Make sure you remain positive and prevent negative thoughts. It’s easier said than done at times but do your best to avert your attention to something positive when negative thoughts creep in.
Starting something new is scary. Learning to believe in yourself can be a critical precursor to starting a new initiative. Why is it so important to learn to believe in yourself? How can someone work on gaining these skills? In this interview series, we are talking to business leaders, authors, writers, coaches, medical professionals, teachers, to share empowering insights about “How To Learn To Believe In Yourself.” As a part of this series we had the pleasure of interviewing Keli Kane.
Keli Kane is a Reading Specialist, Motivational Speaker of Overcoming Traumas, and Healer working with TVGUESTPERT. Her loving and compassionate demeanor has destined her to teach young children as a Kindergarten Reading Specialist. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree, and a Master of Science in Education Degree. She is permanently certified by New York State as a Public-School Teacher Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and Grades 1–6. She is also permanently certified as a Reading Teacher grades K-12. She has been and is currently still employed in the same school district as a Reading Specialist teaching grades K-12 since 2003. Through her life journey Keli has suffered and overcome many unforeseen changes, traumas, and upheavals. Keli has used her God given gifts to not only change her own life but others’ as well through energy healing. She has also studied Shamanism and became an Usui Reiki Master and Teacher.
Keli is an extremely confident woman exercising excellent self-discipline to create strength needed to overcome traumas and obstacles. She wears her heart on her sleeve and is truly as authentic as one can be. She can easily be described as an Earth Angel always finding the best in a person or a situation. Children and animals are drawn to her white light high vibrational energy. Keli is a true social chameleon and those around her are at ease sharing their thoughts and feelings. Her positive energy and enthusiasm precede her entrance into a room.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I grew up in a lower middle-class home. My parents both worked several jobs. I had to become independent at an early age. I even held a job by age 12 which I worked after school by taking the bus back and forth alone. As a child I knew that I had a special intuition. I even had the distinct feeling that I would be a teacher somehow. I used to line up my stuffed animals when I was in kindergarten and pretend to teach them. It’s no surprise that I ended up as a Kindergarten Reading Specialist. I have taught grades K-12 over the span of my 20-year career but I sure do enjoy getting back to where I started.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
My mother always wanted to be a teacher but that wasn’t in the works for her life path, unfortunately. She worked in activities in a nursing home and would constantly bring my siblings and I in to talk with the people. She was so kind and caring to these people who needed a friend, or what I call a fill-in family member. That matched with my stuffed animal teaching. I just knew that, somehow, I was going to care for and heal others. Dad was the social chameleon and I have adopted this trait. The mixture of my mother the caretaker, and Dad the comedian has created who I am today. When I began college, I was actually a voice major first heading for performance arts. Then I switched to translating Spanish and French while still heading for a teaching career. I just didn’t know what type of teacher I was going to be yet. I finally decided on Elementary Education with a Concentration in Spanish. I then got a master’s degree in Literacy. I became a Reading Specialist and the whole path has benefited me because I use every part of what I learned in my career. It all led me to where I am supposed to be.
I was struck by a drunk driver June 7, 2014, and recovered mostly from a traumatic brain injury and PTSD. While recovering, my parents were collectively dying which had me running in all directions with calls to doctors, hospitals, lawyers, and nursing facilities. Then the Pandemic hit in 2020, and while balancing my healing, and taking care of both parents along with my sister and brother, I had to learn how to teach Kindergarten students on Chromebooks online like little college students. My parents passed away 36 hours apart June 14 and June 16, 2020. I had removed my mother from the nursing home for Home Hospice; and, on the 11th day we received a phone call that my father had slipped and hit his fatally head 36 hours before my mother took her last breath. My siblings and I were instant orphans. Shortly after, my marriage failed, and we collectively decided to get a divorce. That led me to a deep spiritual awakening and found TVGUESTPERT and started my journey to become a motivational speaker for healing trauma.
My school District is very supportive of work that I am accomplishing to help others heal from multiple traumas as well. I am very lucky to have this support system.
