Dr. Daryl Appleton

HOW DID YOU IDENTIFY YOUR PASSION AND THE WORK THAT SATISFIED YOU VERSUS WORK THAT JUST PAID THE BILLS?

I have always relied on Mondays to serve as my gut instinct about any job I have ever had. How I felt about the anticipation and the arrival of a Monday has relayed the “get out now” message to me quite a few times when I found myself in positions that were not allowing me to operate on my highest frequency. By the end of my last job I was leading at a high ranking level, making a great salary butI knew it still wasn’t enough. I needed to OWN something. Moreover, I needed to OWN something that was constantly evolving, multi-faceted, and had female development at its core. It wasn’t until my business partner and I opened up our boutique mental health private practice that I no longer had the “Sunday scaries” and saw Monday as an exciting place.

Maintaining two or three different job titles has always been an essential (though perhaps slightly unorthodox) part of my ability to find fulfilment in my professional life. My passions are far from one-dimensional, so as far as I’m concerned, attacking them from only one angle would be foolish and impractical. Currently, I run my private practice and have a caseload of patients that keep me grounded and sharp in the areas of mental health but I also have my consulting business (www.drdarylappleton.com) where I travel, speak, write, and put on events focused on leadership development through the lens of well-being (I am working on a luxury retreat for wellness and work-life balance in Italy as we speak!). Together, these roles allow me to serve in my highest frequency while fulfilling the multi-faceted nature of my passion in a way that keeps me challenged, happy, and motivated.

WHO WILL ETERNALLY BE A WOMAN YOU ADMIRE AND RESPECT, AND WHY?

I, like many women I’ve spoken with, have an amazing Tribe. I am incredibly blessed to especially have women in my family who have shaped me into the person and woman I am today. So while it is slightly cliché to choose a person from your family, there is no other person that fits the answer to this question more than my cousin, Linda. Linda is a woman that I will eternally admire and respect. Her essence is, in a word, regal. As a Vice President of a Fortune 500 company, a trailblazer for change, and the mother of three boys (all ages 4 and under) I am constantly in awe at how she masterfully manages everything in her life with a decisive, yet loving, hand. She has this unique, almost superhuman ability to manage the stress of daily life, cultivate the meaningful relationships around her, and throw a Pinterest-worthy party, and carve out time for self-care. All in the same damn weekend. I have learned so much from her: she has taught me the value of grit and grace under pressure, and has helped me to realize my own self-worth in ways that have truly been invaluable. What I admire most is her, though, is her sense of purpose and intentionality. Everything she does is ten steps ahead of and three layers deeper than what she has been called upon to do – all while keeping the bigger picture in mind. But the feeling that you get from the work she does, or a note she has sent, or a gift that she delivers to you- it makes you feels as if you are the most important/only person in the room. It’s a wonderful recharging feeling to be around her and her energy. I am eternally grateful that my life has been blessed by her beautiful strong spirit. She is absolute magic.

IN LIGHT OF YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF OUR HASHTAG #WHYITRIBE, WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO CELEBRATE WHO WE ALREADY ARE TODAY?

Every thought that we have and choice that we make contributes to our greater neuropsychological narrative. The way that we process the world around us informs the decisions that we make. Each decision that we make shapes our brain – in the most literal sense of the phrase.

Every time we praise or doubt ourselves we are adding to this greater neuropsychological narrative. As women, we have been conditioned to avoid accepting compliments and acting too “bold” or “selfish” because of the negative feedback it has historically solicited. This has kept us in a confusing and limiting paradox. “Be strong but don’t be a bitch”, “Be pretty but don’t act like you know it”, and “be smart, but humble”.

I believe it is our time to break free from this impossible scenario of perfection and begin to be selfish. Put yourself first. Give your self praise. Outwardly! Celebrate your successes with the world and, in turn, allow yourself to join others as they celebrate their own. Woman have finally begun to write their own stories. It’s our job to make sure that all woman understand that they can be their own heroin in the end.

NAME A TIME RECENTLY WHEN YOU SAID SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF/HOW DID THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?

