5 Invaluable Ways To Support Your Loved One’s Dreams FOR FREE!

Ah, support. Where would we be without it? Likely somewhere sad, overworked, and unsure of ourselves.

A network of support helps you stay motivated; there’s security in knowing that someone has your back, which can help you plow through those goals on your vision board without worry or doubt.
Finding success without support is damn. near. impossible, especially if you’re an entrepreneur who relies heavily on support. However, even with this being common knowledge, the word on the streets is that people don’t receive enough support from those around them, which makes the goal-achieving process lonely and overwhelming. Lack of support causes people to lose focus and get deterred by their own self-doubt.

I know that financial support isn’t always in the cards, so I came up with 5 ways to support a loved one that doesn’t cost a DIME and will still make them feel loved, appreciated, and cared for.

1. Social Media

Today, social media is the bread and butter of branding. It’s the best free way to market, brand, and expand your network. If you want to help your loved ones strive, big them up on social media. It’s not enough to follow them; you have to be interactive. If they post something, don’t just leave them hanging: drop in and show some love! Leave comments on their FB pages, reply to their stories, retweet their flyers, and if they make a post about something they have going on: spam that shit!

Being interactive on social media is a simple way to support that often gets overlooked. Something as effortless as sharing a post is a great way to help with things like exposure while helping your friend (or relative) feel seen. If your loved one is an entrepreneur, having their content seen by the right person could change their lives and impact the future success of their business.

2. Feedback

No, not praise. Not constant validation. Feedback. The difference is one is authentic, and the other is just ass-kissing. If your friend is on the path to pursuing their dreams, they will need someone who’s not afraid to give their unbiased opinions. Although hearing that everything they do is “fire” will stroke their ego, it isn’t conducive to their growth.

If they’re a musician and ask you to listen to a new song, that’s your chance to give your honest opinion. Telling them where they’re going wrong opens their eyes to new perspectives and will allow them to correct anything they may be doing wrong before it goes public. We wouldn’t want our loved ones to suffer the wrath of *internet trolls or negative reviews.

*Sounds terrifying right!? See? That’s why we should be honest 🙂

3. Check-In

One REALLY simple way to support a loved one is to ask them how they’re doing. Checking in with someone’s progress is a great way to show them that you’re taking them seriously. This one simple gesture will mean so much. With everyone being so caught up in their own lives, it’s possible that no one is checking in with them to see how they’re doing. By being the one to provide them with the space to talk about their endeavors, you’re helping them stay motivated.

For example, many dream chasers say they aren’t taken seriously at first; either what they’re working on is ignored, or it’s treated as a hobby. Imagine how much further someone could get if they felt like someone had faith in what they were doing? That spark of hope could mean so much. Additionally, checking in with your loved ones is a great way to help them stay responsible: experts say that because you don’t want to look bad in front of other people, talking about it keeps you committed.

4. Promote

Think about the moment your favorite brand or artist drops exciting news: isn’t your first instinct to share it with your friends? Don’t underestimate the power of putting people on! If your friend is pursuing a dream, sharing things like news, event dates, and new releases is a great way to help your loved ones expand their reach. Good news travels fast, and if it excites the right person, there’s no limit to the depths it could go.

Every best-selling business you know reaches a mass audience swiftly and organically, mainly because of loyal fans who urgently share their news with other people. Just taking the time to help spread awareness gives them a fighting chance against bigger competition who have the advantage of a bigger platform and a larger fan base.

5. Offer Help

Maybe you’re not able to offer them help financially, but it’s possible you can help them out in a smaller, simpler way that could also be helpful to their goals. Offering to help your loved ones can relieve them of duties that they may be too busy to handle and could help them achieve goals or reach deadlines faster.

If they’re a fashion designer who’s run out of space for merch at home, you could offer to hold some of their stock. If they’re a vendor who’s planning to sell at a local con, you can volunteer to help them at their booth. Alleviating your loved ones from minor tasks and duties is a thoughtful, selfless way to help them achieve dreams that are free to you and invaluable to them.

There’s comfort in knowing that someone has your back. Knowing that you have people in your corner who have faith in you and what you’re doing can do WONDERS for productivity and self-esteem 🙂 If you know someone who’s pursuing a dream, try lending your support in one of these 5 invaluable ways. Trust me, it makes a world of difference.

