Community//

“The relationship with yourself should reflect the relationship you have with others” With Tyler Gallagher & Theresa Nguyen

The relationship with yourself should reflect the relationship you have with others. For example, the love you have for your children should be just as strong if not stronger for the love you have for yourself. I know not everyone will agree with this, but when you have a deep love for yourself, you can […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

The relationship with yourself should reflect the relationship you have with others. For example, the love you have for your children should be just as strong if not stronger for the love you have for yourself. I know not everyone will agree with this, but when you have a deep love for yourself, you can model this to your children. Wouldn’t you want them to grow up with a healthy relationship with themselves? Also, you cannot depend on someone else to fill in the gaps of your heart. The more you love yourself, the more love you can spread to the others, and you’ll notice that others will be attracted to this energy too. Love yourself first, so that if a relationship doesn’t work out how you hoped it would, you’re not left there questioning your own self worth or whether you are good enough to be loved by someone else.


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

She is a Motivational Speaker and Intuitive Success Coach based in Dallas, Texas. Accomplish your goals, face your fears and work to connect yourself to the deepest parts of yourself. Theresa guides you through your intuition and help you to tap into your inner wisdom to find your purpose and passion. She is the co-host of the podcast “The Theresa and Eddie Show”, where she and her husband Eddie, interview and share insane stories of immigrants and refugees around the country who have made an impact in the community and world.


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.

Failing over and over again and bringing the lessons that were necessary to the surface was the reason why I went into speaking and intuitive coaching. I am the daughter of refugees. My parents escaped a war torn country and literally fled for their lives so that their children could live a life of freedom, purpose and fulfillment. I wasn’t living it, and I had to do a lot of digging to understand why. On the outside, I had everything — a new home, a wonderful husband, 2 healthy kids and making six figure salary in my career. I was chasing the money, not the feeling I wanted, which was to feel good, be happy!! So I decided to start doing this by making everyday decisions based on the feeling I wanted to feel, which was excitement, passion and FUN! It led me to helping people do the work I do today, which is clearing energy blocks and helping them transform their negative habits and beliefs. Women would come to me all the time for life advice and eventually, I decided that being an intuitive coach and speaker was the path I was led to take.

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 going to be part of a live event in NYC called Speakers Who Dare. Speakers Who Dare is an event to ignite change and inspire new ways of thinking. It’s more important than ever to provide a platform where it’s okay to be daring and share the things that people are thinking but not saying.

I am also continuing to feature incredible stories on my podcast called the “Theresa and Eddie Show”. Immigrants and refugees who have fled their homeland to seek safety and a new life for themselves and their families. I hope that not only will this be a vehicle for immigrants and refugees release the pain and guilt that they have lived with for years and passed on down multiple generations, but also help us all see that despite where we were born, a little kindness and love to our human neighbors can go a long way. Acts of kindness can boost the feel good hormones which then acts as a catalyst for you to appreciate your inner self more — the loving person that you are. Showing love to others is a wonderful way to get you in alignment with coming home to yourself again.

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?

I alluded to it in the beginning about how empty I felt despite this picture perfect life that I staged to society. I started my entrepreneurial journey about 5 years ago, and I worked full time while doing this. I had a magnificent, ambitious goal to make a specific financial goal in my part time business during my “leisure” hours but ended up sacrificing time with my family, the people who mean the most to me in this entire world. I would sleep 4 hours a night sometimes and put up the facade of this perfect, happy life I was living. Inside, I was completely miserable — stressed, exhausted and empty. I realized that this was not the life I wanted nor was it the life that I was meant for. Yet, I kept pushing and pushing. I attached the amount of money I made in my business to my worth and since my paycheck from my side business was short several zeros, I was also short on my own love for myself. It was more a feeling of self loathing because more money to me meant more success, more happiness. But despite the fact that I was making that income I desired in my full time job, I didn’t want to “fail” at my part time business. One day, I decided that enough was enough. It no longer could be about the money. It had to be about what I wanted to DO, not the balance in my bank account. And when I found myself in the flow, it was because I focused on what I wanted in my heart, and not the digits on a piece of paper.

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?

