Jennifer Sanchez: “You’ve got to be authentic”

Say “I am beautiful” a thousand times. Draw it, paint it, play it, sing it, say it to others. When you start to say it you won’t believe it, but eventually, your brain will start to accept it and it’ll start to find proof of every story that you tell it, so if you tell […]

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Say “I am beautiful” a thousand times. Draw it, paint it, play it, sing it, say it to others. When you start to say it you won’t believe it, but eventually, your brain will start to accept it and it’ll start to find proof of every story that you tell it, so if you tell yourself you’re not beautiful it will find ‘proof’ to back that up and your subconscious will look for those things that prove the things you tell it. If you tell yourself you are beautiful then your brain will find proof of that.

At times it feels like wellness or elevating one’s well being, is diametrically opposed to high achievement and high performance in one’s career. The stress, mental energy, long hours, lack of restful sleep and preoccupation that result from a high-achievement life seem to directly inhibit wellness. And yet, in order to sustain the creativity, flexibility, mental acuity and resilience that are necessary for high performance, wellness and wellbeing of the mind, body and soul are also mandatory. So how do we achieve both? This is the question I’m hoping to answer through conversations with high-achieving leaders and influencers who are practicing their own philosophies about how to maintain their wellbeing.

As a part of our series about “Social Media Influencers Share Their Top Self Care, Wellness, and Beauty Tips, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Sanchez, a multiple-business-owner, social media influencer, empowerment coach and mum-of-three.

She lives in Portsmouth, UK and has built her brand around helping people to overcome life’s challenges through self-reflection, self-development and becoming more in touch with their spirituality. She runs four businesses — Dimples and Daisies Photography, Liberty Photography, The Liberty Lounge and Into The Savannah. Through her businesses, she has built a community of women with inspiring and life-changing stories who she supports on a daily basis while empowering people through her Instagram, which has over 20k followers.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory of how you came upon this career path and to where you are today?

My journey started when my (now ex) husband bought me a camera in 2015. Before that, I felt a bit lost in my life. I didn’t really have a path or a direction and I was just coasting from day-to-day. I discovered photography and it changed my life. I started photographing my kids, people I knew, their kids — and it just snowballed from there. I ended up being fully-booked within a few months with my own little photography company, Dimples and Daisies, which grew organically out of nowhere.

I then launched Liberty Photography, as I loved taking pictures of women. Through Liberty we offer more than just photoshoots, we give women the full self-love experience. I ended up meeting hundreds of women who all had different stories and reasons they needed to get a self-love boost. I became the shoulder to cry on, their confidant and almost like their counselor. I did loads of reading and listening and learning and educated myself in life and how to help people with problems. I’m not a professional, but I was able to come out from rock bottom when my marriage ended and flourish, so I want to project my lessons onto the women I shoot.

I now run a social enterprise that acts as a safe space for these women to have their handheld, get the support they need — whether that’s emotionally or professionally — and build a beautiful web of like-minded people. We’re a powerful girl gang that all bring something to the table and raise each other up.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I couldn’t have got where I am without the amazing women who have come along to a shoot and told their story. As much as I support them and will always be there to help them, they’ve supported me and have helped me get where I am. And also my best friend Holly who works with me in The Liberty Lounge and at Liberty Photography. She’s amazing.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

I had to change my contracts after a photoshoot went slightly wrong once. We did a ‘Lady Godiva’ shoot on horses and the lady told me she was slightly scared of horses but she’d be fine. To cut a long story short, she got on the back and the horse shot across the field. Now my contracts state that people have to do everything in a shoot at their own risk!

As an influencer, you have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. In fact perhaps most people who tried to follow a career path like yours did not succeed. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?

I don’t consider myself an influencer. I want to influence people in a positive way and encourage people to live their lives to the fullest and speak their truths. I’d say if you want to influence people it must come from a place of love and because you truly want to make peoples’ lives better. You’ll never get there if you’re fake, you’ve got to be authentic.

Can you share with our readers some of your strategies you’ve used to build an engaged, loyal, and large online community?

The fact that I have an amazing team around me who take beautiful pictures probably helps because my grid is full of beautiful images. I always stick to a theme with my grid, though. I use the same presets to make sure everything looks uniform. Apart from that, I make sure that I either post stuff that adds value to people or just stuff that I really care about and I’ll talk about that in the caption. It’s never really been about strategies for me, it’s more about sharing things that mean something to me and could mean something to someone else too.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview. In my work, I focus on how one can thrive and care for oneself in three areas: body, mind, and heart.

