Not knowing who you truly are means you are not living your authentic life. And that can profoundly affect your relationships. It takes effort and courage to let go of codependency and the people-pleasing mindset, but by doing so, you can discover your true potential and live a fulfilling life.

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Learn how to discover self-love and unleash your superpower in this episode with life coach Valerie Maksym! Get out of your comfort zone and start building your self-confidence with Valerie’s life experiences and techniques. Listen now!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • What does it mean not to know who you’re supposed to be and not live your authentic life? 
  • Not knowing who you are can have a profound impact on your relationships. It’s important to learn to love yourself first.
  • What is the first step to discovering self-love?
  • Techniques to unleash your superpower from within.
  • Do not hesitate to invest in yourself.
  • Avoid the negative thought process and self-talk.
  • Surround yourself with people who will encourage you and help identify your superpower.
  • Tips to finding your passion.
  • How life coaching helps in developing self-confidence.
  • Build self-confidence by getting out of your comfort zone.
  • Questions to ask yourself to gain self-love and confidence.

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“Your relationship with yourself is an extension to every other relationship you have in life.”  [00:06:42]

“When you’re the happiest you can be, you are better for your spouse, your loved ones, your children, and the people that you work with.” [00:18:53]

“Don’t label yourself because a lot of times I hear I’m an introvert, I’m an extrovert, I’m just not a good speaker. I’m not a good writer. You can. Everybody can, with practice, with coaching, with knowledge, you can really do anything that you want. It’s just a matter of prioritization. –Ann Tsung [00:21:32]


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Maksymizing Life website

Maksymizing Life book

It’s Not Rocket Science Show website

Ann Tsung on Facebook

Ann Tsung on LinkedIn

Ann Tsung on YouTube

Ann Tsung on Instagram

Ann Tsung on Twitter


About Valerie Maksym

Single mother of 4, and a gigi to two beautiful granddaughters. Valerie Maksym was born in Warren, Michigan and raised in The Woodlands, TX from the age of seven and on. At 44 years old Valerie went on a seven-year journey of finding herself. At the age of 46 she competed in her first NPC bodybuilding competition and placed first in her age category. Competing in bodybuilding shows has become her therapy as she has had many breakthroughs during her 5 years of competing. In her first book, Maksymizing Life she shares her journey of going from barely surviving to thriving and living a life full of love, laughter and peace. She hopes to inspire you to unleash your inner superhero and to begin living a life that is authentic and true to you.

About Ann Tsung, MD


Ann Tsung, MD, MPH is a physician who is triple board-certified in emergency, critical care, and preventive/aerospace medicine. She is the podcast show host of It’s Not Rocket Science Show, and a real estate investor. Her mission is to help people create time, vitality, and deep relationships so people can achieve peak performance and fulfillment in life. Her passions include mind-body medicine, functional nutrition, longevity, productivity, and human optimization. She firmly believes that everything we need is within us now.



Please note the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein belong solely to the speaker, and not necessarily those of the speaker’s employer, organization, government institution, or medical program. This show is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing, or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this show or materials linked from here is at the user’s own risk. The content of this show is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard, or delay in obtaining, medical advice for any medical condition they may have and should seek the assistance of their health care professionals for any such conditions. Please assume that any links leading you to products or services are affiliate links that I will receive compensation from. I only mention products or services that I have used and believe would add value for you. Please note that I have not been given any free products, services, or anything else by these companies in exchange for mentioning them on the site.

I am also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program through which I may earn compensation for advertising or linking to products on Amazon.

Full Transcript



Valerie Maksym (VM):  00:00

One of my slogans is that I really teach on is to unleash your inner superhero. And what I mean by that is just think of it like this rocket through you just firing up and the fires going slow and you’re just launching out like you’re just going for it. You’re just not afraid to be unknown. And just to be authentically yourself, like, back when you were 8, 10, 12 years old, and you’re a kid at home and you’re just fooling around the kitchen singing, your clothes don’t match, you’re just being you, right? You’re laughing you’re not thinking what people think of you or judging you, but just being able to just truly be.

