4 Ways to Boost Your Confidence and Cool

We’ve all had days when we feel on top of the world.  Days when you feel super smart or super funny.  The last time I really felt this way was in January, when I had to give my final presentation to my client, marking the completion of my master’s program.

The presentation was only 30 minutes.  I have presented many times before and for longer periods of time, so I didn’t expect to be nervous this time.  But this time I was presenting my marketing plan to someone who might actually use it!  A complete 50-page strategic plan for a small business, which I had worked on for over a year to construct.  A plan I worked my ass off to create…something I really believed in.  I was shaking like a leaf!  I was so nervous and scared.   I was afraid I’d forget everything I had practiced and worked so hard for…or worse, I’d get through it only to find out it was a terrible marketing plan!  Naturally, I was doubting myself and feeling dull, but I presented the plan and it all paid off!

I owned that presentation!  I kicked some serious ass…and the second I finished speaking, before anyone even responded, I knew I had it in the bag.  I was already smiling and on top of the world!  When the Q&A portion of my presentation began, I rocked every answer.  I had research to support my statements and confidence to stand behind my work and my ideas.  I felt AMAZING and my audience knew it.  I walked out of that conference room and literally did a Mary Tyler Moore jump into the air, followed by several fist pumps…followed by celebratory beers and “woohoos” with my classmates!

mary-tyler-moore-opening-credits

Then there’s those days when you realize you’ve been spelling one word wrong all your life.  Or the day you find out you’ve completely misunderstood something everyone else understands.  How can I be a kick-ass marketing professional/rock star presenter one day, and not know that the phrase “for all intents and purposes” is not said, “for all intensive purposes” the next!??  Intensive purposes? Really Holly?  It doesn’t even make sense, how could I not know this?!  Ugh.

It’s dull days like these that really kill my confidence, but I always manage to pick myself up.  Here are few things that help me forget how completely stupid and boring I can be:

Pinterest Homepage

My Pinterest Homepage

1. Join Pinterest.  If you aren’t on Pinterest, I highly recommend it.  Pinterest is a virtual pin-board where you pin up pictures and ideas you love and share them with friends.  You can pin things you’ve tried, things you’d like to do, places you want to go, how you wish you looked, funny jokes, cute shoes to buy and what your dream home will look like.  It’s just a fantastic house of thoughts and ideas.  At first, it takes a while to fill up your pin-boards, but over time it becomes a collage of dreams!  It may be depressing for some to look at a bunch of stuff they may never have or see places they may never go, but personally, I think it’s inspiring.  It makes me want to make my dreams a reality and reminds me how cool I can be.   Plus, it’s super easy, fun to use and totally free!

2. Update your resume.  I know, I know…it feels like work.  It is.  I usually dread it…but I also dreaded that presentation and look how that ended up!  How often do you really take a look at your skills and education and brag about your accomplishments?  When you complete a resume, it feels good.  I may not have found out about “all intents and purposes” until a few years ago, but I look pretty darn good on paper!  If you focus on all your best qualities and think about all the things you can do, you’ll probably surprise yourself.

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The nerdy stuff I do and fun places I’ve been 🙂

3. Create a memory box.  Now don’t go all hoarder on me or anything, but take all the weird stuff you save (ticket stubs, wristbands, menus, event passes, etc.) and put them all in one decorative place.  About a year ago I was cleaning my room and found a nice picture frame I had never used.  While cleaning up, I started to compile all of these mementos and put them in the frame (I really just wanted to use the frame for something and couldn’t bring myself to just throw all those tickets away).  My memory box grew and grew.  Now it’s my favorite piece of art and whenever I’m feeling dull or stupid, I can look at it and think of all the cool and smart things I’ve done.  Sounds a little hokey, but it really does help!  How many people can say they’ve been to a Star Wars convention, honestly?

4. Give yourself some credit!  Give yourself a silent pat on the back.  Think of all those times you showed someone else how to do something or made your friends laugh.  You can’t be a complete moron when your seasoned coworker still can’t even figure out the copy machine.  You’ve been working here 30 years and you still haven’t gotten it down!?  Yikes.

What do you do to boost your confidence?

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The Dr. Oz Detox: 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Try It

"This is not the detox you're looking for"

“This is not the detox you’re looking for”

After several months of pizza, candy and 3-4 cups of coffee per day, I decided to try one of the cleanses I kept seeing all over Pinterest.  I had never done a detox before so I did a little research.  I’m not a fad diet kind of person, I just wanted a quick way to clean my slate and start eating more responsibly again (before I turn into a whale).  After reviewing a bunch of ridiculously impossible ones, I settled on the popular Dr. Oz 3-Day Detox.

4_055_3DayDetoxI chose this cleanse because you get 3 filling smoothies to drink per day plus another smoothie of your choice if you need a snack.  There’s also a little caffeine involved each morning with the green tea so I wouldn’t have to quit cold turkey.  The chart made it easy to shop for all the ingredients and put the smoothies together.  I skipped the detox bath, so maybe this was my mistake, I’m not sure. But I thought, “it’s only three days, I can live through this.”

Well…I did live.  But barely!  Here’s why I wouldn’t recommend this cleanse to anyone:

1. It’s expensive.  According to my research, this whole shebang should have only cost me around 45 bucks.  What my research didn’t tell me was that the handy-dandy chart doesn’t include any of those “snack” smoothies.  Oh you want a snack?  That’ll be another 10 bucks per day. When all was said and done, I spent about 90 dollars on the cleanse and that doesn’t even include the baths!  I could’ve eaten Lean Cuisine’s for a month with 90 dollars.

2. The smoothies are disgusting.  The kind of disgusting that pops up in abandoned garage refrigerators or in expired canned goods from your grandmothers basement. I’m sure they are very filling but only if you can manage to drink them!  The only smoothie I could drink was breakfast.  The lunch smoothie (the dreaded green one) was so gross I could only choke down about a 16th of it the first day.  I didn’t want to give up though, so I waited it out until dinner…only to find out dinner wasn’t any better!  Dinner literally looks like soupy barf. I drank about half (with a straw) and then opted for water.

So there I was, one day into a 90 dollar three-day detox and I could only stomach breakfast.  I was determined to find some tips and tricks to make it doable because I was not about to waste all that expensive food.  I only found 1 tip…to not use any skin on the cucumber for the dreaded green lunch smoothie of death. On day two I drank maybe half of the modified pile of ground-up Grinch, but it was too late.  I was already nauseous at the smell of celery and cucumbers (yes, they have a smell) and couldn’t take one more sip without barfing the only nutrients I had in me.  I modified dinner and added more mango and less blueberries.  I hate blueberries (and avocado, which is also in dinner) so I figured it was better to make it drinkable than have nothing. Somehow, I forced the entire thing down.  I decided on day three I would make the breakfast shake as a snack (in addition to breakfast) just incase I had another run-in with the Grinch. As it turned out, I couldn’t get down ANY of lunch and only a quarter of dinner, but since it was already day three I stuck it out and sipped on breakfast to make it through.  Long story short, I probably only drank about 1 1/2 smoothies per day because they were SO BAD. I literally wanted nothing to do with them or any other food for that matter.

3.  Major withdrawal symptoms.  On top of my starvation and borderline barfing, I went through major caffeine/sugar/nectar-of-life withdrawal.  I normally drink about 2-3 cups of coffee per day during the week and one or two total on weekends.  During grad school, my coffee addiction got a little out of control (another reason why I wanted to do the detox), but I didn’t want to give up coffee completely (spoken like a true addict).  I assumed going from 3 or so cups a day to 1 cup of caffeinated green tea would be doable.  WRONG.  If I was just withdrawing from coffee, I probably would have been fine, but my body was apparently full of toxic waste! It didn’t go well.

On day two I could barely drive home from work.  My head was pounding, I was very dizzy and sensitive to light and sound.  I started to get a serious migraine…which made it easier not to cheat because I was rendered completely useless.  I couldn’t watch TV or blog or talk to anyone.  I didn’t want to take any headache meds because that sort of defeated the purpose of the detox.  I was exhausted. One day I even went to bed at 9:30!  For those of you who don’t know me, this never happens.  I had become a zombie.

Alas, I made it out alive.  The good news is I am three pounds lighter, back down to one or two coffees a day and I’m feeling much better.  I can’t say it’s all because of Dr. Oz though.  Personally, I think it’s because I starting eating real, healthy food again and stopped starving myself.

Have you ever done a detox or know of any good ones?