it. Many of us ignore our intuition because we may have a fear of facing it, or we don’t know that the uneasy feeling we are feeling is our intuition speaking to us. Therefore, how do you have a wise intuition?

I’m sure you’ve heard of how meditating helps you listen to your intuition. Quite frankly, I have not mastered meditation, not even a 5-minute-long meditation. I’m like the real-life energizer bunny; mediation is further down the road for me, when my battery slows down!   So, I am not going to recommend this.

One way I suggest is exercising. I exercise with Pilates or yoga and this helps calm my mind, the ongoing voice inside of me, and I learn to focus on my breathing and my body as a whole. Yes, I know you may not be into these types of exercise, maybe not even exercise at all. You may find this through another type of exercise or hobby, but it is important that you find an activity that calms you and allows you the opportunity to be still, to be whole, and to be balanced.

Learning to focus on your emotions is another way to be in tune and to have a wise intuition.  We experience feelings for a reason, therefore, it’s best to know why we are feeling the way we are and understanding it. Note: check out our Emotion Commotion section by our writer Kimberly Elmore to learn more about your emotions and handling them.

Listening is a Way to Be Wise

Once you are able to listen, feel, and distinguish your intuition that is when you will start to have a wiser intuition.  See how I said wiser, I know you are wise, but it doesn’t hurt to be even wiser, right?

2. Be Wise with Actions – How many times have you made a move that wasn’t so smooth? How many times have you drank a little too many of those fruity shots? How many times have you sent a text or put on your make-up while driving? Or stole? Or had an affair? I can go on and on, but the question is, are you paying attention to your actions and do they fit your standards? The drinking and driving and texting are considered a NOT WISE ACTION for us all.

What about deeper actions?  What you eat, think, say, and do are all variables to having wise actions. These are all forms of actions that we create day-to-day. So create a list of wise actions that you already take.  Then create a list of the not-so-wise actions you take and look at both lists. Now write a list of wiser actions you can start to take.  Where can you start to make the shifts in your current actions to be stronger, to be wiser?

3. Be Wise with Dreams – Here we go, my favorite of the three because it really is the easiest; we all prefer easier sometimes.  Having wise dreams is limitless. When I think of wise dreams, I think of dreams I want to make real. I think of what I want and envision that dream. Make your dreams wiser, more detailed and they will become more real.

You alone can determine what your dreams mean and where they take you. Be aware of what you dream and if you remember when you wake up, write them down.  See if there is a pattern.  Is it a good or bad dream to you?

I’d like to share a not-so-wise dream with you. I’m engaged and I’ve been having dreams of my fiancee leaving me or finding another woman. Insanely detailed that I have pictures of the women in my head. Crazy, right? My fiancee would never cheat and treats me with nothing but respect.  So I finally told him about these dreams and of course he reassured me there was nothing to worry about.  I have to move on from this dream and venting definitely helped, but what I also did was write about it and then write about all the amazing qualities our relationship has. I also had my fiancee share with me all that he loves about me.  Sometimes we just need to be reassured. I felt much better after this, and I’m having much wiser dream –dreams of my future, my business, my life, and my future family.

4. Be Wise as a Role Model – It is important for us to take responsibility in our actions and know that we are a role model to somebody. Whether it is to our children, nieces, nephews, god daughter, sibling, student, etc. We must be wise role models.  There are tons of programs out there for children and teens such as bullying, healthy eating and self-esteem, but if they go home after learning about these topics and their role models (us) are eating poorly every minute, saying mean things to our family and friends, telling our children they are overweight, fighting with our loved ones, constantly looking in the mirror and saying, “Ugh, I look fat,” when your child is standing right there…these are areas we must pay attention to and be wiser.

So let’s be wise or wiser together and take these three steps to create your wise identity!

~Susan Vernicek

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Susan Vernicek is known as the Identity Energizer. Her purpose and passion is to empower women to get all A’s in the game of life, within themselves and their lives.


3 Tips to Accept Yourself RIGHT NOW

You don’t need to look for greener grass.

Three out of four women are unhappy with the way they look or feel and nine out of ten women that answer our “I Love My” question without us guiding them, answer with a loving “family, kids, life,” etc. It is clear that women tie the way they feel to their circumstances and image. That’s why diet and self-help books are best sellers, and is the number one category for book retailers. Many of us women think we need to change ourselves in order to be happier. But, self-help programs aren’t the answer, at least not at first.

