words are my happy sounds
breaking the spell of someday

8 ways to make yourself shine


I'm not your average type of girl
I'm gonna show the world
The strength in me
That sometimes they can't see
I'm about to switch my style
And soon things may get wild
But I will prove that
I can conquer anything
So from my head to toes
I'm taking full control
I'll make it on my own this time
Better watch me shine

Better watch out
Going for the knockout
And I won't stop
Till I'm on top now
Not gonna give up
Until I get what's mine
Better check that
I'm about to upset
And I'm hot now
So you better step back
I'm taking over
So watch me shine

So get ready
Here I come
Until the job is done
No time to waste
There's nothing stopping me
But you don't hear me though
So now it's time to show
I'll prove I'm gonna be
The best I can be

Bet you don't think
I can take it
But my mind and body are strong
Bet you don't think
I can make it
But it won't take long now
Now watch me shine...


Over the weekend I watched Legally Blonde and Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, & Blonde(yes, I know, this is completely absurd but please don't judge me) and I was strangely inspired by lead character Elle Woods (played by Reese Witherspoon). The song lyrics above are from Joanna Pacitti's"Watch Me Shine," a song featured in the original film. The first time I heard the song I was inspired, but, over the weekend, I felt even more empowered by the words. The main character in the film is, in spite of many flaws that I will avoid discussing here, really sure of herself. She does some pretty amazing things (even if sometimes she's doing them for the wrong reasons) and never once does she doubt herself. She is, in a word, CONFIDENT. She decides she can do something and she goes for it. How many of us really do that? I don't know about you, but when I want something, I don't usually pursue it with the finite belief that I CAN and WILL do it, but that's exactly what Elle Woods does. Even when she feels defeated, she finds a way to make the situation work for her. She believes in herself. She believes in those around her. She possesses a self-confidence that almost anyone would envy.

What is about Elle that causes her to be so confident? She loves herself. No matter what others say, she believes she can do it. She believes she's awesome. I wonder how often the average person believes s/he is awesome...I'm guessing it's not as often as it should be. I have my moments when I think I'm a bonafide rock star, but, more often than not, I think I'm just okay. Maybe better than average,  but certainly not awesome. But why? Why don't I think I'm awesome all the time? What reason do I have not to think that way? Why don't we all believe in ourselves with the fierce determination that Elle does?


We don't realize the power of our awesomeness.


We are all awesome. All of us. All the time. We deserve to be celebrated, believed in, supported, and loved. We deserve to be confident in our decisions and certain of our life's direction. We deserve, most importantly, to love ourselves. This weekend (amid all of the Legally Blonde watching) I finished reading a great book called Hindsight: What You Need to Know Before You Drop Your Drawers. The book focuses primarily on loving yourself BEFORE you love someone else and I found it to be very eye-opening. I wrote a review of the book over on my other site, Hope Springs Internal, for those of you interested in reading more about it. For those of you who'd like me to hurry up and get to the point, the point is this: In order to have a wonderful, amazing, fabulous life, you HAVE to love yourself. Haveto. There is no way around this one and, trust me, for some of us, this can be a toughie.

It's a lot easier to have doubts than it is to have faith in yourself. Even when you have great people around you, cheering you on, it can be pretty hard to love yourself and believe that you can do anything you set your mind to (yes, YOU). We all deserve to shine, to believe in ourselves, and to show of who we are to the world. Some of us are so afraid of being cocky that we avoid being confident. There is absolutely nothing wrong with confidence. In fact, it's sad to be a huge turn on for both sexes. So, go on, believe in yourself. Make yourself SHINE.


How To Make Yourself Shine

  • Believe in your abilities.

    No one can believe in you better than you can. And you must do it! Sure your friends and family and coworkers might tell you you're great, that you're a shining star, but you won't really believe it until YOU know that you're awesome. It's as simple as that. Believing in yourself is the first step to being the shining, awesome person I know you are.

  • Take care of your mind and body.

    By keeping your mind and body in good working order, you're likely to be a lot more confident in your abilities. Take time to listen to what your thoughts are telling you. Know yourself and respect that person. Likewise, listen to your body. Take into account your bodies needs and respect the way you treat your body. You will definitely me more confident if you feel good and have a clear mind.

  • Emphasize your strengths.

    We ALL have strengths and weaknesses. No one is perfect. So instead of harping on your less-than-perfect traits, focus on what you can do, what you're good at. If possible, get a job (or a hobby) that highlights your abilities. This will reinforce your true awesomeness and remind you of what a stellar being you are. Focus on the good in you!

  • Leap over obstacles.

    When you encounter things or people standing in your way, use all of your strength and creativity to maneuver around them or leap over them. Those who aren't supportive of you and who don't believe you are a star should be left in the dust. Those activities that don't showcase your true talents should also be left behind. Who needs those anyway?

  • Break down barriers.

