Rise & Shine Interview: Tara Jacek Thompson

I'm delighted Tara Jacek, who I met through the WordPress blogging community, is sharing with us her thoughts on persevering as a young professional. She provides advice to young women entering the work world.  She is a loyal contributor to my blog and also designed the beautiful graphic in my "About Me" section of my blog.  I’m blessed to know her.  She continually inspires me and encourages me to persist. She rocks! Thanks Tara!

Image (c) Tara Jacek
Image (c) Tara Jacek

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Who did you receive it from?

My dad always said, "Where there's a will, there's a way." Whenever I come up against a "No," "Can't," or some kind of wall, I think about what my dad has said. He says I'm a little devil for it, but I have always gotten through (with a little faith!) everything I have come up against - not always shining but I come through!

How important is mentorship in terms of your success?

Very but I didn't always have mentors every step of the way; I just have several people come in and out of my life at certain times to help me through. They were people that believed in me because of what they saw me do, what they saw in me. It wasn't just because they were my friend and had to encourage me. They did so because they saw something special. That always encouraged me the most.

What has been the best moment in your life so far?

I have two:

1) Realizing I can find someone who just accepts me or "deals" with me and never complains. When there are no more games and I can be honest. Someone who can let me be a country girl one day and the city princess the next.

2) Seeing the kittens I fostered all grown up. I kept one, and a second came back to me. They are healthy and happy and as devoted me to as I am to them. Every time I see their eyes light up, I am so grateful for them.

What tips would you have for living a healthy life?

I'm learning I can eat and do what I want, but I need to understand what this does to my body. Cake is great, but I can't eat enough for a party of 6. I'm trying Weight Watchers so I think, "Is it worth the points?" It's slowly (very slowly) translating into, "Is it worth the extra weight? Is it worth putting off being healthy? Is it worth missing the gym? What can I do to make up for it?" Fast food, candy and driving too fast without a seat belt aren't great choices to make everyday. Learning to deal with stress is something to think about too.  I'm learning to turn off work mode and stop checking social media when I feel stressed out and unwind with a book or art.

How do you motivate yourself to persist despite setbacks?

"Where there's a will, there's a way." It's not always that easy, and I usually feel miserable for awhile. I try to find something good to focus on. My weight and health is a big issue for me right now, but I keep reminding myself I was once at my target weight and I can get back to it.

What has been your biggest setback? How did you deal with it? What did you learn from it?

For awhile, no matter what I did, I kept gaining weight! I'm also very tired all the time - probably because I'm carrying around extra weight. I'm slowly, very slowly, losing weight. I'm at the beginning of my new program, so there isn't much difference since when I started but I'm not gaining! Someone recently said to me "When did [insert problem] become acceptable?" It became acceptable when I stopped caring, when I didn't do anything about it. And I think, "Will I just keep letting it be acceptable and let it get worse, or will I do something about it?"

How do you deal with critics?

I'm still learning this! Usually, I just get fed up and just stay away from them. They don't like me: Fine, you don't have to deal with me. I recently read a book that said, in reference to the workplace, "No one is your friend!" The workplace is harsh, and in a way we are in competition with each other for either another job, attention, or getting ahead. Sometimes people say things we need to hear because they care about us; but those people are usually your loved ones. Other people are seeing you the way they want to see you and telling you to be who they want you to be.

How important is social support in overcoming obstacles?

Social support from family, friends, and/or peers keep us accountable for our attentions. Many it's a friend who drags you to the gym, or a co-worker who mentors you about dealing with work behaviour and stress. Having the support of others encourages us and gives us value.

What advice would you give others about goal setting?

Dreams are just dreams with goals - but you need goals you can achieve. Start small and work your way up.

What life lesson have you learned that you would like to pass along to others?

Keep getting out of bed. Even if it's just to read a book.

Thanks Tara for sharing with us :) You should check out her other post ,"Odd is Okay."

Keep checking back this week to read more posts about seeing beauty in yourself!!!

Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.

See you at the beach!

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