I would like everyone to exercise my FACT (flexibility, acceptance, confidence, and time) formula of

Flexibility — Be flexible with yourself during your growing and learning stages

Acceptance — Accept who you are so that you demonstrate to others how they should treat you 

Confidence — Be confident in who you are and what you truly possess because who you are and what you possess can be a blessing to this world

Time — Give yourself time and let things happen at its perfect time

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Sarah Langley. Dr. Langley is an Award-Winning Global Empowerment and Transformational Speaker, Executive and Leadership Coach, Author, and Licensed Professional Counselor. She is the Founder and CEO of LeadHer International, a leadership and professional development company committed to empowering leaders by boosting their confidence and encouraging them to lead limitless lives. For 20 years, Dr. Langley has provided coaching, counseling and consulting services to employees of Top Fortune 500 companies, small business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs on quality leadership and profitable growth strategies.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path as a doctor or healer?

Thank you for having me.

The motivation for choosing my career path came from my tender years. I grew up in a neighborhood known for crime and poverty. Being one of seven children and the only girl among my siblings, I had to wear what we ‘call hand me downs’ from my brothers. I was classified as simply a statistic, with the natural assumption that I would be unmarried, sustaining on welfare aid, burdened with lots of children, and never amount to anything. It was from here that I got the fuel needed to prove everyone wrong. All I knew was that I wanted to go to school, obtain a doctorate, and become somebody. I wanted to become a psychologist (which eventually led to the career of a Licensed Professional Counselor) and stayed true to my calling.

How have your personal challenges informed your career path?

Well, the challenges and difficulties drove me to my present career path.

Incidentally, I was sexually assaulted at the age of 18, a day I left for undergrad. It was one of my male best friends who sexually assaulted me. At the time, I shied from opening up to my parents about it, and ended up operating in a defense mechanism called dissociation. I completely isolated and compartmentalized the incident. However, I used that tragedy to empower myself to delve into Psychology to understand why people think and act the way they do. I wanted to change the ways of the people for the better! For this reason, I also co-created groups on college campus to help incoming freshmen understand college culture and discuss rape prevention.

Today, I help people lead better lives through counseling, coaching and consulting women in leadership to rise even higher in life. Had I not had a tough time growing up, I would never have landed up in such a purposeful career.

Can you share your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became a Doctor”?

From childhood onwards, my focus was to not become a statistic and make my parents proud of me. In this respect, I wish someone had told me the following:

1. Not To Incur So Much Debt

I’ve incurred a lot of debt. Taking the formative years of schooling into account including grades K to 12, 4 years of undergrad, 2 years of grad, 3 years of doctoral studies, and 3 more years of clinical internship, I took the help of student loans and credit cards to finance my business and career. The debt is so overwhelming that it was, and still is, tough to pay back the debt. During my undergrad days, credit card loan officers tempted struggling college students like me with slinkies and cars. “Yes, if you sign up now you get a new car” they told us! And we were sold! New credit cards with no money! They knew we were struggling college students! I wanted to teach the creditors a lesson by not paying on my credit cards! Well, years later, I am paying for it now! As A Licensed Professional Counselor, those in our clinical field earn an average of $31,000 a year but may owe $200,000 in student debt!

2. Set the Intention to Run a Business as a CEO

I didn’t have an understanding of the purpose of having a business. I was an employee instead of an employer of my own business to which I had merely started just to prove people wrong and make a success of myself. I now know that entrepreneurship is bigger than the entrepreneur. The main focus is on the customer rather than the business owner. And you need to run the business as a CEO and not an employee. I wish I had known that before.

3. Stay Updated with Continuing Educational Credits

You want to be updated in your knowledge and awareness with Continuing Educational Credits. While I had learned quite a bit in these courses, my main intention was to keep my license. I didn’t realize the importance of staying relevant to and competitive in my counseling field. I didn’t understand at the time the possible reason as to why my counterparts in the field had a flourishing practice while my private practice was about 95% insurance based, which meant that managed care was dictating my every move in counseling clients. Staying updated in the field with the latest developments always gives a competitive edge and helps to ride on growth. As I was unaware of this, I was at a time an entrepreneur having the salary of an employee but the expenses of a business owner.

4. Take advantage of Networking Opportunities

It is important to capitalize on networking opportunities. I have attended conferences of the associations to which I was affiliated and met many great people there. However, it did not occur to me to build a rapport with them to pave the way for possible collaborations, build credibility and visibility as well as become a referral source. I attended CEUs to get away to attractive destinations. In fact, for the years when the conferences were held in ordinary locations, I abstained from attending. For example, if the association decided to have the conference in Hawaii one year and in Minneapolis the next, you can guess which I attended! (No offense to Minneapolis — I graduated there!)

5. Breathe

I wish somebody told me to take more deep breaths to allow more oxygen to flow into my brain. All the time, I faced constant anxiety, fear, and frustration, and was overwhelmed by my situation. I often hyperventilated. In fact, I didn’t know what I was doing with my business. There was no clear sense of direction, apart from my faith in it. I started realizing that there was more to just running a private practice and being a business owner. I had to manage my breaths to cleanse my system and refresh myself and my perspective. When I did this, I kid you not, inspiration came.

