Jul 13, 2020
Interviews & inspiration | Daniela Pisciottano
We interviewed Yvonne Agyemang, author of the book #ILoveHer, a practical guide to inspiring, developing and promoting self-love.
Yvonne Agyemang, in your book #ILoveHer, you talk a lot about how toxic relationships can hold women back. What is your experience with toxic situations and how did you find the strength to break the spell and finally move on?
I have experienced toxic situations within my past relationships, friendships and workplaces. I have been in different types of abusive relationships in the past and know that one day I will be in a place where I feel comfortable in sharing the extent of those, but I am not there yet. I think it is important to also note that toxic situations do not only happen in these areas, it can occur in childhood as well with family break ups and that’s also something I found very toxic when I was younger.
In 2014 after reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (would very much recommend it) I made the decision to live a positive life. At the time I made list of what I would and would not tolerate in my future relationships. Making that decision really changed the trajectory of my whole life, like everything! Lots of things began to change around me and I started really focusing on my career goals and only allowing people in my life that valued and respected me.
Of course that was only the start of the journey and although a lot had changed I found that there were other toxic relationships that weren’t good for me that I was once extremely blind to. I think when you make the decision to let go of anything toxic you have to be prepared to let go of people who you once could not imagine your life without.
I learnt that on the other side of that is happiness and the freedom to be your absolute self without tiptoeing around other people’s insecurities. You learn to not take things personally; instead you forgive those who were toxic to you at one point as you understand that you too may have been toxic in someone else’s life a one point. I think it is important to understand that everyone is on a journey. This was key for me breaking the spell, because it felt better to live life this way rather than being surrounded by toxic situations that produced feelings of depression and anxiety.
Your book is doing pretty well on Amazon and we have to praise the brave decision of self-publishing it! Has it been difficult without a publishing label or has the creative freedom that comes with it helped you in the writing process?
I wouldn’t so much use the word difficult, but more so a learning experience! It was extremely fun and exciting with some intense moments- like when I realised that I should have been writing my book using a certain template, then spent a long time transferring it over into the template!
You know at the time when I was writing it, I didn’t really give much thought to what I was writing, I kind of just let the words flow naturally. I guess if that was limited by me being with a publishing label this would have most definitely affected the writing process. So yes, I guess long story short the creative freedom definitely contributed massively to the writing process.
Giving birth to a baby girl inspired you to work harder on loving yourself and promoting self-love to other women. What role do you think educating children on self-love plays in creating a society that truly respects women?
I think it plays a major role and I am in the process of launching #WeLoveHer which is a Social Enterprise which will run as part of the existing #ILoveHer platform. It shares the same mission as #ILoveHer and will achieve its objectives through the use of creative workshops delivered in schools. I have set up this up because it has never made sense to me why self-love and having healthy self-esteem hasn’t been taught in schools. One of my missions is to be able to change the curriculum one day so that it is mandatory for it to be taught.
I think it is so important to note that the responsibility of teaching children how to love themselves unfortunately can not be expected to fall on the family from which they come from. As sadly, those that do not love themselves are more than often blind to this. Given that children learn mainly by observing role models to me it is clear that this teaching needs to take place within schools. As if parents do not love themselves and tolerate disrespect it is likely that a child will follow the same path. By educating children on self-love this will make sure that everyone knows how to practice self-love. This will lead to a society where a women won’t tolerate disrespect from anyone because from a young age she would have learnt why this is harmful.
On the other side, it will ensure that the perpetrators of those that do not respect women will too love themselves, so less likely to project their insecurities, past wounds and personal issues on women in the form of disrespect.
In an interview with Positively Planted Press you revealed that you always try to maintain a positive attitude and think with no limits. What is one dream you never gave up on that has actually turned into a reality?
One of my dreams was becoming a Psychological Practitioner as I had always been obsessed with Psychology and wanted to do a job that helped others. Despite people telling me that it is competitive and I should have a back up option etc I never gave up on it. Instead I worked hard, made a plan and then it became a reality. It has also been key in helping me learn how to manage my mental health especially when I first became a mother so I am grateful that it became a reality.
How did the idea of writing a book come about for you? Have you always been intrigued by the power words can hold or is this a passion you only recently discovered?
When I look back I have always enjoy reading as child and found it fun. As I grew up I only read if I had to for school and university. It was in 2014 when I wrote a note in my phone that I wanted to write a book one day, this was at the same time when I made the decision to be positive after reading The Secret Book by Rhonda Bryne. It was at this time that I became obsessed with the power of words and how your thoughts are constantly writing your future.
After writing that note, I didn’t pay much attention to it but started reading more changing your mind-set type books. I had always been someone who liked to write down my thoughts and every so often I would have a thought about life and would jot it down. 5 years later I started writing down my quotes in my phone and then 3 weeks ahead of my birthday I had the urge to write a book based on my quotes. I set myself the goal of completing it by my birthday, which did not go to plan and ended up publishing it 2 weeks later.
You see the power of words!
Being a mum as well as an entrepreneur can be tough but you seem to manage it pretty well, thanks to your incredible organisation skills. What are three tips you can give to other mums who are trying to embark on a new professional journey?
Thank you! Hmm, I think my three tips for mothers trying to embark on a new professional journey would be:
Be clear on your vision- what is it that you want to be doing, how do you want you working life and life in general to be. Once your clear on it, never forget it! Always check in with it, by visualising. Being a mum is busy, but visualising you success can be done easily at any time even whilst you’re handling all of the demands of motherhood and being an entrepreneur.
Just keep working towards the vision and never give up. So even if you have some tough days and you definitely will when you are a mother and an entrepreneur, just never give up. Giving up looks like no longer believing that you capable of achieving your goals and packing it all in. Not giving up looks like acknowledging that things are hard at the moment, so taking you foot off the gas slightly and maybe not doing as much work-but still trying to do something. Even if it is as small as making a note of an idea in your phone. The longer you lose momentum, the harder it is to pick up the drive again.
Have a balanced routine! This so important! You won’t be able to embark on a new professional journey if you are feeling depressed, anxious or stressed. It is important that you look after your mental health and the way to do that is to establish a routine that makes time for motherhood, hard work, self-care, spending time with loved ones, spending days chilling and doing the things that you love!