Self-Esteem, A Starter Guide To Self-Improvement

In general, 2020 has brought us some revolutionary and historical events. We have lost, fought, cried, tended our sick, bonded, and grown. Through it all though, we have known, without a doubt, that we will make it through this. We have the chingona gene in our DNA. So even if we have to start all over again, we will. Si se puede! ✊🏽

So how do you stay calm, composed, and maintain self-esteem in a harsh environment? Here are some tips you may consider as a starter guide to self-improvement.

Imagine yourself as a Dart Board. Everything and everyone else around you may become Dart Pins, at one point or another. These dart pins will destroy your self-esteem and pull you down in ways you wonít even remember. Don’t let them destroy you or get the best of you. So which dart pins should you avoid?

Dart Pin #1: Negative Work Environment

Beware of a workplace that operates under a dog eat dog theory. These are the places where everyone is fighting to get ahead, and non-appreciative people usually thrive. No one will appreciate your contributions even if you miss lunch and dinner, and stay up late. Most of the time, you will work hard without getting help from a team. Stay out of this kind of work situation is you can; it will wreak to havoc on your self-esteem. If you are already in this position, make sure you have a balanced and healthy home life. Also, start recording all your accomplishments. Creating a “brag” sheet will help you build self-esteem, and it will be useful to have when you apply for other jobs!

Dart Pin #2: Negative People”s Behavior

Bulldozers, brown nosers, gossipmongers, whiners, backstabbers, snipers, people walking wounded, controllers, naggers, complainers, exploders, and patronizers are the kinds of people who create bad vibes. Bad vibes are not good for your self-esteem and will ruin a self-improvement scheme. If you find yourself around these groups of people, you may have to spend more time alone. If you have never liked to be alone, it’s probably because you have never given yourself a chance to get to know you. Take some time to sate yourself!

Dart Pin #3: Negative Past Experiences

tís okay to cry when we experience pain. But donít let pain transform itself into fear because fear can keep you from growing. In building self-esteem, we must learn how to make the best out of worst situations. Treat each failure and mistake as a lesson.

You may wonder if some people are born leaders or positive thinkers. NO. Being positive and staying positive is a choice. Building self-esteem and drawing lines for self-improvement is a choice and a habit. Building self-esteem will eventually lead to self-improvement if we start to become responsible for who we are, what we have, and what we do.

When we develop self-esteem, we take control of our mission, values, and discipline. So how do you start putting up the building blocks of self-esteem? Stay focused. Never miss an opportunity to compliment yourself and others.

A positive way of living will help you build self-confidence, which is your starter guide to self-improvement.

Living Firme and The Women’s March Foundation

So proud to be joining the Women’s March Foundation for their Connecting Community Series. Come join us for a Celebration of Self. We will be doing an exercise that explores the use of creativity and imagination as a tool for personal development and transformation. 

Zoom Registration Links:
10am Registration:

1pm Registration:

A Little more info about the Chingonas at the WMF (from their website)

Women’s March Foundation is a women-led movement bringing together people of all genders, ages, races, cultures, political affiliations, disabilities and backgrounds to affirm our shared humanity and pronounce our bold message of resistance and self- determination.

Recognizing that women have intersecting identities and are therefore impacted by a multitude of social justice and human rights issues, we have outlined a representative vision for a government that is based on the principles of liberty and justice for all. As Dr. King said, “We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.” 

Our liberation is bound in each other’s. The Women’s March movement includes leaders of organizations and communities that have been building the foundation for social progress for generations. We welcome vibrant collaboration and honor the legacy of the movements before us – the suffragists and abolitionists, the Civil Rights Movement, the feminist movement, the American Indian Movement, Occupy Wall Street, Marriage Equality, Black Lives Matter, and more – by employing a decentralized, leader-full structure and focusing on an ambitious, fundamental and comprehensive agenda.

