Mental Health-ish

Choosing Happiness by Trusting Ourselves

June 30, 2023 Imperfect Mellow Podcast Episode 19
Choosing Happiness by Trusting Ourselves
Mental Health-ish
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Mental Health-ish
Choosing Happiness by Trusting Ourselves
Jun 30, 2023 Episode 19
Imperfect Mellow Podcast

How often do we put others first and neglect our own needs? Join me as I welcome Yahaira Villa, a coach and advocate for personal development who encourages us all to prioritize self-trust. Yahaira holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from UC Davis and a Master's degree in Counseling from Santa Clara University. We're exploring the concept of self-exploration and self-awareness, discussing practical ways to build habits and boundaries that strengthen our self-trust muscle. 

We tackle the societal expectations we often find ourselves trapped within and the importance of forgiveness when we realize we've been living up to others' expectations, not ours. Yahaira caps off our chat with her thrilling upcoming move to Brazil, a testament to her trust in herself to step into unfamiliar territory. Join us, and let's discover the courage it takes to make significant changes in our lives.

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For more mental health resources, blogs, and other podcast episodes, please visit:

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Website: www.mentalhealth-ish.com

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

How often do we put others first and neglect our own needs? Join me as I welcome Yahaira Villa, a coach and advocate for personal development who encourages us all to prioritize self-trust. Yahaira holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from UC Davis and a Master's degree in Counseling from Santa Clara University. We're exploring the concept of self-exploration and self-awareness, discussing practical ways to build habits and boundaries that strengthen our self-trust muscle. 

We tackle the societal expectations we often find ourselves trapped within and the importance of forgiveness when we realize we've been living up to others' expectations, not ours. Yahaira caps off our chat with her thrilling upcoming move to Brazil, a testament to her trust in herself to step into unfamiliar territory. Join us, and let's discover the courage it takes to make significant changes in our lives.

Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast laun
Have you ever wanted to start your own podcast? Start for FREE Buzzsprout using this link. 

Support the Show.

For more mental health resources, blogs, and other podcast episodes, please visit:

IG: mentalhealth.ish
Website: www.mentalhealth-ish.com

Please like, subscribe, & write a 5 star! Don't forget to share this episode :)

Speaker 1:

Welcome back to the Imperfect Malo podcast. This week, i am joined by Yahida to discuss self-trust and putting yourself first. Yahida is a passionate advocate for personal development and empowerment with a solid educational foundation. Yahida holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from UC Davis and a master's degree in counseling from Santa Clara University. As a life and self-trust coach, yahida specializes in empowering individuals to cultivate self-trust and prioritize themselves in order to live truly empowered lives. Through her coaching, she guides clients in building self-belief, self-care and self-awareness, empowering confident decision-making and graceful navigation of life's challenges. Enjoy the episode. It's nice to meet you through video and thanks for coming onto my podcast and just being here to share your knowledge, your expertise and just taking time out of your own day to be here, so I really appreciate that.

Speaker 1:

So I guess, to start off, can you just introduce yourself and just what you do?

Speaker 2:

Sure, Yeah Well, first of all, I'm super excited to be here and I actually listened to some of your podcasts. I'm not a fan-growing internally right now, but for everyone. Hi, my name is Yahida Villa. I'm a life and self-trust coach. I'm also a counselor. I recently graduated with my master's in counseling and I have an extensive background in psychology, And currently my work is focused on helping individuals just feel more empowered with themselves, feeling that they are making the decisions that are best for them, despite what we have been conditioned to think checking other people's box and not knowing what our own boxes are And that comes with cultivating self-trust, So really feeling empowered in self and in the actions we take.

Speaker 1:

Thank you And congratulations on your degree. I saw that I was like oh, okay.

Speaker 2:

Get it. Thank you. More Latina representation.

