The first strategy is to recognize and challenge negative self-talk. Negative self-talk is the internal dialogue we have with ourselves that reinforces our self-doubt and limiting beliefs. To combat negative self-talk, it’s important to recognize it and challenge it with positive self-talk. For example, if someone thinks, “I’m not smart enough to do this,” they can challenge that thought by saying, “I may not know everything, but I can learn and improve.” Recognizing and challenging negative self-talk was a crucial step in my journey. I began to pay attention to my thoughts and catch myself when I was being too hard on myself. Instead of dwelling on my failures and limitations, I started focusing on my strengths and abilities.
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 Coach Tia Monique.
Coach Tia Monique, is an inspirational public figure, award winning, International, bestselling author, CEO of Let It Out Academy and The ProspHERing Women Alliance, a wife of 21 years, and a mom of 6. In what might seem like a standard life achievement for anyone, Coach Tia has functioned excellently in these areas for years while living with a disability, unable to use her hands. Determined not to be defined by her limited capabilities, Coach Tia works hard towards success, coaching women in business and in life, and has now become the host of Transformational Coaching w/Tia on Exposure Plus TV. She encourages others daily to make moves and not excuses. “I am a poster child displaying triumph, encouraging others not to give up. If I can make it despite many limitations, they can make it too!”
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 as an only child for eight years, and then my mom had my younger brother. I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. I was a honor roll student during my elementary and middle school. When I got to high school, I was a little bit unsure because I didn’t enjoy school as much anymore. However, I enjoyed being an office assistant at the high school that I attended, and that made me realize that I wanted to be a secretary when I grew up. While many people aspire to be the boss or CEO, a doctor, or a lawyer, I wanted to be the assistant to the person in leadership. After graduating high school, I briefly attended college before my life changed when I became pregnant at 19. I went on to have multiple children, and now have a total of six. I got married when I was 21 years old and have now been married for almost 22 years.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
What inspired me to pursue my career now was the fact that I love to help people and wanted to make a difference in the lives of those around me. First of all, I wanted to make a difference in my own life. So, I started by becoming a homeowner and learning about credit, budgeting, savings, finances, and other related topics. My first business was a virtual administration business where I assisted other leaders who couldn’t afford a secretary or an executive assistant inside their office. From there, I started helping consumers fix their credit, put together budgets and savings plans, and similar things.
Fast-forwarding to about 2018, I wrote my first book called “Deliver Me From Daddy,” which is a three-part series (two parts are now out) where I tell my true story about how I overcame the rejection of my father. My father was in and out of my life, and my mother was a single parent for many years. This rejection hindered me in many ways. Once I told my story, I decided that I wanted to help others share their stories. Thus, I founded Let It Out Academy Publishing, and now I have helped over 60 first-time authors publish their books and share their stories with the world. So, it has always been about helping people. I am also coaching women in business and am a life coach. For me, it’s all about people.
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?
I think one of the funniest mistakes I made when starting my business was with Let It Out Academy publishing. Although I’m all about helping people, I was more focused on that than actually building my business. I remember one of my first clients needed manuscript development, including proofreading, editing, formatting, and typesetting. Everything needed revisions, and it was almost like I couldn’t please them no matter what I did. We spent months just revising things, and I didn’t know how to tell them that I couldn’t revise anymore. Eventually, we finished the project, and they were very impressed with it. The book sold very well, but I learned that I needed to set guidelines and put contracts in place to avoid endless revisions. For instance, we can only do two or three revisions before charging more. It was funny to me because I couldn’t believe how I allowed myself to get caught up like that with no limits.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
The most exciting projects that I’m working on now are actually two. One is called “Live Life and ProspHER™️.,” where I will be helping women, groups of women to become confident in themselves, believe in themselves and become all that they have been purposed to become. You know, a lot of times, women in the world can be very self-conscious or have low self-esteem. So I’m going to be teaching them how, through any obstacle and any challenge, they can still live their life to the fullest and prosper. I’m excited about that, and it’s going to kick off in April of this year.