Announcer:  00:40

If you’re struggling with your vitality, energy, mood, focus, or sleep, this podcast is for you. Your host, Dr. Ann Tsung, ER doctor, and aerospace flight surgeon, will help you reach for the stars and remove the barriers or blockades that have been holding you back from living your best life. If you’ve been challenged by your health, relationships, or productivity, then it’s time for a breakthrough. So, here’s your host, Dr. Ann Tsung.


Ann Tsung (AT):  01:14

Hello, welcome to It’s not Rocket Science Show. And I am your host, Dr. Ann Tsung. Today I have here our guest, Valerie Maksym, I will let her introduce herself. But she is an amazing mom. She’s also a coach, we’re going to be discussing on self-worth and authenticity as well. And also she’s going to be sharing with you her journey throughout her life and how she came about to realize her superpower, even going through a bodybuilding competition. So please, Valerie, thank you for being on the show, please tell the audience a little bit about you. 

VM: 01:46

Thank you for having me on, Ann. I really appreciate you having me on. A little bit about myself. I don’t know about some people that go through life, but I got to about 46 years old. And I realized, you know, I didn’t even know who I was much less, you know, and I found this out after my second divorce whenever I went through some life coaching. And I was asked the basic questions of life that we should all be able to answer in. 

I sat there and I really couldn’t, authentically answer. I knew what I should say, because I knew how I had been programmed to speak. But I didn’t really know what I would say if I was given now I’m on my own right. And I have my own opportunity to speak and I didn’t know so I really knew at about 45-46 years old, I was like, I don’t even know who I am, you know, or much less the real me. And on my journey of finding myself I realized that, you know, I lived an entire life from relationship to relationship. Just being who that person wanted me to be just living for that person, like what they liked, I would figure out and then I would somehow like. And, you know, just going through life like that. 

And I’ve realized, you know, taking these last seven years off to just take a time out for myself into really understand me and figure out why did I allow the things I allowed to happen in my life? Why didn’t I stand up for myself? Why don’t I know myself better? All those questions that were just coming into my head at the time, like I just couldn’t figure it out. I’m like living in my head just very, almost depressed, you know, just very like, this is not this should not be how life is lived out. Like, you know, it shouldn’t be this way.

AT:  03:24

Would you please clarify for the audience? What does it actually mean to not knowing who you’re supposed to be? Because some people may not even know they’re not living their authentic lives. 

VM:  03:35

I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I thought you know, okay, I had my first marriage that didn’t work out my second marriage. And I thought, you know, I’m just living my life and I’m being me. And even my kids as they grew older, they would even question me, Mom, that’s not who you are. Like, they can’t even pick up on things. And I’m like, What are you talking about, you’re like, you don’t love that you don’t dislike it, just tell you’re not happy. You know, they weren’t picking up on it that I wasn’t myself. And my last marriage, I was in counseling, we weren’t counseling for about 10 years. And even the counselor brought me back in after I divorced and just said, you know, he really wanted me to find me because he’s like, You don’t know who you are. And so before you go jump into another relationship, I would recommend you figure out who you are. 

And at that time, it didn’t just all come together one thing right it was like one little thought here one little thought there and so it wasn’t like all of this happened at once. It was definitely a journey of figuring out that I didn’t know who I was that I didn’t even know that life could even be the way that it is now you know, just on these little steps of trying to figure out because I lived for somebody else to validate me. I validated others I love so big you know when they said self-love and like oh my gosh, so much self-love. Because I love love love so big. I don’t think anybody can love bigger than I love like those in my family like I give to them. I support them. I’m their cheerleader. I’m there for them like you know, it’s like all in but the missing piece was, I was looking for other people in relationships to love me to validate me. And so that’s the part that I was missing. 