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
My first year of teaching as a Reading Specialist in a middle school had its challenges, for sure. I had a particularly fiery group of mostly girls. That’s relevant when you hear this story — you will giggle for sure. It was a Grade 6 AIS Reading class. I had to teach in different classrooms and this teacher had her desk very close to the chalkboard (yes that should date this for you). I went to pass behind the desk and the edge of the chalkboard ripped my pants. They were literally ripped across my whole left cheek. I stood there in shock. Everyone heard it happen. They yelled “turn around maybe it’s not that bad” while laughing hysterically. I was holding my pants with one hand and instructed everyone to go in the hall right away while they continued laughing. I was notified beforehand that we have cameras and security, so I knew they were safe for a few minutes. I went to the admin office and showed them so they could watch the class on my behalf right away. I didn’t have many options to fix my pants as I lived one hour away and didn’t yet have friends. So, I went to the nurse’s office because sometimes there’s extra clothes and I’m a small person. Nope, she had nothing. She gave me a sewing kit and I took off my pants behind the curtain and sewed the pants. It was a terrible job. I put the pants back on and went back to teaching my class. They girls were laughing hysterically but ended up respecting me for facing the issue head on and smiling and moving forward even though, yes, they made fun of me. Believe me, they took their verbal shots. Soon after they were asking to have lunch with me and sometimes braiding my hair. We all learned a lesson that day. Things happen and your way of adapting to change helps moves past any barriers to become your highest self.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
I just wrote a book, Angel in the Mirror: Healing Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD Through Western Medicine and Spirituality. I’ve been appearing in podcasts and have been quoted online to spread the word of its release. It took me almost 9 years to write this book. It shares very vivid details about the accident, finding out I was mentally disabled from a TBI, the PTSD experiences from the accident to the insurance companies and beyond. I was not able to teach for over a year and a half. I also share the steps I personally took to recover from Western Medicine to Spirituality. This was an extremely vulnerable experience and its certainly humbling. I just think of my parents. My family always called me “bulldog” because I always fought for truth and what is right. I have had 15 very specialized people read this because I am just trying to teach others how to not just survive but find true life and happiness again. They have all responded in similar ways. They are amazed at how many things happened to me and I’m still living life the best possible.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to believe in yourself? Can you share a story or give some examples?
I had a seven-year-old son at the time of my accident and TBI. My parents were alive in the beginning of this accident and so many times I would cry and tell my mom I wanted to give up. I was going to drop the lawsuit, or I was crying because the physical therapies (sometimes 3–4 appointments a day) were painful. She reminded me that it’s not in my nature to give up. She always told me to dig deep and do the thing I hated most first so that everything else was easier. The silence of people not being available while I was too available was just too much. That’s when I turned to my Pastor. Then, I found a Reiki Master to learn from. I found a Shaman to work with. I found Angel healers and Mediums to also work with. They reminded me that I was someone unique. That inspired me to become stronger, and use the pain and suffering I endured transmuting pain into power to help save others. I was resourceful. I worked with a psychologist all these years and still work with him. I shared videos offering vulnerability so someone can privately get help if they need. I have people reach out to me and I’ve spoken with them. I just came back from Los Angeles and I met three incredible people that immediately shared their stories with me and I was able to offer solace, and true understanding. Since I didn’t give up on myself, I am able to help others. I couldn’t save myself alone but was more than willing to save myself for my son, and anyone who needed my help. It’s just the caretaker in me.
What exactly does it mean to believe in yourself? Can I believe that I can be a great artist even though I’m not very talented? Can I believe I can be a gold medal Olympic even if I’m not athletic? Can you please explain what you mean?
When you believe in yourself, you are allowing the best version of yourself to become a reality. There is no perfect human. Am I a perfect healer? Of course not. A perfect teacher? Of course, I’m not a perfect teacher. I make mistakes for sure that are harmless but nonetheless are mistakes. I am very good at my career, and I’ve been told by many whom I have done Reiki services on that I do have healing hands. That’s partly because I do have a gift, but I also believe in the good of what I can do with a very full and loving heart. You don’t have to be perfect in anything the same way as we take care of our physical bodies. We all know that we are supposed to eat healthy foods, drink water, and exercise. We all do that with different levels of commitment and intent. It’s the same concept of reaching for the stars and landing where you’re supposed to be. There’s no question that life can deal some tough lessons and I am definitely a person who can speak of this. The point of life is to live in the best state possible. That includes your dreams and believing in yourself.
Was there a time when you did not believe in yourself? How did this impact your choices?
I absolutely hit rock bottom after the multiple traumas I went through. I can even go back to when I was in college while switching majors so many times I thought I would be a forever college student. When I got to a place where I knew it was the bottom following the accident that I wasn’t even accepting phone calls from people who were concerned about me, I turned to the church. I went to a Pastor. I found a psychologist. I read books and studied online about people going through similar traumas and how they navigated them. I just knew that I wasn’t alone and since I couldn’t speak to any friends that would understand I went out and found people who could understand what I was going through. I made sure that I had some direction to turn to get help when I couldn’t see things clearly. It was a very scary place to be. I was mourning the loss of myself while suffering from PTSD. I can’t describe a darker place to be emotionally. I prayed, found people like me, studied ways to heal, and learned Reiki. I can honestly say that teaching children has shown me a resilience that I don’t see anywhere else. They truly live in the moment. Their funny antics and pure adoring kindness can heal anyone with one quick class. They saved me.
At what point did you realize that in order to get to the next level, it would be necessary to build up your belief in yourself? Can you share the story with us?
After my divorce, I joined an online relationship course with Merle Singer and Patti Negri. I thought it was about how to begin the dating world and such. It was a class for that but, for me personally, I had to learn how to love myself again. I had been through so much trauma that I just had to start from scratch and learn who I was independently while still raisin my son. I literally learned my likes and dislikes and ventured out into the world myself to many places. After meeting TVGUESTPERT I then realized I must have some healing to offer. It was the first time someone referred to me as an expert. It made my drive increase to be the best that I could be in order to continue to help others. I’ve taught thousands of kids already and changed many lives. I am now interested in healing as many people as I possibly can. That would truly make my heart happy. I really don’t want others to feel the darkness that I have been through.
