4 MYTHS ABOUT CONFIDENCE, DEBUNKED

 

4 MYTHS ABOUT CONFIDENCE, DEBUNKED

“Just be confident!”

How many times have you heard that and thought, “OMG! For sure! It worked!”

Like, never? Yeah, same.

Confidence is trendy right now, especially at the start of a new year. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a GREAT thing. But I know for a fact, not everyone has a handle on what confidence really means. For example, many of my clients come to me and admit confidence is mysterious. They consider it aspirational and far away. It’s the planet you want to reach, but you’re not sure if the spaceship you’re on is going to get you there. (You know I love a good metaphor.)

We’re told we have to be confident to achieve our goals, which seems aspirational on the surface, but in reality, it suggests that being insecure is shameful. That lack of confidence is a weakness, a character flaw.

Well, that’s a myth. How can you gain confidence when you’re putting yourself down for lacking it in the first place? There has to be a better way, and there is. Here are a few more confidence myths floating around that I want to kick to the curb once and for all.

Myth #1: Confidence is rooted in appearance.

Let’s get this one out of the way immediately.

Many people put emphasis on confidence being rooted in appearance. It’s been hammered into our heads that all it takes to get the guy or score the job is a little confidence. But the one doing the hammering, is often a celebrity on a magazine cover or an influencer on your Instagram feed who’s been airbrushed, FaceTuned & filtered into oblivion. It’s more than subliminal messaging. We look at them, the image of what society has deemed “perfect” and instantly link their confidence, AKA their success, with their appearance.

Naturally, we start to think, “Once I look a certain way, I’ll be confident, THEN I’ll achieve all my goals.” So we set goals related to improving our appearance in the hope that we’ll gain confidence along the way.

But deep down we all know that’s bullshit.

Looks fade—your mind is where it’s at.

Confidence, like self-worth, comes from within. So, find what makes you unique and run with that. True confidence comes from knowing you have something to offer the world that no one else does and believe me, you fucking have it. You just have to overcome that nagging fear we ALL have that tells us we’re not good enough. Do something that scares you every day. For some people, that might be applying for your dream job or booking a solo trip to another country. For others, it might literally be walking out of the house.

It’s a spectrum.

But facing your fears will give you confidence in your abilities, because you know if you can overcome yourself, you can overcome anything.

Myth #2: Confidence is linked to personality type.

OK, so if confidence isn’t rooted in my appearance, it must be linked to my personality right? Some people just have it. “Maybe she’s born with it.”

Ok lol.

Nope.

Think of anything you’ve ever had in your life that was worth having. Were you born with it? Hell no, you had to work for it. It’s the same with confidence. It’s not linked to being an extrovert. You don’t have to love being the center of attention or even enjoy talking to people to radiate confidence.

I, for example, am an introvert. A closeted one, but an introvert nonetheless. And I’m confident as hell, most days (more on that later).

When I feel the most confidence, isn’t when I’m on a panel speaking in front of people, or making a group of my friends laugh. It’s actually when I’m sitting with a client, feeling like I’m making a difference in her mindset. Making a difference in how she feels about herself. Helping HER confidence. Because that’s when I get to believe in my own skills, and in my ability to help others.

Myth #3: Confidence is the same as self-esteem.

They’re close, but it’s important not to confuse the two. Self-esteem is internal, it’s our opinion of ourselves, which in turn, leads to self-confidence. Confidence is more external; it’s our assurance in our opinion of ourselves. You need BOTH to know your worth. Self-esteem runs deep and is connected to so much—your mental health, your fulfilment, and your level of self-acceptance, for starters. It’s a majorly influential force, which is why nurturing yourself is so important.

This ties back into mindfulness (Click for mantras blog). Remember to take time to just be with yourself throughout the day. Sit. Breathe. It will help with your confidence because it removes you from any self-inflicted pain and it calms your anxiety.

Myth #4: Confidence is fixed.

Confidence isn’t an achievement. It’s not something you can check off your to-do list. Some days I wake up feeling absolutely awesome, and three hours later I feel like shit. Does it mean I’m not a confident person? Of course not. It just means I’m HUMAN. Confidence, like the rest of our human emotions, feelings, and experiences, is fluid. It ebbs and flows based on what’s happening in your life, your day, or even this very minute.

