As a part of my series about “Learning To Finally Love Yourself” I had the pleasure to interview Janine Delaney, Ph.D. Janine Delaney is a Psychologist and Fitness Expert whose goal is to help others realize that being fit is not just about the way you look. It’s about being healthy in mind, body and soul. At the age of 49, Janine started her social media brand a little over one year ago and has successfully spread her words of encouragement and inspiration to over 2M followers across the globe. As a young adult Janine danced professional ballet, taught exercise and nutrition classes and hold 3 titles in NPC Figure Competitions. She is a full-time Psychologist, wife of 20 years and mother to two teenage daughters. Janine is living proof that age is just a number and we are only as old as we allow ourselves to feel. If you would like to learn more, feel free to visit her on: Website, Instagram: @janine_delaney, Facebookand YouTube.
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.
I have always been involved in fitness from both the physical and mental aspect so when I was approaching the age of 50, I felt it was important to share with others how it has helped me through life’s rough patches and helped keep me grounded. I wanted others to see that fit is about “feeling great” not just about what we look like.
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 always working on new exciting projects, because growth and learning are both so important to me. This year I have and continue to be involved in community and fitness events. It is a very rewarding feeling to meet people who you have never met, yet have impacted in such a major way through social media.
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?
Yes, when I first started social media and “putting myself out there” I was, like everyone else, subjected to social bullying. This made me question if it was really for me. I like to surround myself with positivity and at times it did not always feel so uplifting. It was when I learned to look past the negativity and focus on all the good I was doing that I was able to reach my happiest place.
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?
This does not surprise me. In today’s society too much pressure is put on physical appearances and not enough on other qualities each person has that makes them unique and special. My daughters and I speak frequently to groups of young girls teaching them to form stronger senses of identify from an early age when confidence first begins to develop. It is important we realize much of what we see on social media tv is not authentic and we should never compare ourselves to false ideals.
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?
It is not cheesy at all. I adore the concept because it helps us be all-around happier people who can be kind and caring and no-competitive with others. If everyone loved themselves we would have less haters and less fighting and the world would be a better place by far. That’s just my two cents, and I am usually right
Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?
People stay out of fear or out of not believing there is something better out there. I do have to play devil’s advocate here though and say that on the flip side of the coin, we shouldn’t always be seeking greener pastures. I have enjoyed a 20 year marriage and it because I know that what I have is good and solid and sometimes the night in shining armor is really just a fantasy. The bottom line when it comes to happiness in any relationship is (a) does that person treat you with respect (2) is that person willing to put in the commitment and (3) does that person make you feel like the best version of yourself.
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?
I have stepped into and out of several careers throughout my life, everything from running a business to working in Corporate America to being a social media personality. I always weigh the pros and cons of each before making any drastic choices, but at the end of the day it was always my instinct that led me in one direction or the other. Listening to our inner voice will be the best path to happiness.
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)?
Just do it. Find things you enjoy. Follow your passion. When you do what you love it’s not necessary to have others around you and often we even meet those we have the most in common with along the way.
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?
You are more accepting because you have also come to the realization we are all imperfect beings. This helps with patience and respecting everyone for their differences.
In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?
This is an easy one I can sum up in “Don’t be as judgmental”. It’s as siple as that.
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. Self reflection — How did I feel about today?
2. My relationships — Am I treating my loved ones the way I would want to be treated.
3. Self Care — Am I respecting my body and taking time for myself?
4. My Intellect — What have I done to today to grow and challenge myself
5. My Future — what can I improve on to be the best version of myself
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?
I love reading wellness publications to learn. I don’t have any favorites. I read as many as I can get my hands on.
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…
This is my favorite easy win and it works for everyone! Give one compliment to a stranger a day. If everyone does this we will have a snowball effect. You will also be amazed at how good it will make YOU feel.
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?
Success is when opportunity meets preparation. I have always been an achiever, but often too hard on myself. This quote helps me realize that it is a combination of my hard work and some good fortune that will shape the person I am about to become. It is a great motivator for everyone!
Thank you so much for your time and for your inspiring insights!