Tag Archives: confidence

Celebrate By Saying Yes to You!

oct9_2016

Point to Ponder:
What self-care or passion action have been putting off? And, what friend/s can you invite to iGnite who have been unable to make themselves a priority, lately?

iGnite Neissa

By Neissa Brown Springmann

Around our house the word “work” comes up a lot. Durant (5) and Malaine (3) often asked why both my husband, Russell, and I work. We continue to give them the same answers: 1). We work so we can have food, water, clothes, a house, a car, t.v., toys, etc. etc. etc. 2). We like to work! Fortunately, our work is our passion. Going to work is fun for us and because we love what we do, we feel like our jobs allow us to use the gifts that God has given us.

Then, as it came up again this morning, under my breath I jokingly (but seriously) told Russell that work gives us a break from them which is what keeps us sane and them safe. In all seriousness, and as it relates to the quote above, I love what I do and am fed by iGnite. When I am able to spend concentrated time living my passion I am a much more patient, fun and happy person. This “me-time” allows me to give the best of me to everyone. It nurtures my mind and spirit.

In terms of the body, I think every woman would agree that any amount of time we are able to move our bodies and exercise, our whole world changes. Our confidence, perspective, outlook and mindset completely shifts. It’s a game changer!

For both men and women, taking good care of you is critical, however for women, I find this to be especially challenging because we innately put everyone and everything first and in front of our own needs and wants. We are nurturers by nature and between the changing life seasons, life stressors, and the ongoing needs of family and friends, our health is always the first thing to become compromised. Then, following a derailed healthy routine comes guilt and shame from getting off track, which makes starting again feel daunting and even impossible.

I can speak to this gender-specific phenomenon because for the past sixteen years in which I have worked with women in the health and fitness field, when a woman I know gets off of her exercise routine and she sees me, she shames herself and apologizes. She often tells me how “bad” she’s been and how “fat” she’s gotten, at which I always tell her that life happens, timing is everything and as it relates to her attending iGnite, iGnite will always be there so when the time is right for her to iGnite again, we will be there for her and would love to see her.

The longer I live the more I am learning that we are all doing the best we can, and while I wish I could say that making and keeping our personal health and passions a primary focus is a cinch, it’s not. In addition, the demands on women are only increasing and we are wearing more hats than ever. This is why having an encouraging, uplifting and loving tribe is critical. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a tribe of like-minded women to help us stay committed to taking care of ourselves: physically, mentally and spiritually.

“Taking good care of you means that the people in your life get the best of you rather than the rest of you” is the basis on which I founded iGnite ten years ago, and as we continue to celebrate our birthday month, I encourage you to keep saying “yes” to you! Keep iGniting (even if all you can fit in is once this week), choose a self-care action and/or passion project that you have been putting off. Then, because it’s our birthday month and therefore ‘bring friends for free”, grab a friend/s who have been unable to make themselves a priority and bring them to class with you so we can encourage them, lift them up and love on them, together.


Action Item:
Keep iGniting and choose one self-care action or passion project that you have been putting off and say “yes” to it. Then, because it’s our birthday month and therefore ‘bring friends for free”, grab a friend/s who have been unable to make themselves a priority and bring them to class with you so we can encourage, lift up and love on them, together.


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Approach Your Fears with Child Like Perspective

iGnite - keep focused

Point to Ponder:
Are you a fearful person?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

I’ve always been of the mindset that children have it figured out. It stinks that we have to grow up and often times become jaded, cynical, insecure and obsess over our perceived pudgy legs and numbers on a scale. Children don’t worry about how many steps they take in a day or how many hours they spend exercising. Instead, they simply play — run, jump, spin and dance. They ride their bikes for hours, climb on the monkey bars and enjoy a high-calorie treat without feeling guilt. They stop eating when they are full, don’t talk about others, and without fear or doubt of what others think, they proudly proclaim what they want to be when they grow up, just as my five-year old nephew Cole did at his pre-school graduation when he announced that when he grew up he wanted to own a doughnut shop. Awesome!