Take a second right now and become aware of your posture. Chances are, you’re hunched over your computer or cranking your neck over your phone. How does it feel? If I were a betting woman, I’d say, probably not great.

So now, sit up tall, push your shoulders back, and face forward—tell me that doesn’t make a difference!

Posture completely influences our perception of confidence, whether it’s how others see us or in our own minds. I literally make some of my clients stand like Wonder Woman: feet apart, hands on hips. Sometimes, the smallest things can immediately make us feel more powerful and in control.

Remember that. And also remember that even the most confident person in the world can falter—it doesn’t mean she’s failing.

Your journey to self-acceptance is your own. If you walk away with only one nugget from this whole piece, I hope it’s that confidence originates from self-respect. It starts with you, and it starts from within.

No one CAN or WILL love you as much as you can LOVE YOURSELF.

So how much do you have to give?

 
 
 

MANTRAS FOR THE MODERN GIRL

 

MANTRAS FOR THE MODERN GIRL

Om.

Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about mantras. Mantras and mindfulness go hand in hand in my opinion, and both have become crazy trendy lately. But did you know people have been using mantras to achieve mindfulness for over 3,000 years? Don’t feel bad if you’re just catching on now. Chances are, you’ve actually used a mantra before without even knowing it. It’s when you’re intentional with it and use it regularly that the magic really happens.

So let’s cover the basics.

What is a mantra?

When I was in 8th grade, I didn’t know what a mantra was, but I was obsessed with certain song lyrics that I’d listen to over and over when I wanted to get out of my own head. In high school, when I was getting ready in the morning, I’d always listen to the same song, which made me feel ready to face that day. Then in college, when I’d walk to and from acting studio, I’d listen to a certain song that allowed me to let everything else fade away.

I didn’t know it then, but those songs, which happened to have lyrics that spoke to me, were MY mantras. They were lyrics I repeated to myself over and over to ground me and calm me when I needed an extra boost.

It was so simple—but that’s what a mantra is. A mantra is different for everyone and can be anything. It can be a sound or a word—it’s what you repeat in a meditation or in your daily life, or at work, or ANYWHERE. A mantra is simple, but powerful because it’s unique to you.

Trust me, it’s not just for yogis or Buddhist monks. You don’t have to chant them or sit still to use them. These days, a mantra is more of an inspirational tool that anyone can use. It doesn’t have to be someone in the wellness field, either. CEOs, students, baristas can all benefit from using a mantra. And so can you, BABE.

How do I use one?

Remember a couple weeks ago when I talked about your own personal blue sky? And how sometimes there are thunderstorms, but it’s YOUR choice whether or not you let them flood your entire life? A lot of my clients deal with being flooded by obsessive thoughts. Those of us who have dealt with eating disorders and anxiety often get stuck in our own self-judgment.

This is where a mantra can save your ass. I have my clients choose a mantra to interrupt those thoughts. It gives them something to hang on to so they don’t get swept away by the flood. One of my clients’ mantras is a personal favorite. She tells herself, “Today, I am perfectly imperfect.” By repeating this to herself every day, she’s giving herself permission to be vulnerable, which inevitably gives her strength.

Personally, I deal with imposter syndrome all the time. Sometimes I’ll literally tell myself, “you don’t know what you’re doing. Fuck you.” But, remember, you’re in control of how you feel and you can CHOOSE to feel powerful.

It’s in these dark, weaker moments—which we ALL have—that you should rely on your mantra to bring you back. Over time, my mantras have shifted, but since the days I was in treatment, I’ve always gone back to one:

I’m going to love myself no matter what.

If I’m alone and feeling stuck in my head, I’ll look in the mirror and repeat it aloud to myself. I actually love having conversations with myself, I’m kind of weird like that. If I’m at work and don’t have time to meditate, I still have time to ground myself in my breath and my mantra. I gotta say, it works like a fucking charm.

When you use a mantra, you’re doing a mini meditation anytime, anywhere—how sick is that?

Why do I need one?

So why use a mantra in the first place?

Well, if I haven’t hammered it into your head yet, your thoughts create your reality. Regular, positive affirmations manifest into positive experiences in your life. A mantra can be the key to shifting your mindset, and therefore your life.