Speaker 1:

Well, thank you, I love the work that you do, honestly, And I was telling you last time I was going through your posts And the first one I didn't even have to scroll a lot, but the first one where you talked about prioritizing yourself I was like, oh my gosh, I really needed to see this today because there's a lot to balance, Like as a professional you know, as a mom, I have a six-year-old like there's just so much stuff to balance all the time And sometimes it feels like, oh, there's not enough time in the day right to do things that you want to do. Or just like even reading a book, Like I have a big stack of books that I feel like I never get time to read, Like, you know, it's just crazy. So when I saw that, I was like, yes, like I need to practice these things to prioritize myself. Or, you know, like give myself some time to do things that I want to do. So, yeah, I love it, I love all your work.

Speaker 2:

That you're doing, oh, thank you. That means a lot And I think, especially doing that not only consistently, but even thinking about putting ourselves first when we have so many different identities, and struggling and balancing to do it all can be really hard because we're very quick to leave ourselves at the end Like, no, i have to take care of all of this. But I from my own personal experience and I think we might get into that I think doing that is doing a disservice not only to ourselves but for the people we're trying to support. So it's finding that balance of how do I take care of me so I can also help take care of other people.

Speaker 1:

So I wanted to learn a little bit more about you and just kind of your own journey and doing this type of work, because I feel like it's very self-trust right, Self-prioritizing things like that, Like what made you want to get into this type of work.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I think taking care of ourselves would really encompass like self-trust, self-compassion, self-prioritization, right Taking care of ourselves, and would really help me or want it. It's been a process that I've been kind of been on. It's a whole life journey and something I tell people. It's like it's not like you start and there's an end and you're good. It's ever evolving in life of like learning how to trust ourselves and take care of ourselves in different seasons of our lives. So I would say it started throughout my life, but more it was like more honed in when I was like an undergrad, of like learning to take care of myself and what that looked like. And I actually started therapy to really understand because I was going through a lot, you know, i think, when you're often off to college trying to figure yourself out and really learning who you are outside of those roles.

Speaker 2:

For me it was being a daughter who really had a lot of responsibilities in her household. Like I had parental responsibilities with my parents. I did so many things for them with my family, my siblings, cousins, friends, and I took on so much that I kind of didn't realize what I wanted and what I needed, and so with therapy I started learning that and then I went into the workforce and in undergrad I actually was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and I was like I could never be in a helping profession. You know, it's like this feeling of like how can I help someone if I am myself I'm not okay? but slowly I started learning how to be okay and to take care of myself and realizing that just because I struggle with this doesn't mean I'm awful or I'm. There was always this word like I'm defective, right. So I kind of was like okay, i need to take care of myself.

Speaker 2:

I went into the workforce, did something completely different than what I originally wanted to do, which I was. I wanted to become a therapist and I went to the workforce and very quickly I was like okay, this isn't the type of work that I want to do. I did some stuff in recruiting an HR because I'm like maybe this way is the way I want to help people. And then I very quickly realized that's not the way I want to help people. It's very like company driven and you're not really there, like getting to know the people. What I enjoyed about my job was actually having the conversations with people, and so then, when the pandemic hit, i actually ended up leaving my job voluntarily and volunteer-told. It was like a weird confusion. I was like, okay, what do I do now? and going to get my my master's in counseling was always something like I think I'm ready, i don't know. It was like a lost dream for a while and then I was like.

Speaker 2:

I'm gonna do it. So then I started my program and it was a three-year program for me and there is when I really was like I know this is for me and I honed in specifically on helping individuals feel empowered and self-trust, because it was the own journey I've been on and really learning to stick to the decisions that I wanted for me, despite, you know, there was feelings of guilt, feelings of like can I even do this? are these even mine? because I felt for so long and I don't know if you've had this experience I've been checking off everybody's boxes but my own, and now I'm doing stuff for myself. That's a little bit about that. But then what really pushed me to then start my own coaching business and really focus in on that was and I've shared a lot about this on my, on my own Instagram so my dad actually passed away last year and I kind of went. So I had done all this work of like, healing my, my relationship with myself.

Speaker 2:

Then my dad passes away. It put me back into this like survival mode of like. Okay, i just need to get things done that I stopped taking care of myself in this grieving process. I was like I have to be there for my mom, i have to be there for my siblings, i have to take care of house stuff, and I was handed all these responsibilities that I probably did need to help take care of but, at the same time, made me not take care of myself, because I was just like like go, go, go, exhaustion, and I'm like I'll I'll cry later.

