There’s a famous quote by Theodore Roosevelt that says “Believe in yourself and you’re halfway there.” Maybe you’ve heard it before or seen it on social media. You may think it rings true, but have you really thought about it. Halfway there is a big head start. Imagine starting at the halfway point of a race or even having half of a major project done for you before you dive in.
At Thesaurus.com you can find a list of synonyms for the word believe. For our purposes let’s think of these “have no doubt” (in yourself) and “place confidence” (in yourself).
To be sure, confidence comes more easily to some. It has to do with not just your personality, but the cards life has dealt you. It has to do with what people have said about you along the way and how much you have taken it to heart. It has to do with your successes and failures and how you processed them. There are many factors, but believing in yourself or having confidence often starts with the simple concept of loving yourself.
Self-love is where we’re going to start and that’s what our guest, Sherry Duquet, is helping is talking about in this podcast episode. We originally spoke with Sherry last year not long after she wrote the best-selling children’s book Violet The Hugging Octopus. This remarkable book has actually endeared itself to people of all ages as it promotes uniqueness, self-esteem, and embracing oneself….LITERALLY!
Her main character, Violet, has the secret to happiness and confidence, and it has a lot to do with self-love and self-hugs. During the episode, Sherry shares how we can take lessons from her fictional story and apply them to our real life. She also tells us how her own struggles for self-acceptance helped lead her to create the book’s heroine. We learn so much from both Sherry and Violet.
Join us and our featured Guest Sherry Duquet and add a dose of Self-Love and Self-Confidence to your day!
Want a free autographed copy of Violet the Hugging Octopus and a plushie book buddy? If you're reading this before January 1, 2021, email Sherry at email@example.com and put Imagine Yourself in the subject line. You'll automatically be in a random drawing. You will be notified by Sherry if you win after the first of the year.
Sandy Kovach [00:00:00]:
Believing in yourself, having self confidence. We know how important that is, but how hard it can be, especially during crazy times like these. Now our guest is an inspiring best selling author who says that believing in yourself, having confidence has a lot to do with self love. But before we jump into our talk with Sherry Duquet, we wanna let you know that she has provided us with a special giveaway. And if you've got Kids or grandkids, I think you'll especially love it. So we'll tell you about that at the end of the episode. But for now, Lanee and I would like to welcome you to Imagine Yourself, So, and we're gonna jump right into last year's talk.
Lanée Blaise [00:00:39]:
So where do we start on this whole path to confidence?
Sandy Kovach [00:00:43]:
We gotta start out with the big prize. Right? Violet the Hugging Octopus.
Lanée Blaise [00:00:47]:
Yeah. That's the book that you wrote that started a movement of self love.
Sandy Kovach [00:00:51]:
It's a children's book, but I was reading that you have actually extended your self hugs to the adult world as well. Could you tell us a little bit about how that all developed?
Sherry Duquet [00:01:03]:
Yeah. That part of it has been so incredible. So it was published, a children's book, and it's a children's picture book, but it quickly became The gift that adults are giving other adults. So your girlfriend that's going through a divorce or a friend, male or female, that's going through A health crisis or maybe just someone in your life, a teenager, that needs a reminder that they are lovable. You are strong and perfect and confident as you are. That was certainly my hope. I had hoped that it would translate in that way. You want your message To go to all ages.
Sherry Duquet [00:01:40]:
But when it happened, I was thrilled. So it's just been incredible to watch it unfold.
Lanée Blaise [00:01:45]:
Yeah. Because you're affecting generations. You have The generation that's able to read the book to the younger people, whether it's a mother or an aunt or an uncle or grandparent, And then you have the young person themself who's being influenced by everything. Because this story, Violet the hugging octopus, In my opinion, it's like a how to guide to enjoying the fact that we're all rare, we're all unique, And we can all find confidence instead of fear in that fact. Right?
Sherry Duquet [00:02:19]:
Yes. Absolutely. And the fact that it's the picture book, so that means it's 450 words or less. So it's a quick read, and it is a sing song read. It rhymes, and so it feels nice in your mouth. And so just like you had said, I knew that parents and grandparents and whoever was reading to a child would enjoy the experience as well. And so the child is hearing the words and the concepts. They're hugging themselves.
Sherry Duquet [00:02:46]:
They're learning how to do that. But all of us as adults, we're learning that too when we're sharing that. So we're either reading it to ourselves for the first time or to a child, and we're hearing that over and over again. And I had hoped that it would be impactful.
Sandy Kovach [00:03:02]:
It definitely has been impactful, and it was something that came to you how. I mean, this is a great idea, giving yourself a hug, the strength, and giving yourself a hug, which Who even thinks of that? How did it come to you?