Don’t take my word for it. There’s tons of research out there to backup the claims that mantras can create change in your life, from reducing stress, to physically lowering your blood pressure, and even altering your brain chemistry.

But to me, what’s most exciting about a mantra is, at the most basic level, it’s honestly just something there to encourage you to feel good. I have clients who tape their mantra to their mirror, or set it as the background of their phone to center themselves during the chaos of the daily grind. The second you sit with your breath, it brings you back to the present. It helps you focus on ONE thing, it makes the craziness become irrelevant.

Mantras can also help you make room. They literally create space for you to open your mind and heart to new possibilities, new friendships, new opportunities. They help you get to know yourself on a deeper level. And ultimately, they help you develop a greater love for yourself. I can’t tell you how long it’s going to take you, but I can tell you the more you do it and the longer you do it, the more you’ll believe it.

It WILL happen eventually.

Earlier this week, I left my own therapy session and kept thinking about how I’m attracting all of the love I dreamed about and deserve. Nothing has made me feel more successful in my life than that, and I truly believe having a mantra helped me manifest true success.

So here’s the assignment I’m giving you:

Know yourself.

Love yourself.

REPEAT.

 
 
 

HOW TO GET UNSTUCK AND STAY THERE: PART II

 

HOW TO GET UNSTUCK & STAY THERE: PART II

Welcome back, babe!

You have your Big MOFA, so now you want to get unstuck, right? (If you have no idea WTF I’m talking about, read Part I of this blog first!)

Your Big MOFA (or big motivating factor) is the first step to getting unstuck. It will help you start to break the cycle of self-doubt, self-judgment, or whatever is holding you back from living the life you want. Trust me, I know because I’ve been there.

Now we get unstuck.

Here’s the best and worst part about getting unstuck: you’re in control, and you get to hold yourself accountable. Once you find your big MOFA, it’s crucial that you make choices that align with it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Figure out what is holding you back and break those habits you’re so fucking used to. I can tell you how, but I certainly can’t do it for you. I’m there to support my clients, hold them accountable and instill a system that makes it easier for them to achieve their goals, but I can’t and never will be able to do that work for them. No one can do it for you and get you truly unstuck, except for YOU.

See a common theme yet? I’ll keep going.

It all depends on how hard you want to work. Some girls come to me saying they’ve never been more ready, but then they don’t do it. I never judge or get mad if my client doesn’t accomplish something; rather, I shift the focus onto WHY it didn’t happen. Again, you can’t do anything about your “what” unless you know your “why”, in any situation.

I actually relate to these girls the most, because that’s exactly how I was. I would show up to my sessions with a defensive mindset, without having done anything I was supposed to do. Naturally, I didn’t make any changes that actually stuck. But then I hit a point where it all shifted. I actually became ready to own MY part in it all, and I was ready to do the dirty work.

It takes self-awareness. It takes honesty. The ones who come out of the 12-week program and are like, “holy shit, I’ve made real progress,” are the ones who actually do everything we set out to do together. Getting unstuck only works for those who are ready to own their shit and turn it around. It’s the shift in perspective that allows you to admit that you were the one that got yourself here, now you’re the one who’s going to get yourself out.

That’s the work I live for.

Change is completely rooted in you. That’s why your goals have to be rooted in you, too.

Stay unstuck.

Disclaimer: it’s not going to be easy. If getting unstuck is hard, I’ll be honest, staying unstuck is even harder. You’re going to have great days, but you’re also going to have really bad days too, and it’s SO important to acknowledge both.

I love to think of this one specific image:

Picture that above your head is your own personal sky. There are days when the sky is totally blue, there are days when it’s overcast and there are days when there’s just a monster thunderstorm. But guess what? You’re in control of how soaked you get by that storm. You can let it downpour and flood your life, or you can throw on a parka, pop open your biggest fucking umbrella and take it head on. Thunderstorms are always temporary, so do yourself a favor and remember that the blue sky is still there, just waiting to pop back out.

If you’re not into the metaphor thing, I’ll put it to you this way. It’s really easy to get stuck in our heads and distracted by negative thoughts or horrible self-doubt. We think the best thing to do is try to push down all the bad feelings we have and force them to go away. But the reality is, if you’re thinking to yourself, “I can’t have negative thoughts,” then it’s all you’ll end up thinking about! Feelings are passengers. Let them ride.

