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Jenna Banks of Tiger Feather: How To Learn To Finally Love Yourself

Practice one item from my “joy list” every day. — My joy list contains a handful of simple, no-fuss activities that will instantly transport me to my happy place. Some of my joy list items include listening to music, taking a walk on a nice day, looking at art from some of my favorite artists, playing tennis, and watching funny animal videos.

As a part of our series about “How To Learn To Finally Love Yourself” I had the pleasure to interview Jenna Banks.

Jenna Banks is a social entrepreneur, public speaker, author, host of The Jenna Banks Show video series, self-love advocate, and women’s empowerment thought leader. Her new book titled I Love Me More: How to Find Happiness and Success Through Self-Love is scheduled to release March 8, 2022 on International Woman’s Day. Having survived a traumatic upbringing, as well as a near-fatal suicide attempt, Jenna recovered from her self-doubt and self-loathing by discovering her value, harnessing her inner power, and learning to love herself. She now helps women across the world on their self-love journeys. You can visit her website at jenna-banks.com to learn more.

Thank you so much for joining us! I’d love to begin by asking you to give us the backstory as to what brought you to this specific career path.

Thank you for letting me share what I’ve learned about the life-changing potential when you make self-love a lifestyle practice.

I recognized my life’s mission in one pivotal, aha-moment.

Soon after I broke up with the man whom I (and everyone else) thought was the love of my life, I had dinner with a good friend. She knew both of us and was shocked because she thought we were perfect for one another.

She couldn’t understand why I would end the relationship when I was still in love. Without hesitation I confidently said, “because I love me more.”

She asked me what that meant because “I love me more” did not make sense to her.

I tried to explain to her that I value myself more than anyone else, that I am my highest priority. That if I’m not feeling valued in a relationship, then I instead choose me.

I’d rather break my heart and suffer the temporary pain and consequences instead of staying in a relationship in which my value is not recognized or appreciated.

Though I believed I had explained my perspective well, she still struggled to make sense of my decision to end the relationship. She asked me to expand more on my statement, “I love me more.”

I shared how I developed this firm point of view through many difficult experiences and many hard-fought internal battles, spanning my lifetime, through a practice of self-love.

“As much as I love him, I must put my needs and my happiness first,” I said to her. “I did all I could to communicate my needs to him. But nothing changed. He still hadn’t show me that he valued having me in his life. Though I was investing significant time and attention into him and our relationship, I continued to not receive what I needed in return. So, I decided to value myself most and end the relationship.

Dinner ended, and we said goodbye.

A few weeks later, she called me. She’d been giving our conversation a lot of thought, trying to make sense of what I told her. She told me that it finally clicked. Her boyfriend hadn’t been treating her well. By his actions, she realized he didn’t value her enough. She hadn’t been getting what she wanted from him in this relationship.

She found herself constantly agonizing over the meanings behind his cryptic text messages. His lack of communication and connection made her feel anxious and dejected. Their relationship brought her down more than it lifted her up.

After replaying my story in her head, she realized that, by allowing him to treat her this way, she hadn’t been valuing herself. She said, “I suddenly connected with your story of “I love me more,” almost in a third-party kind of way. Like I needed to value MYSELF more — almost like I was a separate person looking back at me in the mirror.”

Once this concept clicked for her, she felt empowered to promptly end the relationship. She never looked back. Less than a year later, she met and fell in love with someone who truly valued her and treated her the way she deserved.

She later shared my “I Love Me More” story with her friends, who also found value and power in this concept.

She asked me how I became empowered to make the decision to “love me more” with such courage and conviction. I didn’t have an immediate answer for her.

Her question prompted me to intently consider how my life experiences and the lessons I had learned enabled me to prioritize myself without hesitation or apology.

I started journaling, capturing stories from past experiences, reliving scenes from my traumatic childhood and young adulthood, and realizing how much I had changed and grown.

I recounted the various ways in which during my lifetime, I learned to value myself and put myself and my needs first, rather than self-sacrificing as I had been taught as a young girl. I saw the pattern of how empowered I felt when I put myself first and stood up for myself. It always paid off.