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Being A Good Person: Why Being Nice Isn’t Always Necessary

I’ve always considered myself a nice person. I learned at an early age that your image is everything, so I would go out of my way to make sure I was viewed that way. When I was younger, I would prioritize other people’s feelings and convenience in place of my own. I always remembered to say “please” and “thank you,” and I would pour my love on thick in my interactions with people whether I was feeling it or not. I guess I thought to be good, you had to be nice, and I wanted nothing more than to be seen as a good person. The problem here was being nice all the time set me up for impossible standards. There was always the presumption that I would be nice no matter what. Also, a lot of my politeness was wasted on the undeserving. I was nice to people even when they wronged me, choosing to be passive about my issues or not confront them. I was starting to see how it led to people not taking me seriously, something I’ve worked hard to reverse in the last couple of years. For a long time, I had a hard time distinguishing between being a good person and being a kind one. Now, I have the confidence to say that I’m good without having to be nice, and man, can I tell you? There’s such a peace in that.

Being Nice: Why It Isn’t Always Necessary

Being a nice person means being pleasant, polite, or friendly. It’s also used as a sign of approval and attractiveness. But, being nice can also look like:

  1. Making sure you do and say all the right things.
  2. Going out of your way to put others before yourself.

I’m here for joy and kindness, but the problem for some is distinguishing the “when,” “where,” and “who.” I personally believe that being nice isn’t always necessary and for the sake of your happiness it’s important to learn the difference.

For example, when you’re being wronged or harmed, it’s not your job to be nice: it’s your job to use your voice. When you’re being open and honest about your feelings, it doesn’t have to look kind or sound polite; a lesson I find myself having to reiterate to my 8-year-old daughter a lot as she gets older. Like me, my daughter is an empath and often puts other people’s feelings before herself. I can tell she does it because she feels obligated to bring kindness into the world, which, I must admit, is pretty admirable and inspiring. However, I’ve already seen examples where other children have tried to take advantage of this kindness because it’s often mistaken for weakness. This very moment is where it usually gets in the way.

Niceness can distract us from the big picture, clouding our judgment when we see signs of blatant disrespect. In some cases, the signs are seen, but they’re just ignored because nice people may feel obligated to keep the peace. However, if someone is mistreating you, it’s not up to you to be polite–the priority should be to protect your peace. It is not your job to take on people’s malice, and the best way to get this to stop is to be assertive, a talent that will force your “nice” ness aside. The problem is when nice people find their hands tied by trying to uphold their impossible standard of “good,” all the while not realizing they don’t have to be. It’s ok! As a recovering “nice” guy, I’ve got your back!

How To Be Good Without Being Nice

If you’re still having trouble figuring out how to be good without being nice, I got you! Here are a few key ways to tell that you’re doing the right thing and not the polite thing:

  1. You Communicate Directly The keyword here is direct. Being direct does not have to be rude, brash, or abrasive. It also doesn’t require you to yell or be disrespectful, just honest. Communicating directly takes a lot of courage which is why people will often resort to being nice; they’re scared of the consequences of their honesty. However, being direct is the best way to get your point across clearly where there’s no mistaking your intentions. To be clear, you don’t have to be nice, and that clarity will earn you a lot more respect.
  2. You Stick Up For Yourself Good people often find themselves in predicaments where they have to be the hero and stand up for themselves, especially when no one else will. In a moment where someone is causing you harm or discomfort, later for being nice. What you should prioritize is security. Good people won’t allow themselves to be harmed. Why? Because they know it’s wrong, and defending what’s right doesn’t always look kind. But it’s ok, though: the good news is it doesn’t have to be nice if it’s necessary.
  3. You Stand Up For Your Values Good people usually stick to their core values no matter where they are and who they’re around. On the flip side, someone who’s nice may want to go along with the popular opinion just so they don’t stir up trouble. However, standing your ground and not going against your moral code is necessary to your individuality, and individuals will always earn more respect than “yes men.” Good people are comfortable using their unique voice instead of being someone who always goes with the flow just to save face.

Whether you identify as good or nice, just know that having one doesn’t require the other. To be clear: there’s never a bad time to be good, but you should save that kindness for people who match your energy. When you catch yourself being nice, ask yourself at that moment if it’s really needed or if you’re just using it as a safety net.

And if you find yourself falling back on being kind, allow this post to be your guide ❤

Here’s to happiness!

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Be Your Own Best Friend: A Practical Guide To Becoming Your Own Source Of Happiness

I used to be the kind of person who sought happiness through everything else but myself. I depended on things like money, success, and companionship to satisfy emotions that I should’ve been nurturing personally.

