So here’s the deal…
I am over all of the negativity that is going on in today’s world. I am over women not having confidence in themselves and not believing they can have what they really want in life. I am over women not lifting each other up, and people not sticking up for the underdog. I am over people feeling weak and insecure and alone. There’s just not enough love in this world right now and it needs to change.
So I’m going to change it.
Today is the first post of a new series called “The C Factor.” The C stands for confidence but it also stands for courage. This series is about women who rise above. They are determined, ambitious, and they know the importance of paying it forward. The series will feature an interview with 9 questions and I am excited to “compare notes” from each talented & successful woman. There is a recipe for success and I truly believe that it takes a village to raise each other up.
So let’s get started!
When I first decided to do this blog series, I immediately thought of my friend Samantha. You know what’s funny? I’ve only met Samantha once and it was over 2 years ago. But we became friends on social media and since then her encouraging posts always leave a lasting impression on me. Crazy. Think about that ripple affect for a second…
I met Samantha when I did makeup for her for at a Miss Teen USA photo shoot. She was the current Miss Missouri Teen and since then she’s gone on to become a TV host and model, all while attending Missouri University. When I emailed her and asked her if she was interested, she was super excited with the idea and she was kind enough to send it back ASAP.
And then I read her answers. And I was like, Oh-Em-Gee.
I knocked it out of the park with this girl. She is more than beauty and brains. She has a giant heart and she shares her faith. She’s currently seeking her personal training certification while she writes and shares recipes and workouts for her own blog, www.samanthajobowers.com
She helped pass a House Bill last spring and she currently majors in Atmospheric Sciences at Mizzou. What?? You mean you can do all of this? Let’s remember Samantha isn’t even the legal drinking age yet…
Take notes, girls.
1.) What is the best compliment someone ever gave you and why?
It truly means the world to me when people make an effort to reach out to me to tell me I have inspired them in some way. Whether it be through social media, my blog, or face to face, I really do try to leave a lasting impression on the lives of others every day. The best compliments I receive are when people tell me that I have inspired them to live a healthier lifestyle, or to pursue a goal they have been wanting to start working towards for quite some time, or that they feel more confident in themselves and their abilities because of my influence. It makes me feel like I truly am making a difference.
2.) What is one good deed that you have done for someone else?
Well, I have a passion for encouraging others to be the best that they can be. Healthy relationships with yourself AND with others are the foundations of a healthy lifestyle as a whole. One thing that I am very proud of that I feel has made significant strides in promoting overall health and wellness among our youth is the passing of House Bill 2481, which designates the month of February as “Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month” in Missouri. I was able to work closely with House Representative Donna Pfautsch to create this bill and take it all the way to the governor’s desk, where it was signed in to law this past spring. This is a great way to shine a light on this topic that is often left in the dark and promote happier, healthier relationships across our state.
3.) What is one thing most people don’t know about you or would be surprised to know about you?
A lot of people wouldn’t guess that I grew up playing competitive sports my entire life. When people find out I compete in pageants, I think their automatic reaction is to picture a “Toddlers in Tiaras” type situation. When in reality, I spent my childhood in basketball shoes instead of high heels! I’m so thankful for the experiences I had with my sports teams growing up, because it truly taught me that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible. I really feel like sports have made me the person I am today.
4.) How do you handle a hard day at work/school?
Well, I just transferred to the University of Missouri this year, where I am majoring in Atmospheric Sciences. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that sometimes my physics homework can get a little stressful! I am a huge proponent of using exercise to relieve stress. Whenever I have had a long day, I love to go on a run and just let my mind take a break. I absolutely LOVE hot yoga, too. It’s a great way to improve flexibility, focus on bettering yourself, and get in a REALLY good sweat session!
5.) What is your greatest strength?
I would say my greatest strength is my work ethic. I take a lot of pride in the amount of effort I put in to my goals and aspirations. Each and every day I try to take steps in the right direction and keep my mind focused on what I want to achieve. Some days are better than others, and I know it’s important to remember that everyone has set backs, twists, and turns along the way. But I truly believe that it is precisely those challenges and that adversity that is shaping me into the person I am meant to become.
6.) How do you handle criticism?
I love criticism. I think there are two ways we can choose to look at criticism: one way is to view it as something meant to harm us, keep us down, and affect us negatively. The other way is to view criticism as fuel and motivation to improve yourself. I choose to see criticism not as a put down, but rather as a little push. I can either choose to listen to that “little push” and work on improving myself, or I can filter it out and let it go in one ear and out the other if I don’t feel the criticism was constructive or genuine. It’s all about knowing yourself, your weaknesses, and what your goals are for self improvement. Sometimes a little criticism is a good thing!
7.) Do you do anything to build your self-esteem or boost your self-confidence?
Absolutely! I don’t think there is anything wrong with giving yourself a pat on the back occasionally. In fact, I think it’s so important that you give yourself a little credit when you achieve a goal or succeed at something you’re passionate about. For me, I get my confidence from my faith. I am a huge fan of Joel Osteen books, and every night before I go to bed I read a devotional passage to remind myself that my strength comes from the Lord, and ultimately He is guiding my path.
8.) How do you encourage other women? Do you feel an obligation to do so because of so much negativity in the world today?
I think all women have an obligation to encourage each other! We as women need to be uplifting and empowering towards one another every opportunity we get. I try to reach as many young women as I can through social media, my blog, and day to day life. Sometimes, doing something as simple as giving a nice compliment can turn someone’s entire day around. I think pageants are an excellent example of how women can encourage and empower one another. A common misconception is that the contestants are competing AGAINST each other. When in reality, we are only competing against ourselves. The women I have met through pageantry are some of the most empowering, strong, and genuine women I know I will ever meet in my life. I think the way we portray confidence in the media today tells young women that in order to be confident you have to have the latest clothes, have the best body, have perfect makeup and hair all the time – when in reality, confidence comes from within. You can have all of those things, and still not feel true confidence. TRUE confidence comes from accepting your flaws and imperfections, having a genuine heart of service, and striving to leave a lasting impression on the lives of others each and every day.
And you can pin and copy her delicious recipe for 60-calorie chocolate glazed donuts here.
Because donuts are important too.