And I just was, you know, in life, I was just even really upset and just frustrated about the end, like kind of my wit’s end, like, just like, you know, I give, and I give, and I give, and I do and I do what I do. And these men do the same things to me over and over again. And it’s really angry. So angry at God the world as a for everybody’s I was angry, just mad, like, you know, this is not how life should be, because they always say what you give out, you get back, and it’s like, okay, all I’ve given is good, and love and honesty, and this is not what I’m getting back. 

So just had to really do some soul searching to to, to, like, Why did I allow what I allowed? You know, I was the common denominator in all that mess. And it’s like, Why did I allow myself to even be treated like that? Why did I allow someone to talk to me like that? Why did I think I was less than you know, so what I’m saying that knowing myself by not knowing myself, I didn’t have boundaries. And so anybody could treat me however they wanted to, because I just didn’t want to lose them. Like I didn’t want to lose, you know, that friendship or that relationship. So I had no boundaries. So I just took the crumbs, whatever I could have. 

And I found that by not knowing myself and allowing the crumbs I wasn’t even attracting the right people in my life, the right opportunities, the right people, the right friendships, the right, everything, because I’m basically an imposter. Like, I’m not me, I’m being who I’ve been told to be. Maybe from childhood to my first marriage, second marriage, you know, I’m living out who I thought I was supposed to be. So, um, by doing that, I’m attracting the things in life. Because we attract, you know, our energy attracts like-minded, you know, they say, like birds of a feather flock together and are certain things right, you kind of like, attract who you are. And I realized, looking back, Wow, no wonder I wasn’t getting or having the things that I wanted, because I wasn’t even being myself. So I wasn’t even attracting the right things into my life,

AT:  07:03

Sounds like you had some poured values, he has some away values that you didn’t recognize at the time. Maybe you didn’t stand up for your values, because you didn’t realize that that was you at the time. Is that what it was? And so you were letting other people dictating what your value should be, what you should be doing what you should be saying how you should act. And then you’re doing a really stand up to draw boundaries for with your kids, maybe with your husband at the time with your friends and family.

VM:  07:30

Right. And yeah, I would say that for sure. You know, just not having, you know, when I was on this seven-year journey that I went through when that when I wrote my book, on my seven-year journey, I realized that one thing that I was looking for, that I had no clue was self-love. Because I was looking for all the things that self-love gives us I was looking for somebody else to give me. And I realized that’s impossible. It’s impossible. I mean, we think that and that sounds good. But your relationship with yourself is an extension to every other relationship you have in life. So if that’s not good, and you don’t know who you are, it’s really hard to expect. You can have good relationships, but it’s hard to expect those great relationships, you want all that when you don’t even really have the foundation of who you are. And so that’s, you know, another thing that I in my journey, I figured that out.

AT:  08:17

And what did you do exactly? Like throw that like a quick I know, it’s like, like a seven-year journey. Or like an A quick, quick like milestone, what exactly happened that led you to actually discover self-love to not really care about what other people think because it’s very common, and even in medicine in the professional world, that we often think we often have impostor syndrome, we think we’re not as good as we are, who we are. And we rely on other people’s validation of us how we do like, say, for example, and consultants in the hospital say something poorly about our decision. A lot of times we take it poorly, because we think that that specific coma reflects on us as a character as a person, actually. Whereas it could just be a lesson learned, really, it doesn’t reflect us as a person. So we’re, I’m curious to know, what exactly did you do the seven years that led you to get there to discover self-love?

VM:  09:12

You know, for me, I just think it was first acknowledging it. I do acknowledge it because like I said, this journey was long, and it’s gonna be different for other people. It doesn’t have to be as long for people but for me, it was. And I think when you acknowledge it, and you start seeking things, like I started reading books, I had my life coach, and so you know, she was asking me questions like, What are your hobbies? Well, I don’t have hobbies. What do you mean hobbies? Like, who has time for hobbies? What do you want me to you know, and so I had to start finding a hobby and you know, I did running and that wasn’t I did the Houston Marathon. I ran the full, which was a big accomplishment, but it just wasn’t my thing. So I tried it right. So I did it. 