The second project is a live event titled “Testaments from Survivors: Miracles Do Happen & Your Mental Health Matters.” This idea came from when I collected a group of women to come and give their testimonies about any challenge or obstacle they overcame, from battling depression to self-identity problems to domestic violence and addictions. We all came together, and they shared their stories, and they were able to help other women in the audience. We turned that event into a book, and now we have three books: “Testaments from Survivors,” “Women Healed and Whole.” They were Amazon bestsellers and are anthologies of women giving their stories and victories.
Now, we are coming together in Charleston, South Carolina, in May of this year to do it again, live. Not only are we doing it live for an audience, but we will also be doing a TV recording on Exposure Plus TV Network, where we are aired in over 440 million homes and 128 countries. The network also partners with HBO. Exposure Plus TV Network streams over 50,000 movies, and this will be the first time I’ve ever done something like this. It’s very exciting, and I believe that any women who encounter these two things that I have going on will have their lives changed for the better.
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 think that it’s important to believe in yourself because, number one, if you don’t, who else will? A lot of times, you have to be confident and know that you are able to do whatever it is that you set out to do. Because if you’re not confident, then others won’t be confident in you. I believe that it is important to believe in yourself so that you can do what you have been purposed to do. If you don’t believe you can, you never will. I believe that it is important to believe in yourself because, at the end of the day, you’re either your biggest enemy or your biggest cheerleader. Believing in yourself causes you to push yourself, to challenge yourself, and to overcome obstacles. If you don’t believe in yourself, you won’t do anything, and you’ll sink into a state of depression or a feeling of defeat.
I say this from experience. There was a business I started in which I invested so much of my time and resources, but it crashed and I lost everything. That was a very hard situation, a hard battle for me to fight, and it caused me to think that I wasn’t good enough, that what I was doing didn’t matter, and that other people were doing it better than me. Therefore, I just stopped, and I sunk into a deep, dark place. All because of my confidence. You know, businesses fail all the time, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be revived or that something new can’t be started again. But if you crumble with the world crumbling around you, you’re no good to yourself. And at that moment, I was no good to myself, let alone anyone else.
I didn’t make any moves, I didn’t do anything, and I was stuck in a state of depression, which meant that there was no progress happening. My choice to stay stuck caused me to lose everything, to not be available as a mother to my children. I just stayed in bed all day, covered my blinds, and made my room super dark. Basically, it caused me to be dying, all the while I was still alive.
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?
Yes, I think that you can! As a writer myself, I resonate well with the story of J.K. Rowling, who faced numerous rejections before finding a publisher for the Harry Potter series. Despite these setbacks, Rowling continued to believe in herself and her writing abilities, and eventually found a publisher who saw the potential in her work. If she had given up after the first few rejections, the world may never have experienced the magic of Harry Potter.
Then there is Michael Jordan. He became devastated when he was cut from his basketball team while in High School. But, rather than give up, Jordan used this experience to fuel his drive and determination to become a better player. He worked hard, honed his skills, and eventually became one of the best basketball players in history.
Believing in oneself is crucial for personal growth and achieving one’s goals. When you believe in yourself, you become more confident in your abilities. You trust your instincts and are willing to take risks, which helps you achieve your goals.
It is also a powerful way to improve your mental health, including reduced anxiety and stress levels. When you have confidence in yourself, you worry less about what others think and focus more on what makes you happy.
More so, when faced with challenges, those who believe in themselves are better equipped to bounce back and persevere. They view setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow rather than insurmountable obstacles. You are more likely to take on new challenges and push yourself out of your comfort zone to achieve personal growth.
Was there a time when you did not believe in yourself? How did this impact your choices?
There was a time when I didn’t believe in myself, and that was when I started experiencing health challenges. I was suffering from severe polyneuropathy and partial paralysis from the waist down, which made it impossible for me to walk. I had to rely on a wheelchair to move around, which made me feel self-conscious and embarrassed. It was particularly difficult because I was not yet 40 years old, and I had to rely on others to take me everywhere. Being independent was no longer an option for me.