Speaker 2:

I'll cry after I finish reading all these like documents that I have to figure out for the funeral, all this other stuff, to the point where I felt like my own light was going out and I had to take a step back and realize you know what life is short. I learned that very quickly. My dad died. My dad passed away at a really, really young age and he was very much the person who inspired me to just be me, make the decisions for me, always be like no matter what you do, do it with the confidence of who you are, because it's what you wanted to. And I had to take that step back. I had a little moment of realization. I was like you know what this is? the best way I can honor my dad's memory is being myself, trusting in my own dreams and beliefs and doing something for it and paying it forward if that makes sense.

Speaker 2:

So, the long spiel to say this is how I got here and it's what gets me going.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much for sharing that and I'm sorry about your dad. As I was hearing you talk, i feel like I had a similar, like similar experience, and I don't know if that's just like a Latina thing or you know I had the similar experience in that when I started college, like I always felt like I had to do what my mom wanted me to do in order for her to be happy, right? So, once again, like doing things for other people, and so I definitely identified with that part of your story. How was it for you when you did start putting yourself first right, doing things for you, the things that you wanted to do? How was that for you with your family?

Speaker 2:

It was an interesting experience when I started learning that I can say no Because I don't know about you, but in my family, if I ever said no, they would look at you like what do you mean? No, it wasn't a choice. It's like you had to do these things. And when I started implementing boundaries or speaking up a little bit more, what was on my mind? I think my parents and some family members were like taking it back, because I was very much.

Speaker 2:

I call myself a recovering people pleaser, because I would. If you would tell me this guy is red, i'm like you're right, this guy is red. And I think I never had an autonomy of my thoughts and my opinions for a while. When they did, they were taken aback. But I'm very lucky that my parents specifically were like, oh okay, they were understanding that I was coming into my own person.

Speaker 2:

I obviously had aunts and certain family members be like oh, she's talking back or like, oh, she's doing these things, and so it was like learning that just because I'm expressing my own opinions or thoughts And I obviously in a very respectful way doesn't mean I'm a bad person. Just because there's certain things I had to say no to my parents for doesn't mean I'm a bad daughter, like I really had to sit with myself and be like I'm not this terrible person that I'm, that the guilt is making me feel. So it was a lot of practice and air and also explaining to my parents like I can say no, but that doesn't mean I don't love you. It just means I don't have the capacity to do this for you right now.

Speaker 1:

Yes, there's definitely like I feel not every one's gonna have a different experience, but yeah, there's definitely pushback And yeah, i've experienced that myself, but then also with you know other people that I've spoken to. How would you define or like, how would you explain to someone What self-trust means, like just trusting yourself?

Speaker 2:

Self-trust, i think, can mean different things for different people and especially in different seasons of their lives, but I think ultimately it's having this strong sense of belief in yourself and your abilities to do what's best for you, like you know yourself the best because you're with yourself right, like I used to be the person to. Even as a child, i would always look to my parents as like they knew what was best for me, which makes sense because they were my parents and I was learning. But after a certain point I had to realize like no, i know what's best for me because doing certain things don't feel good for me anymore and it was feeling like confident to express that and make decisions based on that. So that's how I would encompass self-trust. It's like the strong sense of belief in yourself, in your abilities and in your decision.

Speaker 1:

How can someone begin to work on that? Like, if someone's listening to this episode and they're like okay, like I need to practice that right, that self-trust, and begin right, kind of like doing things for me, like, how could someone begin that journey?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the self-trust journey is very mature-owned journey, but I think it really starts with getting to know yourself. I think it really helps to do this like self-exploration and self-awareness of who are you and like, what are your likes, what are your dislikes, and that can be kind of painful if you haven't been used to it, but it's very rewarding. I guess painful wasn't the right word. It can be very. It's a very interesting experience to do this self-reflection because for me I realized huh, maybe I'm not this like very early morning person and I enjoy more of this nighttime routine, but I'm so used to being this morning person.