Sherry Duquet [00:03:14]:
I know. Right? And I love that it's so easy and free. Obviously, we can all do it, but we're not doing it. And we haven't thought of it until now, so I'm really just brought something back that we can all do. So I own a yoga studio, and I'm a yoga teacher instructor, And I've always incorporated self hugs into our class. And so we're doing a posture, and then I'll say wrap your arms, around yourself, give yourself a hug, tuck your chin, really mean it. So when I'm teaching a class, 30 people are facing me, And I can see what it does to them. And the look on their face, men and women of all ages, When I asked them to hug themselves for the very first time, it blew me away.
Sherry Duquet [00:03:58]:
It literally blew my mind. I mean, it ranged from relief The joy, the sadness, and I thought, oh my goodness. This is it. This is where it's at. This is something that we can do, and it's so important to me To raise the self esteem of men and women, of course, children, people of all ages, and I felt like I kind of found something that we could all do. We can take it with us. When you're at work having a bad experience, you can walk into the ladies' room and do this. We can all do this.
Sandy Kovach [00:04:28]:
And you explore it so beautifully in your book. Like you say, it's a Picture book, beautiful illustrations. It's a rhyme. Violet basically goes around teaching the other sea creatures how to do this. Correct?
Sherry Duquet [00:04:38]:
Yes. Because when you meet Violet, she's really having fun by herself. So she's playing. She's really happy and her friends notice this. What's her big secret? Why is she so happy? What is she doing that's different from what we're doing? And then you learn that she's so happy inside because she loves herself. And, you know, we're all kind of like, woah. What?
Lanée Blaise [00:05:01]:
Sherry Duquet [00:05:02]:
she teaches her friends how they can do it too.
Lanée Blaise [00:05:05]:
So you can build upon this too. So you have self love, and then you mentioned self esteem, And we're talking about self confidence also. Do you see many people who are actually kinda making it through the world And they're having some level of success, but they don't necessarily love themselves or they truly lack confidence. They're just kinda Pushing through or faking it till they're making it. Is this something that you have encountered and maybe seen some people make some changes when they Get to the root of
Sherry Duquet [00:05:35]:
it? Absolutely. I have an added benefit of being a yoga teacher and sharing really sacred intimate space With tons of people every week. And so, yes, I see this all the time. And I think we're all struggling connection. We're struggling to feel confident. We're struggling to feel as worthy or worthwhile as all of our friends on Facebook. I I think we're all struggling with this in different ways, and some of us are willing to admit that. Some of us are willing to take steps That can change that.
Sherry Duquet [00:06:10]:
Some of us are too afraid. And so I think this is really this entry level way of us Starting to do that, of us working our way toward that.
Sandy Kovach [00:06:19]:
Now your story, we came through some difficult times. This was probably therapeutic for you. Is did that Feed into your desire to help other people?
Sherry Duquet [00:06:28]:
Yes. Absolutely. So teaching not just teaching, but sharing a way For us to learn, relearn how to love ourselves and to feel valuable is very important to me. I continue through my adult life To reparent myself, to try and learn and relearn and relearn again that I'm valuable, that I'm lovable, that I am worthy of love and the wonderful things that I have in my life, and I didn't grow up believing that. Again, I think many of us Had a different experience where we didn't grow up believing that. And so reparenting myself, writing this book for others is just an extension of that. It's an extension of what I teach in my yoga classes and the opportunity that I have to share that with others.
Lanée Blaise [00:07:14]:
I think that's important too because many people are sitting and possibly thinking, well, this Sherry Duquette, she was just born with self confidence, and I don't have that within myself, and it is reassuring to hear that you didn't just come out the womb fully self confident. You had to find it and you have to continue to reignite it. It seems like through your own self promotion and continuing that process Of telling yourself and reminding yourself daily even, it seems like, because there are definitely some people who I mean, I've seen some kids who just They wake up in the morning and they're like, I'm awesome. And they just go off on their day and they bounce around, but sometimes There are others who are not like that or even those who are like that as kids. Sometimes life can bring things that can Kinda knocked that out, and I sometimes wonder where did all that confidence and exuberance go. And I love the fact that you are bringing it
Sherry Duquet [00:08:14]:
Beth. Thank you. And I love the way that you said it. We are born loving ourselves. Just envision a baby in your mind. Babies are so enamored with their bodies and their fat, awesome, chubby little legs. They are completely aware That every part of themselves is perfect just as it is, and they grow able to express themselves. So their needs, their desires, they have no filters at all.