So, take the bad with the good. I literally sometimes have to say to myself, “thank you so much, negative thoughts, I appreciate you coming into my head to protect me from whatever you feel I need protection from, but I actually don’t need you. I’m good.”

At the end of the day, nothing external will ever make you feel like you’re enough. It has to come from YOU. You’re the only one who can fill your cup. You’re the person who needs to show up. So step up.

 
 
 

HOW TO GET UNSTUCK AND STAY THERE: PART I

 

HOW TO GET UNSTUCK & STAY THERE: PART I

And I’m back!

In my last blog, I wrote about why your weight is bullshit. What I really hope you took away from that, is that your worth CANNOT be measured by a number on the scale or what you see in the mirror. End of story.

But it’s obviously easier said than done. A lot of the self-worth disconnects I work on shifting with my clients are related to their appearance and the root is deep. I know this first hand because I was there myself.

I became a mentality coach, because I know what it’s like to battle with your weight, stuck in a seemingly never-ending cycle of body-shaming and feeling like nothing. Realizing my worth helped me get unstuck, and once I connected to that, I never looked back.

Now, I’ve promised to help others do the same.

To tell you the honest truth, ANYONE can get unstuck—and not only that, but anyone can STAY unstuck, too.

What’s keeping you stuck doesn’t necessarily have to tie into your body image. It can be anything that is habitually stopping you or keeping you from a life you’ve only ever dreamed of. The disconnect is that most people don’t realize that it’s about more than just knowing what you want. It’s truly about knowing WHY you want it—that part is a nonstarter. Then, once you know why you want it, you begin to figure out your “big motivating factor.”

Finding your “big MOFA”

If you’re wondering, “WTF is a big MOFA?”, we’ll get to that.

First, I want to reiterate one thing super quick: just because I sit here stressing that your worth is measured by SO MUCH MORE, doesn’t mean wanting to feel good about your appearance is inherently bad. It’s okay if you want to lose weight (or gain weight or get plastic surgery or dye your hair blue—I really don’t care), but it’s only going to stick if you know WHY you want it all. In other words, what will having all that do for you?

One of the ways I help my clients figure out their “why”, is I ask them, “if you could wave a magic wand, get covered in fucking glittery fairy dust and get everything you want in the next 90 days, what would that be?” Some of the answers I get are, “I want a boyfriend” or “I want to nail my dream job.” This is just the tip of the iceberg. To find your why, you have to go way deeper, and what you want has to be rooted in YOU.

Let’s take the boyfriend as an example. Next, I’d ask her what finding a boyfriend would do for her. Her answer might be that she hates being alone because it feels dark. Then, when I dig deeper, it becomes more about feeling a sense of belonging or companionship. BUT, if we dig even further than that, we discover at the most fundamental level, that she truly just wants to feel like she’s enough.

And that’s what I call the BIG MOFA: the big motivating factor. Sure, having a boyfriend is fun, but it’s not going to motivate you for the next 90 days and beyond. It’s not really about the boy, or having someone to hang out with on the weekends. It never is. It’s about YOU.

YOU are the only person who can get yourself unstuck because only you can truly understand not only your “what”, but also your “why,” then act on it. Finding your Big MOFA will help get you there, but it’s just one step in your journey. So how do you actually GET unstuck, let alone stay there?
Check back into the Babe Blog next week to find out how.

 
 
 

WHY YOUR WEIGHT IS BULLSHIT

 

WHY YOUR WEIGHT IS BULLSHIT

You don’t think about the word “fat” until that’s how you’re labeled. From the moment I heard it for the first time in sixth grade, that word followed me. It honestly became my identity. So in an attempt to take control of my newfound title, I started dieting. I started to realize, when I lost weight, I received external validation. I started getting more attention. People started noticing me more, telling me I looked “beautiful”.

Of course, it was never enough. I’d end up gaining the weight back and when I did, I felt like I didn’t matter anymore. It was almost like when the number on the scale grew larger and larger, my worth got smaller and smaller. So I’d go back to dieting, desperate to reclaim that external validation. I needed it because without it, I was nothing. It was a constant cycle and I didn’t know at the time, but it was the start of my eating disorder.