How to Conquer Your Fears

These days it seems like there are a million things to be afraid of. The news is full of gloom and doom. But we want you to keep trucha! Fear has the power to hold you back from taking risks, following your dreams, or becoming successful at anything you attempt to do. If you allow it to control you for long enough, it can eventually erode your quality of life and keep you locked in a prison of inactivity.

What many people fail to realize is that fear is nothing more than a conditioned response. It’s a natural reaction to a frightening or unfamiliar situation. While it is usually automatic, there are things you can do to overcome it.

Check your expectations.

One major contributor of fear is the prevalence of negative expectations. Do you usually find yourself expecting the worst in every situation? Do you worry obsessively about what could go wrong, rather than focusing on your strengths and capabilities?

If you make a conscious effort to expect the best, see the positive side of each situation and keep reminding yourself that you can handle more than you often think, you’ll find yourself with much less fear to deal with. Even if feelings of fear do manage to creep into your consciousness, you’ll still be able to keep them in perspective and balance them against an underlying sense of confidence.

Acknowledge then discredit your fears.

It’s no use denying that you are afraid of something but we usually don’t get to the bottom of things. Experts will tell you that the majority of things you fear will never come to pass anyway. While this may be true, it sure doesn’t feel that way when fear has a chokehold on you! However, if you look a little more closely at your fears when they arise, you may be able to dismiss at least a few.

For example, if you have a fear of public speaking and your boss wants you to give a presentation at work, you might feel like your life (and perhaps your livelihood) is on the line. You may fear getting fired, or worry that your colleagues will lose respect for you if you don’t do a good job.

But is any of this likely to happen? In most cases, no. Rather than worrying about what “might” happen if you don’t give a solid presentation, you might brainstorm ways to help improve your performance, such as being well prepared, practicing your delivery on friends and family members, writing notes to yourself and so on.

Do the very thing you fear.

When you remember that fear is simply a feeling, it loses much of its power. It can’t harm you and except in truly threatening situations you can choose to ignore it and move forward anyway.

If you weigh the pros and cons in any situation, you may decide that the possibility of negative consequences is minimal so there’s nothing to stop you from ignoring your fear and going for it! This will be determined by you on a case by case basis, of course. The point isn’t to become reckless with your decision-making but rather to empower yourself to know when a fear is groundless and easily overcome.

We believe in you and in your dreams!

Stress Management: 10 Practical Steps

We know we FEEL it but what is stress?

Dr. Hans Selye, who first noted and described the concept of stress as:

“the non-specific response of the body to any demand made upon it.” Stress is neither good nor bad. The effect of the stress is not determined by the stress itself, rather it is determined by how we handle the stress.

Effects of Stress

1. “Emergency Response” This happens when people believe they are in physical or mortal danger. Pupils dilate, blood pressure increases, and the production of stress hormones increase. The body prepares within seconds to respond, which is known as the ‘fight or flight’ syndrome. The adrenal glands pour out adrenaline. This is a healthy, response to immediate danger but if continually activated, this emergency response may cause a higher-than-normal level of hormone production that can eventually cause physical wear-and-tear on the body. Health problems related to this constant high level of response include hypertension, headaches, ulcers, heart disease, and increased vulnerability to diabetes and colitis.

2. “General Adaptation Syndrome” In studies, Selye came to believe that diseases of adaptation such as hypertension could be produced by abnormal or excessive reaction to stress. The body would increase its supply of hormones in order to be ready for action to stress. Over a prolonged period of time, excessive stress leads to distress and the accompanying physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health problems. Contributing factors to distress include

  • a) your attitude towards life and
  • b) your mood (optimistic or pessimistic).

Both help to create the atmosphere that assists your defence system in repairing small wounds, bruises, and infections. This is also the system that tries to destroy strange cells such as those of cancer, including leukaemia. In mastering stress, you have to figure out what you are doing that contributes to your problem/challenge and change it.