This journaling exercise inspired me to write a book based on the concept of “I love me more.” And now this book is scheduled to release in early 2022. I still find it so surreal that one casual encounter like this prompted such a huge career shift like this for me.

I am passionate about the topic of self-love, especially as it relates to harnessing your power by practicing self-love. Learning to love myself more changed my life. And given the traumatic upbringing I had, I cannot understate the power of self-love! As I started to do more research for the book, beyond just my own experiences and learnings, I uncovered how harmful and pervasive the archaic gender norms are that prevent women from loving and valuing themselves.

These discoveries fueled an even deeper desire within me to contribute to the greater good. In my mission to spark and uplift women to be their best selves, I am committed to shed light on how we as women hold ourselves back by rejecting our power and by loving and valuing others more than we love and value ourselves.

Becoming a public speaker, podcast host, and writer were natural next steps on this new career path that I was creating. Though some may consider it an unconventional career, I wake up energized every day to live my life to its fullest potential by encouraging and helping other women to do the same.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?

Yes! I’m a co-founder of a company called Tiger Feather, a women’s empowerment brand that helps women of all ages embrace their inner warrior goddess (IWG) .

My partner and I initially founded Tiger Feather as an apparel company offering t-shirts and other wearables bearing fun and inspirational statements. We donated a portion of our proceeds to a non-profit that teaches girls and women about self-love and confidence through programs in schools, detention centers, and women’s shelters.

Several months after our initial launch, we knew we wanted TigerFeather to make a greater impact in the world. So, we went back to the drawing board for a rebrand and relaunch.

The new TigerFeather will offer products for women and girls to foster their inner warrior goddess (IWG). Your IWG personifies your self-love journey. She reminds you not to allow outdated gender norms to steal your power. She has no hesitation setting and holding boundaries. She places herself and her happiness highest on her list of priorities. She looks to herself for validation and approval rather than to others.

While we everyday mortals will still wrestle with discomfort stemming from breaking free from outmoded programming passed to us by our mothers, our grandmothers, and other adult women in our lives, we can turn to our IWG to show us the way to be our most powerful, authentic selves through self-love.

Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self acceptance?

One day, I was sitting in a Whole Foods parking lot feeling resentful towards my then boyfriend. I had been bending over backwards to help him get his property ready for sale, pouring so much of my time and energy into helping him with his life, his business, and his kids. Putting his needs first.

But I hadn’t been receiving the love, appreciation, and affection from him in return that I so desperately craved. I was feeling depleted. By giving so much of myself to him, I was doing exactly what I was raised to do. From that conditioning as a young girl, I had been taught to self-sacrifice as a way to be worthy of receiving love in return.

My resentment fueled feelings of negativity and agitation. In this state, it was certain that we would get into a heated discussion later that day, and then he would most-likely eventually resort to placating me to try to “make me happy.”

Then, right there in the parking lot, sitting in my car, I had this epiphany.

I thought, why am I letting this negative thinking have such a grip on me? What do I need right now that I am not getting from him? I decided that, instead of thinking about him, I would instead give myself the love and attention I needed.

So I went into the grocery store, and I bought some aromatherapy items and a prepared meal that I could enjoy at home. I consciously shifted my energy from negative to positive.

I took a hot bath, listened to some of my favorite music, meditated a bit. I made myself a wonderful lunch. It felt so good to take care of myself and my needs at that moment. I immediately started feeling so much better, joyous even.

Then my boyfriend came home. All he wanted to do was be loving towards me. He wasn’t able keep his hands off of me. Ironically, I got what I wanted from him because I chose to give it to myself.

At that moment, I realized that only I am responsible for my happiness. That no one can make me as happy as I can make myself.

I also learned that expecting someone else to make us happy places a huge burden on that person. Putting that pressure on another is unfair, and it’s unrealistic. In our neediness, we set them up fail us. It’s a lose-lose situation.

When we prioritize making ourselves happy first, every single day, we exude love. This becomes a powerful magnet for the love we seek from others.

When we make ourselves happy first, we become radiant. Everyone around us benefits from our beautiful energy. This act of self-love enables us to attract what we seek.

Regarding your question about self-acceptance, my tipping point was when I understood that I needed to acknowledge and embrace the parts of me that I thought others might not accept.

