Leigh Hall

Occupation: Founder of La Confidente, MSW Candidate, Real Estate Investor, and Tutor

Website: www.unboxyouremotions.com

Instagram: unboxyouremotions

Leigh Hall

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

When I graduated from Bowdoin College, I began working as a market research analyst at Penn Schoen Berland in Washington, D.C.  The company had a great office culture, I had an all-female badass team, I was making what I thought at the time was great money, and I was getting to provide marketing advice for fortune 500 companies such as McDonalds and BP.  However, after a year, I realized I didn’t want my boss’s job or my boss’s boss’s job. I thought about what was missing and what I wanted my days to look like but I was too exhausted after each long day to think about what was next for me.  So I took a leap of faith and looked for a less demanding job so that I could spend time investigating careers that were more aligned with my “why” and the lifestyle I envisioned. Luckily, my uncle gave me an office job at his company that provided a less demanding schedule and more flexibility.  I realized that I was craving way more interaction with people and significantly less time with computer software. I also thought about who I wanted to impact and how. Other than my family, the most impactful people in my life had been counselors. They provided a space where I could say whatever I wanted, where I felt heard and not judged, and where I could receive the support I needed to recharge my battery when I was running on empty.  I decided I wanted to be a stronghold for others who needed an empathetic ear and so I applied to graduate school to obtain a master’s in clinical social work. 

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

Others may view this as an unlikely choice, but I will eternally admire and respect Jennifer Lopez. It is not because she is a celebrity or has all of the glitz and glamour, but because she has never stopped pursuing her dream life. When others thought it was time for her to become irrelevant, she worked even harder to continue acting, singing, and performing and even when multiple marriages and engagements did not end in happily ever after, she maintained her belief that she would find love because she deserved it. In addition, she knows who she is and has infectious confidence. As a woman, self-doubt is our worst enemy, so if you can overcome that, the world is at your fingertips. 

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

So often we are focused on the future.  We are perpetually running towards a vision of ourselves that we have created in our head that is more established in our career, wealthier, thinner, kinder, stronger, a better friend, a better daughter, and a better wife.  When we look in the mirror we focus on our weaknesses and our voids, when we should be focusing on our strengths and our accomplishments. It is so important to celebrate who we are today because when we don’t feel successful, we don’t feel motivated. Through my work, I have found that very few people actually thrive off of self-criticism.  What is significantly more effective is telling yourself how you are winning and how you can continue doing so. Just like money begets money, when you acknowledge your successes, you continue spiraling upwards. This is why I love helping my clients create what I call micro-goals that are easily achievable and make them feel good about themselves rather than setting monstrous long-term goals that make you feel like your dreams are out of reach and that you are failing each day that goes by. 

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

Recently, I told my husband that I was an asset even though I do not work full-time. Instead of downplaying all that I do simply because it does not bring in the majority of our income, I proudly stated that I am just as much of a contributor and it made me feel strong and empowered.  

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

This used to be really difficult for me, and sometimes I still catch myself only half believing the positive things that others say.  The best way to fight against discrediting compliments you are given is by looking at them as an opportunity. It is an opportunity to choose to feel good about yourself.  If someone looked at you and said I will give you five dollars or one-thousand dollars, you would choose the thousand-dollar offer; so why would you accept a critique but turn down a self-esteem booster?  So much out there is negative, especially on social media, I realized I would be a fool not to welcome the positive energy. Also, I found that if you are constantly dodging compliments and replacing them with self-depreciation people will start to believe you.  They follow your lead, so it is best to graciously accept the compliment and capitalize on their positive opinion of you. 

WHAT WOULD YOU GO BACK AND TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF, TO ENCOURAGE SELF-ESTEEM AND SELF-LOVE? 

I would tell myself “why not you.”  In a recent documentary I watched about the tycoons who made America in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie, one of the commentators said what set these men apart from others who might have had greater intelligence, resources, or work ethic is their attitude of why they shouldn’t be the ones to succeed. I think women especially doubt their abilities and believe they have to be “more” to accomplish their goals but the truth is the only missing ingredient is having the guts to throw your hat in the ring. 

WHERE DO YOU THINK THE NEED TO COMPETE WITH OTHER WOMEN COMES FROM? IS IT TAUGHT? 

I think the need to compete with other women comes from seeking the approval of men.  Being part of a marginalized community is recognizing that you need to be in the favor of those who have the power in order to succeed. One of my best guy friends recently told me to read an article called the miseducation of boys that examines how boys are taught the meaning of masculinity and how misogynistic locker room talk is still prevalent in society where boys say they respect their female counterparts as equals. The most interesting part of our discussion after reading the article was how the author could have written a piece called the miseducated of the American girl. Part of this miseducation is that only a certain number of women will be let into the boy’s club and therefore you need to compete for your spot. In reality, the goal is not to put other women down so that you can earn that spot, it is to work together with other men and women to create a new club that welcomes all sexes and genders. 

WHY IS THE TRIBE MOVEMENT IMPORTANT?

The tribe movement is so important because acceptance can only come from within. My mom preaches that every single day.  The only way someone else’s beliefs about you are impactful is if you already have those same beliefs about yourself. Being present, accepting who you are in the now, and celebrating what you have already achieved is the only way you can practice being grateful. When you are grateful, you realize you already have everything you need to continue on your successful path.