Oh yes, I was definitely not in this minority. In fact, in highschool, I was bulimic. Even at 100 pounds in a 5 foot frame, I believed I was fat. In my culture if you aren’t a size 0 or 2, you are super chubby! I grew up attached to this belief, but also, I loved Barbie and Seventeen Magazine. There weren’t any Asians nor were there any models or dolls with muffin tops! And I wanted so badly to be like them, my American models of what beauty meant to me. SO, I dyed my hair … blond to make me feel not-so-Asian. I exercised twice a day, for sometimes two hours at a time, and I took laxatives to keep my weight down even more. For years, I hid it all very well — my self hatred for this black hair, brown almond shaped eyes “ching chong girl”. I wanted to look like everyone else and so frustrated I also wasn’t skinny enough to have a thigh gap. I hated all of me! But the problem is I never saw anyone who resembled me or resembled what a real woman looks like — she comes in all shapes, sizes and colors! Growing older made me wiser, but I would have loved to see more diversity when I was younger. Perhaps that little girl would have embraced her heritage more and embraced every cell in her body.

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?

In my opinion, if you don’t love yourself and take care of yourself FIRST, you aren’t going to be able to show up in life and love on others. Self love isn’t selfish or conceitedness. It’s about setting boundaries for yourself, so that you are taking care of you first (emotionally and physically) before you tend to the needs of the ones you care for. As a mom, this was the opposite of what I practiced. I thought I had to put my children first, despite the exhaustion, lack of sleep, lack of showers and clean underwear! It’s about giving yourself time and space to rejuvenate, bring back your high vibe and create more love for you so you can spread it to others! It’s the same belief I have in my business. If I am seeing clients back to back and don’t allow myself time for LIFE outside of my business, I will run myself to the ground. How will then I ever be able to serve others? I won’t. That’s why you have to put yourself first. It’s necessary and required to show up as your best self.

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

I think there are several reasons. The first one might be they think they don’t deserve better and complacency. People end up settling for something safe because it’s comfortable and predictable. But comfortable and predictable doesn’t bring JOY. The second reason is they don’t want to be alone. It’s too scary and so they stay with someone who they don’t love. But this will never make you happy or feel complete because being with the wrong person is far worse than being alone.

To help yourself understand why you don’t believe that you are worthy of true, exciting, compassionate love and relationships, start by asking yourself “Why not?” Then ask “Do you have proof?” Many times the thoughts in our heads really are just created out of fear and so when we become aware of all the reasons why we settle and the real truth behind this belief, we end up dispelling that false belief. Once that belief has shifted or transformed, you see with your eyes and heart wide open. You deserve to be in a relationship that lights your soul on fire!

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?

Great questions! I would start with these:

What is it I am afraid of?

What will happen if I am alone?

What can I do right now to feel more fulfilled?

Who in my life is the biggest critic and how has that affected the way I see myself? Is this person perfect? Why do you allow him/her to have that power over you?

An example of a time when I had to reflect and realize how I needed to make changes in myself was when my belief about “hustling” turned into something I no longer wanted to associate myself with. My side business or “side hustle” only created more work hours for me and somehow “hustling” until 2 am in the morning was a “good” thing and setting a good example to my team. But I realized that is no way to live or even enjoy life and intentionally have kept that word out of my vocabulary. I changed from “hustling” to “flow” because “flow” means I work towards the goal that I want and things come to me with ease. Don’t get me wrong. There are a few nights where I am up until midnight because of my own procrastination, but those nights are few and far between and are not routine, at all.

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)?

I LOVE being alone. I find that giving myself the space and time to be with my thoughts and do the things I love to do by myself creates more energy in me than when I am with others. I am a true introvert. Being alone recharges me! Also, by being with yourself, you start to discover that you are doing things you like; that you don’t have to ask anyone else for permission. Today, you get to choose whether you stay in your PJs, watch a funny comedy and eat crackers in the bed or wear a cute dress and get glammed to go shopping. You will also appreciate your relationships more! When you start spending time by yourself, and look forward to it, you will also learn that you value the time you have with your loved ones too. This precious time you get to yourself helps you to get to know yourself better. You’ll hear your inner voice speaking to you and without outside influences. It’s a wonderful way to get insight about who you really are when all the walls are down.

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 relationship with yourself should reflect the relationship you have with others. For example, the love you have for your children should be just as strong if not stronger for the love you have for yourself. I know not everyone will agree with this, but when you have a deep love for yourself, you can model this to your children. Wouldn’t you want them to grow up with a healthy relationship with themselves? Also, you cannot depend on someone else to fill in the gaps of your heart. The more you love yourself, the more love you can spread to the others, and you’ll notice that others will be attracted to this energy too. Love yourself first, so that if a relationship doesn’t work out how you hoped it would, you’re not left there questioning your own self worth or whether you are good enough to be loved by someone else.

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

Individuals can help people understand and accept themselves by reminding people that comparisonitis only works to make you feel worse about yourself. Celebrate your strengths and keep the blinders on. Do not look to others or outside to make yourself feel better and help the person come up with reasons why they are unique and special. When we can help others see the contribution another can make with their unique talents, this helps to boost their appreciation for themselves. Society can promote ways we as humans can help each other and show kindness such as promoting more involvement in the community. When we help others, we begin to start conversations and create a sense of empathy and understanding. When you do nice things for others, you start to see the compassionate side of yourself and accept some of the flaws you realize are just what makes you perfect in this world of diversity.

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. Meditation — this helps with self reflection and helps me remove negative energy that has attached to me throughout the day
  2. Gratitude journal — Write one thing you are grateful and 5 reasons why. Gratitude boosts the level of happiness in your life and you become aware of all the blessings you do have vs what you don’t have
  3. Mirror work — wake up every morning (and throughout the day) and look in the mirror. Tell yourself “I love you” and then say one thing you love about your body.
  4. Exercise — Moving my body moves the stress out and creates more room for love and all the good thing that I am ready to receive
  5. “I am” affirmations. “I am magnificent”, “I am magic”, “I am powerful”, “I am beautiful”, “I am extraordinary”, “I am love”. Thoughts become things and become our beliefs. By changing our thoughts we change our life — literally!

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 the book “Thank and Grow Rich” by Pam Grout. She talks about expressing gratitude everyday and by putting that good energy out to the universe, you end up attracting abundance in all sorts of ways from friendships to opportunities to financial resources!

One of my favorite podcasts is “The Successful Mind Podcast” hosted by David Neagle. I have had so many aha moments. His “Concept of the Self” teachings will give you the world. The way David shares these truths is amazing and he really gets you at a deep subconscious level!

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 am all about women empowerment, creating more authentic, collaborative relationships and building stronger communities. My idea (one that I have already started) is hosting monthly exclusive interactive dinner parties at my house — it’s not fancy, but it’s tasty, FUN and entertaining.

THIS IS NOT A COOKING CLASS. The attendees, who are strangers, come to make new friends and help cook while simultaneously connecting with new people. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of having superficial, surface level conversations. I really wanted to really get to know people better by inviting them over to the house for dinner!

I invite women who are looking to build and strengthen their relationships and collaborate with other ambitious women; those who seek authentic people who are compassionate and empathetic, empower and support their fellow sisters. They come and help cook the meal while getting to know an intimate group of women.

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?

My favorite life lesson quote is “Speak your truth even if your voice shakes.” This was relevant to my life because for far too long, I was the pious, obedient, “respectful” stereotypical Asian woman. I was afraid to stand up for what I believe, voice my truth for fear of being ridiculed, rejected or no longer loved. It was a deep, deep belief that speaking up was being disrespectful and if I was disrespectful, I was not a “good girl”. Somehow I allowed myself to be silent and eventually I led myself to believe that my words no longer counted. BUT now I am again, older, wiser, happier and I know when my heart needs to voice something. While it is still scary, I do it to not just stand up for myself, and honor that young girl who never spoke her truth, but for others who haven’t found their self worth to say it themselves.

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

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Photo Credit: Matt Porter
Community//

Rising Star Nick Hawk On Why It Is So Important To Love Yourself

by Yitzi Weiner
Community//

Are You Looking For Happiness In All the Wrong Places?

by Jasmine Montoya
Community//

Tammi Pickle: “Life and relationships are not always easy”

by Ben Ari

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.