Sherry Duquet [00:08:39]:
Yeah. And as we continue right? And as we continue to grow and have experiences with our families, with people in school, with society, Then we have our filters, then we decide or we start to know how we feel about ourselves, and it's really through the eyes of others. So as you continue to grow, those become, like, ingrained in you. And as I was growing up, I believed that I was garbage.
Sandy Kovach [00:09:04]:
Oh my gosh.
Sherry Duquet [00:09:06]:
Yeah. That I didn't have anything to hear. I believed I was fat and ugly and all through my childhood years through high school. Honestly, through my early twenties, I continued to feel that way. I have never felt valuable, and I'm changing that. I've worked very hard with other professionals through therapy, through writing, through all kinds of things, digging in and trying to learn for the 1st time. And then as you said, to continue to relearn that every week, every day, sometimes every hour. It's a work in progress, And it's just amazing to find out that I am strong.
Sherry Duquet [00:09:45]:
I am lovable. I always was.
Sandy Kovach [00:09:48]:
And here you are spreading that love to other people.
Sherry Duquet [00:09:51]:
It's crazy. Right? I mean, it it's the most extraordinary opportunity. I could have never envisioned That this is where this story would go. And now here I am, and I have this amazing opportunity to turn something that's really sad and ugly and defeating into something strong and empowering that I can share, And it is already impacting people. And, of course, sharing the act of self love is my healing as well. And how incredible is that?
Sandy Kovach [00:10:21]:
That's A bonus. I mean, you get it. You spread it. It's a beautiful thing through all through hugging yourself. And I think people identifying whether, Sherry, They had a tough childhood where they would agree with you and say I felt like garbage, or whether it was something that happened to them in school or I mean, there's Mhmm. Or even like you mentioned Facebook, social media and comparing yourselves to people can make people feel inadequate. A lot of stuff.
Sherry Duquet [00:10:45]:
Lanée Blaise [00:10:45]:
That might be sometimes part of Problem, you're looking at other people instead of like Violet does looking at herself and her I mean, she's an octopus. She's got all these legs all over the place. She's beautiful, and she's happy, and she's enjoying her differentness, I guess. That's what I'm saying.
Sherry Duquet [00:11:01]:
And then by stating that out loud, She gives the people around her permission to feel the same way about themselves. And when I see things on social media that are positive and wonderful, that we're all hearing with each other, like memes. I just love memes that are positive. Mhmm. I feel like that gives others Permission to be positive about themselves. Like, if I say something positive about myself, like, oh, I'm feeling confident today or boy, have a great smile, That gives you permission to feel the same. And don't we all do the same if someone says something negative? We have a tendency, we meaning all of us, to kinda jump on that bandwagon. Well, I wanna make it more neutral, more commonplace for us to say positive things about ourselves, giving the people in our lives permission to do the same.
Sherry Duquet [00:11:50]:
And, again, I think this is something that we're all learning. We're not used to that. It's really been exciting to share that through the yoga studio, of course, because we always do mindful exercises, but through this book and with people of all ages.
Lanée Blaise [00:12:03]:
I applaud that. I think there's So many things in this society where we want to focus on scandal and terrible things, but there are so many beautiful things, beautiful stories, Beautiful lives and people and circumstances that we maybe need to highlight more and, like you said, encourage more of that. Yes. Maybe every once in a while, a little guilty pleasure, you know, something interesting and salacious to
Sandy Kovach [00:12:31]:
me. But Kim Kardashian link that you clicked on. Okay, Lynette, I
Lanée Blaise [00:12:34]:
forget everything. I have that. Give me that one. But the rest of the time, we can really point ourselves towards the good. Because now you have me wondering, Sherry, is there another Violet book? I know this one is so new. It's 2019. But it's is there another? I want another Violet book.
Sherry Duquet [00:12:51]:
Let's see where inspiration takes us. I'm open and receptive to what comes next. Violet has a lot of friends, and Violet also Has a lot more things to share. So I'm really excited to see where that goes.
Sandy Kovach [00:13:03]:
Yeah. Or a Violet YouTube series or
Sherry Duquet [00:13:06]:
Oh my goodness. Because we That would be incredible.
Sandy Kovach [00:13:08]:
We want this. This is the the whole violent movement. And you must when you go to your readings. I know you do book readings. When you meet people, what is it like when they Share the impact of your book on them.
Sherry Duquet [00:13:20]:
Honestly, it blew me away in a way that I had not expected. And the first time I read Violet in public, out loud to strangers, and saw how they reacted and to see A room full of strangers, children and adults hugging themselves via violet blew my mind. And I thought, oh my god. It worked. Like, it really worked. I wrote this And you did it, and you look really happy. And how incredible is that? It's been profound. One of the things that we've been doing is we've had the opportunity to do some outdoor and it's just been really incredible.
