When you think of volunteering a few common thoughts that may come to mind immediately are:
- where will I find the time for it,
- doing something for nothing,
- having to do something that you may not necessarily be interested in, or even
- having to share time with people whom you don’t know.
This could all be true; however what I would like to share with you is the endless opportunities that are possible being part of a volunteer program.
It has been proven through research and countless interviews with successful people that part of a flourishing, satisfying and happy life experience is the ability to give back to your community, meet new people, network and share your skills, knowledge and your resources. As a result you learn new skills and become a part of creating something that makes a difference to others. This can be especially true for business people; and all this can be achieved through choosing to volunteer your time regularly.
There are many different programs to participate in. For example:
- helping at your children’s school,
- planting tree projects,
- pro bono organisations,
- sporting programs,
- clean up your neighbourhood groups,
- helping in hospitals,
- developing or assisting in self help or like interest groups.
If you Google ‘volunteering’ in your area you may find it amazing how much is out there and happening right now.
The benefits to you could be meeting:
- new clients,
- new friends,
- developing and enhancing your own self worth,
- spending more time with family who choose to participate as well,
- setting great examples for your children and
- learning new things about yourself, others and different ways of doing an activity.
People who volunteer their time, whether it be once a week or once a month, have been found to be happier, interesting, fulfilled and possibly most of all have a stronger connection to their community and sense of self and where they belong in the bigger picture. These people also find their resources grow and their business shows positive signs of growth.
Volunteering allows you the opportunity to safely step out of your comfort zone and do something different which in turn encourages you to take action on things you may have previously thought impossible. Try it and see.
The key is finding an organisation or group that interests you or you are passionate about. If you decide to volunteer for something you don’t believe in or support, it will soon become a chore and you will not stay the distance.
A sense of community and contribution; where everyone helps everyone else to develop, is not lost. It may seem though, not to be as high a priority as years past. Could this be why there are some of the issues in society today? Could we overcome this by satisfying our need to encourage and develop our community? What would we loose by making some time to help? Or what could we gain? The possibilities are endless; all you need to do is take the first step.
Carl Jung said “the most terrifying thing is accept oneself completely”. I also believe though once you overcome that terror, embrace all the perfect and imperfect things about you, the sense of freedom, peace, acceptance, drive, determination and certainty is priceless.
Knowing yourself is important in relationships because everything that happens to you, every one you attract, is a reflection of what you believe about yourself.
You cannot outperform your level of self-esteem. You cannot draw to yourselves more than you think you are worth. So take time to:-
- Find out who you are.
- See yourself and your place in your relationships as it is, not worse than it is.
- Be aware of how you feel, think and act at all different times of the day.
- Accept yourself completely the way you are, what you believe, what you love and like and don’t like.
The relationship you have with yourself is arguably the foundation on which your other relationships are built, and credible studies are now supporting this view.
High self-esteem predicts better relationship satisfaction and less mental, emotional and physical illness.
People with self-worth appear to respond more constructively and positively during conflict or when challenges or pressure appears in their lives.
When was the last time you checked in…
- Are you your own best friend?
- What is important to you?
- What do you love doing?
- What do you like?
- What are you good at?
- What are your habits, good and bad?
- What emotional state do you allow yourself to be in most of the time?
- What don’t you like?
- What sort of people do you like being around?
When you can answer these, confidence will surely follow as you can be more mindful of your needs and what you would like to improve on in your life.
You will also become more trustworthy to others as they will feel and see that there is no ‘funny’ feeling about being around you as you are honest, genuine and self-assured. You are being yourself, not someone you think others will approve of. The only approval you need is your own.
Winter is here, a time of reflection, rest and shorter days and longer nights. I think a lot of people are reflecting lately because a question that has been asked of me regularly is “how do you do it? How do you stay on track, fit it all in and still seem to be smiling?” I have even had said to me “you are so lucky and it must be good to not have anything going wrong for you!” Well, let me tell you a secret…. My life is filled with ups and downs, challenges and happy moments. There are times I feel overwhelmed and there are times I experience such a sense of peace that it brings a tear to my eye. So how do I do it? I want to share with you what comes to the top of my head that works daily for me.
- Have a to do list, with at least 7 things on it each day to keep your wheels moving.
- Know what you love doing, need to be doing and want to do and include regularly.
- Gain support of others. Friends, family, those that inspire you and have a mentor to keep you on track and can share their secrets to success with you.
- Smile and laugh everyday.
- Be aware of taking things personally, and attempt not to.
- Honour your feelings, whether good or bad, sit in them for a time, and when the time you have given them (5 minutes, 1 day, overnight) has passed, get on with it.
- Know who you are, why you are and who you want to become.
- Listen to your body and mind. Fuel your body (eat) for health and energy and when your inner dialogue is negative, replace with more purposeful thoughts.
- Don’t be afraid, there is nothing too big that you cannot overcome it; you have got this far haven’t you?
- Not everyone is going to agree with you and some people will let you down. How you choose to react to this is part of how you will feel in your life.
- Take stock daily of all the wonderful things and people and opportunities you have, then build on it.
- Look after you first, then there is more of you to give to others.
- Whatever is important to you, put this first, then let the rest roll out.
- Always know what you want to your future to look like, include and become. This way you have a path to walk with purpose.
- Get involved, get out there and support, help and mingle with your community.
- Life isn’t unfair, life is full of lessons, experiences and tests to allow us to become bigger than we were yesterday. Seize the moment of expansion with all you got!
I hope some of these have given you an insight into how I find my centre daily and may have given you a couple of light bulb moments too.
Have a fabulous day, Kirsty 🙂
How is your year been going? I know here we have had lots of exciting changes, met a lot of amazing people, welcomed new clients and learning so much as we go.
We are also moving this month. Not far, just a few minutes away. As with all moves there is excitement, exhaustion and lots of organising, list making, phone calls and interruptions. I have also had my eldest son move back home and I caught a bad case of the dreaded flu bug.
My motto’s that everything happens for a reason and never give up has helped me immensely. There is no challenge to large on the road to change and there certainly hasn’t been anything yet I could not handle. So I take a breathe, do what I can, smile and laugh with my kids, my husband and friends and keep the wheels moving.
I find that if I can just change my thinking when it all seems to be getting a bit ‘heavy’, even just put the issue to one side for an hour, I normally come up with a brilliant way to get around what could of potentially been a problem. I just keep clear on where I am going, and if things get in the way, unexpected things and people turn up that just tells me I am moving.
So my advise for you as we head into Autumn is keep your focus, keep moving and believe that you will get there with many more great opportunities that you could of imagined.
Kirsty O’Callaghan www.unity-qld.com.au Be Fabulous Today 🙂