Speaker 2:

That's a very simple example, but it starts with like getting to know yourself, self-exploration. What are my values, what I like, what I don't like, what are my non-negotiables right, like what are my boundaries? And then from there I would say, once you have a clear vision of what that is and it doesn't have to be super clear, but an idea of what that is figuring out and making like habits or decisions for yourself to continue cultivating the self-trust, because it's like a flower or a muscle whatever an allergy or metaphor works for you that you have to kind of work on every day and they don't have to be these huge, massive steps is what I tell people. It can literally start with me. It was giving myself one minute. It started with literally giving myself one minute a day where I would check in and make the decisions for myself.

Speaker 2:

Super simple, suzy. Like in the morning I would wake up and I would be like, do I want tea or do I want coffee? And it was like it seems so minor, but it really helps build that muscle of like, what do I want? Checking in with yourself And then from there you start learning to make these decisions for yourself, and so that's what I would say. It starts with accepting and getting to know yourself in a very compassionate way and then cultivating that self-trust to make the decisions that you want for your life.

Speaker 1:

I love that. I love that first step of just awareness, like you said, exploration, because and then there's even speaking for me, i feel like you know a lot of people when you're constantly doing stuff for others, right, and you're not paying attention to what you want. I've heard even from clients like you grow up like not knowing who you truly are. I feel And that's something I've heard from clients like, well, i don't know who I am, right. I think that is an important step is doing that self-exploration, right, like you said, figuring out your values, your beliefs, what's important for you, right? So I love that, thank you, of course.

Speaker 2:

And just to add on to that, i don't know, have you had that experience like two, where you get to this point in life and this will happen to me I checked off all the boxes that I thought I needed to do based on what society told me, my family told me, get good grades, go to school, like, get a good job, like all of this And then you find yourself like I don't know if this is like, i'm not happy. Like you know, i did all the things and I had this conversation with my brother. He's like I went to school, got married, had the kids, bought the house, everything society told me needed to do. I don't feel happy. And then I really was like well, is that what you wanted to do? And it's certain to this whole conversation. So that's why I asked you like have you had that moment too?

Speaker 1:

Yes, exactly, and that's why I'm laughing. I'm like I had that exact conversation with myself, because, yeah, like when I, when I first started college, i went in as a I think it was computer science major, something like that And I was doing that because I was like I want to make my mom proud, you know, like that's what she wanted me to major in, etc. So that was one thing which I quickly figured out. I was like this is not for me. Like I took a psychology class, and I was like oh, i love this, right. So that was the first thing, an example But yeah, i did, i think. When it really hit me, though, was when I went through my divorce. I've been married before, and so this was someone that I married when I was 19. So very young.

Speaker 1:

And then, yeah, like I went through all my life, you know, checking off these check boxes, right, Like, oh, I have to. I graduated high school, So now I have to, you know, go to college. Like you know, I was doing what I was supposed to do, And then going through that divorce made me realize like, wow, like what have I been doing for myself all this time? And that, perfect, you know, timeline just kind of fell apart And I was like this makes no sense. Like who makes these rules up? So now I'm like, yeah, ever since then I'm just like you know what? Like there's no rules, There's no rules to life, There's no timeline. Just do whatever makes you happy. Right, Just do what you want to do. Like, why pay so much importance to things that other people think or even, like, want you to do? like, just do you just be happy, Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I agree. And in those moments I think a lot of shame could also come up. I think for me, when I was like, oh my gosh, i've been living and I'm not old or I'm not young or anything like that, but like for a good part I'm like, wow, i was checking off all these people's boxes except my own, and I think there's a little like discomfort but also shame that comes up And like I just want to like remind everyone too that in those moments when you're realizing you're checking off other people's boxes but your own, it's okay. It's okay because you're learning and you're going, and I think the best we can do in those moments is be very compassionate with ourselves, because it's the first step to really figuring out what your boxes are. What do you want to do? What does Susie want to do, what does Yahya want to do? And go from there.