Last week while finishing a hike and walking along the beach, I noticed a man, probably in his forties, standing alone in shin-deep water and jumping over every wave that came his way. Like a six year-old would do, each time a wave rolled in, he’d hop over it! It was the most playful, inspiring and refreshing sight. I watched him for several minutes and it was a great reminder that nature gives us everything we need to calm, invigorate and feed our body, mind and spirit. And what I loved so much about this guy was that while he was playing, he wasn’t worried or fearful about what those of us around him thought. In my opinion, the enormity and magnificence of the Pacific Ocean made his fears of what others might think insignificant, while also putting troubles and life stressors in perspective. At least that is what nature does for me. It swallows my doubt and fear and allows me to shine!

Robin Roberts, the always shining and inspiring co-anchor of Good Morning America, has a great line about doubt and fear in her book Everybody’s Got Something. She says:

“We all have doubts and fears. The thing about fear is that it only needs the tiniest space, the size of an eye of a needle, to get through and wreak havoc. Maddening, but true. So, when I was struggling in doubt, I would simply take the next small step. I would stop and think: No, life is not tied up with a beautiful bow all the time, but it’s still a gift. I’m going to tear away the wrapping paper like a kid at Christmas.”

What I love so much about Robin’s wisdom is that instead of running from her fear and doubt or dreading it, she sees it as a gift and looks forward to tearing into it to see what it is, just as a child would and just as Kayla Montgomery, the eighteen year old in the video below, who, despite being diagnosed with Multiple Sclorosis and losing feeling in her legs when she runs and when her body heats up, was determined to not only run, but win! It’s their child-like perspective that has kept them curious, eager and willing to conquer their fear, doubt, and SHINE! What a great example for all of us!

Action Item:
This week, try facing situations with the fearlessness, playfulness and confidence of a child.

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Just Do It!

www.igniteyourlifenow.com

“Confidence is like a muscle: The more you use it the stronger it gets..” (Anonymous)

Point to Ponder:
Do you lack confidence?

Action Item:
Get outside your comfort zone this week by trying an exercise or class you wouldn’t usually try.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Well, I did it! Last Monday I flew to Santa Monica for my ‘de-blorfting’ trip— a personal getaway (all by myself and for myself) for the sole purpose of recharging my battery. And just as the wise and wonderful iGnite member Louise Pincoffs warned me I would, the day before I left I began questioning if I indeed needed the trip and if it was worth the hassle of organizing myself and the family for my departure. I won’t lie, there was tension in the household, which made it even more uncomfortable for me to leave. Then, of course, I had multiple conversations with ‘Lady Guilt.’ She tried, almost successfully, to convince me that I was being a bad and selfish wife and mother by doing something completely for me. But I had prepared for her pathetic attempts and for no other reason than to defeat her, I was going on this trip!

Upon arriving and for about the first eight to twelve hours, it was rough. I didn’t know what to do with myself. As much as I wanted to completely remove my ’wife,’ ‘mom’ and ‘business owner’ hats and instantly make the trip about me, it was impossible because I had not practiced it since pre-marriage! I’m a giver and a do-er, and as good as it sounds to completely relax, have a glass of wine and empty my brain, this was waaayyyyy out of my comfort zone and much more difficult than I anticipated. In fact, I even considered catching an early flight back. However, I continued to remind myself that good things always come from discomfort and I would be cheating myself and my husband Russell’s confidence in keeping the children if I didn’t stay the course.

Long story short, after a five-mile walk along the beach, a glass of wine, a few phone calls with two veteran wife and mom friends reminding me why it was so important to be on this trip, the guilt, discomfort and fear was completely gone, and I found my groove. In fact, by sunrise on day two I was ready to add another day!

As I had hoped, this trip did wonders for my body, my mind, my spirit and for mine and Russell’s relationship. Oddly, we had better conversations on the phone than we have had in years. They weren’t rushed or interrupted, they were brutally honest, and there were no arguments. Because our roles were reversed for the first time ever, it was an incredible opportunity for us to see things from each other’s perspective. We shared compassion and gained a greater appreciation for each other and the roles we typically play.