Sherry Duquet [00:13:57]:
So at the front of our table, in a way that you don't have to interact with me, I have this amazing board called the positivity post it board, and I made post it notes that say, You are perfectly perfect, which is a line from the book. Mhmm. Then I have a sign that says, feel free to write one thing about yourself that you like and post it on the board. Again, I'm not interacting with these people. They come up kind of organically and decide whether or not they wanna engage in this. So recently, At an outdoor fair, a mom with her little girl, the little girl was about 8 or 9 years old. They came up and her mom said, hey. Why don't you fill out a Post it note of one thing you like about yourself? Very kind of benign thing.
Sherry Duquet [00:14:40]:
The little girl stood there for a minute and burst into tears. She could not think of one thing that she liked about herself, which obviously was crushing in the moment for her mom. So her mom kind of walked her through it. Well, what about how you feel about your pets? And so the little girl finally came to the conclusion that one thing she loved about herself was how much she loved animals.
Lanée Blaise [00:15:05]:
Sherry Duquet [00:15:06]:
So we impacted that. That conversation would not have even come up That that little girl feels that way. Like, the mom and the daughter would have just kind of walked through their day doing whatever they were doing. And because Because of the booth and Violet and the positivity Post it board that I created, there it was. And we were having an upfront and honest conversation About how this little girl actually felt.
Lanée Blaise [00:15:30]:
Because I bet her mother maybe never even knew that she couldn't think of one positive thing. And also in this world, sometimes, people are told that you need to which I definitely understand humility and being humble, But you have to make sure that you're not tipping the scales so much to the point where because there are some people Granted who think that they are the best thing since sliced bread, and they sometimes think they're above everyone else, and we don't want to promote that. But there are many more people who struggle with, like, an inferiority complex and struggle with thinking that they're not enough, and they need To have heaps of confidence loaded upon them and heaps of opportunities to say these are the good things about me. These are things that I like about myself, and I shouldn't be ashamed of that type of thinking.
Sherry Duquet [00:16:22]:
And remember, arrogance comes from a place of insecurity. Self love comes from a place of security and confidence. So people that are arrogant and braggadocious aren't coming from a place of self love. It's from a place of fear and please like me. That isn't self love. Right. That isn't a sustainable character trait either.
Sandy Kovach [00:16:45]:
So that comes from something negative where self love comes from something positive. Linnea is actually as we're talking, Sherry, she's got your Picture book open.
Lanée Blaise [00:16:54]:
It's too bad. I just I because here's a page that I like. Just because I wanna prove that it moves from the stage of a children's book. It can move to a step of a positive affirmation for a grown person. Like living your best life by loving yourself best. Here's one of the pieces in the book. So Violet showed them all an easy way to love themselves every day. She said, throw open your arms and open them wide, then wrap them around yourself from side to side.
Lanée Blaise [00:17:26]:
Help yourself daily to show that you care because you are unique and incredibly rare, and rare is a good thing in this book.
Sandy Kovach [00:17:35]:
You know? It's oh, that gets me.
Sherry Duquet [00:17:37]:
Lanée Blaise [00:17:38]:
This is not just for kids. It's a concept for us adults too.
Sandy Kovach [00:17:43]:
Unfortunately, sometimes, maybe even more So right? Because society, Sherry, as you were saying, or or whatever takes it out of you, whatever makes you feel inferior, whatever makes you feel bad about yourself, It stays with you unless you called it reparenting yourself, which I I've never heard that term before. But I like it. But I I like it. You have to kinda Coach yourself through it or with a therapist or whatever you need to do.
Sherry Duquet [00:18:06]:
Absolutely. And, you know, we're in such a great time right now where this really is important to all of us, and we're all getting so many new resources like beautiful podcasts like yours and people who we admire saying Wonderful things on YouTube, and there are so many books that are helping us feel empowered and so many memoirs that are coming out Where we can read about people who have overcome obstacles to literally recreate their lives. We're in a wonderful time To be able to re parent, reinvigorate our lives, and just decide that may have happened before, And that will no longer define me. Mhmm. Yes. I can't ever relive what happened before this day. I can't change any of that. But what I can help is what's gonna happen from today forward.
Sherry Duquet [00:19:02]:
And I wanna be helpful, continue to heal, And I want others to heal, and I want to do that in many different ways, in ways that feel palatable for all different people of all different ages.
