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Damon Nailer of Kitril: “Loving yourself is important for many reasons”

Loving yourself is important for many reasons. First off, if you don’t love yourself, it will be a challenge for you to love others and for others to love you. My philosophy is you can only reproduce what is already produced in you which means whatever is in you is what is going to come […]

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Loving yourself is important for many reasons. First off, if you don’t love yourself, it will be a challenge for you to love others and for others to love you. My philosophy is you can only reproduce what is already produced in you which means whatever is in you is what is going to come out of you. If love is not inside, then it can’t be released or given. Next, self-love is connected to self-esteem (how you feel about yourself), self-concept (what you think about yourself), and self-confidence (being assured and certain about your abilities). If you are not pleased with who you are, then the previously mentioned components: self-esteem, self-concept, and self-confidence will also be low which will affect many areas of your life such as your mental, emotional, physical, behavioral, and social aspects.


As a part of my series about “Learning To Finally Love Yourself” I had the pleasure to interview Damon Nailer.

“Multifaceted”, “passionate”, and “skilled” all describe Damon “DaRil” Nailer. DaRil is a New Orleans native who currently resides in Monroe, LA. Known as a “Renaissance Man” and a “Multi-talented Inspirational Communicator”, Mr. Nailer does many things. Among them are mentor, motivate, educate and address people’s mental, spiritual, and emotional needs through various means. He writes inspirational books and blogs, he speaks, he coaches, and he even produces inspirational music. Mr. Nailer has served as an elementary educator for 7 years and is currently serving as a parent educator; he has published three books, The Great Taste of Success, A Greater Taste of Success, and Revelation Rightly Revealed and he is gearing up to publish his fourth- Living, Loving, Leading; he has conducted 350+ performances/speaking engagements throughout the US in a variety of settings; he served as the owner of a janitorial service for 12 years, he has released six musical projects, and most recently, he created an online school- RilLifeAcademy. Due to his tremendous accomplishments, he’s been featured over 100 times in or on the following: various online publications including The Huffington Post and Reader’s Digest, TV shows, podcasts, radio shows, newspapers, and magazines. On the personal side, he is a devoted husband and proud father.


Thank you so much for joining us! I’d love to begin by asking you to give us the backstory as to what brought you to this specific career path.

My journey to becoming an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, parent educator, and author is a rather interesting one. I began my professional career as an elementary teacher. I taught third grade for two years and fifth grade for five years. During the first 4 years of my teaching tenure, I was excited about working as an educator. By the fifth year, my passion for teaching began to dwindle as my desire for music production and public speaking began to increase. The last two years of my career in the educational field were extremely difficult. I was frustrated and burnt out. Finally, after completing my seventh year, I decided to launch out and pursue entrepreneurship specifically motivational speaking, writing, and music production. Once I stepped out, things were going well for a some time and then, I hit a wall. It was at this juncture that I started a janitorial business with a partner. I ran the cleaning business while speaking, writing, and performing. Lastly, after 12 years of being a business owner, I was able to release the janitorial company and transition into my current profession as a parent educator while continuing to write books and conduct speaking engagements.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?

Yes. I am wrapping up my fourth nonfictional book entitled Living, Loving, Leading (L3). L3 is an exhilarating and thought-provoking masterpiece which will impart dynamic wisdom concerning life, love, leadership, purpose, mindfulness, relationships, and parenting while taking the reader on an epic, inspirational journey. This publication will definitely convince individuals to look at themselves more introspectively and to know themselves more intimately. I shed tremendous light on discovering your identity and fulfilling your purpose by giving tips and practical suggestions that will broaden your horizons, expand your perspective, and give you a more comprehensive and thorough viewpoint of life’s amazing journey. Additionally, I explain and analyze various relationships- marriage, parenting, friendships, colleagues, relatives, etc.

Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self-acceptance?