The four categories of change include: change your behaviour, change your thinking, change your lifestyle choices, and/or change the situations you are in. Symptoms of overstress include fatigue, aches and pains, anxiety, problems sleeping, depression, and lack of joy in your life. This may just start by you turning off the news or getting of social media for a while.

So what can we do about it?

The Living Firme team leads wellness classes all over the country and a lot of the tools we share are practical steps to manage stress and create balance. Here are some easy tips you can follow to reduce stress:

  1. Make your life regular like ‘clock work.’ Go to bed and get up at the same time each day.
  2. Give yourself a break today.
  3. Say ‘No’ more often when other people want your time. This includes social engagements, the family dinner on Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.
  4. Postpone making any changes in your living environment if you have been coping with undue stress. Change of any kind is stressful and limiting it until later is a good strategy if you are under a lot of pressure.
  5. Reduce the number of hours you spend at work or school. If you are a work-a-holic or school-a-holic you need to reduce the energy drain on your body. TAKE SOME TIME OFF.
  6. Nutritional eating habits and eating small meals helps to keep your blood sugar stabilised. Many people reach for something high in sugar content when feeling stressed which compounds the problem. You may not want to hear this but… Drink more water and eat more vegetables!
  7. Rest your mind, as mind activities alleviate stress. These mind activities include reading, working on a craft, listening to music, playing a musical instrument, meditation, self-relaxation, dancing, and biofeedback.
  8. Have a worry time if you must worry. When you find yourself worrying over a problem, set aside a time (I suggest to my students 7:30pm on Tuesday night) and then put off worrying until that time. Chances are you will not even remember what you were stressing yourself about.
  9. Book time for yourself. In your daily or weekly schedule book time first for yourself and then the other activities you are involved in. Don’t let anything, except an emergency, usurp your commitment to yourself.
  10. Have a massage or another form of self-care activity. This doesn’t have to be expensive. Try practicing on your partner or try checking out some videos on self massage!

Minimizing stress in these ways is an adjustment for some of us. We are not used to making time for ourselves. But these simple tips may ultimately help you add years to your life!

The Mira Costa Community College Chola Panel

Last week, we had a chance to head on down to Oceanside to participate on a panel at Mira Costa College. This event was a gift!

The event was generously hosted by the Latina Leadership Network, which is an on campus group or woke students and their brilliant and powerful advisors. (Thank you Dr. Vanessa Bustamonte!) And thank you to all the students, faculty and staff that showed up from both Mira Costa and Palomar.

The questions were on point. All of the panelist addressed the questions from various perspectives, and each one had had to navigate the systems they grew up in.

When asked “How have you navigated the system of higher education.”

Part of the discussion focused on the work we currently do to serve the community. This is an are we area particularly proud of. Angel mentioned her passion for food justice, homelessness and mental health awareness. She also mentioned her passion for seeing a more representation in technology and using her influence to promote one of her favorite nonprofit organizations, PepUp Tech. If you are in a career transition or interested in finding a way into the tech field, check out PepUp Tech! If you don’t know about that amazing organization, you can watch the interview we did with PepUp Tech Founder, Selina Suarez below.

One of the things Angel forgot to mention was the mission of Living Firme to promote other small businesses. For us, it isn’t enough to do well if we are not also doing what we can to bring others along. When we do events, we do them with the intention to stimulate the local economy. It’s not just about one group making money, it’s about collaborating so that as many people can make money as possible. This is the ABUNDANCE MINDSET at work. We are about wellness in body mind and spirit and financial wellness is part of that too. In addition to all the collaborations we do, we do a weekly online video broadcast to share the work of other businesses with our growing online community.

Anna Alvarado at Mira Costa Community College.

We think that it’s important to mention that different people move at different paces and it sometimes happens that when you grow, some people may not be ready to grow with you. But it ALSO happens that when you grow, you meet amazing people who ARE also growing. Case in point is the lovely artist, Anna Alvarado. When we first met Anna, her work was already being sold out at shows but she needed more connections to get to the next level in her business. We knew she was a gem and although we barely new her, we started working with her. We also knew her story was too good not to share so we interviewed her as well.