    When barriers are so tall that you can't easily jump over them, break them down. Even if you have to use a tiny chisel and it takes all day long, you CAN break down the barriers in your life. You don't have to sit back and watch life pass you by because something is standing in the way of your awesomeness. If it's in your way, get rid of it. You deserve to shine and no wall of "you can't do it" should stand in your way!

  • Be YOU and no one else.

    There is only one you, so be the best you you can be. You don't have to live up to someone else. You don't have to be someone else. You only have to be you and you deserve to be the best you that you can be. Consider what you want from life, what you need and what you don't. Make your needs and desires clear to the world and, above all else, stay true to yourself.

  • Accept praise graciously.

    The best thing about being a shining star is receiving praise for a job well done. Don't shy away from praise or pass it off on someone else. Accept every kind word and amazing compliment and bask in it. No, this doesn't mean you're selfish or cocky or full of yourself. It means you know that you're a star and you're happy that other people know it too. It's tempting to shrug off praise, but don't. You deserve it.

  • Tune in to yourself.

    Listen to yourself first and foremost. When you get an idea, don't be the first one to shoot it down. Believe you can do it. Encourage yourself. Fill your mind with the belief that you can do ANYTHING, and you'll find that you can. When you hear negative voices whispering that you're not good enough or can't do it, silence them immediately. Listen to the real you -- the you that believes you can do whatever you believe you can do.

Do you feel shiny yet? I know I do...Just thinking about confidence makes me feel more confident. Do I think I'm perfect? No. Do I think I'm going to make plenty of mistakes in my life? Yes. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to try. I'm going to do my best. I'm going to work hard. I'm going believe in me. I'm going shine...

[Note: If you haven't done so already -- and aren't sick of me yet -- check out my article on Calm and Cool. If you head over there, you can "Train Yourself to Be Positive in 5 Simple Steps"!]


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

whoah, im blinded from all the shinning. Reminds me of Hercules and how he started shining when he became a God, that`s how I feel and I bet that´s how you look right now :) Will check out that song soon.

Yay! This blog always makes me smile, thank you!

Man have I had some lessons over the years about believing in myself more! This is a biggy when it comes to confidence and being "shiny". Thanks to the lessons, I have more self belief now than I ever have.

I've also found that challenging myself is a great way to build belief. Regardless of whether or not I'm successful at whatever the challenge is, I always feel great for giving it a go.

Btw, I also found Legally Blonde to be a surprisingly uplifting movie with an important message. I'll have to watch the sequel.

I LOVE legally blonde. its a fab fab film! And I like your post about being Awesome. That is so cool. I think I might have to seek out that song too. Shine. its one of my favourite words, and it is easy to sink and be not your best shiny self. I like that I read your post last thing tonight because I am going to go to sleep thinking about how awesome I am!! (hell if I can't do that, then who will!) have a great day. I like the sound of your other blog too so will check that out - tomorrow. god bless and sweet dreams

Rosa - Hahaha. I loved your comment! I didn't think about Hercules but you're SO right. It's a really uplifting song. You might like it!

Jen - Yay! :) I love to make people smile!

Sami - Challenging yourself is a great point that should have been included in the post. Nothing makes you feel more like a star than when you challenge yourself and succeed. Great point!

Mo - It makes me happy to know that you're going to sleep feeling awesome because you read this! :) Yay! The song is really uplifting. I'm sure you'll recognize it from the movie if you listen to it.

Thanks for posting those lyrics, I really enjoyed reading them. Very inspirational! I love Legally Blonde also, Elle is extremely inspiring. Great post.

Great article! It couldn't have come at a better time. Today was my first day as a resident at a large hospital and was thinking about how I could shine. It's definitely not easy and I know it's going to be a lot of sacrifice. And I definitely don't know everything yet so I'm quite sure I'm going to make mistakes. In other words, I have all these fears and sometimes i have doubts in my abilities.

Thank you for writing this!

Audra - Thanks for the comment! I'm glad you liked reading the lyrics. It's a very uplifting song!

Dana - I'm so glad this post was really relevant for you today. It sounds like you're taking on a daunting task but I'm sure you have lots of education under your belt and you obviously have a desire to help others so I'm sure you will do really well in your new position. You are doing a good thing, working at hospital, and I hope you know how AWESOME you are! :)

# Be YOU and no one else.
That's the most important one for me. These days we see so many people trying to "imitate" others and lose their way.

P.S: I also draw inspiration for blog posts from movies and songs :-)

We don't realize the power of our awesomeness.

Awesome statement! Says it all.

Seems like love is all over the place recently--how wonderful!

indeed ~ may we all embrace our "inner Elle". thanks for the reiminder, Dani!

Cheers to everyone's awesomeness!! I saw Legally Blonde once and what I remember the most is the way she stay who she is and she got things done her way.
Thanks for sharing.
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

Beautiful stuff.

I can't believe how important self-reliance is. It really is. I've gone through stages in my life where at some points I thought the world was conspiring to help me, and other points where I thought it was conspiring against me. At the end of the day, the common denominator was me, so as a rule of thumb, I count on my self-reliance and it's self-fulfilling.

The two things that stood out for me were "be yourself" and "accept praise graciously." Well said! (It's just not easy for some of us!)

There's great self-awareness in this post. On top of that, you're sharing the message so that others get there too. I love the way you conclude with what may seem like disclaimers at first, but rather are clear signs that you understand yourself.

My favorite one, of course, is "Be YOU and no one else"!

Shamelle - I agree. Being you -- and no one else -- is the most important thing. We have to stay true to who we are and what we want from life. Songs and films are GREAT ways to find inspiration!

Kaushik - I'm glad you liked that line. I think it's so true and we need to realize that we are ALL awesome!

Lisa - I love the idea of the "inner elle," especially because "elle" is the part of Danielle that I don't use...So perfect for me!

Giovanna - Like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, we have to stay true to who we are, no matter what others might think. We are awesome and we need to celebrate the unique awesomeness in ourselves.

J.D. - Ahh, yes! The common denominator is always us. No matter what the world throws at us -- good or bad -- we always have ourselves and that's why we have to learn to rely on, support, and love ourselves because, truly, that's all we have for certain.

Megan - I'm glad you liked those points. It's not always easy to accept praise, but I feel like I've gotten better at it just by being conscious of the fact that I deserve praise.

Akshay - Thank you for your comment. I'm so glad that you can see both the selfishness and the giving in this post. I am learning more about myself every day, but I'm also doing my best to share this knowledge with others. Being you is the most important thing and the only thing we should ever try to be.

I didn't know of this song or book. I wrote them both down for my grand daughter. It sounds like required reading for both sexes at an early age.

I like chic flicks. Used to watch them with my 4 duaghters all the time sometimes still do!

Tess - Thanks for your comment. The book is a really good one and I agree that both sexes could really benefit from reading it.

You seem to always know what I need to read! Thank you for this post, I definately feel a little more hopeful, and when I go about my journaling for the day, I'm going to keep this in mind. I've been having a lot of difficulty being positive these previous few days. I'm doubtful in my capabilities, and I am having a lot of trouble seeing the positive in each situation. I'm also having a lot of problems not staying calm (read: stressing out big time). But, I'm hoping I can learn to just take a few deep breaths. Maybe you have some tips on keeping your cool when people are pushing your buttons?

Hi Dani,

I watched Legally Blonde again recently (at a fundraiser in celebration of International Women's Day actually!)and I completely agree that Elle Woods is an inspiring role model for self-assurance and staying true to yourself.

Great post, really sound tips and fab lyrics. I think I'm gonna have to get out LB2 now and re-watch that ;-)

I´ve been a bit busy lately to come here and get my daily dose of positivity! Boy, I need it. As usual, an inspiring and original post from you Dani and a reminder to be the best me I can!

There's nothing wrong with enjoying those movies -- I think they're very empowering.

I love you 8 ideas, but I think that #1 is the most important. If you don't believe in yourself, it's probably not going to happen. Unfortunately, this puts you {me} in a vicious cycle, because how do you break out of that cycle and get to where you CAN and DO believe in yourself?!

I think that's where your 7 other tips come in.

As always, great post Dani!

Very well written post. I think it's funny that you could find these lessons from Legally Blonde, but you basically have stayed true to what you've written here by using that as your source of inspiration :).

Ia - I'm so glad the post was what you needed. That makes me happy. And I love your suggestion about writing a post on how to stay calm. I have a post lined up for later today/tomorrow, but I will definitely work on that topic. Thanks for the suggestion!

Hilda - That's so funny that you watched the film for that reason. Elle Woods is a great role model in that she really does stay true to herself and who she is. I think LB2 is even better because it incorporates animal rights, which mean a lot to me, AND my hometown of Washington, DC!

RML - So glad you enjoyed the post and the boost of positivity! :) Thanks for taking the time to comment even though you've been so busy!

Kirwin - I agree that #1 is the most important and that the other steps stem from getting that one down. It's, of course, the hardest to do, but it really is important.

Absolutely!!! I agree with you that you HAVE to believe in yourself. If you don't believe in yourself, what makes you think other people will.

Srinivas - Thank you! I agree that it was pretty odd that these lessons came from a film like Legally Blonde, but I'll take inspiration any way I can get it!

John - Exactly! If you don't believe, no one else can that's why it's so important to know who you are and to believe in that person.

Helpful stuff here. Thanks for sharing it. I especially like the idea of being me and no one else.

Syd - I'm so glad you found this helpful. Being yourself is really the only person you can be! It's a waste of time to be anything else.

Thank you SO MUCH for the entire blog!
It's exactly what I need NOW, at this point of my life!

Rock'n'Caroll - You're welcome! Thank YOU for reading it. It's readers like you (and comments like yours!) that keep me motivated to keep writing.

The comments to this entry are closed.