Recently, I was waiting to be introduced to a group at an event I was invited to speak at. The chairperson stood and began to go through my long and impressive bio, including my background as an Ivy League research, scholar, best selling author, collegiate athlete, owner of two companies, and my representations in national newsprint, and radio as a wellness doyanne. At the end of the introduction, the chair looked up at me and said, “It must be hard to be humble”. I responded simply, “You’re damn right it is.”

It always feels great to affirm my hard work and who I am. It also serves as a reminder to myself that I should never have to minimize the experiences that I have had and the work that I have done to get where I am today. I pride myself on living my life in a way that says to others “Don’t be a lady, be a legend”. I am always my own biggest fan.

WHY DO YOU THINK WOMEN SHY AWAY FROM CELEBRATING OR PRAISING THEMSELVES SO MUCH?

The concept of “selfishness” has historically served to keep women down. As women, we have been groomed to believe that we have a moral obligation to serve others before ourselves. The notion that selfish is bad Is ingrained in our society, but the implications of being selfish are vastly different for men and woman. I spend a lot of time with my clients and patients working on the concept of embracing selfishness as “putting oneself first”. It is a natural instinct, and one that serves a useful purpose. The question should not be “How dare you put yourself above others?”, but rather, “How dare you believe that anything should come before my well-being”.

HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THE TENDENCY TO DISCREDIT COMPLIMENTS YOU ARE GIVEN?

At the start of my speaking career, I would record video of myself during the presentation and take notes on my performance when I watched it back. I immediately noticed that in a majority of my talks I would make slightly disparaging remarks about myself after I was introduced. I couldn’t believe my it. The host had just finished listing all of my fantastic and amazing accomplishments, yet there I was telling the world that I still didn’t consider myself to be “enough”. It really rocked me. I had no idea I was even doing this extremely common, yet incredibly damaging behavior. From then on I made sure that whenever I was featured in the news, being introduced before a talk, or doing anything that highlighted my skills and prowess that I was sure to look everyone dead in the eye as if to say “Yes, that’s me. Pretty amazing, huh?”

HOW DOES SOCIETY REINFORCE THE IDEA THAT WE, AS WOMEN, ARE NOT ENOUGH AND HOW CAN WE TAKE THAT POWER BACK?

Women are often told in our society that we are too much. Too loud. Too crazy. Too emotional. And yes, sometimes we will be too much. Too smart. Too beautiful. Too strong. People will always try to make you feel less of a woman when they feel like less of a person in your presence. If you find yourself feeling like you need to make yourself smaller or lesser in the presence of others, take some time to pause, then reassess your situation and your intentions. It is a mistake to assume that you need to remove the jewels from your crown to make it easier for someone else to carry.

On top of all this – there are so many outer pressures that make it incredibly difficult to have moments of introspection. Women feel have been made to feel like taking the time to reflect, rest or recharge is the equivalent of being lazy. If women could be convinced that taking a day or even an hour to reflect in solitude was a reasonable ambition – they would find a way to make it happen. Right now many women feel like this demand is wildly unjustified and unnecessary, and therefore they rarely make any attempt to do so.

The general rule of thumb I have with clients is that if it costs you your inner peace, than its too expensive. Give yourself time to reflect! This is the first step to understanding what is draining your power and allows you time to formulate a plan to take it back. Audit the negative, heavy, and toxic thoughts/people/behaviors in your life and make a detailed and time-sensitive plan get rid of them.

WHY IS THE TRIBE MOVEMENT IMPORTANT?

Women are the life force behind any and everything. Women of poise, passion, and purpose are, have been, and will continue to be the vessels of strength, the champions of justice, the pioneers of change, and the leaders of future generations. The world needs women. We are powerful, resilient, and strong. Sometimes, we are so strong that we forget that there are some things we just simply cannot handle on our own (believe me, we’ve tried). The need for a healthy and non-toxic tribe should be at the top of everyone’s list. Support your women! Buy what they are selling, listen to their ideas, fuel their success fires, give positive feedback, like their posts, celebrate their victories and remind them of the lesson in their failures. Remember that you succeed when other women succeed.

Occupation: Psychotherapist / Executive Wellness Consultant

Website: www.drdarylappleton.com

Instagram: drdarylappleton