I was fixated on my appearance. Part of it was my own internal monologue, telling myself my WORTH was wrapped up in how much I weighed and what I saw when I looked in the mirror. But honestly, a big part of it came from external pressures. I was a performer, and appearance at that time was everything. I literally had teachers and mentors telling me I needed to lose weight if I wanted to be, “the next Jennifer Lawrence.” That everything I wanted to accomplish could happen if I just lost weight. The really shitty part? I actually believed them.

Now I know it’s all bullshit.

It definitely didn’t happen overnight. I was in and out of treatment for a while—the therapists even called me a “runner," meaning I’d show up for three weeks and then disappear for the next three and fall off. It took me a while to get to a point where I was ready to FOCUS on just me, because for so long I was fixated on what others thought of me and how others were affecting me. It took a lot of fucking work over years to finally accept the part I played in it all. Honestly, it took me a long to time to simply accept me.

But I did.

As I wrote about in one of my earlier blogs, during the process of self-acceptance, acting lost a lot of its appeal for me. So instead of always trying to please others, I started to focus on what would make ME happy. I got into a healthy routine. I was working out and eating right, but the key here was I wasn’t obsessed with it. It had just become my lifestyle, simply what I did every day because it made me operate at my highest frequency. And sure, because I was being healthy, my body changed a little.

So I started modeling. That makes total sense, right? I stopped acting because the pressure to look a certain way was too much… so I turned to modeling instead. If you’re thinking, “what the actual fuck, Jacq”, just hear me out. I was motivated to model by the idea that I might be able to inspire one girl a day to feel good about herself. If by showing up to the world, after all I battled, as my most authentic self, then maybe I could make one girl feel OK with doing the same. To this day, that’s really what it’s all about for me.

So I modeled. At one point, I ended up losing some more weight. I don’t remember why, and I don’t fucking care why, but I did. And then I became an “in-between.” I wasn’t plus; I wasn’t straight. Once again I was faced with pressure to change, because there’s no guaranteed market as an in-between model. I was told I needed to either lose or gain weight to stay in the industry. So what did I do?

I said, FUCK THAT!

The difference between acting and modeling was, this time I accepted myself. I STOPPED being willing to change for other people. This time, my point of view was the industry was lucky to have ME, not the other way around. With acting, I was constantly trying to change myself in order to prove my worth. That time in my life was fucking exhausting because I was constantly trying to be something I’m not. Something I will never be.

By the time I went into modeling, I had spent years learning to accept myself. It took time, but I figured out my worth ran so much deeper than what I weighed. I went into modeling knowing I was enough—take it or leave it. And you better believe they took it, until I personally was ready to walk away and start Your Inner Babe.

YOUR WORTH ISN’T MEASURED BY YOUR APPEARANCE.

Yes, everyone wants to feel good about themselves physically, but the ONLY way to do this is to feel good about yourself mentally.

Yes, society puts so much fucking pressure on what you look like, but you need to realize your worth is measured by so much more.

Finally, yes, it’s OK if you want to work on your appearance. It’s OK if you want to lose or gain weight. But at the end of the day, you can’t work on the outside if you don’t work on what’s inside first.

So pay attention to your passions and feed them. Prioritize yourself every day. Fill your cup with things that make you happy. Recognize that your self-doubt will never go away, but that these doubts are just feelings, they’re not facts.

The fact is? You are worth it.

 
 
 

You CAN and SHOULD Prioritize Yourself. Here’s How I Do It.

 

You CAN and SHOULD Prioritize Yourself. Here’s How I Do It.

Self-love is a journey. If the first step is knowing your worth, the second step is prioritizing yourself.

I get it-you’re busy. We all have a ton of shit going on in our lives. Between work or school, family obligations, social outings, etc., I’ll be the first to admit it can often feel like we barely have 20 minutes to eat lunch during the day or walk our dog, let alone take time just for ourselves.

But TRUST ME when I say, putting yourself first is the key to being the best version of yourself. It’s the exact opposite of being selfish. Making yourself number one in YOUR life, makes you able to be number one for other people in THEIR lives.

