Theresa, when and how did you find Fierce Forward? When you first began fiercing forward, what did that look like compared to now?
On January 1st, 2016 Emily Dipple added me to the Fierce Forward Community group. A few years ago I had lost who I was: I was negative, judgemental, and became the person I thought others wanted me to be instead of being myself. I cared more about what others thought or wanted than what I wanted. I hid my successes as to not make others feel I was trying to outshine them, I hid my struggles because I was told they were not as important as others and I should just get over it and not bring others down. A very good friend looked at me one day and said, “You know you do everything others want you to do and you give up doing the things that truly make you happy, why is that?”
That hit me like a ton of bricks and so I decided it was a good time to stop! Stop being what I thought others wanted me to be, stop hiding who I was and what I wanted because I was afraid that I would upset the people around me. I began looking more at who I used to be and who I wanted to be again. I began finding me! I started doing the hobbies I loved again, started taking time for me, began rejoicing in my triumphs and voicing my hurts. I stopped hiding me to make others more comfortable and found my own voice again! When Emily added me to FF I was right in the middle of that transformation. I had found my voice with some people but still hid with others. I was working on finding my strength. FF helped me do that! I told Ashley at a dinner in Chicago last spring that I never knew a group of positive uplifting women could exist like this! I have found a whole new love for myself and who I really am and have found not only a huge tribe of women all over the world but a tribe of fantastic local women that love, support, and lift each other up! I have now taken a major leap into a business I was afraid to start, I get to regularly help women find their comfort and who they are by helping them feel good about themselves. I am getting my family ready for my husbands 3rd deployment later this fall and while I am terrified I know for the first time that I have more love and support from my tribe then I ever have in the past. This coming year will be full of change but I know will come out stronger because of Fierce Forward.
How have you applied the Fierce Forward mantra to your life?
I have learned to push forward when shit gets hard and not give up on myself and my goals and to run toward that which scares me!
You are starting your own business. What was the moment you decided you would take the leap and what does it mean to you?
Yes, I am a Lularoe Fashion Consultant! I have thought about doing it since last spring but needed to figure out how to come up with the large start up cost. I was finally able to in September and in November it was all official! I was a Beach Body coach before this, I wanted to help people feel better in their skin. I thought helping people change themselves through nutrition and fitness was my right path for that. While I do still love the company I was wrong, I began feeling more like a sales person saying well if you hate your appearance spend this money on the workout programs and nutrition I can offer you and you will lose weight, get fit, and be happier with yourself. That was not what I wanted! As a Lularoe consultant I sell clothes, yes, but I do so much more than that! I have helped ladies that I have known my whole life feel pretty because they found something they liked, felt comfortable in and wasn’t sweat pants and old t-shirts for the first time in years! I show women clothes that help them feel confident and beautiful no matter their size and shape. I had one woman recently who never once wore a dress because she didn’t feel she looked pretty in them. She ended up loving a dress and I have had the pleasure of seeing her in it many times! It makes my heart happy to help ladies be more confident by simply showing them a new style of clothes that they might love and how fantastic they can feel in those clothes!
What is the armor you are wearing to remind you of your intention, goals and dreams in 2017?
I have worn committed, run, life, and create almost every day since the new year started! Committed, to working my business everyday, to work toward my goals and not only reach them but crush them! Run, run toward that which scares you. Owning this business scares me, my husbands deployment scares me, my upcoming races scare me and you know what, I will run toward them and embrace them no matter what!
Life and create go hand in hand for me right now, I am working to create the life I want not only for me but for my family, as long as I stick to my work and put my heart into it I know I can create the life my husband and I dream of not only for us but for our children!
What would you tell a woman who is trying to move forward fiercely, but is struggling with putting herself first?
It is hard, it is very hard.There are so many times in the past where I have focused on others so much I lost my purpose. There are always so many things tugging at you everyday, asking for your attention. If you are a wife or mom that list just grows longer. Even in the last few weeks I have forgotten to take time for myself. It is an everyday struggle to take off all of your hats and do something just for you! Start small, stop and get your self that Starbucks you have been wanting but never take the time to get, sit down and read after the kids go to bed, write yourself a note on your mirror to remind yourself how awesome you are. Some of things you can do to show yourself love take less than a minute to do but can change your entire day! I know life is busy, I know we tend to put the people around us first but sometimes you need that girls night out, the late night glass of wine, the quiet time to journal or read and you just need to give yourself some time to focus on your goals and dreams and recharge yourself in order to continue to not only move forward for yourself but to encourage others around you to move fiercely forward as well!
What are 3 ways you show yourself fierce, self love?
- Crocheting. It is my go to, my peaceful spot. I make sure to make time for it everyday, even if it is only 5 minutes.
- Fitness. Not only do I workout on a regular basis but I turn to that when I am upset, stressed, angry, and use that as a form of healing. It allows me to push myself and get passed the hurt or anger so I can think more clearly. That was one of the most awesome things running this last year, everyday I had that time to process whatever was going on in my life, whether happy, sad, scary, frustrating, no matter what is happening that workout time takes you out of that situation and allows you a clear mind to process and reflect on what it is that is pulling at your heart.
- Singing and dancing. I started singing when I was 4, I have learned when there are no words to express your emotions there is always a song that can! I am a stay at home mom and all 3 of my babies are in school, there are many days when I feel like crud, I don’t feel like doing anything, my tank is just empty. I know if I turn on some music and begin dancing around my house my entire mood will change! I feel more filled and can focus on my goals for that day!
What are 3 habits that keep you on track to your goals each day?
- Write them down! If I write down my goals they are there, staring at me! Everyday I ran I wrote down my run and my miles, now that my streak is over as I do my workouts I check them off. I am very visual so having something that shows I missed a workout or didn’t meet a challenge I gave myself bothers me! I hold myself accountable more if I write it down.
- Set small goals to help you achieve a bigger one! Even during my running streak my goal was always to make it through that month, then the next one, then the next one. I have major goals for this year with my fitness as well as with my business but I know to stay on track and achieve those I have to set many smaller goals with dates of when I will complete that step.
- Tell people, people that will ask you about it. A spouse, a best friend, your girl squad. We ask each other regularly how we are doing working toward our goals. We share our goals, discuss the steps, share how an event or challenge went that day, celebrate when we are successful and absolutely do not judge when we slide back a step, we help each other refocus and get back on track! Having that person/group behind you, encouraging you and believing in you makes a world of difference! Staying on track to reach your goals is hard! Why should you have to do it alone!
What have you learned this year?
Mostly I have learned to believe in myself! Honestly self doubt is one of my biggest faults. I even found a post from the end of December 2015 saying I know I can’t run a full year long streak yet I did for all of 2016! I find myself saying even now, “I don’t think I can do this” but I am wrong, I can do anything, I am strong enough for anything, I can conquer any challenge even if it is hard and if I am not good enough to start with then I will work to get better!
What will you be doing on this very day, next year, if you continued to Fierce Forward in your life?
Honestly I hope not much different that I am now. Playing with my kids, teaching them, loving them. continuing to build my business and using the possibilities that business gives me to take my children places we currently can not afford to at the moment. continuing to train, continuing to race, but all the time getting better and stronger. Still very active in my church and teaching my children to be also. Still loving music and still learning and developing my skills, while passing the love of singing and playing music on to my children. I will be stronger and more confident in myself and my abilities but I will continue to do the things I love everyday while making those same things more challenging so I can continue to learn and grow!