There are two questions I believe we must be able to answer in order to live a fulfilled live- who am I (identity) and what am I supposed to do (purpose)? I label it the noun and verb factor. I can recall the time when I was not sure of myself and could not answer the aforementioned questions. Because of this, I was easily influenced and swayed in many different directions. Once I received some divine insight and looked at myself introspectively, I was able to uncover who I really was. This stabilized me, gave me unwavering confidence, and enabled me to recognize that my greatness was wrapped inside my identity/purpose and from that point on my journey began towards becoming my “who” and fulfilling my “what” by positioning myself to play towards my strengths, likes, and talents.

According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?

Some of the causes are the popular opinions/perspectives of what constitutes attractiveness, the media’s projection and perception of what beauty is, body shaming, and a prevalence of low self-esteem in our modern-day culture. These elements cause people to make unrealistic expectations for themselves regarding their size, weight, and appearance. In addition, some people go to dangerous extremes to alter their bodies so they can fit the perfect, acceptable image generated by society.

As cheesy as it might sound to truly understand and “love yourself,” can you share with our readers a few reasons why it’s so important?

Loving yourself is important for many reasons. First off, if you don’t love yourself, it will be a challenge for you to love others and for others to love you. My philosophy is you can only reproduce what is already produced in you which means whatever is in you is what is going to come out of you. If love is not inside, then it can’t be released or given. Next, self-love is connected to self-esteem (how you feel about yourself), self-concept (what you think about yourself), and self-confidence (being assured and certain about your abilities). If you are not pleased with who you are, then the previously mentioned components: self-esteem, self-concept, and self-confidence will also be low which will affect many areas of your life such as your mental, emotional, physical, behavioral, and social aspects.

Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?

People stay in mediocre relationships because of the following reasons: 1. Desperation- they have low self-worth and don’t believe they can choose someone better or that someone better would even be interested in them. 2. Settling for less- some individuals have very low expectations for their current relationships because of bad experiences in their past relationships. 3. Naivety- there are people who are extremely optimistic. They deceive themselves into believing the person they are in a relationship with is going to change and improve while year after year it never happens. My advice to those who are in mediocre relationships is- know your value and worth, don’t settle for less, raise your bar of expectations in your relationships, and be realistic instead of idealistic about your associates, partners, and significant others.

When we talk about self-love and understanding we don’t necessarily mean blindly loving and accepting ourselves the way we are. Many times self-understanding requires us to reflect and ask ourselves the tough questions, to realize perhaps where we need to make changes in ourselves to be better not only for ourselves but our relationships. What are some of those tough questions that will cut through the safe space of comfort we like to maintain, that our readers might want to ask themselves? Can you share an example of a time that you had to reflect and realize how you needed to make changes?

Am I happy with who I see in the mirror? Am I giving my all on a consistent basis? If I were someone else, would I want me as a coworker, spouse, friend, parent, etc.? At the end of my life, will I have many regrets, and many should’ve, would’ve, could’ve statements? Am I fulfilled with my career and path in life? Throughout my life and various careers, I had to ask myself all of these tough questions. When the answers hurt my feelings, I decided to make the necessary adjustments and modifications so that my responses would then make feel satisfied and happy.

So many don’t really know how to be alone, or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?

Scheduling what I call “me time” is critical to our sanity. It enables us to decompress, be alone with our thoughts, and just be at peace. Taking a few moments per day to do this can yield great results. One thing it does is gives us time to relax. We are oftentimes so wound up that we need a little time to exhale. Another benefit is that it gives us the opportunity to have an “aha moment” or a “moment of clarity” where the light bulb goes off and we receive some great insight. Living in the fast-past rat race stops us from doing this often enough which means our minds are on overdrive racing all day and all night. When we take a break and isolate, we allow our minds to calm down which causes it to become clear and open.

