I’ve come a long way since school. I was a shy, quiet person who had many ideas, thoughts and opinions and was terrified to share them. Today, I am an entrepreneur, YouTube creator, author and public speaker. This didn’t happen overnight. I didn’t wake up charismatic and confident. It took work, but it was so, so worth it. I want to give you a glimpse into my journey and how I’ve come into the person I am today. It’s an interesting story and I hope in some way it motivates or inspires you.
Inner strength is something I’ve had to work at, and I believe it is one of the most powerful tools a woman can have. According to a recent survey of over 6,000 women between the ages of 21-55, the stronger a woman feels, the more confident and motivated she is – which, in turn, impacts her positivity and proactivity. This study also demonstrated there are many positive changes both internal and external that women see from having inner strength. 2 in 3 women agree that having more inner strength would allow women to be themselves more. Possessing it also allows them to manage responsibilities, overcome challenges and fulfil their potential. For example, more than half of women feel more in control when they feel strong inside. This is highest in Canada (64 percent) and Australia (56 percent). Many women agree that they are not listening to their inner voice as much as they should and instead many feel constricted by the expectation placed on them by others, with 1 in 3 making life decisions based on other people’s expectations. Wow. OK. Inner strength is important!
I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and I knew I was going to get there, but I had zero self-confidence. I was in a really competitive business school program and my peers were brilliant. I experienced a ton of anxiety which affected my ability to do things like raise my hand to answer questions or even ask for clarification in university – I was too embarrassed to speak in class at times because I didn’t feel smart enough and that people would laugh at me or think I was stupid. I didn’t feel safe and secure enough to take these risks. I’d answer questions the professor asked in my head, but any time I wanted to speak up, I’d break a sweat. I knew I wanted to make something special out of my life, but I was struggling to reconcile how to make this happen. I was so worried about how others would perceive me, and that’d I’d be unsuccessful if they ‘found me out’. I was at an impasse; something had to give.
Eventually, I did a lot of self-talk and affirmations because of reading I had done on the topic as well as learned about and practiced meditation to help alleviate my anxieties and to boost up my self-esteem. For affirmations, I strongly recommend listening to ‘101 Power Thoughts’ by Louise Hay, and for meditation, I strongly suggest reading ‘Full Catastrophe Living’ by Jon Kabat-Zinn. After reading this material and taking these skills out for a spin, I began to tell myself that I was smart and deserving of participation, knowledge and success. And then, I would dare myself to speak up in class, ask questions, and challenge peers and profs when it felt right. I received positive reinforcement – not ridicule – and that cycle fed my desire to do it again and again. My confidence began to build and I began to believe the affirmations I’d told myself. When I felt stressed out (which was often at school), I’d practice meditation or yoga. It grounded me and reminded me that I just needed to focus on the here and now and nothing else mattered. What a relief. These two were major inner-strength building blocks for me on this journey.
Today, I’ve got a lot happening. Life is busy, full of most things I’ve wanted (although I am still on my way to building more!) and keeps me on my toes. I am called upon to do many exciting things alongside running my companies and making videos. This is the life I was affirming, and here it is. I keep doing it as my wants change over time, but I know I can always rely upon my inner strength, grit and affirmations and meditation to get me where I need to be.
If you ever see me on TV or giving a talk in front of a group, just know I’ve probably done a bunch of affirmations and looked in the mirror and told myself I was good enough, smart enough and articulate enough and that what I have to say is important. Even today, doing things that can be seen as nerve-wracking require a bit of a boost, and now I know what I need to do to get myself psyched up. While it may sound corny or overly simple, I never question it. It has helped move me along in my career and I will always continue on this self-development journey, since it has helped me achieve my dreams. Oh, and today, when I am in a group, I don’t shut up. I ask questions and participate, because I believe in myself and that I deserve to achieve my personal best.
I am really proud to be part of Special K’s #StrongFeedsStrong program, where they’re working in partnership with the UN’s #GirlUp program to give 500,000 girls resources to develop their own inner strength and live better lives because of it. I could not be prouder to work on a program like this, it is so near and dear to my heart. I am really excited to share my story with you and how finding my inner strength has propelled me forward. To learn more about the program and what it offers, visit and share your http://bit.ly/2nsjjmp story using #strongfeedsstrong!#SpecialK