Dependence on others was hard for me, and it caused me to feel like I couldn’t be there for myself. If I couldn’t be there for myself, then I definitely didn’t believe in myself. One day, I went to see a doctor, and they told me that I would be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. That news was devastating, and I felt like my world had ended. I thought there was no hope for me, and since there was no hope for me, I couldn’t be hope for someone else. I sank into a dark place, and it was a very difficult time for 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 about four years, I became tired of being exhausted, depressed, and not living my best life, as they say. I decided to do something different. As a woman of faith, born and raised in the church, one day, I stood up from my chair. I found the strength and mindset to believe in myself. To believe in yourself, your mind must change, and it must tell you that you can do it. My mindset shifted, and I was determined to get up and walk. I was no longer in my wheelchair, and I began to believe that nothing was impossible for me. If I could stand up from a place where doctors said I never would, then nothing could stop me from doing anything else.
What are your top 5 strategies that will help someone learn to believe in themselves? Please share a story or example for each.
- The first strategy is to recognize and challenge negative self-talk. Negative self-talk is the internal dialogue we have with ourselves that reinforces our self-doubt and limiting beliefs. To combat negative self-talk, it’s important to recognize it and challenge it with positive self-talk. For example, if someone thinks, “I’m not smart enough to do this,” they can challenge that thought by saying, “I may not know everything, but I can learn and improve.” Recognizing and challenging negative self-talk was a crucial step in my journey. I began to pay attention to my thoughts and catch myself when I was being too hard on myself. Instead of dwelling on my failures and limitations, I started focusing on my strengths and abilities.
- Also, you should set achievable goals. Setting and achieving goals can help build self-confidence and reinforce the belief that you can accomplish what you set out to do. It’s important to set realistic goals that can be achieved with effort and perseverance. For example, if someone wants to learn a new skill, they can set a goal to practice for a certain amount of time each day and track their progress. This change in mindset allowed me to set achievable goals for myself. I started small, but as I achieved each goal, I became more confident in my abilities to take on bigger challenges. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. Now, I feel confident in myself and my abilities, and I know that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.
- Another strategy is that you should celebrate your little wins: It’s important to acknowledge and appreciate the hard work that went into achieving a goal. If you completes a project or reach a milestone, you can take time to reflect on your accomplishment and celebrate it in a meaningful way. I realized the importance of celebrating my successes, no matter how small they may seem. Celebrating my successes allowed me to acknowledge my progress and gave me the motivation to keep going.
- You cannot believe yourself when you are surrounded with toxic people. Surround yourself with positive influences, such as supportive friends and family. This can help build self-confidence and belief in oneself. It’s important to avoid people who bring you down or discourage you from pursuing your goals. It is a good idea to join a supportive community or seek out a mentor who can offer encouragement and guidance. I am indebted to some crucial positive influence in my journey. Being around these people gave me the support and motivation I needed to believe in myself and keep pushing forward.
- Finally, I would say that you should not be afraid to embrace failure as a learning opportunity. Failure is a natural part of the learning process, and it’s important to view it as a learning opportunity rather than a personal defeat. Embracing failure and learning from it can help build resilience and self-confidence. I learned to see failure as a chance to learn and grow, rather than a reflection of my worth or abilities. I have failed many times, but every time I failed, I would reflect on what went wrong and use that knowledge to improve myself. This has helped me in many ways and I believe you would find it useful as well.
Conversely, how can one stop the negative stream of self-criticism that often accompanies us as we try to grow?
Stopping the negative stream of self-criticism is an important step in personal growth and the first thing I would recommend it that you must practice self-love. Instead of criticizing yourself, practice self-love by treating yourself with kindness, care, and understanding. Recognize that making mistakes is a normal part of the learning process and that you deserve kindness and support, even when things don’t go as planned.
Rather than dwelling on your weaknesses, focus on your strengths and the progress you have made. Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem.
Surround yourself with positive, supportive people who can offer encouragement and help you see things from a different perspective. Consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor if self-criticism is interfering with your daily life.
Personal growth is a process, and it’s important to be patient and kind to yourself along the way. It is possible to negative stream of self-criticism and foster a more positive and growth-oriented mindset.
