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  • Writer's pictureOzge McAree

You glow differently when your confidence is fuelled by a belief in yourself

I really believe in finding the inspiration for taking care of yourself.

Feeling inspired, happy and excited matters to me. And what also matters to me is how my life feels not how it looks to others.

Self- belief instead of seeking validation from others.

Taking care of yourself, your body, health and mental well-being is so important to feel better, to perform better and be able to help others better. However we often feel we don't have the time for it.

Or is is that we don't make the time for it?

When I feel stretched too thin, I often feel like I'm just 'chopping tress.'

Running around trying to do so many things at the same time, focusing on just getting things done and not really focusing on sharpening my axe.

Maybe you've heard the story about the two woodcutters ...

Once upon a time, two men entered a wood-chopping contest. They were tasked with chopping down as many trees as they could in a single day. The winner would be rewarded with both fame and fortune. From morning till noon, both men steadily chopped and chopped. By noon they were neck and neck. Then one man stopped chopping and took a break. The other man, upon seeing this, thought to himself, “The lazy fool; he’s probably taking a break for lunch. He’s given me a chance to get ahead of him. I will without doubt win this contest!”

A while later the man got back to work. As the day continued, he chopped more trees than his hard-working (and hungry) competitor. By mid-afternoon he had taken a clear lead.

When sundown came, the man who had taken the break at noon had chopped almost twice as many trees as the other man, who was drenched in sweat, hungry and exhausted.

“How did you beat me?” he asked puzzled. “You didn’t work as hard as I did. You even took a break for lunch!”

“Ah,” said the other man. “I did take a break, but it was during that break that I sharpened my axe.”

The moral of the story is that the time you take to sharpen your axe is worth many hours of hard work.

If you are overworking yourself and your productivity begins to fall off, common sense would be to take a break. Go on a holiday. Relax.

However, that is not necessarily sharpening the axe.

That is merely putting the axe down.

Sharpening the axe, intentionally sharpening the axe means is to ...

Stop. Take the time to check in and have a conversations with yourself. Re-evaluate things. Consider what needs to be sharpened.

Is it your skills, knowledge, mind, body, relationships, motivation, commitment ...?

What can you do to improve those areas?

  • Exercise

  • Start eating healthy

  • Educate yourself - read books, listen to a podcasts

  • Have gratitude

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Harvard Health Publishing

So it's me chopping trees and then pressing the pause button and checking in.

It’s constantly pausing, checking in and having conversations with myself which allows me to keep my balance. When you take care of yourself you feel better about yourself.

Also I used to be a lot harder on myself. As you grow older, you become wiser. You learn to give yourself permission to grow. Permission to accept your mistakes. Permission to accept your failures. Permission to begin again with a gained perspective.

In terms of our health and wellbeing, exercises and healthy eating are always a priority for me. I’m stil strict in my views about what we put into our body. Sugar is bad for your immune system. Sugar is bad for your. Period!

When you take care of yourself you feel better about yourself. You have more belief in yourself. And remember that you glow differently when your confidence is fuelled by a belief in yourself instead of validation from others.

And as Sophia Loren has said,

Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.

Ozge McAree


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