Each month, we feature interviews and stories from successful women from all over British Columbia. These women have taken the time to look back on their younger years and share their memories, lessons and strategies for sparkling to the maximum. We hope her words comfort and inspire you. Just remember, if she can do it, so can you.
This months Sparkle Spotlight is… ANDREA BROWN
Andrea Brown has a passion for inspiring young women to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams. Working as a Bridal & Prom Consultant inspired Andrea to become a Life Coach, where she could help young women feel beautiful and special beyond the gown, in their everyday life. Through personal experience and a background as a Community Support Worker, she brings knowledge and expertise, showing young women how to look inside to find everything they need to live their dreams. She also works as a Sparkle Facilitator for The Sparkle Project, providing Vision Board Workshops for young women, as well we Sparkle Coaching to help girls accomplish their goals. Andrea loves empowering girls of all ages, but specializes with young women ages 18-30. From career choices to relationships, she believes this is an important time of a young women’s life, filled with big decisions, changes and confusing emotions. Andrea is happily engaged to her high school sweetheart, loves to travel and values time with family.
Can you remember how you felt about yourself when you were a preteen/young teenager?
I always felt the need to be accepted. I spent a long time trying to be someone I’m not, because I thought that was what would make other people like me. I held back a lot, thought of myself in such a negative light and put way too much pressure on myself. I was always on a diet thinking I needed to improve my outer appearance. It took me a long time to learn I just needed to be myself to find happiness.
What were your biggest challenges you faced at that age?
My relationships with the other girls. I always wanted to fit in with my friends and sometimes did things out of my comfort zone. I was always really close with my family, but the more I cared about what my friends thought of me, the more I detached myself from my family who loved and supported me. I spent a lot of time in my room alone, this gave me way too much time to think of myself in a negative way when I should have been communicating and having fun with my family.
What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
That everyone else is so consumed with their own fear of being judged and fitting in, they don’t really care if you look silly. The people who say the meanest things to you, are the most insecure. You have to just be yourself, do the things that you enjoy, spend time with the people who make you feel good and nothing else really matters. If you can be happy with yourself and your decisions, no one can say anything to break you down. You have a whole life ahead of you, the people you spend your time with in high school don’t have to stay part of your life after school. You’re going to meet so many amazing people and have such great experiences, that this time of your life eventually feels like such a small part of your journey.
Andrea’s Sparkle Tip: “Always be kind to others, take the time to focus on what you’re grateful for and believe in yourself even when others don’t.”