You are a busy person with a demanding schedule, can you share with our readers two self care routines, practices or treatments that help your body thrive? (Kindly share a story or an example for each.)

In Liberty Photography we get all of our women to power pose. That means throwing your arms in the air in a ‘V’ shape with your head held high. It’s said that power posing can lead to people feeling more powerful because the brain is being told it’s powerful and your brain essentially believes anything you tell it. It’s the same with what they say about smiling — if you smile, even if it’s fake, you will start to feel happier because your brain associates using those muscles with being happy and ties the two things together.

Anxiety is something that our bodies physically hold and can take its toll on us. My friend once said to me “have you ever seen a video of a gazelle after it’s been chased?” the gazelle literally stands and jumps around on the spot to physically expel cortisol, the stress hormone, from its body. For me, when I get anxiety I feel it in my gut, but jumping is the antidote for anxiety. So if you feel really pent up and like you’ve got lots of energy, jump around like a crazy person.

Can you share with us two routines that you use to help your mind or heart to thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)

Meditation would definitely be one. It doesn’t even have to be sitting on a yoga mat with your legs all tangled up chanting ‘ohm’, meditating for me is anything that I can give my full attention and focus too. So painting or drawing or doing something creative, reading a book or listening to something or watching a video that you’re really into. Meditation comes in loads of different forms.

Another has to be telling yourself affirmations. Think about your limiting beliefs and start telling yourself the opposite. For example: take “I’m an unlucky person and bad things always happen to me” and turn it into “I am a lucky person and good things always happen to me”. Your brain would rather be right than happy, so if you tell it something enough it believes it to be truth, which is good news when you’re telling it things that bring you joy and make you happy, but obviously bad news when you’re telling it things that will essentially hold you back.

You’ll be surprised at how much something so simple can change your life and stop you from limiting yourself.

Can you share 3 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

Comparison is the thief of joy and comparing yourself to how other people look can make you feel like you’re not enough. Don’t ever compare yourself to anyone else.

Know that your value is not anything to do with the physical — not what your body looks like, not what your face looks like, not long how big or long or short or cool your hair is. Your price to be a woman in this crazy world we live in is not being pretty.

Say “I am beautiful” a thousand times. Draw it, paint it, play it, sing it, say it to others. When you start to say it you won’t believe it, but eventually, your brain will start to accept it and it’ll start to find proof of every story that you tell it, so if you tell yourself you’re not beautiful it will find ‘proof’ to back that up and your subconscious will look for those things that prove the things you tell it. If you tell yourself you are beautiful then your brain will find proof of that.

Is there a particular resource, a practitioner, expert, book, or podcast that made a significant impact on you and helped you to thrive? Can you share a story about that with us?

Brene Brown is a big one when it comes to talking about vulnerability and courage. We run a Daring Greatly workshop within The Liberty Lounge which is based all around Brene Brown’s key points. I haven’t read The Secret but I really believe in what it stands for — speaking things into existence, manifesting and asking the universe. Most of the time, when you ask the universe for something, you’ll get it. I believe you must really picture what that thing will look like in your life and how you’ll get it. It’s about making your subconscious more aware (or conscious, I guess) about what it is that you desire the most.

Do you have a story about the strangest, most bizarre or funniest wellness treatment that you’ve ever experienced?

I’ve certainly had a few. Once I did a shoot at a hotel and the lady I was photographing had an orgasm!

I also went to get a massage two days after finding out my ex-husband was having an affair to try and relax and the masseuse asked me about my situation and then proceeded to talk to me the whole time about her splitting up with her boyfriend and I ended up coaching her and counseling her the whole time.

As an influencer, 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? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I think The Liberty Lounge, in itself, is a movement. It’s bringing together a family of people from across the world whose paths may not have crossed before, finding that trust within people that some people haven’t found in years, always having a cheerleading team holding your hand and giving you what you need to succeed and sometimes sharing stuff with each other that you wouldn’t even share with your closest friend or partner. When women come together and support each other, magic is made and we are making magic and creating this giant golden web.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

Julie Andrews! I love her, sometimes I wish she was my godmother. Also Joanna Lumley or Jennifer Saunders, I love them too. Basically any strong woman.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

On Instagram I’m @the_liberty_lady. The lounge is @the_libertylounge. Liberty Photography is @libertyphotographyuk.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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