Speaker 1:

I love that forgiveness part of it because, yes, like it's okay.

Speaker 1:

You know, i always tell people like it's okay to make mistakes. It's okay, you know, even in your own healing journey, like, oh, everything's going well, but then I had an off day. I'm like it's okay, like everyone's going to have off days, you know, and even if you do something that you did, the best example I could give is, you know, i have clients like who do very well. So, like they're like, oh, i'm doing better, like you know setting boundaries, whatever it is, and then they I don't even want to say mess up, but you know they go back, they do something that they, you know, whatever, and I'm like it's okay.

Speaker 1:

Like even in your healing journey, like you're, there's going to be days where you're going to do things that you don't want to do, or like you're going to go back to, you know, that relationship, or you're going to, you know text that like it's okay, like just, you have to forgive yourself and have that, you know, compassion, like you were mentioning, and it's okay to make mistakes, right. So I love that part that you mentioned. It's going to happen.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's why I love the name of your podcast. It's like imperfect and it's so true because perfectionism really just steals our joy and something in therapy That's also what I worked with my therapist It's like, wow, i've done all this progress And then, of course, i would revert back to other like behaviors or tendencies I would have because I had lived like the last 25 years doing that. It's like my safety, it's my comforts, what I know, but like, of course it's going to go back and flow, it's not perfect. So yeah and it's, we can have very gentleness with ourselves, with that Definitely.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so what are some things that because I've had, i've also had people you know, i've talked to people where it's like really hard for them to, it's really hard for them to practice like any kind of self-love. You know, if it may feel like awkward or it feels weird or it feels uncomfortable or whatever, like what would your suggestions or like recommendations be? Yeah, that's a good question.

Speaker 2:

I think I'm very much of like this mind-body connection. So sometimes, if our mind isn't there yet, i think our body can really help us. I'm very much like into somatic, somatic trainings, i guess you would say. But it for me, when someone would tell me, like look in the mirror and tell yourself you love, it feels weird and it feels really awkward And I'm like, oh, it's because I'm not there yet. So what are little steps I can do to get there? you know, so my mind and my body are connected and I really think it and believe it. But I also really feel it Because I think that's also really important.

Speaker 2:

So I would start with oh my gosh, this is going to be so funny, but yeah, i'm being vulnerable. I would start with not even telling myself anything in the mirror. I would just kind of be like thumbs up, like you're doing great, like good job, and then it'll start with like a tap on the shoulder or a hug, and so I would do these small but important steps that would help me lead to like feeling like I am showing myself love and self acceptance and then adding in the thoughts with it. So that's where I would say start small. I think sometimes we feel like we have to like push ourselves to do these things. But I think there's a balance of your own tolerance to certain situations or feelings And it's like you might want to push yourself a little bit, but if you're getting a very reactive reaction, it's like okay, going to bring it back. So I would say start small.

Speaker 2:

I would say start small, thumbs up a tap and then start adding in those thoughts of like you know what you did great today, or I love for what you did today.

Speaker 1:

Awesome. I love that. I'm going to do that. I'm going to do the thumbs up.

Speaker 2:

Start there Like yes, Good job.

Speaker 1:

No, those are all really good suggestions, though, and make complete sense, because, yeah, like you said, like not and I always tell people to like certain things like aren't going to work for everyone. So self affirmations like yes, that's a great tool, but it might not work for every single person, right? So you have to find kind of what works for you. So, if the thumbs up works for you, it works for you, right. If writing down those affirmations work for you instead, like, instead of saying them out loud or, you know, putting them on little posties, whatever, it is right. But you have to find what works for you and what you feel comfortable with doing, and I think even a good start also would be like doing things that make you feel good, like, feel happy, like those activities, right, like if it's like reading or whatever it is. Like doing things that make you feel good for yourself, right, like, not just for other people. Like doing things that you enjoy yourself.

