234: How to Embrace and Empower Yourself

Are you struggling with embracing and empowering yourself? Do you feel like your world is falling apart, or you are low on confidence? Maybe your business is struggling, or you’re dealing with body positivity issues. Well, here’s the thing: you are doing so much better than it feels right now. And while a lot of things can make you feel disempowered, there’s always something you can do. 

Listen in to this empowering conversation with Ivy Felicia about facing barriers as a first-generation college student and professional, making meaning of one’s experiences, and fat acceptance and body diversity. 

Going to College as a First-Gen – 03:30 

First-generation college students face a myriad of unique challenges when it comes to navigating college. And although their parents are incredibly supportive of their quest, they often view the student’s entry into college as a big break for the family. This is especially true for students from low economic backgrounds. Yes, achieving the American Dream includes graduating from college, but the experience first-gens go through before graduating is becoming more like a nightmare. 

Take Ivy Felicia, for example. Her parents didn’t attend college; her grandmother, on the other hand, only got to sixth grade. So the expectations were high, and the pressure was astronomical. But like most first gens, she had the mental grit to go all the way. Unfortunately, not all first-gens come out unscathed. This is why this mentality has to change. It’s already hard to navigate college without a map, but the pressure to succeed can be overwhelming. 

College Changes Lives – 07:40 

College changes lives. We can all agree on that, but we also need to highlight that these changes refer to both good and bad. The way you navigate college life can make your life better or worse. The years you spend at your institution of choice will be the hardest but will also be the best. Ultimately, though, it all comes to you. 

For Ivy, the experience of finally being an ‘adult’ in an ‘adult world’ was exciting. College made her world so much bigger and opened doors she never thought could be opened. And although one of her motivations for going to college was financial and getting a job, the experience improved every aspect of her life. From critical thinking to decision-making skills and confidence, life got better by her simply going to college. 

That said, college is not the answer to all your problems. Just because you graduated doesn’t mean you’ll be successful in life. You still have a lot of decisions to make and a lot of hard work to do. But as long as you focus on what you want to do and keep showing up, you’ll be fine. 

Body Positivity and Body Acceptance – 12:47 

When it comes to physical appearance, we are all different, and nobody’s perfect. So it’s disheartening to see that society has set a standard of appearance that’s unrealistic and unattainable. What the body positivity movement seeks to promote is acceptance of all body shapes, sizes, genders, and skin tones. The movement is pushing back against limiting, normative body standards and helping people feel good about their bodies. Everybody deserves a positive physical self-image regardless of what popular culture considers ideal.

So, why is this movement significant? First, your body is constantly changing. The way it was a month ago is not how it will be a year from now. Ivy believes people of all sizes have the right to show up in their best selves confidently and without fear of judgment. The first barrier to all of this is accepting who you are and helping others improve their body image and self-esteem.

Overcoming Adversity in Life and Entrepreneurship – 20:50

You’ll see a pattern if you think about all the great things you’ve achieved. The successes may be unrelated, but they all have hardships or setbacks. Why is this always the case? Well, anything worth doing will always be difficult. Adversity is an inevitable part of everyday living. It’s certainly not something you should think of all the time. But being realistic, we all know that hardship will always be right around the corner waiting to pounce. 

So, how can you overcome adversity in both life and entrepreneurship? This is a brilliant question that has no quick answer. However, Ivy believes the first step is always managing your emotions. Whenever negative things show up in your life, keep a cool head and pivot. Remember your ‘why’ and keep on pushing. But never quit. Remember hardship is your call to take action – so for the sake of your future, take action.