How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others? The Golden Rule says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

You can only love people according to the level of love and maturity you possess. Having a greater awareness of self will enable you to become more empathic whereas you put yourself in others’ shoes on a continual basis resulting in you being more cognizant of your actions and reactions. By default, your relationships will evolve, and the bonds will strengthen due to you exhibiting more patience, kindness, selflessness, consideration, and forgiveness.

In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?

We must embrace everyone’s uniqueness and individuality. We have to celebrate differences and stop trying to make people act the same way. We must see the positives in variety and diversity while understanding that this is what makes us better as a people and as individuals.

What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?

  1. Pampering myself– I indulge in guilty pleasures on a consistent basis. I pat myself on the back, celebrate personal successes, and throw my own parties.Literally, about nine years ago, I put on my own music showcase/birthday bash. I rented a room at our local civic center, hired a caterer, and performed. People had been saying they wanted to host such an event for me for years but never did it, so I took matters into my own hands and made it happen.
  2. Being patient with me- I have realistic expectations for myself. I don’t set the bar too high or too low. When I fall short, I extend myself grace and give myself space to recover and make amends. In my business and personal life, I have experienced some extreme financial hardships. Through it all I persevered knowing that one day things would change for the better. I didn’t throw in the towel and beat myself up over my mistakes. Because of my patience, I am now experiencing the 180 degree turn around of things in my life.
  3. Speaking Affirmations– I quote bible scriptures, positive sayings, and inspirational statements on a daily basis because I realize that words are seeds which contain transformative power.
  4. Investing in Me- I knowmany people who put money intostocks, bonds, and causes but never into themselves. I realize that I am the most valuable entity. My education, projects, skills, professional development, personal growth, and life enhancements deserve to be financed by me. Every one of my books and CD’s were totally financed by me. I served as the 100% investor. Why? Because I know I am worth it. Even if some things haven’t gone as well as I anticipated, me putting finances towards things I care about is important to my satisfaction and fulfillment.
  5. Pursuing My Dreams- Either we are chasing our dreams or helping others to achieve theirs. All of us have dreams of doing things. Unfortunately, as we get older, many of us stop visualizing and believing in them. We should never halt this process. It is encouraging to think about achieving big feats in life. Doing this creates a drive within us and gives us a purpose/reason for living. Not doing this puts us at a standstill, a place of complacency. We must be mindful that we are never too old to achieve our goals. As a matter of fact, there are many famous people who achieved their dreams later in life.

Personally, I have been pursuing and achieving my dreams of being a motivational speaker, author, and music producer for close to 20 years now. I have spoken and performed 350+ times throughout the US in a variety of venues, recorded and released 6 musical projects, published three books and gearing up to publish the fourth, and last, but not least, I have been featured 100+ times in/on the following; online publications including The Huffington Post and Reader’s Digest, podcasts, radio shows, TV shows, magazines, and newspapers.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you? Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs.

This is my all-time favorite book. It really caused the revelatory light bulb to go off in my head concerning the core needs of the male and female. The main message is if the man loves his wife by being considerate, patient, caring, spontaneous, and romantic, then she will willingly respect him. On the other hand, if the woman respects the man, then he will desire to love, cherish, and care for her. Additionally, I read various articles on the following sites: The Huffington Post, Quora, Medium, and Fatherly. All of them provide great, valuable insights concerning relationships and parenting.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it… I would label my movement The Triangular Trio: Loving God, Loving Yourself, and Loving Others. I believe the lack of these three components is the root cause of most societal ills. Therefore, if we instituted them, the world would be an awesome place.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?

Be the author of your life story”. For a time in my life, I was allowing others to serve as biographers of my life. They were writing my story. By doing so, they were pointing me in all kinds of different directions resulting in me becoming confused and frustrated. Finally, I decided to be proactive and serve as the navigator of my own path and the plotter of my own course. Since then, my life has been amazing, exciting, and fulfilling because I am fulfilling my divinely appointed destiny and not the dreams and desires of others.

Thank you so much for your time and for your inspiring insights!

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