It won’t happen overnight. Take it step by step. For me, it started by making choices every day that align with my goals. Here are four ways I prioritize myself every single day:

I TAKE MY MORNING ROUTINE VERRRRY SERIOUSLY.
Like really seriously. I wake up at 7:00am or a little before so I can give myself two hours minimum to go through my self-care routine. It’s non-negotiable. My morning routine consists of: hot water with lemon, a cup of coffee with my mom’s homemade coconut milk. Harassing my puppy Mercer and then 45 minutes of online shopping. I can’t even really call it shopping because rarely do I ever buy anything, I just have this weird LOVE for making shopping carts. It’s my thing, and I’m definitely not going to apologize for it—more on that later.

Some people say I’m crazy, but having a strict routine works for me. It helps me clear my head each morning so I can be the best version of myself throughout the rest of the day. Before I started taking these two hours for myself, I tended to wake up late and I’d spend my entire day feeling like I was catching up instead of being present.

I WRITE OUT POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS.
When I’m with clients, I always ask them to tell me, “what’s going well.” They often start with something small, like making the bed or grocery shopping for the week, but this usually leads to them recognizing more and more good things that have happened throughout their week. Positivity has a very real snowball effect. IMO, writing things down makes it even MORE real.
Things like:

  • I AM A POSTIVE FORCE IN THE WORLD.

  • I AM MOVING FORWARD IN MY JOURNEY EVERY DAY.

  • I FORGIVE MYSELF FOR NOT BEING PERFECT, BECAUSE I KNOW I'M HUMAN.

    They’re tangible reminders to LOVE myself. And by the way, I don’t restrict myself to “realistic” ones either. I go WILD with them - because the only person I need permission from is ME.
    Recently, I write out things like:

  • I AM A DAMN GODDESS.

  • YOUR INNER BABE IS A MULTIMILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS.

  • I SHINE MY LIGHT, SO THAT I CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.

    If we say it, it will manifest.

    I SET BOUNDARIES.
    I’ve learned how to say NO. And I refuse to feel guilty or shameful about it. Something I’m currently working on is shutting off. I cook dinner every night and I absolutely LOVE it, so I’m actively trying to stop working by 7:00pm, so I can focus on cooking and on spending time with my fiancé. Be unapologetically OK with doing what you need for yourself. It’s like my online shopping carts. I’m not exactly sure why I need it as part of my morning routine, but I do, so I go with it. Your gut instinct is your best friend. When you realize that, you realize you have complete control over your life. It’s not up to anyone else.

    I KEEP A GRATITUDE LIST.
    Above all, I always always always bring myself back down to earth by being grateful for what I have RIGHT NOW. Not what I want, what I think I need, or what I’m going to get in the future. What I have right now. This is what I have in my life and these are the people around me who support me. Sometimes that’s all it takes to realize how rich our lives really are.

    Prioritizing yourself allows everything else in your life to become stronger. It’s as simple as that. And you’re worthy. Little well-formed outcomes, attainable goals, are the keys to making it happen. If you achieve a collection of little goals, it’s motivating. You’re able to FOCUS on all the good you’re doing and providing yourself, rather than everything that’s stopping you or keeping you stuck. You focus on what’s going well, instead of succumbing to the opposite and fixating on what’s not going well.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you fucking deserve it. When you prioritize yourself, you start to truly BELIEVE you deserve more and more and more and more. And once you believe it, you make it happen.

  •  
     
     

    KNOW YOUR WORTH: IT'S MORE THAN SKIN DEEP

     

    KNOW YOUR WORTH: IT'S MORE THAN SKIN DEEP

    I struggled with eating disorders all throughout high school and college. During that time I couldn’t go a solid minute without body checking or putting myself down. I quickly learned when you feel like shit about yourself, not only do you act in a way that allows people to know you feel like shit, but you attract what you think you deserve.

    I was a magnet for toxic people. At the peak of it all, I slept basically until noon every day and cancelled almost all plans that would take me out of my apartment. I just didn’t want to be seen. I was a drama major at the time, and that industry is hard enough to break into, even if you’re as self-assured as they come. I however, had a constant voice inside my head absolutely destroying me with self-doubt. Instead of using the criticism from teachers as fuel to grow, I used it as gas to light my self-hate fire. Talent aside, I was NEVER going to make it because there wasn’t a chance in hell I was going to let myself SUCCEED. I self-sabotaged every opportunity that came my way. I blocked any good from my life because deep down I didn’t think I deserved to feel good in any form.

