Having an honest relationship with your yourself takes courage. It’s not easy to feel feelings and emotions all the way through, which is why so many people push them down, distract, or focus on staying falsely positive. And yet, feeling what’s true, despite how uncomfortable it might be, is the way out of the cycle and into true and lasting resilience.

Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kelley Hoag.

Kelley Hoag, M.S. is a Self Trust Coach empowering men and women to feel confident and grounded using psychology, behavior and somatics. She believes the key to sustainable change is blending both research-backed and intuition-led techniques to find clarity within. Kelley guides her clients to discover and unleash their innate wisdom, helping them become the authentic and trusting leaders of their own lives.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?

I became a Self-Trust Coach because for years, I struggled with self-doubt and a weak intuition.

My background was in psychology, and I had always been curious about human behavior in particular; what motivates us and how do we learn? 
In pursuing, and eventually completing my Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (which focuses on overt, measurable behavior) I realized there was more to to the story of why we do what we do, and decided to explore what was beneath the surface.

Ironically, in pursuing additional certifications and trainings to bridge this gap, I started to lose touch with myself and my own intuition, and therefore, my behaviors. I was inundated by shoulds and overwhelmed by research, so much, so I ultimately gave myself multiple eating disorders and built an internal relationship that was conditional and judgmental instead of loving or accepting.

Once again, I realized there was more to the story, and what I wasn’t considering was my relationship to my body, my own inner dialogue, covert behaviors and subconscious beliefs. I realized the true root of what we do and how we do it, is most highly influenced by the relationship we have with ourselves.

This ignited both a passion and a highly fueled curiosity inside me — the only way out is through. We must feel our emotions fully instead of masking them, we must find the root of our behaviors to be able to change them, we must find peace within ourselves to live in this world authentically and lovingly.

I now combine psychology, behavior and somatic work to do just that — help my clients become the confident and grounded leaders of the lives, from the inside out.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

My career has always been virtual — I see clients from all over the world over Zoom. During quarantine in 2020, I realized a virtual business had more potential than I had ever tapped into. I started hosting virtual workshops, group programs, offerings and experiences, all online. It allowed me to reach new audiences, build my network, and get really creative without the inconvenience and difficulty of finding venues,, renting them out, coordinating dates, etc.

And yet, as amazing and liberating as this was, and as fortunate and grateful I am to have thrived in a virtual world, I found myself craving in-person connection and the unique feeling of communal energy.
Since the world has slowly begun to reopen, I’ve taken the direction of my business into in-person gatherings, events and retreats, which has added a layer of potency virtual just can’t give us.
While I know my business will always have online elements, I also know that the future lies in bringing transformational, collaborative in-person experiences to the forefront. I think we’ll see an explosion of this in 2022.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I got into this work when I realized how bogged down our culture is by “shoulds” (I should meditate, I should intermittently fast, I should wake up early, etc) and became curious by my own difficultly to break free from that cycle. In an age of accessibility, it’s also become an age of comparison. Comparing morning routines, workouts, meditation practices, who has the best, most aesthetically pleasing supplement cabinet. In doing so, it’s easy to lose touch with the innate sense of authenticity and discernment we’re all born with.

I was trying different diets without awareness of how they were effecting my body, I was punishing myself with exercise after eating a big meal, I had a file of images titles “body goals” and a meditation app I never touched.
I was losing myself because it wasn’t targeting the root — my relationship with myself.
The intention behind the perfect wellness routine is actually a deeper connection to self, and yet, these habits weaken self trust and intuitive connection.
I guide my clients in throwing “shoulds” away and tossing the rule book out the window by reconnecting with their own true needs and desires, and then learning how to meet those themselves.
It’s not a 1-step solution — and that’s the difference.
It’s a 3 part approach requiring connection to the subconscious, to the body, and to behavior, authentically. THIS is the formula to a sustainable workout routine, a mindfulness practice, deeper interpersonal connections and empowered leadership. THIS is what I do differently, and I’m so proud of that. My client’s lasting results speak to the impact of authenticity over “supposed to’s.”

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I was forced to open my eyes after an unexpected and devastating break up that forced me to seek support outside myself. I started working with a highly trained somatic therapist who bridged the gap for me and allowed me to tune in. She helped me discover what past pain was effecting my present patterns and how my connection with myself was based on judgement instead of love and acceptance. Her work changed my life and therefore, changed the direction of my career. I’ve adapted a lot of this work into my own practice, and it’s allowed me to guide my clients deeper, providing them with more powerful and long-lasting results.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

Resilience is the ability to bounce back to equilibrium. The common thread in resilient people is a compassionate flow of emotions and the ability to recover quickly from life’s inevitable blows. There’s a tendency to bypass real emotions instead of feeling them all the way through, but the clients of mine who have the most resilience, the most confidence, the ones who are able to reground and reconnect to themselves over and over again are the ones who feel their emotions fully. Resilience doesn’t come from emotional suppression, it comes from meeting yourself through the lens of compassion and honesty.

Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?

Having an honest relationship with your yourself takes courage. It’s not easy to feel feelings and emotions all the way through, which is why so many people push them down, distract, or focus on staying falsely positive. And yet, feeling what’s true, despite how uncomfortable it might be, is the way out of the cycle and into true and lasting resilience.

When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?

I recently watched the show MAID on Netflix, and Margaret Qualley’s character, Alex is a beautiful depiction of resiliency. She’s hit with blow after blow in her life — a bipolar mother, an alcoholic boyfriend, brutally depleted by the system time and time again, but she continues to show up for herself and for her young daughter. There are moments of rage, desire, honesty, crying, frustration, for Alex, which allows her to be the resilient mother she is. So many emotions such as rage have a negative connotation, but it can be a valuable and necessary way to create a healthy flow of emotions, and therefore, recalibrate and continuation of facing life head-on with clarity and authenticity.

Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?

I’m fortunate to have grown up in a household where anything did seem possible. My mom was a strong role model of what it looked like to be a powerful female entrepreneur, and that fueled me and my own journey.

I was working in behavioral health with children with autism and worked my way right up the ladder — I had the internship, finished the degree, and eventually got the promotion. That’s when I realized I could do more. I had a strong will, desire and gut feeling to go off on my own and to apply my behavioral expertise in an entirely new way.

I walked into work, ready to let them know I wouldn’t be accepting the promotion, and would instead be resigning and creating my own career in the field. I thought I’d be met with anger, resentment, doubt and disapproval but was met with excitement, congratulations and understanding.

It lit me up moving forward and inspired me to take the more difficult, unpaved path and really see it through.

Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?

I alluded to my breakup, which was a defining moment in my life. It was the lowest I had ever felt and left me wondering if I’d survive it. Being on the other side of it now, it’s clear it was one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received.

It allowed me to prioritize my relationship with myself, learn how strong I truly am, seek help and actually receive it, and to bring a new level of passion and purpose into my work. I had to go to the depths of my dark emotions and see them through to the other side, where it’s now brighter than it’s even been.

How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?

My mom is such a beautifully resilient person. I think you have to be resilient to be an entrepreneur and to be a successful woman, wife, daughter, sister, friend and mother. She illustrated that to me my entire life and taught me how far hard work really can get you, just by living it. It left a mark on me and helped me trust that I can succeed with whatever I put my mind and energy into.. As I got older, and started to have my own back, started to feel safe to explore my feelings fully, and learned the tools to be able to deeply ground myself and recalibrate when needed, I was able to realize how powerful and unstoppable I am. There is so much possibility and opportunity that comes with unwavering resilience.

Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Master your energy. I often hear people complain of feeling depleted or filled to the brim. That’s code for a lack of energetic hygiene. When you can create boundaries to keep your energy within, rather than leaking it to social media scrolling, taking on other people’s problems, or giving to others without prioritizing your own needs, you’ll feel nourished and able to stand in your power, allowing for an easy bounce back.
  2. Create space for your intuition. Our society reinforces busyness, which has created a noise epidemic. It’s difficult to hear your own thoughts and decipher them from the thoughts of others when there is so much access to podcasts, articles, posts, documentaries, endless content means endless influence. Creating space to hear your own voice allows you to then act in alignment with it. Following someone else’s path won’t lead to resiliency.
  3. Take aligned action. Aligned action means behaving from a place of self-trust and discernment. When you create space and boundaries to hear your own voice, your own desires, your own needs and your own excitement, you can take action in alignment with that. This means ordering the meal you enjoy rather than the one you think you should have, it means taking a rest day instead of doing a high-intensity workout, it means living your life for you, which ultimately leads to massive trust in oneself and their decisions. Self trust equates to resiliency.
  4. Allow for flexibility. With rigidity, strict rules and attachment to outcome, you can become quickly disrupted and bent out of shape when things don’t go to plan. Therefore, factoring in flexibility in your routine can welcome in more resilience. When I struggled with eating disorders, it was because I restricted, I counted calories, I pre-planned my meals and I didn’t allow for flexibility. So, I beat myself up when things didn’t[‘t go according to plan and then found it much harder to come back to a place physically and mentally that felt good and nourishing
  5. Speak through the lens of compassion. There will be moments that don’t go as planned, times when you don’t feel resilient, the wrong decision will be made or a mistake happens. When you react with self-judgement, hang onto guilt or replay the scenario in your mind over and over again, it takes a lot longer to get back into the swing of things. It becomes a pity party rather than an act of resiliency. Therefore, when you speak to yourself in a loving and accepting way, without criticism or judgement but with understanding and compassion, you collapse the timeline of being able to recenter and continue on with clarity.

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. 🙂

The movement I’m most passionate about is people living their fullest, most authentic expression. If more people felt able to express themselves from a place of love, we’d live in a world that would feel so much brighter. There would be less comparison, judgement, pain, sadness, mistrust or violence. When spaces are created that feel welcoming, free of judgement, safe and loving, it opens up the best parts of ourselves and we’re able to live freely. I’m proud to offer these spaces, virtually and physically so that we can meet ourselves and each other in a love-driven, instead of fear-driven capacity.

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

I’m inspired by so many people, and someone who I feel particular connected to is Rupi Kaur. I used to manage a high-end gym where everyone from Taylor Swift to Justin Beiber would come to work out yet Rupi was the person I lost my mind over meeting. It was brief, so I would love to have a private conversation with her and learn more about who she is and be in the presence of such a beautiful soul. She lives out loud, she’s honest, she’s authentic, she’s eloquent and classy, and she is resiliency personified.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

The best way to connect to me is via Instagram — @roottorisehealth or by booking a free clarity call with me here — https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?appointmentType=8971230&owner=17112130

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


  • Savio Clemente

    Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Media Journalist, #1 Best-selling Author, Podcaster, and Stage 3 Cancer Survivor

    The Human Resolve LLC

    Savio P. Clemente is a Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), media journalist, #1 best-selling author, podcaster, stage 3 cancer survivor, and founder of The Human Resolve LLCHe coaches cancer survivors and ambitious industry leaders to amplify their impact, attract media attention, and make their voice heard. He inspires them to get busy living in mind, body, and spirit and to cultivate resilience in their mindset.

    Savio has interviewed notable celebrities and TV personalities and has been invited to cover numerous industry events throughout the U.S. and abroad.  His mission is to provide clients, listeners, and viewers alike with tangible takeaways on how to lead a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle.