Surround yourself with positivity: Listen to affirming music, recite positive affirmations, read uplifting books, find people who are upbeat to hang around. Example: “I am worthy of great things!”, “My best is good enough!” My close circle of friends consists of my business bestie Dr. Vernita Glenn-White; she is a transformational life coach and she helps me to reach a greater level of brilliance all of the time. We keep each other sharpened and motivated to complete our tasks.

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 Sheniqua Johnson.

Sheniqua Johnson also known as “Sheniqua Inspires” is an award-winning International Motivational Speaker who has graced numerous stages including TEDx-South Africa. She has been featured in Forbes Magazine, Sheen Magazine, Huff Post, CEO Weekly, and the LA Tribune for her great works worldwide. Trained professionally as a Registered Nurse for 21 years, Sheniqua has expanded her talents into the business world as the CEO of A Better U, LLC; where she helps busy mothers reconnect with themselves mentally, physically, spiritually, & financially through her consultations & courses. Sheniqua is also an author of 13 books, podcaster of Sisterly Sundays Podcast, and television show host of The Heart of the Matter with Sheniqua Johnson RN which streams to over 200 countries and 200 million viewers.

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 the projects (apartment complex for low to middle class families) in the Bronx, New York. I am the youngest of 2 children and we were raised by both of our parents. Although total opposites and the 3 & ½ year age difference, my brother Lee and I were and still are very close. Despite growing up surrounded by struggle and often times violence, my parents did an amazing job sheltering me from being influence by my harsh surroundings.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

My mother started out as a homemaker and then progressed on to graduate school while balancing raising her children and rearing her family. She studied to become an Elementary School teacher but had always wanted to become a nurse. That love for nursing passed on to her only daughter. My mother has supported me on every step of my professional journey, from enrolling me into a vocational high school where I graduated as a Certified Nursing Assistant, to flying to Phoenix Arizona with me and my children to watch me walk across the stage receiving my master’s degree in Nursing & Health Care Education.

Funny enough, I took on my mother’s love of nursing and combined it with her actual profession as I went on to become a college professor at my alma mater training future nurses on a baccalaureate level.

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?

One of the funniest mistakes I made during the start of my career which definitely wasn’t funny at the time, was when I went to administer a new medication to my patient, and I missed pronounced it grievously. The patient looked at me like I had 2 heads and he proceeded to correct my pronunciation. Luckily, I knew what the medication was but never had to say it out loud before. I was so embarrassed. I learned a few things from this moment in time. One, we all make mistakes. Two, don’t take myself so seriously, I am human. And the most important of all, you don’t have to be perfect to be great.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

In addition to being the CEO of A Better U, LLC my wellness company, I also am the CEO of a media company Stronger Through Faith Media. Here, I help people get their message to millions through books, podcasts, and television. Currently I am helping a grieving mother tell her story. It brings great joy to me that I can instill confidence & creativity into my clients and help them enrich the lives of others. Another fun & exciting thing I am working on is my passion of spreading motivation, encouragement, and inspiration across the airwaves through my YouTube series The Black Girl Encourage-Her. In this video series, I am bringing on guests who help me deliver a needed word of encouragement for everyone from a black girl perspective. The series has done amazingly well and has spun into other series like The Black Girl Motivate-Her and The Black Girl Inspire-Her.

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?

It is important to believe in yourself, because if you don’t, who else will. We want people to listen when we speak, like what we like, and buy what we are selling. A key component of influencing others is believing in yourself.

I am the author of a book titled, There’s An Angel In Heaven That Calls Me Auntie: Finding Strength Through Loss, Living, & Legacy. In this book, I share my story of when my 24-year-old niece and namesake Shaquasia was shot and killed. I offer positives measures for people who grieve that can bring honor to their loved ones. People suffer from grief every day. Many may be consumed by it. In order to offer the help that the world needs, I needed to be confident in myself and the words I was penning in this Amazon Best Selling book. When I wrote the words, I didn’t know it was going to reach the number 1 position and stay there for 3 days. All I knew was I had a word in my heart that I had to release. I think most of the time, people do things for the wrong intentions. Don’t do it for the promise of celebration, do it for the honoring of what is in your heart. That’s what believing in yourself can do, it gives you the confidence to honor your heart and live your life on purpose.

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? As I mentioned previously, believing in yourself is honoring what is in your heart. Can you believe you are great at something even though you lack the talent, ABSOLUTELY! There is a famous quote by Henry Ford that says, “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way you are right”. Believing is half the battle, once you believe, you are putting your mind to it, and you will commit all of your effort and energy to attain it. If you believe you can be an Olympic gold medalist, then you will put in the work to get there. You will put in the hours, you will hire the trainer, all with the vigor simply because you believed.