This moment came when I saw the power that an ugly story can have over a person.

A friend of mine had been molested as a child, and she lived in the shadow of this traumatic event. The control it exerted over her was visible; you could see how it affected her demeanor, her self-worth, most every aspect of her life. Because she refused to accept the truth of her abuse, it maintained power over her.

She hid this trauma, telling no one about it, not even her family, after all these years. She denied and rejected this part of her story. I saw how much power she allowed the trauma to have over her life, and I desperately wanted to see her reclaim her power by taking ownership of her story, by owning this part of her life that she deeply rejected.

Seeing my friend suffer made me realize that I too was rejecting parts of my story. And in doing so, I was rejecting parts of myself. I hid the fact that my highest educational degree was my GED. In fact, I barely went to high school at all. I experienced such turmoil growing up that it was a struggle to even go to school.

My lightbulb moment was when I grasped how much power I had relinquished in attempting to hide my story from others. I understood that my actions were a form of self-rejection, similar to how my friend was hurting herself by rejecting her story.

I decided I would take ownership over my story. I would no longer hide my story when people asked where I went to college. I wrote about it on social media. I wrote about it in my book. Making this bold decision to accept every part of myself — the good, the bad and the ugly — was so liberating!

By owning my story, I have come to fully accept and love myself. I now have zero hesitation in mentioning that, not only do I not have a college degree, a GED is my highest diploma. And I actually feel proud of myself and what I’ve accomplished, despite what I used to believe was an “ugly story.”

According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?

This is a disheartening statistic, but it doesn’t surprise me. Our culture is obsessed with outward appearances. Advertisers know this, assaulting our insecurities daily. From influencers on Instagram and TikTok, to magazines and television shows.

We’ve got Botox to smooth out wrinkles, Body-shapers and padded bras to change the shape and size of our bodies, lip injections to change the fullness of our lips, luxury brands to validate our success.

Social media encourages us to use filters on our appearance, placing value on looking completely unnatural. I recently saw a TikTok video in which a naturally beautiful young woman lamented that she didn’t look like the filtered version of herself. For her, I envisioned a lifetime of plastic surgery, body morphing, and self-rejection. Why can’t we be good enough as we are?

This focus on external appearances causes us greater insecurity than ever. We believe we must have a certain look, maintain a certain body size, sport a certain brand to be accepted or validated.

Where is the focus on inner beauty? On self-acceptance? On self-love?

Don’t get me wrong, I keep up my appearance. But so much more of my attention and energy is spent loving myself, investing in my personal growth and development, setting and accomplishing my goals, doing things that make me happy, being really good at protecting my boundaries, and pursuing my interests, hobbies, and passion projects.

Self-love comes from knowing yourself, trusting yourself, believing in yourself, and being complete on your own — just as you are.

To some, the concept of learning to truly understand and “love yourself,” may seem like a cheesy or trite concept. But it is not. Can you share with our readers a few reasons why learning to love yourself is truly so important?

My message is that your love is your power. When you give your love to things and others outside of yourself, you give away your power. When you love yourself most, you become powerFULL.

You teach others how to love you by loving yourself. When you value your time and attention, you attract others who will do the same. When you protect and honor your boundaries, you won’t be treated like a door mat. You receive respect from others when you respect yourself.

When we look in the mirror, do we see our beauty or do we focus on flaws and imperfections? Most people don’t like looking at themselves in the mirror. When we reject ourselves in this manner, we are giving ourselves negative energy instead of boosting ourselves with our compliments and positive energy.

Research shows that, when we are self-critical, we physiologically place ourselves in a fight-or-flight mode, degrading our immune system and putting ourselves at risk for disease (also known as “dis-ease”). When we are kind and compassionate to ourselves, we boost our immune system, lower our heart rate, and reduce stress on our bodies.

Imagine how healthy we could be if we focused on what we love about ourselves! Imagine how much better life could be if we stopped ourselves cold each time we weren’t being self-loving and instead accepted our flaws, forgave ourselves for perceived mistakes, and treated ourselves with the same loving kindness we show to others.

We would be healthier, happier, and more at peace. We would also attract those who would treat us as lovingly as we treat ourselves.

Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?

I’ve observed a few reasons that we stay in mediocre relationships.

1. We don’t want to be alone. The person we’re with is not so bad, or is the “least of the worst” we’ve been with.

2. Financial support or lifestyle. What this person offers in a material sense is too beneficial to give up.

3. Change is scary. We stick with the mediocre “known” rather than risking the unknown.

4. Obligation. We stay out of obligation because our partner “needs us.”

It could be any combination of the above. And this list is not exhaustive.

I’ve stayed in relationships for all these reasons at one time or another. In fact, I learned the importance of making myself, my needs, and my happiness the highest priority from being in many mediocre relationships!

Now, if I am not able to be my happiest and best self in a relationship, I end it.

Life is a gift and worth living to the fullest, being joyful, feeling full of energy and excitement, pursuing your passions. I’ve learned that there is no relationship worth sacrificing this for.

Many of us are afraid of being alone. When we learn to truly love ourselves, we understand that we are already whole as we are. We do not need anyone else to complete us. We only seek others who complement us.

When I talk about self-love and understanding I don’t mean blindly loving and accepting ourselves the way we are. Many times self-understanding requires us to reflect and ask ourselves the tough questions, to realize perhaps where we need to make changes in ourselves to be better not only for ourselves but our relationships.

What are some of those tough questions that will cut through the safe space of comfort we like to maintain, that our readers might want to ask themselves? Can you share an example of a time that you had to reflect and realize how you needed to make changes?

Here are some of the tough questions you might want to ask yourself as you look to better yourself and improve your relationships:

  • If I haven’t had the best success in my current or past relationships, could I perhaps benefit from seeking some insights into my own relationship patterns from a relationship coach?
  • Do I tend to look to my partner to make me happy rather than taking responsibility for my own happiness?
  • Do I believe that something or someone in the outside of myself will eventually “make me happy” versus focusing on making myself happy today, and every single day?

There was a pivotal moment for me, that came after I ended a relationship that had turned toxic.

Even though I was the one to end the relationship, it was a very painful breakup that took me quite some time to really work through. In the beginning, I was in a lot of pain. It felt like I had a huge hole in my heart. So, rather than turning to traditional therapy, I decided to seek the help of a relationship coach. My hope was that a relationship-specific coach could help me better understand what had happened with that particular situation. My coach quickly helped me understand that I played just as much a part in the relationship being toxic as he did. This came as quite a surprise to me. Of course, we all want to think that the problem is with the other person, and I was certain that this was the case with my ex.

My childhood was filled with quite a bit of trauma. But I thought because I had turned out to be a well-adjusted, successful adult, that I’d overcome the trauma. I believed that I’d not only did I survive, but that I learned to thrive, despite the mental abuse, neglect and lack of love. But little did I know, regardless of how well we’ve survived and overcome a traumatic past, if you haven’t actually focused on healing your trauma, it still leaves a lasting imprint on your life. And this impacts your relationships as well.

I came to understand that due to the trauma I’d encountered as a kid, I had formed all kinds of unconscious “limiting beliefs” about myself. I was also not aware that I had abandonment issues, self-sacrificing issues as well as this belief that I was responsible for everything in a relationship. All of this stemmed from beliefs that I formed as a child. And these unconscious beliefs that were formed in childhood, I carried into my adulthood. These limiting beliefs impacted every single relationship I had been in to-date.

I can only imagine what kind of healthier relationships I would have been in if I’d only healed my trauma long before. And if I had never done this healing work, I would have kept thinking the issue was strictly with “them” and had nothing to do with me.

So many of us don’t know how to be alone, or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?

Our relationship with ourselves is the most important relationship in our lives. We must prioritize spending time to nurture it. Being alone is the best way to tune into yourself, your spirit, your energy.

Making space to be alone with yourself is so important that I cover this topic in my book.

I love this quote from Vironika Tugaleva, “You’re already stuck with yourself for a lifetime. Why not improve this relationship?”

With the pervasiveness (and invasiveness) of instant communications, especially text and social media, others can easily reach us day and night. Often they expect (or even demand) immediate response. When we allow their expectations to drive our actions, it can come at the expense of our time and peace. We must be more vigilant in protecting our “me time.”

I value my personal space so much that I’ve learned to set boundaries with texting, especially in a relationship. Otherwise, I’d be checking my phone all day, spending my time and energy texting others, instead of using that valuable time for myself.

Even when in a relationship where you live together, it’s critical to make space and time to be by yourself. That space allows you to invest in yourself, and you come back to your significant other refreshed and grateful to see them.

How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?

We can only love others as much as we love ourselves. The more we love and accept ourselves — perceived flaws and all — the more capable we are of extending the same love and acceptance to others. Our ability to connect with others in a loving way starts with how we feel about ourselves.

The opposite is also true. We project onto others those things we cannot accept about ourselves. When we learn to accept ourselves, we become more capable of accepting and forgiving others.

When we go into attack mode, it’s often because something in us was triggered by another person. Our first instinct may be to lash out. But if we can instead pause, reflect on our emotional state, and understand we feel provoked, we can become more mindful and better equipped to respond instead of react.

Learning to respond (versus react) can protect our relationships from the harm of emotionally charged reactions.

In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?

Individually, we can be guided by how we feel, what we need, and what is important to us — instead of allowing social conditioning to tell us what we “should” do.

We can learn our boundaries and confidently protect them.

We can stop with the people-pleasing. Focus on pleasing ourselves first.

We can feel comfortable saying “no” when that’s what we want to say.

We can accept and validate ourselves, eliminating the need to seek acceptance and validation from others.

We can make it our priority to please ourselves first. We are all unique individuals. No one knows what’s best for us better than ourselves.

We can value our uniqueness and strive to be our authentic self.

We can stop judging ourselves and our worth based on society’s perceived (and often harmful) measures.

We can determine if what we are doing feels right or wrong for us.

Collectively, we can stop judging ourselves (and others) for not bending to or complying with outdated societal norms.

Here is the main question of our discussion. What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?

Here are my five self-love strategies:

1. Practice one item from my “joy list” every day.

My joy list contains a handful of simple, no-fuss activities that will instantly transport me to my happy place. Some of my joy list items include listening to music, taking a walk on a nice day, looking at art from some of my favorite artists, playing tennis, and watching funny animal videos.

2. Recognize and protect my boundaries.

This is a big one for me because it’s the area that I’ve struggled the most with in my life. When I stand up for my boundaries, I feels fantastic! When I fail to protect my boundaries, I feel icky, a bit deflated. I use the times when I did not fully and confidently enforce a boundary as a learning lesson, taking time to reflect on what I was feeling and what I can do differently the next time. Undoing the self-sacrificing conditioning I received as a young girl has taken a lot of work, but it’s been well worth it.

3. Embrace my inner cheerleader and silence my inner critic.

My inner critic used to take center stage in my inner dialogue. This critic told me I wasn’t qualified to write a book, that no one would hire me with a GED and no college education, that I was too fat, not pretty enough, etc. Of course, it communicated these harmful messages unconsciously.

One day I started consciously patting myself of the back for small wins throughout my day, every single day. It made me feel great about myself. It also helped me accomplish more and even helped me win competitive tennis games when previous, the inner critic would have deflated me and dictated my eventual loss. I’ve nearly silenced the inner critic entirely by embracing my inner cheerleader. The inner critic rarely makes appearances anymore. This has been a real game changer for me.

4. Journal at least 20 minutes every morning.

I originally started journaling because I had read that it would help open up my creative writing flow. It worked! I’ve learned that it is also a surefire way to connect with your feelings and to get to know yourself better. The key is not to overthink what you’re going to write about, just write. I find it particularly helpful to contemplate any feelings or events from the day before, then allow myself to further process my thoughts through my writing.

5. Monitor my power container every day with the intention of being Power-FULL.

I imagine that I have a power container that rests in my soul. When my power container is full, I feel amazing! I have the motivation to complete my entire task list, I feel like I can achieve anything I set my mind to, I radiate positive energy. I fill my power container by practicing self-care, doing an activity from my joy list, being my own best cheerleader, standing up for my boundaries, and pursuing my interests, hobbies, and passions.