Sandy Kovach [00:19:14]:
And I think you're accomplishing that. And, Sherry, as we're getting close to wrap up time, I do wanna make sure we get
Lanée Blaise [00:19:20]:
Connect how do we connect with Yes.
Sandy Kovach [00:19:22]:
Let's do that. Let's do the website and how we get your book and all that.
Sherry Duquet [00:19:25]:
Sandy Kovach [00:19:40]:
So you're Sherry, s h e r r y, Sherry. Right?
Sherry Duquet [00:19:43]:
Lanée Blaise [00:19:43]:
And then now, also, you know that we will include you On our website, imagine yourself podcast .com, we have the links we love, and we will also for anyone who's listening, they can make sure that they can connect through to you that way. But I real and then getting your book. How about getting your book?
Sherry Duquet [00:19:59]:
Yep. We are available on Amazon. And if you're interested in getting a signed book from me, Then you can email us. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and that's also on the website. And you would just let us know The number of books that you're looking for and how you'd like them signed, and then we will send you an easy PayPal link to purchase. And you don't need PayPal to purchase. It's just as quick and easy, like
Lanée Blaise [00:20:24]:
We really appreciate having you, Sherry. Thank you for what you're doing, And like our model too, we wanna bring love and light and laughter to the world. Thank you for being brave enough to do that. Thank you for Sharing the fact that there were moments where you didn't always have that, but you do now and you're continuing to pour it into yourselves and pour it into others. Thank you for being our guest. We always have a little time at the end called takeaway time. And if it's okay with you, I think we'll move on to takeaway time.
Sandy Kovach [00:20:56]:
I got my notebook. Sherry, you got your notebook for takeaway time?
Sherry Duquet [00:20:58]:
We do. Okay. I'm ready.
Lanée Blaise [00:21:00]:
So today's takeaway, Because we talk so much about loving ourselves, I really believe that another key to self confidence is looking within yourself versus looking outside yourself for the answers and always longing to be like somebody else. Here's a quote to consider. Loving, healthy confidence has nothing to do with anyone else's greatness, abilities, Highs or lows. It has everything to do with the beautiful individual essence of you. And once you embrace that and smile on your uniqueness and your gifts, then you finally gain the secret Of true self confidence just like our violet, the octopus.
Sandy Kovach [00:21:52]:
I love that.
Sherry Duquet [00:21:54]:
Yeah. Wow. That is profound and bought on.
Lanée Blaise [00:21:58]:
So then we Beautiful. Thank you. Thank you. I thought of that last night.
Sandy Kovach [00:22:01]:
That was your quote?
Lanée Blaise [00:22:02]:
That was my quote.
Sandy Kovach [00:22:03]:
Oh, I thought you she was reading, like, Some poetry found on the Internet.
Sherry Duquet [00:22:07]:
No. It's after reading I thought she Googled it.
Lanée Blaise [00:22:10]:
It's after I read your book. Last night, Midnight, just one more time, I wanted to read through it before we had our time together today, and that is what came to me because I Kept thinking about all the times where I concentrated on others, and I wanna be more like them and more like her and more like this. It's not about that. It's about what We are already and what we can become and embracing that. It has to do with Violet. She was I I still keep thinking. I I mean, I just all these little legs around I suppose, I guess, octopus, they really have was it 6 legs? You know, they have 6 arms and 2 legs.
Sandy Kovach [00:22:43]:
Oh, but that one is.
Lanée Blaise [00:22:44]:
Yeah. Yeah. But they have 8 legs floating around, and that To some people is an interesting look. Right? But doesn't that just give her more opportunity to hug and more opportunity to reach out and stretch out? So you embrace it. And At the end of all of this, again, we just wanna thank you, but we also wanna just say imagine yourself embracing yourself, Literally taking that right hand and sticking it under your left armpit and taking the left wrist and sticking on top of your Right shoulder blade and squeezing real tight, hugging yourself really tight, but just loving yourself, moving forward in this life, that one life that to get with self love and self confidence.
Sandy Kovach [00:23:25]:
Thanks for listening. Now about that special gift, Sherry has offered an autographed copy of Violet the Hugging Octopus And a plushy octopus book buddy. There's a couple ways you can do this. You can send her an email with imagine yourself in the subject line to info at sherryduquette.com. You can also find the link on our website on the blog page of this episode, which is entitled believing in yourself, Starts with something simple or on the links we love page. Now do this anytime before the end of 2020, and you will be entered in a random drawing for a signed copy of Violet, the hugging octopus, and a plush book buddy, which you can also see on our website. And that address again is Imagine yourself podcast .com, and that's really all you need to remember because all of the info will be on there. So until next time, when we have something new to imagine, take care of yourself and believe in yourself.