Am I good enough? 

Comparing ourselves to the people around us is totally normal. It can even be helpful, because it helps us work out who we are and what we’re good at. But unfortunately, we’re surrounded by unrealistic examples of what our lives ‘should’ be like, which is especially true on social media.

Social media has invented a new way for us to compare ourselves to other people. We see people posting about the best bits of their lives and we forget that they don’t share all the bad bits too.

This can all add up and make us feel like we’re not good enough and companies take advantage of this, making lots of money selling products to make us ‘look better’, ‘be stronger’, ‘fit in’… but, ya know, always stand out and be yourself as well.

But, did you know…?

It only takes two weeks to change your self-esteem. So even if you feel like you’re not good enough compared to the people around you, there are some simple steps that you can take to build up your confidence. Before you know it, you’ll stop comparing yourself to the people around you and start to embrace the fact that you are the best person out there at being you.

8 Things That Will Make You Feel More Secure In Yourself

Use your strengths

The VIA Character Strengths are 24 strengths that all of us have in different combinations, and each of us is strongest in different areas.

No-one can be good at everything and that’s OK. So instead of focusing on where we’re weakest, we should remember all the things we are great at!

The best way to boost your self-esteem is to find ways to use your natural strengths to help the people around us. It feels really rewarding and fulfilling to be the best person we can be.

Acknowledge your thoughts

When you find yourself thinking negatively about yourself, notice it and recognise what you’re doing, and what your brain is saying. Instead of trying to ignore the thoughts – say hi to them, and realise they’re there.

Pull the brakes

When you experience negative self-talk – literally say the word STOP out loud to yourself. This interrupts the negative stream of thought.

Flip the negatives

Reframe the negative thoughts so that they focus on the positive instead.

Find the full half of the glass.

Step away from social media

Take some time away from your social feeds, and give your comparing brain a rest.

Unfollow anyone who you compare against

When/if you do go back online, make sure you’re only following people who make you feel good.

Be your own best friend

Next time your negative voices kick in, reply as if you were talking to your best friend.

Affirmations

Tell yourself positive statements which challenge your negative beliefs.

Think of three negative things that you believe about yourself and then flip them around so that they become positive statements. These flipped beliefs are called affirmations.

If you can’t think of any negative beliefs, think of three things that you want for yourself, for example “I want to get a distinction in my piano exam”, and turn them into ‘I am’ statements: “I am going to get a distinction in my piano exam.’

Every time you brush your teeth, or when you get a spare moment, silently repeat the affirmations to yourself.

Need some tips on feeling happier? Check this out

We all get worried about stuff in our lives. It’s normal. But sometimes, that worry can escalate into something bigger, and so trying to reframe this and see things from a different perspective can really help us to prevent worrying too much. 

There are these things called thinking traps, and these can make us get caught up in negative thinking patterns, make us worry and ultimately, can end up being how we think about every situation in our lives. 

The 6 Big Thinking Traps are:

  • Negative Bias: Only focusing on the negatives, and dismissing the positives.
  • Mind Reading: Assuming you know what someone is thinking about you.
  • Catastrophising: Assuming the worst-case scenario.
  • Over-generalising: Assuming all future experiences will be the same as a previous negative experience.
  • Black and white thinking – Thinking in extremes, that every situation is black and white. 
  • Personalising: Feeling responsible for a negative situation even when it’s not your fault. 

Thinking Traps can make things seem worse than they really are, and cause feelings of worry and anxiety.

So how do we challenge them? Use these five handy techniques to challenge any Thinking Traps you find yourself falling into:

  1. The Sunshine Filter: IF YOU HAVE NEGATIVE BIAS… Remind yourself that you’re focused on the negatives. Look for all of the positives in the situation instead, Try to smile every time you think of one.
  1. The Fact Check: IF YOU’RE MIND READING… Remind yourself that thoughts are not facts. Write down all the facts you can PROVE to be true about the situation.
  1. The New Viewpoint: IF YOU’RE CATASTROPHISING… Imagine your thought on a spectrum from ‘this is a catastrophe’ to ‘this is great’. Now imagine 3 new thoughts from different viewpoints on the spectrum. Remind yourself that the worst case scenario isn’t the only possibility. In fact – it’s probably one of the least likely possibilities.
  1. The Lawyer: IF YOU’RE OVER-GENERALISING… Take your thought to court. How many examples can you find that disprove the thought? How many examples can you find where your worries didn’t come true?
  1. The Invisibility Cloak: IF YOU’RE PERSONALISING… Imagine you had nothing to do with the situation – you’re totally out of the picture, and you’re just watching the events take place. If you weren’t the cause of the situation you’re worried about, what else could have caused it? How many other explanations can you think of? Realistically, which explanation is most likely?