What are your top 5 strategies that will help someone learn to believe in themselves? Please share a story or example for each.
1 . Make sure you remain positive and prevent negative thoughts. It’s easier said than done at times but do your best to avert your attention to something positive when negative thoughts creep in.
2 . Accept help from others. Often people are worried about perception and fail to accept help. A lot of people like to offer help to others but have a difficult time accepting it.
3 . Get out of your comfort zone and experience something new. It can be as simple as going to a restaurant by yourself, a museum, or sitting at a lakeside just taking in the scenery. Try something new and you’ll see how brave you really are.
4 . Find your true interest and study anything to do with your interest. Participate in your passion after you’ve discovered what it is. It will help you discover true internal happiness and motivate you to be the best version of yourself.
5 . Find alike people to communicate with. If you are nervous to get out and about there are plenty of ways to communicate with like-minded people these days. You never know who you’re going to run into. Who knows? The new person may ignite our soul.
Conversely, how can one stop the negative stream of self-criticism that often accompanies us as we try to grow?
Ah, yes, I have had to grow through this self-sabotage myself. I can be an overthinker at times I admit, and especially after everything I went through. I have had help reflecting and have reflected myself on what would benefit me the most. I find that averting my attention to something I love to do usually helps me stop that negative wave of thoughts. If I just can’t muster up the ability to get out of that I reach out to a trusted person for help. I’m a talker. I set up a small network of safe spaces to talk. I call on these special individuals and we will make sure that I get back to my positive thoughts and ways of living. My sister is very good at giving me a good ole’ dose of tough love or supportive love the same way my mother used to.
Are there any misconceptions about self-confidence and believing in oneself that you would like to dispel?
I will attempt to answer this from my point of view. I’m going to just share that with the large amount of people that I have encountered in my life, my career, and on my new healing journey, self-confidence is an important factor to be able to take risks. By this I mean without any confidence at all, you can be stuck in a negative pattern of thought which can cause fear. That’s not a fun space, energy wise, to live in. Many people have a mask of having self-confidence while hiding fears. The way to build this confidence is to eliminate fears and previous trauma so one can live in positive energy which will naturally build self-esteem and confidence.
What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with imposter syndrome?
My first piece of advice for anyone suffering from imposter syndrome is to make sure that the anxiety is dealt with and kept to a minimum. Meditation, yoga, eating healthy, and having some form a communication with a trusted individual which can even be a therapist. It’s important to reiterate that there is no perfect human being on this planet. It does not exist. Even the most established and beautifully souled humans have made mistakes. I have this conversation with my Kindergarten students all the time. They live in the moment and when they get in trouble for something they are very upset and may cry. I have to talk to them about being willing to learn and follow a new direction. I also explain that perfectionism doesn’t exist, in little people terms of course. It’ settles them quickly every time. We need to keep this concept fresh in our minds as adults. Share your mistakes, accept the failures, and celebrate the successes. I’m always trying to get everyone to show love and compassion to themselves because that is how I got through my traumas. I have been referred to as an expert for years and that was a little nerve wracking for me in the beginning. I absolutely didn’t mind being called an expert in my career because I knew this to be true from the thousands of cases I worked on helping students to succeed educationally. Being called an expert in healing was a little more scary and I had to develop some confidence. I had a close colleague say to me “Kel, you’ve been through all of it and succeeded. That makes you an expert”. It was simple sentence meant from the heart and changed my perception. It’s the power of positive words.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
When I started my career as a Reading Specialist in 2003, I was always shouting “feel the love” to my students and colleagues. On occasion, 20 years later, they still randomly yell this to me. I have demonstrated comradery and genuine respect for others. Going through the traumas and becoming an instant orphan I know how precious time is. The wave of influence I want to have is: live in the moment and tell everyone you love that you love them now. Share your feelings. Experience happiness because in one swift moment it can be overlooked and too late.
The most important concept to be able to hold yourself in the highest and best form of oneself is the ability to change and adapt. It’s funny, I was sitting here drinking my morning coffee and I saw a lizard and it reminded me of a story we use from class. It’s called Animal Adaptations. It explains how animals adapt to their environment for survival. It’s important to recognize during trauma that you can be a victim but should not remain in the victim mentality. Opening your heart to step into the unknown fighting fear allowing change to happen will let you grow your self-confidence and be the best version of yourself.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
I love the vibe of Drew Barrymore with her exuberant energy, and everyone feels safe in her presence just like me. I truly adore her. I love the confidence that Jennifer Lopez demonstrates teaching me “older can still be sexy.”
How can our readers further follow your work online?
My Instagram handle is: Angel_tchr, Tiktok: KeliKane11
My book is published: Angel in the Mirror Healing Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD Through Western Medicine and Spirituality
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.