Tried tennis, that wasn’t my thing. You know, tried a few things. And then I remembered, you know, I had always wanted to do bodybuilding competitions. Back when I was a gymnast, and a friend was doing one and So I started five years ago doing bodybuilding competitions. And I think that helped my confidence. That was a really, for me, that was an outlet that was a, you know, pushing myself to extremes and then seeing where I could, you know, grow from that, because I grew through every show, you know, you’re building self-confidence, you’re, without even realizing it, you know, you’re building it, you’re getting stronger, you’re, you know, confidence they say is like a muscle, you have to you have to, you know, work on it and build it. And so I think by those little things that really helped me to start realizing, Wait a minute, like, I do matter, I am valuable. 

You know, I started speaking about my positive affirmations. When I spoke with my life coach, she had me say things out loud, like, I am beautiful. I couldn’t say those words. I mean, I couldn’t even say those words, I was not even I was like, I am. Like, it was the weirdest thing, I cannot explain it to you. And I even coach women, and I asked them to say that, and I will tell you nine times out of 10, they can’t say it is very sad. Because women are beautiful, I don’t care who you are we all it is I truly believe that. God starts within. And that’s why one of my slogans is that I really teach to unleash your inner superhero. 

And when I what I mean by that is like, you know, just think of like this rocket of the true you just firing up. And as you know, the buyers go on to smoke and you’re just launching out, like, you’re just going for it, you’re just like not afraid to be another interest to be authentically yourself. Like, back when you were 8, 10, 12 years old, and you’re a kid at home, and you’re just crawling around the kitchen singing, your clothes don’t match, you’re just being you, right, you’re laughing you’re not thinking what people think of you or, or judging you. But just being able to just truly be in you know, how to think about, you know, why did I stop being like that, you know what happened and it just happens naturally, a lot of times, but maybe you’re the way you were parented, maybe you know, the teachers you’re running with just slowly, a lot of times I fire our true self gets squashed in there, because so many times we’re our true self, and we’re vulnerable, and we get hurt. And so we get hurt by being vulnerable, that we’re like, Ooh, okay, I’m not doing that, again, walls start going up, like, Okay, that wasn’t good. That wasn’t a good outcome. And before we know it, we’re not ourselves, you know, we’re not letting you know, the true us come out and shine. 

So really trying to help people like my whole thing on maximizing life. We’re just trying to help people to even realize, possibly, they’re not even living their authentic, true best life, right? Because gotta start there. You know, if they, if they think, oh, yeah, there could be more. You know, that’s a start. And I’m just like, when you start, it’s like, one thing after the other I like, I’ll listen to podcasts. I’ll listen to podcasts, there’s a book on there, and I’ll get the book and we’re all listened to it. And I don’t really know, it’s like things just always keep building. Like, how did you get here so fast. Every day, I’m investing in myself on some level of, you know, mindset and belief. And, you know, belief is everything. Belief in mindset, if you can get somebody to believe in themselves and change their mindset that can change, there’s nothing they can’t do.

AT:  12:58

Yeah, I completely resonate with that, because in terms of like, it being built up from childhood, because by the way, I grew up in Taiwan, and with my mother, it’s always about academics, and I don’t have the camera pointing there. But on this wall, there’s like, literally multiple certifications on going through residency training. And I did two fellowships after that. It’s always like, you know, uh, you know, my goal was to strive for success for more education, more certificates. So that was like, my way of obtaining self-worth and how I feel successful. I really honestly, that’s probably what subconsciously, how I obtained my mom’s approval, and love. And even after I realized that it took a while, a few years to even change my definition of self-worth, like I don’t have to necessarily have all the certifications, but I went to Tony Robbins to like, date with destiny. And so I changed this, okay, I will be present. But then that still wasn’t, that’s still a goal, you know, to in order to feel like you’re, you’re worthy. So I went to 40 years of Zen after that, a five-day-long meditation. And finally, I came out with, you know, all I have to do is to be myself. 