Speaker 2:

Oh, 100%. I remember in my own healing journey at the time I would hear a lot about like do this meditation, do this journal, which are really great activities If that's what you enjoy and actually feel like doing. But for me, i'm like it's really hard for me to kind of sit still and like listen to like an hour long meditation. But what I noticed is really helpful for me is like listening to a podcast and I'm learning but relaxing at the same time and I can't journal, so I do a lot of voice notes, like you said. so it's really exactly what you said of like doing what feels good for you and not just you can try things, but if they don't they, they don't fit and that's okay yeah, definitely okay.

Speaker 1:

So what is part of your own kind of self-care routine, like what are some things that you do?

Speaker 2:

yeah, right yeah, right now. Oh, i have to be huge on incorporating rest and even defining what rest looks for me, because some people might be like, oh, a walk, it could look like a walk or it can look like, you know, watching Netflix, chilling on my couch. So I think I have myself cares looking like rest and taking breaks, especially, you know, as being a coach and entrepreneur now starting my own business. There's so much that goes into that that I very easily fall into like a very hustle and grinding mode that I'm used to right from school, from my previous jobs like in corporate and tech, and that now I'm like it's okay to rest and it's okay to take breaks and I don't have to be on social media 24, seven, and so right now, social media breaks and self-care breaks are number one and also drinking more water people don't know how important that is.

Speaker 2:

It's like am I hydrating myself? because starting with, like keeping up with at least the basics, for me are really helpful yes, drink your water, everyone drink your water, for sure.

Speaker 1:

Um, yeah, girl, who does to you? because running a business is no joke. Running a business is no joke. Excuse me, i don't know if you've seen those memes where it's where there's like oh, i quit my job to have more free time, more freedom. Now I'm working more than 40 hours, so yeah, but you know what?

Speaker 2:

and it's, i think it's very true. It even starting our own business and like seeing ourselves in that light, in this new identity also, is like a whole learning curve and a healing journey.

Speaker 2:

But I don't think I would trade it, because it's like you get to decide and I'm learning to feel even more empowered in my decision. So I am very like, i'm very quick to like, i very much practice what I've preached, because I'm in this phase where it's like, okay, trust yourself. This is new. I don't know what it's like to run a business, but I'm learning and I'm trusting that what I have to say, what I have to share lands for people, and also that I'm gonna be able to figure things out and I'm making empowered decisions. And it's not the stability of a nine or five, right, but I'll make it work, i'll figure it out.

Speaker 1:

And that's scary for some people yeah, yeah it's, it's a lot of work. I'm like, yeah, i'm gonna shout out to all the business owners and entrepreneurs okay, well, thank you, um working and people find you if they wanted to learn more absolutely so.

Speaker 2:

If you are interested in learning more about what it's like to feel more empowered, get to know yourself more and really learn to prioritize yourself and yourself care, you can find me on instagram at yahyra and the underscore um. That's currently where I am. Right now, i'm currently in the works of making an email list and all of that fun stuff, but I am not currently taking clients, but maybe by what this time comes out, because I'm actually gonna be moving soon, which is really awesome and has its own uncertainty. But um and I but I will be taking on uh clients for coaching, uh by the end of august. So yeah, or if you want to like, reach me, shoot me a dm. I'm more than happy to have a conversation, um, but you can find me on instagram nice and congrats on the move, thank you are you?

Speaker 2:

where are you located now? so I'm currently um in the san francisco bay here, but and I think this comes with like really trusting ourselves but I decided to just move abroad. So I'm gonna be moving, and I haven't shared this publicly just yet, but now I am I'm actually gonna be moving to brazil next month, which is a huge thing, because I've never lived alone or in another country for an extended period of time, so we'll see what comes up with that that's exciting though.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's exciting congrats, thank you. Okay. Well, thanks for coming on and just sharing a little bit about what you do and then sharing some really like just helpful tips, i feel, um for anyone who's you know starting or on this self love journey.

Speaker 2:

Um yeah, thank you so much for coming on and sharing that information, thank you thank you for having the space for bringing me on, but also also being vulnerable and sharing our own experiences. I appreciate that problem.

Self-Trust and Prioritizing Yourself
Developing Self-Trust and Setting Boundaries
Discovering Self-Love and Acceptance
Moving to Brazil, Self Love Journey