Additionally, I sought clinical supervision and mentorship, consequently improving customer service and treating my staff much better. Clients no longer appeared like mere dollar signs alone. I began viewing them as possible well-wishers who could refer my business to others afterward. I even decided to create a mentorship program to help other aspiring therapists not only obtain licensure but learn the ins and outs of running their own clinical private practices.

Ultimately, my counseling practice became a booming six-figure business and I became a proud entrepreneur, no longer an employee. It was my ability to breathe more freely and deeply as well as be more relaxed that helped me to attain it.

Social media and reality TV create a venue for people to share their personal stories. Do you think more transparency about your personal story can help or harm your field of work? Can you explain?

Social media today can be a boon or a bane, depending on how it is used. I underwent a lot of struggles to become who I am today, and I feel that sharing it would enthuse and motivate more people in my field.

The sexual assault I endured can show people that even counselors can face these kinds of traumatic incidents yet emerge victorious. We cannot let the bitter experiences define or limit us, we must become limitless and press beyond them.

There was also a point in my life when I felt so frustrated that I wanted to kill myself. When my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it put a significant strain on our family, turning our lives upside down. I became her caregiver. I felt alone and abandoned and suicidal as I couldn’t tell a soul due to my position as a Licensed Professional Counselor. There was no one with whom I could share my suicidal thoughts.

Nevertheless, Mmy faith in Jesus Christ, and my faith in myself convinced me that I had a powerful story to share. If I raise my voice and create awareness, I can be a mentor and of support to others who are in high profile professions. It is alright to feel vulnerable at times because at the end of the day, we are all human. So, I hope that others feel empowered from hearing or reading about my life lessons.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant to your life?

There are two quotes which are my favorites:

1. Eleanor Roosevelt said that you should “look fear in the face” and “do the thing you think you cannot do.”

2. Napoleon Hill said “The way of success is the way of continuous pursuit of knowledge.” I would just like to add to Hill’s quote by saying that the way of success is the way of continuous pursuit of knowledge…of who you are J

I live by these quotes as both transformed my way of thinking and the way I act. I always felt the need to prove myself and make others happy. And though I accomplished quite a bit in my life, I wasn’t entirely happy. I realized that I was living someone else’s dreams and desires to make people happy, and therefore, I was being fake. I was not being who I was truly born and meant to become. I spent my life perfecting someone that was not me instead of being on the pursuit of knowing who I truly was.

So, I had to face the fear of losing family and friends if I no longer pleased them by doing what I wanted to do. I risked losing the validation, approval, and acceptance when I dared to become who I was meant to become, which was simply become me. I didn’t think or know that I had the courage to accept myself as good, bad, or indifferent. But acceptance, validation, and approval started with me. I had to face my fears of being abandoned and alone. I decided to pursue the knowledge of who I really was for the sake of authenticity and truly being limitless. I also needed to make myself proud. What a huge relief it was to face the fear and pursue the knowledge of who I am! It not only helped me see love and embrace the woman that I am today, but making that decision to live life limitlessly by my own terms also showed me who my true friends and family members were. As a result, I now have more quality people in my life who simply love me for me right with me! Amen.

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? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

That’s simple. The movement would be the Limitless LeadHER Movement. This helps empower leaders to lead limitless lives by way of gaining clarity and confidence in who they truly are, own their leadership power unapologetically, tap into their limitless potential, and boldly go after their Big NEXT! That “NEXT” is going beyond the limits that others and they themselves have created. That NEXT is for the Limitless LeadHERs ready to take limitless action and push others to achieve more, while trailblazing the way for others to do the same. The Limitless LeadHER Movement is about legacy-building, responsibility to set examples for others to follow, and accepting themselves and their leadership power without any guilt or apology. I want everyone to exercise my FACT (flexibility, acceptance, confidence, and time) formula in this process:

Flexibility — Be flexible with yourself during your growing and learning stages

Acceptance — Accept who you are so that you demonstrate to others how they should treat you Confidence — Be confident in who you are and what you truly possess because who you are and what you possess can be a blessing to this world

Time — Give yourself time and let things happen at its perfect time

That is what Limitless LeadHER Movement is all about — living and leading limitless lives.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Website: www.drsarahreneelangley.com

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/sarahrlangley

Instagram: instagram.com/drsarahreneelangley

Facebook: facebook.com/drsarahreneelangley

Twitter: twitter.com/drsarahrlangley

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Thank you!


  • Bianca L. Rodriguez, Ed.M, LMFT

    An Authority on Spiritual Psychology + Mental Health

    Bianca L. Rodriguez, MA, Ed.M, LMFT is a soul whisperer, innovator and nationally syndicated columnist on the topic of mental health and wellness. Her expert opinion is highly sought by media outlets such as Bravo TV, New York Post, Huffington Post and NBC News. After receiving her MA and Ed.M in psychological counseling from Columbia University in 2005, Bianca had a spiritual awakening and realized despite her struggles with alcoholism, anxiety and depression she was complete. For the next decade Bianca developed her unique brand of psychotherapy integrating traditional and mystical interventions becoming a prominent leader and teacher in the recovery field. Upon meeting Bianca you'll be inspired by her effervescent spirit. Join her at www.youarecomplete.com