We must start with acceptance. Women can be happy with who they are without feeling the need to constantly change themselves and it begins with recognizing the traits that create our unique identities. I have mentored thousands of women to increase their confidence as the editor of Identity Magazine, and I suggest writing in a journal as the entry point to happiness. I believe writing is not only therapeutic, but a key to self discovery and becoming happier.

Here are three simple tips to accept yourself through journal writing, even for those who are not writers.

1. Acknowledge Your Qualities: You must know who you are in order to accept yourself. Most self-esteem experts suggest listing out your best traits and the things you love. However, this can be a stumbling block for women who struggle with self-esteem. Instead, I advise you to dump it all out on paper , aka braindumping– the good, the bad, and the ugly. Self-love is not about perfection or success. Your qualities make up the overall package of the things you are proud of, your failures, your personality traits, your quirks, and imperfections—mentally and physically. Knowing yourself inside and out is the first step to acceptance and I challenge you to start now.

2. Release and Let Go: Each of us has had an experience that can affect the way we feel about ourselves, and deeply impact our self-esteem: harmful relationships, unhappy bosses, competitive friendships, a family at war, or even going up or down a size in jeans. I suggest you release and let go of these experiences, and remember, our experiences do not make up who we are. We can learn from them, but they shouldn’t define our identities. Simply releasing opens us up to accepting ourselves and our past situations.

3. Use what works: Journaling doesn’t require a pen and paper or traditional journal at all. Find what works for you. If you are a computer person, sit with your laptop, if you are an extrovert, speak it out loud and make video of yourself (Vlog)! For talkers, buddy up with a close friend and chat it out. For those that are angst-filled and need to actively release, do something liberating like using lipstick to mark up your mirror with your thoughts.

Remember, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to accepting who you are.  

Try this simple exercise: Close your eyes, take a deep breathe, and visualize waking up with a smile of simple happiness, pure bliss without an ounce of a negative thought. Create this vision a few times a day, especially while your are lying in bed just before you are about to pull yourself up.

I hope you find these first three steps valuable and consider taking action right now.

~Susan Vernicek

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Be the Authentic You!

Do you feel like you are being held back in anyway, or feel that you are struggling to embrace your true identity? I want to claim that 2013 is your year and I’m insisting that you start right NOW with the choice to move forward in your life and in any way. Your moving forward will be different than my moving forward.  There is no right or wrong way to move forward, so no more excuses.

 Wear want you want, think how you want, and act how you want.  Be the authentic you and the creative you, because there is no other, easier way.

Here are 3 ways to get started:

2. Be Creative and Authentic with Your Mannerisms: Don’t hold back!  Do you laugh a certain way? Do you speak a certain way? Do you smile or walk a certain way? Our mannerisms are traits that are passed down from generations, or picked up from best friends. Mannerisms are not to be messed with! They distinguish our characters and personalities, and they help us connect memories. Continue to embrace your mannerisms with your authentic self as it will leave lasting memories for your family and friends.

1.  Be Creative and Authentic with Your Style: I am surrounded by fashionable interns, co-workers, friends, and family. I catch myself looking at them with the thought that I wish I could pull off that head band, shirt, jewelry, or hat.  Who says I can’t? Why do I even think this way if I haven’t even tried? So you know what I did? I went to the mall to look around and find something I loved, but didn’t think I could pull off. I found a pair of earrings that were fun, sexy, flirty, wild, and LONG, longer than my hair! I fell in love with them and yes I bought them. I wore them that very next day.  I felt weird at first, but eventually got over it. Who cares what others think, right? I must say that I rocked them out. :)   I can’t wait to wear them again and certainly will.

So go ahead and embrace the style you love. If you love something, don’t pass it up because you think you can’t pull it off. Our thoughts are energy and if you think and know you can pull a style off and rock it out, then you can and will rock it out!

3. Be Creative and Authentic with Your Mind: That’s a no brainer! Our mind plays a huge role in our identity. BUT, do you fully embrace your mind?  Are you your own leader? Do you change your opinions, ideas, or creativity if somebody doesn’t agree?  Do you mold your identity into the current relationships that you have? If you do, I can almost guarantee those relationships won’t last because you are not being your authentic self.  You are not less intelligent than your friends, siblings, or co-workers. Your mind and intelligence is different and unique. You have your way of learning, loving, and educating.  Explore and allow your mind to continue to expand allowing you to dream big, think big, and achieve big.

Now go get’em!

~Susan Vernicek

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