This misconception caused huge problems in my life when I found myself stripped of these vessels– the absence of money and adoration left me feeling lost, hopeless, and without direction.

For the sake of my well-being, I started to prioritize self-love, and life has been more fruitful ever since! Allow me to put you on to the three ways I learned to be my own source of happiness so that you, too can learn to be your own best friend, and carry your joyousness with you everywhere you go!

Give Yourself The Love You Seek From Others

Sometimes we rely on others to fill voids of love we should be awarding ourselves. We fish for compliments, attention, and displays of affection from other people and are disappointed when we don’t receive it or if it’s not up to our standard.

I used to rely heavily on validation from others in order to feel good about myself. So much so that other people’s opinions affected my confidence, and absences of adoration would be taken to heart.

I didn’t realize at the time that these were all symptoms of low self-esteem.

In life, I’ve learned that you can’t control how other people view and treat you. If you allow yourself to be persuaded by other people’s feelings, you’ll never reach a point of satisfaction. The only person you should be trying to please is you.

Author and spiritualist Don Miguel Ruiz speaks about this in his best-selling wisdom guide “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide To Personal Freedom”. In the second chapter titled “Don’t Take Things Personally,” he speaks about the benefits of loving yourself:

“When you feel good, everything around you is good. When everything around you is great, everything makes you happy. You are loving everything that is around you, because you are loving yourself. Because you like the way you are. Because you are content with you. Because you are happy with your life”.

Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

Practice self-love. If you’re providing yourself with love and nourishment, you’ll never be without it, and you won’t feel the need to seek love from anywhere else.

Here are my favorite ways to pour love into myself:

  1. I celebrate my own accomplishments. Whenever I achieve anything, great or small, I make sure to give myself a pat on the back. Cheers and smiles followed by a “you go girl” is usually enough to keep my spirits high, but if the mood calls for it, I’ll take it one step further and treat myself to something (celebratory J, anyone?)
  2. I don’t compare myself to other people. My looks, life, and process are uniquely mine. Instead of being caught up in an imaginary popularity contest, I accept my life the way it is. With this outlook, confidence comes with ease, and I never feel threatened or the need to compete. I am my own competition.
  3. I build myself up with words of affirmation. Verbal affirmation is my preferred love language. Knowing this, I force-feed myself affirmative quotes daily. I’ll look for a quote that’s specific to the reassurance I need(either in a book or online), and I’ll post it somewhere nearby (like on the wall behind my workstation or as my phone’s wallpaper). This way, I’m constantly exposed to it. Now I have a daily reminder of how amazing I am 🙂
  4. I’m mindful/selective of my language. If words can be used as a weapon against others, why not ourselves? I started paying close attention to how I speak about myself, especially when I make a mistake (ex: OMG! I’m such an idiot). I refrain from using hurtful language and make sure that I am kind and patient with myself at all times.
  5. I use self-help books and music to keep my spirits high. Nothing like a self-help book or an upbeat song to remind you that you’re the shit. Whenever I need help restoring my inner faith , I read, or I put on a playlist. My ‘boss bitch’ playlist is a sure-fire way to put my confidence on 1000.
  6. I pamper myself. Whether it’s a relaxing candlelit bubble bath, my favorite yoga routine, or a face mask, I dedicate time to pampering myself. I do this daily and the luxuriousness of it all makes me feel like a goddess.
  7. I protect my peace. Establishing boundaries is a form of self-care. To raise my self-confidence, I stand up for myself whenever I feel my happiness is in jeopardy (one of my favorite ways to do this is by putting my phone on DND whenever I need alone time). By establishing a standard for myself, it helps me take myself more seriously and sends a message that I am worthy of respect. I do this as often as I can, even when it seems intimidating, and every time I succeed I can physically feel my self-worth rising.
  8. I stick to my guns. I used to feel compelled to explain myself or apologize to people, even when explanation wasn’t necessary or I didn’t do anything wrong (like if I was too busy to respond to a text or I didn’t want to go to someone’s event). Now, I practice trusting my thoughts and feelings instead of feeling bad about them which eliminates the need for me to explain or say I’m sorry.

Hang Out With Yourself

Spending time alone is a great way to reunite you with your sense of self and get familiar with your inner voice, which can be smothered or have to take a back seat when you’re hanging out with other people (like Eleven of Stranger Things would say, “halfway happy“).