VM:  14:13

Exactly. Just sounds so simple, that I love that. I love that because that’s what I say, it just sounds so simple, but when you don’t know what it was just like just be, it’s not right or wrong. And if you do something that you feel like is wrong, it’s not really wrong. It’s a learning moment. So next time you do it better, so you can’t be afraid of failure. You have to just be, just be.

AT:  14:34

Yeah, and how, how would you say like, you know, after your bodybuilding competition, was there anything else that you did that allowed you to be completely fully authentic and really not care about what other people say? Or do and have full confidence in yourself? So in other words, like any other techniques, or you know, anything you can share with the audience how they can find their superpower and lean into that.

VM:  14:56

I really just had to take some time to just be with myself. have, like friendships had some friendships just went away. And they’re not bad people by any means. It just wasn’t they weren’t to go on my journey. You know, we say people come in our life for a reason a season, some don’t stay forever. So we can’t get so attached because sometimes where we need to go to our next level in life, the people that are surrounding us aren’t going to get us there, you know, nothing wrong with them. But they don’t have that mindset. They’re not. They’re naysayers. They’ll tell you why you can’t do things. And you know, so when you when you want to just unleashed and to be, you really have to find people that are further ahead in life than you, they’ve done the things you want to do. So they know that they can believe in you, right, because they’ve done it. So it’s a lot easier when you know, they always say you don’t want to be the smartest person in the room, you always want to be you know, learning and in growing and pushing your boundaries and getting out of your, your comfort zone. 

And like I started doing little things like I went to kind of like you went to date with destiny. I didn’t go to that. But I went to something in California. They when they spoke there, they were like, you know, I was always the person that stayed in the back row. I listened. I mean, I took everything in. But I always stayed in the background, never asked questions. I never even though I know the answer, you know, I never I never am one of the things I took away from that session was in I will never forget this. It was like two or three years ago, that my voice matters. And I need to stand up because people do need to hear and I sat in the front at that event. And I raised my hand and I answer questions, all the things out of my comfort zone. So you know, sometimes we have to also intentionally live our life every day with the intentions, okay? The person that I wanted to become the person I was three years ago, and the person I know I wanted to become, I knew I had to change my habits and my ways of doing things. If I was ever going to become that person, you know. 

I want to become this person that’s a world-renowned speaker. I’m on public stages all over the world speaking empowering people having a movement of maximizing life, what does that mean? Really being able to speak into people’s life like fire, like it just talks to their soul where they’re like, oh, my gosh, like, you know, I want you know, I want that, you know, I want my you know, the person I was two years ago, three years ago, I could have never even thought about doing that. You know, and in the person I’ll be next year, I’ll be different than this year, because I’m constantly investing as you know, you go to these things like Tony Robbins, you invest in yourself, because you’re the best investment you can have as in yourself. 

And a lot of people don’t want to spend the money on themselves, but they’ll spend it and everything else. And it’s like, if you could just realize how much love and happiness when you can really get you figured out. You know, I heard someone talking just yesterday, and they were really pounding like how they’re, you know, telling people what they need to do. And it was in a family situation needed issues. And then they were like, they stopped and like, you know what, I don’t remember the whole exact story, but they didn’t even know themselves. And it’s like they were talking amongst themselves. And it was interesting listening, like, when we don’t even know who we truly are ourself to the core, and I know our happiness. But yet we want to tell other people what to do and how to be, you know what I’m saying? 