    By my junior year of college, I had pretty much stopped going to class altogether. I was on academic probation for the third semester in a row and was told if I didn’t make a change, I’d be dropped. Finally one day, the head of my acting studio sat me down and asked, “Jacqueline, do you even want to be here anymore?” And I remember thinking, no, I really fucking don’t.

    But I wasn’t just talking about being at NYU or acting school, I was talking about living life in general. I was sick and tired of it. I was exhausted from hating myself.

    My self-worth was an actual zero. I’ll never forget the exact moment I realized it either. If I close my eyes, I can picture it perfectly.

    I left the meeting with my teacher and got back into bed, sobbing, broken, feeling completely alone. I knew I wasn’t living the way I was meant to be living - I had officially become a bystander in my own life.

    And I really do remember finally thinking, “I’m done.” If I wanted a life at all, I’d need to take it back.

    My roommate at the time was actually in recovery herself, and when I cried to her, begging for help, she looked at me and said ‘I’ve been waiting 4 years for you to ask me this. I know exactly where you need to go.”

    I ended up at The Beacon Program in New York, and started treatment for food addiction. I had access to some top-of-the-line clinical help, phenomenal therapists who patiently (and I stress patiently because I was a handful and a half) taught me, helped me, and gave me the tools to get better. I still think about it today, but not one single thing I did within that program changed my life per se, but the experience as a whole most definitely gave me my life back. I graduated from NYU and I was finally unstuck.

    I felt ready for something NEW, so I uprooted myself from New York and came to Chicago. By this point I had been healthy for years, but because of everything I’d been through during college, I had somewhat lost my passion for performance. I started searching for something deeper to fulfill me.

    It took me a while to realize this, but deep down I still felt alone. I kept thinking back to my treatment and despite how amazing the therapists had been, something was missing. Professionals like that aren’t accessible 24/7, and they often don’t know exactly how it feels to battle with yourself every single day. I didn’t believe that they could truly relate to the neverending war that is recovery.

    I reveled in being HEALTHY, but I couldn’t shake the loneliness I had felt during treatment or the feeling of just needing someone there by my side who gets it. I realized I wanted to be that person for other girls going through it. I knew there was a need and I knew that I was the one who was meant to meet it.

    That’s when I got certified as a Mentality Coach and started Your Inner Babe, where I coach women on their own personal journey from self-hate to self-love.

    It’s been 6 years since I started prioritizing myself, since I found my inner BABE, and set her free. I genuinely believe we all have an inner BABE inside of us and I’m on a mission to help women of all ages find theirs. You can find her, ignite her, and set that bitch free.

    But how?

    KNOW YOUR WORTH.

    It runs so much deeper than how you look. I spent years trying to find my worth in my appearance. I thought my appearance was linked to everything—if I could just be skinnier, prettier, I would get everything I wanted.

    Yet it was never enough. I know you’ve heard this story before. No matter how much weight I lost, I still looked in the mirror and hated myself, which is why I would always end up gaining it right back. The worst part was, I would have never talked to anyone I LOVE, the way I talked to myself back then. Just like my roommate so easily recognized that I needed help, sometimes the only person you can’t see clearly is yourself.

    KNOW YOUR WORTH.

    Your appearance doesn’t define you. Your mind, your spirit, your talent, your heart make you who you are. And shit, you’re simply worth it.

    When you know how much you’re worth, you shine. It’s as simple as that. That’s when good people come into your life and when good experiences come to fruition. There’s nothing more POWERFUL you can do for yourself than owning exactly who you are. The good, the bad and especially the ugly.

    KNOW YOUR WORTH.

    Knowing your worth starts with knowing you. Just as you are when you wake up every morning, you are enough. And that if you WANT more, know you deserve it. It doesn’t just pay to say it out loud, you must actually BELIEVE you’re worth it so you can make the choices every day that reflect that.

    Sometimes all you need is a fresh set of eyes.

    I hear you, and not only that, I see you. I got to the other side. I got unstuck, and if I can, you can too.
    So let’s fucking do this.