Was there a time when you did not believe in yourself? How did this impact your choices?

Have you ever heard of Imposter Syndrome? To me, this is one of the greatly exhibited forms of not believing in yourself. You have all of the degrees, you have all of the titles, yet you still don’t believe. You may even have people telling you how great you are yet something inside of you still causes you not to believe. This is something that I have personally had to deal with in my own life. I have been a Registered Nurse for 21 years, I know a great deal about healthcare, however, I don’t know everything. I could let my disbelief stop me from sharing what I know with others, or I can be confident enough and stand in the fact that I share from my level of experience and understanding. The choice is mines, but before I make my decision, I need to look at the projected outcomes. Stay quiet and not believe in myself and let others perish from the lack of knowledge or boldly go forward, sharing what I have gained over the years so that people can productively start their journey to greater health and healing. Thankfully, I chose the latter. I believe in myself, my training, my skills, my knowledge, and the greater wisdom I have obtained, and I go forward so that I can be a continued blessing to others.

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?

If I had let that one mistake, that teeny-tiny incident of mispronunciation cause me to stop believing in myself, then I would have wasted the entire four years of college (it actually took me 6 years to finish but that is another story for another time). I realized early on in my career as a Registered Nurse, that in order to be great, I would need to attempt great things. Great things aren’t always easy. To get to my personalized next level, which is defined by me and me only, I knew I would need to push the envelope a litter farther, try new things, fail, fall, and then get up with greater value & knowledge. All in all, I have learned to believe in myself when I am shining as a superstar, and I believe in myself even when the bulb is dim, and the light is flickering. The good news is a light bulb that grows dull won’t be dull forever. Once a new bulb is installed, the light shines bright once again.

What are your top 5 strategies that will help someone learn to believe in themselves? Please share a story or example for each.

1 . Discover who you are: What makes you, you? What are some of your likes and dislikes? Tapping into these responses starts you on the journey of discovering who you are. Example: I like chocolate ice cream and I don’t like liver. I love the summer months and dread the winter months, this makes me, me!

2 . Highlight your uniqueness: What are your special characteristics? What do you do well? Example: I have the gift of being able to encourage others and seeing the goodness inside of them that they may not see in themselves. I believe I drive really well, especially in these NYC streets; trust me, good driving is a rare trait in many! This makes me unique; I celebrate my differences.

3 . Speak life to yourself: Tell yourself how amazing you are even in the presence of your flaws. Example: “Sheniqua, you are a phenomenal nurse even though you still to this day struggle with pronouncing the names of the millions of medications created by pharmaceutical companies who could care less if I can say it right as long as I administer it correctly”.

4 . Surround yourself with positivity: Listen to affirming music, recite positive affirmations, read uplifting books, find people who are upbeat to hang around. Example: “I am worthy of great things!”, “My best is good enough!” My close circle of friends consists of my business bestie Dr. Vernita Glenn-White; she is a transformational life coach and she helps me to reach a greater level of brilliance all of the time. We keep each other sharpened and motivated to complete our tasks.

5 . Practice introducing yourself: Practice telling people about yourself, who you are, what you do. The more you hear it, the more you will believe it, and the easier it will become to say it to others. Example: “Hi, I am Sheniqua Johnson, also know as Sheniqua Inspires. I am on a mission to encourage & inspire others with the positivity I have connected to in my own life.”

Conversely, how can one stop the negative stream of self-criticism that often accompanies us as we try to grow? My best advice to combat negativity & self-criticism is to fact check everything you hear. If you hear the internal thought that you are not good enough, make a list of the things you are good at; that will prove to yourself and that negative self-talk that you are better than you think.

Are there any misconceptions about self-confidence and believing in oneself that you would like to dispel?

Yes, believing in yourself doesn’t make you arrogant or conceited; it simply means you love who you are, flaws and all, and you are confident enough to show up in your imperfections so that you can bless the world with your perfections.

What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with imposter syndrome?

Stop it! You are good enough. Here’s what I have my clients do during their consultation sessions with me: Imagine your closest friend or someone you love dearly (liken to your children) came to you and said their boss told them they were not good enough for the task, promotion, or position you are trying to achieve. Write a recommendation letter for your friend who has all the accolades you have. Convince that boss they are wrong. Read it back several times, until your brain computes that you are indeed good enough.

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.

I would stretch World Kindness Day to a Self-kindness all year round. Everyday people would be encouraged to be kind to themselves.

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 would love to have lunch with Kevin Hart, I love his lighthearted personality and his business savvy. I would love to mix business and laughter and learn all that I can about his rise to success and how I can apply similar principles to expand my reach and influence all over the world.

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.