I also remain vigilant of the things that can deplete my power container. Drains include saying yes to things to which I really want to say no, allowing people in my life that bring me down instead of lift me up, worrying about what someone else thinks of me, self-sacrificing my needs to try to please others, and allowing guilt to drive my behavior. I consciously eliminate these behaviors at every possible opportunity.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?

For relationships, I love the book “Attached” by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller. This book explains three attachment styles — secure, avoidant, and anxious — and helped me understand my attachment style as well as how other attachment styles function and mesh (or not) with mine.

In a new relationship, I’m able to quickly gauge another’s attachment style and determine if I want to pursue the relationship. For example, 25% of the population is an “avoidant” attachment style. I understand the challenges of being in a relationship with an “avoidant” type, including feelings of insecurity and lack of value that can arise when I’ve been in relationships with “avoidants” in the past. By understanding attachment styles, I can now spot green flags for potential good matches as well as red flags.

Another favorite book of mine is “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. This book impacted my life in a very positive way. It’s based on ancient Toltec wisdom that we create our own reality based on our belief system.

Beliefs aren’t facts, but we act on them as if they are facts. At a very young age, usually by age nine, our beliefs have been programmed into us by our parents, teachers, religions, and society. Based on these beliefs, we label things as right or wrong, good or bad. We also learn to judge ourselves according to these beliefs, which is a proven way for others to keep us in line with outmoded societal expectations.

The book offers four practices to overcome these limiting beliefs and live a more peaceful life. The two agreements that impacted me most are “don’t make assumptions” and “don’t take anything personally.” Both have guided me in my interactions and relationships and with others. I’ve noticed that the times I’ve reacted to someone because I took something personally, it actually had nothing to do with me at all. And, I’ve also needlessly upset myself by assuming all kinds of things, usually negative. By practicing these two agreements, I’ve brought more peace into my life and have strengthened my friendships and relationships.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it …

Thank you! Through my work, I aspire to be a positive role model for other women. I am on a mission to to uplift and spark women to become their best selves. I want to inspire a movement where we shine a bright and unshakable light on the unspoken yet engrained societal norms that prevent us from loving and valuing ourselves, protecting our time and attention, and prioritizing our needs.

I want to inspire women to release themselves from outdated gender-based shackles to retain their power, thus becoming more Power-FULL. I want women to understand that is imperative — and not selfish — to value and love themselves more than anyone else.

Studies have found that women are naturally averse to the idea of being powerful because we have been taught to believe it is a masculine trait, as in having power over others. We are conditioned as young girls to be kind, nurturing, and cooperative, while young boys are taught to compete, strive, and aggressively pursue what they want. By our programming, many of us aren’t comfortable being associated with the term “powerful,” as in “I am powerful”.

A litmus test is to ask yourself if you would describe yourself as “powerful.” Chances are, a majority of us women quickly shun the notion. And so we perpetuate outdated social norms that keep us from embracing our power.

True power has nothing to do with power over others. It has nothing to do with external factors at all. To have true power is to harness our own love and abilities, using them for our own benefit as well as for the benefit of others. In fact, the more we love ourselves and embrace our power, the greater our ability to positively influence and impact others.

Rather than rejecting the notion of being powerful, we can instead lovingly embrace being Power-FULL. When women are Power-FULL, we are full of energy, confidence, and capability. By prioritizing self-care and by doing the things we love every day, we can fill our imaginary power containers. And we eliminate the drains on our power by protecting our time, energy, and boundaries. We say no to projects, favors, and invitations that deplete us. We state and protect our boundaries without worrying about the reactions of others. We value and respect ourselves, teaching others to value and respect us.

Just imagine with me for a moment what the world would look like if we had more women in their power and more women in positions of power.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?

“We cannot set a boundary and take care of another person’s feelings at the same time.”

As a recovering people pleaser, this quote keeps me on track as every day I practice setting and enforcing my boundaries. I had to release myself from worrying about the feelings of others in order to protect my boundaries and my well-being. How someone else feels is simply not my responsibility, and it’s not yours either. We must not self-abandon in order to please others.

Our responsibility is to ourselves — to be in tune with how we feel, to honor, and to love ourselves more.

Thank you so much for your time and for your inspiring insights!

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