I also finished reading The Confidence Code (our suggested summer read) which continues to get more fascinating with each page. In it, the authors interview a range of confidence scientists and experts. I was completely unprepared for one piece of research: that between 25% and 50% of our confidence is in our DNA, meaning we are genetically predisposed to have less or more confidence (regardless of our environment, experiences, etc). Another finding proved that while we are genetically predisposed to have less or more confidence, much like being born with the certain skill sets and talents, the more we practice confidence, the more comfortable we get at using it. So, to translate this finding into muscular physiology, most of us are born with more slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are the endurance type muscle fibers, however by performing and practicing quick and explosive movements, we can actually recruit fast-twitch muscle fibers, which will inevitably increase our speed and quickness. And so, the notion to ‘JUST DO IT’ (which the authors and of course Nike suggest), by practicing doing the uncomfortable things that we really want and need to do but avoid because we fear failure or the unknown outcome, is absolutely necessary in building confidence.

Lucky for us, summer is within an arm’s reach. I don’t know why, but the summer season has always felt like we can color outside of the lines and tip toe beyond our margins more than we would typically allow ourselves during any other season. With this liberty comes the opportunity to practice stretching our confidence zones. You can actually start in a safe place, like iGnite, and then take a class you have feared you can’t do or practice an exercise or pose you didn’t think you were strong enough to perform. Then you take that confidence/momentum and apply it when trying something else you’ve been hesitant or reluctant to try, do, or talk about.

When you practice enough, your confidence builds like a fast growing snow ball rolling down a mountain. Soon enough it becomes a massive avalanche and you become unstoppable! The bottom line is, you have to say ‘yes’ to yourself and JUST DO IT! Without a doubt, you can count on iGnite to be your never-ending source of encouragement and cheerleaders. We all have one shot at this life and we want to knock it out of the park with you. So let’s JUST DO IT!

 

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Practice Confidence Everyday

“Confidence comes not from always being right, but not fearing to be wrong.”
(Anonymous)

Point to Ponder:
Do you often…
Over-think things? People-please? Hold on to defeats? Strive for perfection?
Undersell yourself? Play it safe? Doubt yourself?

Action Item:
This week, avoid people pleasing, over-thinking, perfectionism and self-doubt.
Practice letting go of your mistakes, speaking up, and taking risks.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Having grown up in a very small town, I had the fortunate experience of playing every sport available to me. I’d like to think I was pretty good, but because I was 1 out of 140 students in my entire high school (9th through 12th grades), the competition was limited.

I loved sports — especially basketball. And while I was very confident in my ability, there were times when I would get into a shooting slump and my dad (a basketball coach) would tell me, “You are shooting to keep from missing rather than shooting to score,” or “You are playing to keep from losing instead of playing to win!”  He was right, I was playing timid and without confidence.  As soon as I would get my head straight, I’d get out of my slump, play aggressive, be a team leader and have fun.

I am so thankful I had the opportunity to compete in team sports because I really do think athletics taught me some of my most valuable life skills — confidence and teamwork being two of them. However, I’d be lying if I said that I am confident all of the time.  In fact, I get a nervous stomach when I speak in public, teach an iGnite class, or hold an iGnite team meeting because…I fear saying the wrong thing, I fear not being liked and I fear not being perfect! Okay, there. I said it… and now I want to go throw up.

I recently began reading the book The Confidence Code, which I am suggesting for our summer read. I am only on page 22 and it already looks like a marked-up text book, filled with notes, underlines and highlights. It’s written by two female journalists and specifically covers women’s confidence, self-assurance — why we lack them more than men, and why that lacking keep us from speaking up, fully believing in ourselves and striving for everything we desire.

Because I am only on page 22, I have no idea what the solution is; however, what I can share with you are a few mind-blowing findings I’ve stumbled across thus far:

  1. Regardless of power, prestige, or position, every woman is guilty of: over-thinking, people pleasing, and an inability to let go of defeats
  2. Perfectionism: We assume somehow that we don’t have the level of expertise or knowledge needed and therefore we over-prepare, hesitate or simply don’t try. And women are only confident when we feel perfect.
  3. We Undersell Ourselves: We often keep our thoughts (which we decide can’t be that impressive) to ourselves.
  4. ‘Safe’ Syndrome: Rather than take a risk to experience victory, we stay in the safe zone to avoid defeat.
  5. Self Doubt and Setbacks: Men do experience self-doubt, but they shrug it off, have the ability to get restarted more quickly and don’t let setbacks linger as long. Women tend to dwell and examine those doubts in excruciating detail, which is paralyzing.

I can with confidence, say that I experience ALL of these myself to some extent!