30 Inspiring Women Podcast: Artist Anna Alvarado

Happy International Women's Day!Anna Alvarado is a mom of three and an admirer of Sharpies, Latin inspired art, wood panels, bold colors, messy hands, old Spanish tile, the violin, peppermint oil lip gloss & Home Depot. Born and raised in the heart of East Los Angeles. It was through her beloved abuelito’s encouragement that she began to explore her creative side. First in high school through pencil renderings, then in college at the Art Institute of Seattle through graphic design.Like her art, which is always evolving — she learns something new about herself every time she picks up a paintbrush, sharpie marker, pencil or pen.

Posted by Living Firme on Thursday, March 8, 2018

Anna has since, quit her job to be a FULL TIME artist, embraced her story and shared it to inspire others, done several media appearances including one for MiTu and taken the opportunity to share her art with others whenever possible. She has also turned us onto some incredible opportunities. We brought Anna to Mira Costa with us. She was asked to introduce herself and she did. Everyone loved her.

Whether you are a chola reading this or not, you can do something amazing to elevate your life and the lives of those in your community. Plant the seeds of positivity in your mind and in the minds of others and see how that garden grows. We have seen it time and time again.

Al rato.

Celebrating the Women of GRYD

The Mission of The GRYD Foundation is To create safer, healthier and stronger communities that we all can enjoy and be proud of, starting in Los Angeles…one individual and one family at a time.

Last month we had the honor of celebrating a group of Chingonas who make Los Angeles a better place to live. They come from all walks of life but have one mission, to help our kids.

We could not be more proud of our ability to serve the people that serve.

We had a BLAST with these ladies celebrating the women of @grydfoundation Thank you to all the ladies who fearlessly and lovingly serve our communities. Thank you to @iamcecevalencia @straightfromthestreetsradio @sparkles_sparkles_1 @livingfirme @choppedupcherries for your hearts and of course for the laughter. 💕 #goodtimes 💕

We love that the retreat was focused on wellness and self care. Burnout is a BIG issue among first responders. Although, these women are not firefighters PER SE… it’s undeniable that they put out all kinds of fires, on the daily Wellness, mental health checks and self care are a huge component of success for anyone who serves, either as a job or as a volunteer. Bravo to the GRYD Foundation for making this retreat available for these amazing mujeres.

You can learn more about the Gang Reduction & Youth Development Foundation by visiting the website

Fresno Follow Up

How can women empower each other? How do we develop self love and confidence? At Living Firme, the answer is simple. We PRACTICE!

After two AMAZING days of serving both civil servants and inmates in the central valley, Living Firme had the pleasure of facilitating a self care and wellness workshop in Fresno that was open to the public.

Angel Aviles is a latina entrepreneur who most recognize as Sadgirl from Mi Vida Loca. Many people showed up as fans but as you can see from the video, they left with so much more.

@liz.a.fraire thank you for taking a giant leap of faith and opening up your future location @cafealchemyfresno That spot is going to be an incredible space for healing and connection. A huge thank you to our client Reyna Cazares for putting us in touch with such a great spot. And mil gracias to Alex Navarrete aka @LIDIOSX209 for this video and your incredible ability to both film and keep the space sacred. 🙏🏽

Latina self care and empowerment events are so important for our well being as well as for the well being of our community. WE will be doing a video in the future about how you can create your own events. So stay tuned!

If you haven’t joined our FREE Business MasterMind community, you need to jump on it ASAP! Sign up here:

What you will get in this series:
The Wheel of Feria! An Introduction to the money making game. Your 50k RoadMap! If you want 50k a year, month, week or day, this is the easiest way to do it. The ‘Mindset’ Your Own Business Plan! Our way of helping you get clear and stay FOCUSED on your mission.

If you are ready to come join us visit:

You can find out more about our Mastermind at

#LivingFirme #latinasinbusiness

Wellness Fresno
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