Although this post has been generously sponsored by “pHemme”, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect “pHemme”

Nayyirah Waheed

Although this post has been generously sponsored by “pHemme”, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect “pHemme”.

Everything I have gone through has led me to be the super empowered woman I am today. By overcoming my past mental and emotional challenges, by taking control of my anxiety, knowing my triggers and the base of all negative inner thoughts I am able to not only empower myself but others around me. My ability to be open and vulnerable, to feel energized and motivated, encourage and support others, be poised and emotionally in control, and be daring to try new things empowers me.

When I was young my eldest sister committed suicide. As you could imagine this changed my family dynamic forever. It felt like everyone in my family split in a different direction like an atom in an atomic bomb. Her passing led me to be filled with a lot of anger that I didn’t and couldn’t deal with for a long time. Without even knowing it, I grew up over night. I was dissatisfied with my life because as much as I felt emotionally and physically independent I was angry at what was taken away from me (my sister, my idea of a family, my care-free childhood). I didn’t know it then, but I would later battle with depression and a ton of anxiety.

I am not a psychiatrist. I cannot tell you how to overcome your own emotional and mental issues. I can tell you what empowers me so that maybe you can change your perspective, feel good about yourself and your relationships and maybe start to be super empowered and motivated as well!

Bob Marley Quote

I don’t like to be vulnerable and I think most people can relate. It’s hard to put yourself out there when you know that the world will instinctively judge you for it. I think we have all heard someone say it’s hard to love someone and be open to love if you don’t love yourself. Allowing myself to be open and vulnerable and sharing personal information with you takes a lot of courage. At this point in my life I have accepted my past, I have developed the tools to deal with my anxiety and depression and I know that I am a strong person. My strength and courage comes from knowing that there isn’t really anything negative you could say about me that I haven’t already said to myself. I have been on dark and stormy self-destructive seas, but I am a seasoned captain now.

Although fully accepting who I am was one of the hardest steps to empowerment for me, and took a long time to do successfully, it was so emotionally cleansing that it made all the challenges I faced worth it.

Being physically strong also empowers me. Taking care of myself through physical exercise pumps endorphins into my brain and body making me feel invincible. Eating healthy, and making sure I am getting enough protein and vitamins helps my body function so that my brain can function. This may sound like a ‘no brainer’ but it’s important because if I’m physically not well, it takes a big toll on my emotional wellbeing and my ability to be motivated and productive. Take care of your body, treat it like a temple. You may even be surprised how physically exhausting yourself can actually help you deal with anxiety and stress and leave you more energized, motivated and help you think clearer.

Sophia Amoruso Quote

Empowerment also comes from surrounding yourself with authentic people who truly care about you. I have a good core group of friends who support me emotionally and who I equally support. My boyfriend once said to me, “Not everyone is going to like you, and if they do it’s because you are boring” - and he makes a good point. So, I spend my time with women who are like minded and encourage and support me like I do them. If I can contribute to their success and not feel threatened by their achievements but instead celebrate their hard work and allow it to motivate me to work on my own goals - I become even more empowered.

What I love about Sophia Amoruso, is that “#girlboss knows when to throw punches and when to roll with them.” I am 100% a #girlboss but what sets me apart from many others is how I get things done. I don’t need you to like me or see things my way or force my opinion onto you to feel empowered. As I said before, part of being empowered is knowing yourself. Walking away from an explosive situation can be even more empowering then engaging in one. And, you can save yourself from the added anxiety and stress of dealing with the aftermath.

Push your boundaries and take some risks. My daring nature has allowed me to try new things and learn about new hidden talents I never knew I had. I feel for people who have anxiety when it comes to doing things alone or being placed in situations where you know nobody - it can be really hard. But some of my solo missions have led to some of the most empowering self discoveries of my life. When I went to university in Australia at age 18, I didn't know anyone! Introducing myself to people all over again allowed me to make my ‘realized self’ work in tandem with my ‘idealized self’ until it became the same. You want to feel empowered? Work through a fear or try something new, you may just discover something you never knew you were good at… in any event, it’s empowering.

Copenhagen Movie Quote

If you haven’t figured it out yet, empowerment comes from within. If it wasn't for my tough past, the challenges I had to overcome, and the tools I developed to battle through my depression and anxiety I would not be the super empowered woman I am today. That is why when I was approached to take on this assignment from a sponsor whose product many may not openly talk about using, I knew I had an opportunity to talk about how being vulnerable, being honest with yourself, and being supportive of others can lead to empowerment. So I took this assignment on and fully embraced it with the main purpose of empowering others. That is why I am donating all of my earnings from this post to Indie 88 and Lana Gay’s ‘Up All Night’ campaign in support of CAMH. I hope this post will empower you to say yes when it comes to talking about mental health or any taboo issues because although its hard it will always get you to a better place.

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