Let’s face it, we women are emotional and complicated creatures as a result of many things — estrogen, how we were raised, life experiences, society, etc. I am certainly not suggesting that we should take the place of men, because I do think we are designed to play necessary key roles, but we must be aware of when our self-doubting, self-limiting and self-defeating tendencies arise so we can call them out and press on!

Confidence — what a loaded word. It’s complicated, but it’s ours to have and keep if we want it. By practicing confidence everyday, we will crack “the confidence code” and unlock our potential and ability to experience the many prizes that await us in life.  What do we have to lose?!

 

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How Your Posture Is Affecting Your Feelings & Thoughts

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

Did you know that research is showing that how you move your muscles and where you place your limbs, head and torso all help control your mood, your behavior, and even the way you think?

For example, leaning in makes you feel more interested in whatever you are doing. Standing tall sparks feelings of confidence and security, while slouching makes you feel stressed and unsure of yourself.

So…what does all of this mean? It means that having strong and flexible muscles is not only important to your body, but is also important for your mind.

If you’ve been waiting for the “perfect time” to start exercising, you’ll likely always wait. Now is the time to make it happen, because you can!

Source:
Can Posture Change Your Mind? by Regina Nuzzo, TIME Magazine

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Start Where You Are

Happy October!!

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you START.
– Nido Qubein

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

Per this week’s fabulous journal message  ‘Goals Schmoals, Just What Do You WANT?,’ have you ever WANTED to be so free that you dance without worrying what others think? Dancing, for sure, is one of the greatest expressions of freedom and joy, and this week’s video is a great example of doing what makes you happy (with confidence!), regardless of age.

Here’s to starting where we are… now!

Mirror Mirror OFF the Wall

If you learn to love yourself and all the flaws, you can love other people so much better. And that makes you so happy.
– Kristin Chenoweth

Unfortunately, I cannot keep an organized office to save my life. I have all of the necessities that would allow me to do so; however, despite my ongoing efforts to make the office my official and inspirational space to work, I can’t seem to make it happen! Instead, my office has officially spilled over  into the closest room — our formal dining area. As a result of my disorganization, I am constantly shuffling through my piles trying to locate an important document, article, or reminder.

Last week and while in hot pursuit of finding a note, I saw a reminder on my bulletin board that I posted last fall. The note read, “No Mirrors/Negative Voices.” I immediately recalled the mind-blowing and introspective story I saw on 20/20. It featured Kjerstin Gruys, a 29-year-old PhD student in sociology and bride-to-be, who in an effort to boost her self-esteem and inspire others to stop focusing on external perfection, avoided her reflection for one whole year!

In the past, Kjerstin struggled with her body image and battled eating disorders. After reading the book Birth of Venus, she was inspired to “live life experiencing the world for itself instead of constantly reflecting on how you looked. It was a life where you could get away from yourself.” She also noted, “I kept coming back to this pattern of perfectionism and obsessing about my appearance, and I thought, if I can’t think myself out of this, then maybe I need to change something about my environment to force me to change. The project was to get rid of mirrors with the intention of focusing on everything else in my life.”

While many months have passed since seeing Kjerstin’s story, I vividly remember being more aware of how many times I looked at myself in the mirror, a reflection in a window, or in my rear-and side-view mirrors of my car. Honestly, the result was disturbing. I found myself being critical of my appearance, and when I acknowledged my truth, my truth told me that I was too concerned with the opinions and approval of others.

Do I think that avoiding mirrors and reflections for one whole year is extreme? Yes. But do I think we should care about our appearance? Of course. However, I think Kjerstin’s point is powerful and brings up the very important subject of self worth, self acceptance, and self love—despite our physicality or societal approval. Furthermore and regardless of age, I believe that the junior high girl in us all has the capacity to show her insecure face at any time, so it is important that we do what is necessary to suppress her — even if that means covering all mirrors. Not only do we owe the gift of high esteem and self-value to ourselves, but we owe this to our daughters, sisters, mothers, girlfriends, husbands and future generations.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Point To Ponder:
Do you find yourself overly concerned or critical of your appearance and what others think?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Action Item:
Look at yourself in the mirror and tell a friend or loved one (each day) at least one thing you like about yourself and that you are good at. Rotate the attributes so they include physical, mental, and personality characteristics and skill sets.

To Your Health,

Neissa

About Neissa

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