I recently discovered the majesty of hanging out with myself, which reminds me of a story…

A few weeks ago, I learned about Japanfes NYC, an annual festival that celebrates all things Japan (everything from food to music to anime cosplay.)

Since I was a kid, I’ve been a huge fan of Japanese culture, so you could imagine how excited I was to go! Feeling spontaneous, I told my family to get dressed so that we could have this experience together but, they didn’t seem as excited as I was. Feeling disheartened by their lack of enthusiasm, I canceled our family outing. My Husbae saw how disappointed I was and suggested I go alone. My eyes beamed with joy and, after I left the house, I was so glad I went dolo.

I didn’t have to worry about my daughter getting tired and complaining about all of the walking or my Husband getting irritated by the large crowd; I got to enjoy the experience 100%, and even though I was only able to be there for a few hours (next time I’ll get you rolled ice cream!) I had so much fun!

When I was young (and yes, dumb), I thought that hanging out alone was only for weird, lonely people, and fun could only be experienced with company…that all changed during the pandemic. Constantly being surrounded by people caused me to feel overwhelmed and without a sense of self. When I finally got a chance to be alone, I had no idea what to do with myself. When I could think of something to do, I always wanted to involve other people. I found myself constantly craving company. When I couldn’t get ahold of a friend or a loved one, I took it personally and would take my insatiable loneliness out on other people. Who can relate? Eventually, I learned that what I needed wasn’t to see people more often; it was to learn to be comfortable doing things alone.

Hang out with yourself! Relish in your own solidarity and bask in doing things just because you WANT to. Enjoy alone time pursuing your own hobbies and interests and do things exclusive to you and your happiness. Take yourself on a date and learn to move throughout the world uninhibited, free from worry, judgment, or duty.

Here are my favorite things to do in my alone time:

1. Explore the city (I’ll walk down a new block, visit a new place, or visit my favorite places just by myself)

2. Hike/nature walk (nothing but me, my music, my lemon water, and my walking shoes)

4. Travel (I recently got to fly alone for the first time and it was truly bliss. I’d love to solo travel more often)

Happiness is something that has to come from within. If your happiness is tethered in other people, places, or things, then you’ll never get to the point of satisfaction because you’ll constantly be stuck in a cycle of pursuing happiness. This way of thinking can be dangerous and detrimental to your mental health and self-esteem. When it’s all said and done, and the dust settles, all you’re left with is yourself. Make sure you’re treating you right.

*How are you your own best friend? What ways do you like to practice self love?

*Don’t forget to like, share, and leave a comment ^_^

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The Energy Boosting Powers of Song: How I Use Music to Increase My Productivity

As a wife and Mom, my life is always busy.

Add full time blogger and editorial writer to the mix, and there’s never a dull moment in the Kaillaby household.

Any given day, I can have a laundry list of things to do, and I always use a Spotify playlist to keep me company.

Whether I’m finishing up an article, scrubbing floors, or washing my daughter’s hair, music always helps me put my best foot forward and help make even the most boring and mundane tasks seem, dare I say, fun.

Here’s how I use music to help increase my productivity.

I Use Music to Keep Me Focused

Music helps a lot with focus.

Whenever I have trouble starting a task, either because I feel lost or my thoughts are all over the place, music helps anchor me to the Now and zero in on whatever I have to do at the moment.

In addition to helping me stay present, music helps me focus by drowning out excess noise.

When I put on an Apple playlist, I’m blocking out the noisy world around me, which helps me immerse myself in my duties and really get some work done. This is especially useful when you live on a main avenue in a major city where labor is constantly being performed every which way you turn at all hours of the day, and you have a job that requires elite mental clarity and peak concentration (i.e., being a writer). In New York City, noise pollution is everywhere, and hearing blaring sirens and people screaming at the top of their lungs (for some reason) can be unnerving and distracting. Not only does music shield me from the distraction of my city’s hustle and bustle, but it prevents me from being distracted by people, too.

The presence of others can definitely be distracting. When your speakers are blaring, you’re putting out a signal to the World that your current mood is “D.N.D.” Trust me, nothing shuts up a chatty coworker quite like turning up the volume on your Mac’s speakers. I remember working in an intimate office on the Upper West Side that literally thrived on gossip (as is the fate of most office jobs). Although I looked forward to my mid-day kiki’s with B when it was time to grab my print jobs, there’s no denying that it pulled me away from my work.

