In today’s digital age with countless distractions, it’s easy to lose sight of our passion and purpose. In a pursuit to inspire girls and women to be the best version of themselves, female empowerment speaker Alexis Jones is showing how to dream big and start living the life that you truly want—now.
We went one-on-one with the I Am That Girl movement founder and author of the forthcoming book I Am That Girl: How to Speak Your Truth, Discover Your Purpose, and #bethatgirl to learn her top tips for taking better care of yourself and how you can more fully embrace your inner badass.
Shape: What is I Am That Girl all about?
Alexis Jones (AJ): It is the ultimate reminder in how awesome you are. We get so bombarded with messages saying we’re not enough. This is my humble attempt to remind girls they are intrinsically badass. Whatever you want in life, it’s possible. We have to be our own biggest cheerleader.
Shape: Do you think it’s harder to be a woman in today’s society?
AJ: Every generation has their set of challenges, but we have a very unique and challenging set today with technology and media messages. On average, we consume 10 hours of media and 3,000 brand images a day. Chronically these messages say, "You're not enough, but if you buy our product, maybe you will be." It’s crazy to think that this won’t impact us, but knowing that it’s a challenge for us is powerful. So despite all the programming, images, Photoshop, and persuasive marketing, I’m going to do the work required to feel good about me. It’s about having confidence.
Shape: Women tend to put themselves last. How can we prioritize taking care of ourselves?
AJ: You need to give yourself permission to be selfish. Women are meant to be nurturing, but that also means that we can turn into martyrs: We can give when we have nothing to give. You have to be plugged in to your power source—whether it’s your faith, your friends, or your workouts—and take the time to figure out what is important to you, otherwise you get lost in a constant state of to-dos. We can be there for our friends and give them advice, and yet we can’t fathom saying it to ourselves. Don’t throw away things that are important to you to take care of what’s important for someone else.
Shape: What are your tips for figuring out what your passion and purpose really is in life?
AJ: You’ve got to be quiet, silent, and disconnect. It’s really hard to hear the internal voice on what matters to you otherwise. When is the last time you intentionally took five to 10 minutes of silence? How can we ever hear that internal whisper when we’re so distracted and disconnected? The next thing is really stepping outside your comfort zone. Do things that scare you and have more meaningful conversations. [Tweet this tip!]
Shape: What advice do you have for professional women who also want to make a difference?
AJ: Start small. We live in a generation where we aim so big and have huge goals, but we forget the impact we have in our everyday circumstances. It’s as simple as looking at the cashier when you’re getting groceries, putting down the phone, and asking them how their day is. The response you get from people is shocking! We think the impact has to be starting a non-profit or donating all this money, but it starts with one person.
Shape: You were on Survivor, which is the ultimate test of physical, mental, and spiritual strength. How did that experience influence your beliefs and your book?
AJ: Being on the show was a crazy experience! I was always an extreme sports junkie, but I ended going 13 days without eating, breaking my hand on day one, machete-ing my foot on day 19—I thought I was tough until I went on it. It’s indescribable to be able to have the opportunity to see what we’re made of. It is so humbling. It gave me a glimpse of the way the rest of world lives. It gave me work ethic and unbridled appreciation. I also didn’t have a mirror for 30 days. All the things like looking good and having a good job didn’t matter out there. It was interesting to have this incredible redefinition of beauty. Who you are is so much more beautiful than what you are on the outside.
Hear Jones' simple yet powerful advice for any girl in the video below.