So, it was it was like a good lesson for me to like not listening to what other people always say, because I know it’s kind of a roundabout we were talking about earlier. But a lot of times when you’re around people that aren’t the best for you, they might have the best intentions when they’re saying oh, that’s I have so many people tell me writing and books, that dumb idea. You should never do that. Why would you want to speak on stages? Why do you want to like do that? That doesn’t. I’ve had that for multiple people. And that those were people that were in my life at that time. And it was really hard to write a book because then when I would get hard, I would have an excuse to quit. Oh, yeah, well, they don’t think I should do this. Anyways, this is not a good idea like, but in my heart, I knew I had to write this book I’ve known for like 20 years, I need to write a book, but it was this internal war. And then when I finally just let everybody just go to the side, and just really realize, you know, I got to figure out what makes me happy at the end of the day. And it’s not selfish. 

Because when you’re the happiest you can be you are better for your spouse, your loved ones, your children, your people that you work with, like, you know, there’s nothing worse than having to sit next to someone at work all that it’s negative and unhappy. And it does like one bad apple spoils the bag. So it’s like, you have to remember that, like it’s so important to keep the energy good, the focus good, where we focus where we go. And it’s not easy. It’s a daily, it’s a daily thing. So when you’re saying how did I get there it is every single day. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not doing something to invest in myself.

AT:  19:29

Yeah, and there’s so many things to unpack there because number one, nobody’s going to want to look out for you as much as you look out for yourself. Like everybody else honestly, they’re looking out for themselves. They’re busy thinking about themselves even if they make a negative comment or feedback about what you’re doing. The next 5-10 minutes really their kind of worry going down their own spiral thinking about their lives. 

And then another thing is that and so one reason why I removed need or should from my vocabulary talking, even, you know, talking about myself or even talking to other people, because you don’t ever need or should do anything, and you shouldn’t, you wouldn’t tell people that you should do something that you need to do this, you need to do this, because everybody has a choice, and you have a choice. So the wording that you know, we commonly use, or I change it to is, I will, or I choose to.

So, don’t if, if you’re talking to other people try to remove that word you need, or you should, and then if you’re talking to yourself, too, I should have I should work out or I should have woken up earlier or, you know, don’t do the don’t do that negative self-talk and just say, I will wake up, you know, so that kind of ties into self worth to every time you talk about negative have negative self-talk that just like you let an action define your self-worth, essentially, unless you feel terrible for the day.

VM:  20:58

That’s yep. And like I said, you’re always going to do mess ups or, you know, maybe one day you might say something like that, and they’d like, catch yourself. But the thing is, you’re growing on a journey, like, you know, when we first start out, we’ll mess up and we’ll say negative things we shouldn’t say but like you said, be mindful of it every day, just you’ll keep getting better and better at because some people are like, Oh, I’m so negative, I could never do that. Well, yes, you could. You could if you want to, right? It’s a choice if you choose to. But when you do mess up, we can’t be so hard on ourselves, we have to realize, okay, tomorrow’s a new day, let’s dust ourselves off, reset, let’s go again.

AT:  21:32

Yeah, and don’t label yourself because a lot of times I hear I’m an introvert, I’m an extrovert, I’m just not a good speaker. I’m not a good writer, you can everybody can, with practice, with coaching with knowledge, you can really do anything that you want. It’s just a matter of prioritization. And so to kind of recap here, so first, of course, you know, you have to acknowledge that you have lost yourself, or perhaps you’re not your authentic selves are not as authentic as you could be or haven’t drawn boundaries, as much as you could be number to start investing yourself, you know, in education, in perhaps some sort of visual meditation or visualization, or go to some of the events that kind of help you identify those thought process, or the negative thought process. And number three, make sure that you’re looking at your surroundings and make sure that you’re surrounding yourself with the right peers who are encouraging you, and not bring you down who see the possibilities, and you who see how limitless you are. And to even identify your superpower for you because you’ve lost yourself. 

So I think that kind of goes into like in terms of how to actually identify the superpower. A lot of times people just don’t even know what their passion is. I don’t know what I’m good at. I hear that a lot. I don’t know what to do. So they’re just kind of stuck in their current work, or like, what would you say to them? Like, what should they do?