We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we think about it.  We often fall into thinking traps which make us feel worried but we can overcome those thinking traps by challenging them and finding positive alternatives.

Got something on your mind? Reach out to our support community here for support and advice.

We’ve all had friendships that have ended up a little pear-shaped and it’s unfortunate that most of the time, we all have to get burnt before we can spot a bad friend from a good one. We’ve pooled together our own experiences and come up with 15 of the most common signs that somebody isn’t your friend for the right reasons. If any of these apply to your friendships, we would encourage you to think twice about them and try to determine whether they are really a friend…

The 15 friendship signs

1. They only call when they want something

All friendships should be equal – which means that you should receive as much as you put in, it’s all based on reciprocation and mutuality. If you’re putting in more than you’re getting out, you should think twice about what they are asking from you.

2. The conversation is never equal

Do you find that you just spend your whole time focused on them when you’re hanging out? Yeah, that’s not cool – we all have problems and things we’d like to talk to somebody about.

3. They put you down or make fun of you in front of others

A definite no-no. Usually, people do this because they feel bad about themselves and want to use somebody else as a distraction. Draw a line through any friendships like this immediately.

4. You feel bad about yourself when you’ve spent time with them

Sometimes it’s difficult to analyse behaviour, but your emotions never lie. Friends should make you feel good, empowered and uplifted. If you leave them feeling like crap then you should probably re-evaluate the benefit you’re getting from the friendship. Some people, unfortunately, just like to bring others down.

5. They are aggressively competitive

It’s good to be a little competitive now and again, but like most things – you can have too much of a good thing. A friendship based on competitive behaviour is NEVER healthy or a true friendship.

6. They aren’t happy for you when good things happen

This is one of the most common tell-tale signs and it’s also based on competitive behaviour. A true friend will want to see you succeed and be happy.

7. They bring drama into your life

It’s usually the people who spend their time moaning about drama who are the ones causing it. You don’t need that negativity around you.

8. They bitch about you behind your back

An absolute no-no. Friendships need to be based on mutual respect and trust. Don’t put up with that crap.

9. Your relationship feels like it’s built on conditionality

This is likewise for all relationships in your life. You should feel like they are unconditional and not based on you being or acting in a certain way.

10. Your friends bail on you

Sometimes it happens and that’s fine, but if it’s consistent then it obviously shows that your friend is unreliable and much less invested in the friendship than you are. Maybe it’s your turn to bail on them, permanently.

11. They use your secrets against you and share them

This is malicious and absolutely nothing a true friend would ever do.

Are you looking to break up with a toxic friend? Here are our steps to breaking up with a toxic friend.

12. They are a bad influence and make you do things that get you into trouble

Nip this in the bud before you end up getting yourself into trouble. Friends don’t make friends do bad things… or text when drunk, but we’ll turn a blind eye to that one… for now.

13. They talk about their other friends behind their back

If they do this, the chances are, they do it to you too. It’s fine to have a moan occasionally, but anything malicious would probably indicate that they aren’t as genuine as they’d like you to believe.

14. They bail when you need them the most

So there are friends, who are, well… friends and there are friends who are still your friends at 3am on a Wednesday morning in the midst of your breakdown. The latter are your friends for life and it’s important to know that you can rely on a few select individuals to be by your side through thick and thin.

15. They exclude you from things with mutual friends

If it’s on purpose and happening often, despite you bringing it up then we suggest you create some distance. It is important to remember that sometimes it can happen accidentally so try and talk to them about it before jumping to conclusions.


It’s not me, it’s you: breaking up

Firstly, speak to somebody about it, make sure your response is rational. If it is, then deal with it, accept that it isn’t your fault and mentally move on.

Once you’ve done this, you have 1 of 2 options:

Let the friendship naturally fade out

Stop making arrangements, stop replying and distance yourself from them. Eventually, you’ll become increasingly distant until you’re officially no longer friends on Facebook.

Or…

Confront them

There are 2 schools of thought surrounding this: confrontation can be good if you’d like to hopefully try to resolve things, but on the opposite end, confrontation can be incredibly empowering if you’ve felt particularly suppressed or upset by somebody. Arguments can be healthy, provided that they don’t put anybody at risk and won’t make situations worse. We’d recommend a mediator to help keep an argument balanced.


Still Unsure? Talk to us…


More articles on friendship:

Hey guys – I’m Dan. I’ve teamed up with Ditch the Label to answer some of guys’ most asked questions on the internet so you don’t have to spend hours trawling Reddit and Google for dating advice that probably won’t actually work.

So sit back, and let me tell you how to do everything from getting a girlfriend to dealing with a bad break up. This post not quite what you’re looking for? Take a look at the Lynx hub on Ditch the Label to find out more

Looking for someone 

Well, first off you gotta find the right person for you. I know you aren’t going to go up to any random girl in the street and ask her out, but it’s important to look for the right person if you want something that lasts. You need to have stuff in common, be able to get on well, and both be willing to put the work in. 

Try hanging out with someone in a friendly way, outside of school/uni/work or wherever you met them. You could see if your mates could help you out with this by getting a bit of a group together and inviting her and her mates too. A group situation takes the pressure off, and you can see a bit more of what they are really like in a social situation.

Also, you gotta do you as well – be yourself. If you try to be anyone else, she will quickly see through it, and you’ll only end up feeling miserable anyway. Yourself is the best. 

Making the first move

If you’ve gotten to know them a bit and think you guys could hit it off, this next bit is probably the scariest of them all. Trust me when I say, literally everyone is nervous of this one – you are not alone.

First off, you gotta stay calm. Try making sure you are in a nice setting, where you both feel comfortable and can chat in private. Keep breathing as well dude – you don’t wanna be panicking now. 

Start off by saying you’ve loved getting to know her, you think she is awesome and you would like to see where things might go if you guys tried seeing each other exclusively. Keep it chill, but complimentary. 

Making something last

So you’ve made it this far, and you’ve got the yes! That’s awesome! Well there are a few things you need to know about relationships to make them last. First off, you gotta be present. You have someone else in your life now who wants to spend time with you, so you might have to train yourself to turn off the PS4 and put your phone down when they are around. 

Keep the communication going all the time, so if you want a little space, be nice about it and say you are hanging out with your mates but you’ll call them later. And actually call them. Similarly, don’t play the who texted last game with them. You guys are in a relationship now, and that literally could not matter less. For more – read this article on 10 things you need to know for the most awesome relationship.

Being shy can be awesome. Some of the most amazing people in history were famously pretty introverted. Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Dr Seuss, Barack Obama, Steve Wozniak.

Shy people have proven time and time again that they can rule the world when they put their mind to it, so you definitely have the power to ask a girl out. You got this man, and we’ve got your back all the way. 

Check out the Lynx Hub on Ditch the Label here for more from me, and loads of other stuff on relationships, dating, confidence and more.

why we should all be meditating

Why do we give meditation such a hard time?

We are all a little guilty of making up our minds about things before we really give them a go and meditation is no exception. In fact if we asked you what you think of meditation right now, you could probably reel off a list of judgements and cliches you have picked up and a lot of them wouldn’t be coming from a place of experience.

No biggie, we all do it. But meditation is the real deal, so any judgement or fear is actually blocking you from something pretty awesome! It’s time to brush that judgement aside people, cause what you need is a bit of meditation in your life!

What are the benefits of meditation?

The benefits are endless but here are a few to get you persuaded:

1. Meditation is good for your brain
Research shows that meditation increases something called ‘cortical thickness’ which is related to our attention spans and ability to observe our own emotions and emotional wellbeing.

 2. Meditation will make you wise
That’s right, it’s good for a certain bran tissue called grey matter which is responsible for wisdom, intelligence, common sense, reason and understanding so you can be like a non-green Yoda.

3. It makes you feel good
Research shows that meditation decreases Anxiety and stress making you feel more relaxed and happier.

4. It’s good for your heart ❤️
Meditation makes you compassionate, empathetic, helpful and is also proven to give you strength to get through tough times! We could all do with that from time to time!

5. Meditation is what you make of it
It’s not about sitting dead still for hours on end like a buddhist monk, or clearing your mind completely it’s simply an opportunity to switch off and chill out.

…Yes really, meditation has the power to do all that!
One of the best pieces of advice about meditation is this:

“The only wrong way to meditate is to not do it at all.”

This advice is spot on because it taps right into that fear that most of us have: That somehow we would do it wrong or look silly. Meditation is not about performance or concentration, it is about relaxation and learning to let go of concentration and control – who doesn’t need a bit of that?!

Try it, we dare you! Check out this easy to follow guide to get you started, you can thank us later 😉

karma, bands, ditch the label, karma bands, inspirational bracelets

Introducing Official Karma Bands!

We’re stoked to launch our beautiful new range of Karma Bands. Individually polished and made from premium grade stainless steel, each Karma Band is a constant reminder of strength and unity. 100% of profits from the sale of Karma Bands will help fund our crucial anti-bullying support. We have 9 styles available – you can browse the range and buy your Karma Bands now on our online store.

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