Are there any misconceptions about self-confidence and believing in oneself that you would like to dispel?
Yes, there are a few common misconceptions about self-confidence and believing in oneself that I would like to address:
Some people mistakenly believe that being self-confident means being arrogant and thinking you are better than others. However, self-confidence is simply believing in yourself and your abilities, without comparing yourself to others or putting them down.
More so, self-confidence is not always visible, it doesn’t always manifest in outward behaviors or expressions. You may be quiet and reserved but still have a strong sense of self-confidence, while others may be loud and assertive but actually lack self-confidence.
Contrary to popular belief, self-confidence is not something that you are born with or that just magically appears one day. It is something that can be developed through consistent effort and practice, by setting and achieving goals, and by recognizing and celebrating your successes, no matter how small.
However, it does not mean being fearless or that you never feel fear or doubt. Everyone experiences these emotions at times, but self-confidence means that you trust in your ability to handle challenges and overcome obstacles, even in the face of fear or doubt.
What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with imposter syndrome?
Imposter syndrome is a feeling of inadequacy and self-doubt that can affect anyone, regardless of their level of success or expertise.
First of all, know that imposter syndrome is a common experience shared by many people, even those who are highly successful and accomplished.
Nevertheless, when you notice negative self-talk creeping in, or you begin to compare yourself to others or even try becoming someone else, start focusing on you! Focus on what you don’t know or haven’t achieved, remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments. Recognize that you have worked hard to get where you are and that you are capable of success.
You should also talk to someone. Talking to a trusted friend, family member, or mentor can be a helpful way to get perspective on your feelings of inadequacy. Often, simply sharing your experience with someone who understands can make you feel less alone and more validated.
Remember, everyone experiences failure and setbacks at some point in their lives. Instead of letting failures feed your imposter syndrome, use them as opportunities to learn and grow yourself. Remember that failure is a necessary part of the learning process.
Lastly, seek help if needed, If imposter syndrome is significantly impacting your life or mental health, consider seeking the help of a therapist or counselor. They can provide you with strategies and support to overcome imposter syndrome and develop a more positive self-image.
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.
There’s one thing I want to mention — I have overcome many health challenges by making moves and not excuses. After getting up from my wheelchair, I was afflicted with COVID-19 and contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacteria disease. I was in a coma for 16 days, on a ventilator for 30 days, and my liver and kidneys shut down. The doctors did not expect me to survive, and I spent over 90 days in the hospital in March 2020. From that experience, I was unable to move any part of my body. Even after getting out of my wheelchair, I was still bound and couldn’t move my legs, hands, and arms. I underwent rehabilitation and pushed myself to believe that I could get up and walk again.
I still have limited capabilities, though, because I have a dropped wrist on both hands. My right hand is balled into a fist and I am right-handed, and I can only use my index finger on my left hand. Despite having these limited capabilities and being disabled, it did not stop me from believing that I could accomplish things. I had my days where I felt like it was going to be impossible, but I pushed past it because I refused to go back to that dark place I talked about before. Now, I can still run my companies, encourage and coach others to make moves, and not make excuses. If I can do it, anyone can do it. There is no excuse for not being able to do anything that you set your mind to. With that being said, I would love for my Testaments From Survivors to become a movement that will travel to help other women believe that they can make positive moves in their lives despite the many real excuses they may have!
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 do that with Tony Robbins. I follow him because he is a motivator, or what I would call a “pusher.” He is a great motivational speaker who inspires you to become your very best. This keeps me going, especially since I’m in the same field and industry. I believe that I could learn from him on how to become an even better motivator myself for my target audience, and that I could gain wisdom from him to be encouraged and motivated to keep going.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Thank you very much for this opportunity. I am incredibly excited and honored to serve as one of your speakers on this topic today. For those who are interested, you can follow me at www.tiamonique.com and on various social media platforms, including Facebook at Coach Tia Monique, Instagram at Coachtiamonique, and Twitter at coachtiamonique. Once again, thank you so much for this opportunity.
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.