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For most people, the holiday season includes the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The good being the laughter and fun you have with family and friends. Spending time and sharing love with all those that are important to you.

The bad and the ugly includes holiday anxiety to make things ‘perfect’, the struggle of gift giving, family drama, or even the pressure we put on ourselves hoping others will see us as “she/he has it all together.”

How many times, do we feel we have to put our best foot forward, purchase the perfect gift, or decorate our home the most festive? Do you feel if you do not put your ‘best foot’ forward, that family or friend might think less of you? Do you ever feel that your self-worth is on display during the holidays; family or friends might judge you if everything isn’t right?

I have seen it time and time again, we want Christmas to be so special, but we end up stressing ourselves out. We try to make it perfect and make everyone happy, and in doing so, we lose ourselves in the process.

Our Christmas gatherings are not about giving the gift that makes everyone like you or decorating your home to look like a Hallmark Holiday movie.

People who love and believe in you do not need to be convinced, and people who do not love and believe in you are not worth trying to convince. ~ Alan Cohen

I like this quote. When I read it, I think of people in my life I ‘try to impress’, to prove my self-worth. There have been times I go out of my way and my focus is trying to convince them to believe in me, at times getting lost or sidetracked from what is really important.

Did you know, if you love and believe in yourself, the people who love and believe in you will have a stronger presence in your life. And when you love and believe in yourself, those who don’t become less important or impactful in your life.

In my past (and occasionally today), I struggle with self-worth and believing in myself. As I have worked to change that over the past few years, I have found the people I worked so hard trying to convince, are not really important in my life and I am able to prioritize my relationships.

As you go through the holidays, take care of you! Surround yourself with those who love and believe in you. Limit your time with those who don’t.

Before you stress yourself out, stop to prioritize what and who is important in your world. If you have something you feel is important, but it causes a lot of stress, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Who is it important to?

  • Why is it important?

  • Will it make a difference if I do not do it?

  • If it needs to be done…

    • Can it be simplified?

  • Or is there someone who can help?

Be honest with your answers, and if it is something you can cut out, then cut it out. If you are like me, you put pressure on yourself. You do things because you feel ‘you have to’; something you have told yourself. And after conversations, you come to find out, it is not important to anyone else.

Or you feel it needs to be done a certain way, maybe because someone else did it that way or because someone told you to do it and you feel other people will judge you if you don’t do it. Instead of just doing it, talk about it with those you think it is important to. Make sure you understand the meaning behind it.

Write down what you need to do for Christmas. A list of what you have to do and who it is for; them circle the ones that are the most important.

  • If you circle it without hesitation, do it.

  • If it is a ‘maybe important’, then do it if you have spare time.

  • And if it is not important, cross it off.

In our world today, we have too many priorities and label things important to freely.

  • PRIORITY is defined as -- the fact or condition of being regarded or treated as more important.

  • IMPORTANT is defined as -- likely to have a profound effect on success, survival, or well-being.

When you look at the definitions, does that change the way you look at your list.

Make sure you are doing what is important to you and your loved ones. Do not waste your time on stuff that is not important. And forget about trying to do something to convince someone to believe in you. You are amazing and perfect as you are; believe in that!

This is a time to focus on loved ones and the joy of our lives. Forget the Bad and the Ugly this Christmas. Put all your effort into the Good!

iChoose Love and iChoose Happy! What do you choose?

Sending peace, love and joy to you my friend! Sam

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