Plus, being distracted can cause you to make mistakes you otherwise could’ve avoided had you been giving your task your undivided attention (yay! no more mini panic attacks).

Focus is the creme de la creme of productivity; you won’t get work done without it. If you’re having trouble focusing, either because you’re feeling scatterbrained, there’s a lot of noise going on, or there are chatty people around you, try putting background music on.

Pro Tip: The best kinds of songs for focus are instrumentals. Lyrics can be disruptive.

My favorite genres for focus: Lo-fi, Trance, Retro Video Game Music

I Use Music To Help Me Relax

I’m always rushing because of my anxiousness, but over time I’ve learned that doing things faster doesn’t always translate to efficiency (work smarter, not harder). Whenever I’m doing a job that’s stressful, meticulous, or requires precision, a gentle, slow-paced melody is just what I need to put me at ease, slow down and take things one moment at a time.

According to unr.edu, slow-paced music can “quiet your mind and relax your muscles, making you feel soothed while releasing the stress of the day. Music is effective for relaxation and stress management.”

Recently, I had to complete a trial shift for a company I applied to work for. For this trial, my job was to research and write two completed and error-free articles in a limited amount of time to be considered for a position. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and it’s a job I really want, so you could imagine the amount of pressure I must’ve felt.

Before I got started, I put on the “Peaceful Piano” playlist on Spotify, and it helped me set the mood. Instead of feeling stressed out, scared, and anxious, I was completely relaxed and at ease, and it made a world of difference in my work performance. I was able to spot errors, correct mistakes, breeze through my research process, and even have time to ask questions, which helped my submission out a lot. Instead of allowing the pressure to get to me, I used music to put myself in a calm, tranquil state. Thanks to my increased focus and mental clarity, I walked away knowing that I gave 100% and I was extremely confident in the outcome. All thanks to music for providing the perfect setting.

Pro Tip: Music is perfect for setting a tone/mood. That’s why whenever I have company, I have music on–it’s a great way to control the mood in an environment.

My favorite genres for relaxing: Classical, Jazz, Coffee Shop

I Use Music To Motivate Myself

Sometimes the reason we’re not performing at our best is that we’re not feeling motivated. If a task requires a lot of energy (like exercising) or it’s just boring A.F. (like filling out spreadsheets ), adding music to the mix will definitely help with that.

Here’s how it motivates me:

  • Makes tasks enjoyable. An upbeat tune creates an atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re having a good time making painful tasks seem fun 🙂 I hate doing dishes, but pair that with some Calvin Harris, and it’s a party!
  • Provides words of affirmation. Sometimes a singer will give you all the words of encouragement you need to keep up the good work and get your light feet going. I swear by the statement that no genre’s lyrics are more motivating than Electronic Dance Music. Just put on Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child” if you want to see what I’m talking about.
  • Gets my heart pumping. Research suggests that music can literally increase your heart rate, which comes with mood-boosting effects like increased adrenaline. That definitely comes in handy if you’re doing something boring or that needs a lot of energy.

Good music makes the day seem brighter, makes your time pass quicker, and takes the sting out of drawn-out, dull duties. (Like doing laundry. Nothing makes getting up at 8am on a Saturday suck less than Coldplay)

My favorite genres for motivation: EDM, Hip-hop, Rock

A Few Things To Keep In Mind

Here are some helpful tips for customizing your productive playlists to get the exact results you’re looking for:

Tip # 1 Make sure your soundtrack pairs with the tone and energy you need

Do you need mood-boosting, high-energy music, or something chill that will help you destress? 

Tip # 2: If you’re doing something that requires clarity, listen to music without lyrics

Your main priority is increasing productivity, so the music you listen to is really only background noise. If it’s preventing you from completing your work, it’s distracting, which defeats the purpose. As much as I love Megan the Stallion, twerking in my living room will not help me write these articles faster (no matter how fun it might be).

Tip # 3: Sometimes, you need silence

Take a break from noise once in a while. It helps sharpen the mind (completing tasks distraction-free helps with memorization and alertness)

Oh, Here’s a Playlist ❤

I customized a productivity playlist for anyone who needs help getting into work mode. This playlist is mostly chill, upbeat instrumentals which should really help with focusing.

(Here’s one if you need something more upbeat)

It’s ever-growing, so like all of my Spotify playlists, I’ll add new music from time to time, but for now, I’ll start you off with these 15 songs.

I hope it helps 🙂

Give it a like!

*What are some other methods you use to increase your productivity?

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