VM:  23:00

I mean, for myself, I was in that spot. I bought a life coach, I invested in it. And I had divorced. I didn’t have the money, but I didn’t care. It was like I knew I had to figure myself out. So I just took the leap. And it was I literally maxed out like my last credit card to do it in at the time. Anybody else that was you know, not for me, what a thought, what are you doing? But it was the best decision looking back that I could have ever made, because it changed the entire trajectory of my life. Because how do you know if somebody’s not willing to sit down because there’s many processes you can go through to figure out your passions, your reason for being here and unpacking it and in a way that, you know, you can start working towards it and multiple facets of life. I mean, it doesn’t have to be a full-time job. It could be a hobby you do it could be something you do for volunteer things. Like there’s so many things that, you know, some people just I know several people that got their passion and volunteering because they didn’t need to work. It wasn’t like they didn’t have to, you know, go get a job and work. And just by volunteering those couple hours a week in their passion, it’s literally changed everything about their life.

AT:  24:06

What is from your clients, because you do coaching as well. I’m curious to know, what is the before and after? What is kind of like, because I want people to be able to imagine because a lot of times you don’t know what’s possible. So what is it before when they haven’t found their passion when they’ve lost themselves when that bit being authentic when they’re letting other people define their self-worth versus after going through this process? What is their life actually, what does it actually look like? Feel like? Just want to see kind of the end goal where people can be.

AT:  24:38

You know, I have several different people I can bring up and talk about but you know, to even know what life coaching is. So basically, life coaching is we I get on zoom in. It’s an hour of space for a person to think and talk in. I always say a good life coach is like a good attorney. I listen and I asked the questions so they figure out their own issues, right? Like are not issues but their own answers, because I’m asking the questions and they’re talking and then they get these aha moments like, oh, oh, you know, so you know that, but I’ve had, you know, I’ve had a couple. So, they first when they come in every person I coach is different, like, I have my main foundation that my framework, but I really listened to where they’re at today, and where they’re wanting to get to, I’ve had people that have been in abusive relationships where that’s all they’ve known, like, their parents were abusive, their mom was abusive, their dad was abusive, it’s all they ever knew. And so, like every relationship they had was abusive. 

And so really changing that mindset, because what would happen is they would get into relationships that were normal, and it would scare them, because normal is scary, because they’re not used to that, you know, they want comfort. And even though it was dysfunctional, they would go back to what was comfortable, what they would know. And so, changing their mindset. So I’ve had people come out of just really, you know, relationships, and now they look at and they’re like, I would never like they have they know themselves, and now they can see it. And when we talk, they’re like, oh, this almost happened. But you know, I pick this up and I’m doing this and you know, they’re, they’re healthier, because they’re learning to love themselves care for themselves have boundaries, see, you know, the difference of their life is just so much different, you know, so much more rewarding. And it also flows over into their work. This one owns their own business, and things went from being slow at work and thinking about closing it down. Because you know, this is slow, you know, her life wasn’t good. 

But once she started figuring her out, and you know, getting that figured out, then her business started changing, because we don’t realize the energy we put off like so as a business owner, she didn’t realize the energy she’s putting off to the people working for her. And then they quit work, some quit working there. And it all ties together. Right? You know, it’s it’s a whole big thing that we don’t see how we all everything intertwines. And it’s just so important to really be you know, solid and knowing yourself. And I have another one that I you know, started with, and she just think she’s in her mid-60s. And you know, she just was the same thing just gone through her whole life and lots of passion. It’s just never really did anything, started writing a book like seven I don’t remember was five years ago, seven years ago, but never did anything with it. Just lots of things in life, she never finished up. 

And so by coaching there to sit down and you know, find out what was important to her in she got a lot of these projects finished, she has someone that came in and, and published her book for her and you know, and she’s like, on her path of, you know, doing volunteer work, and she doesn’t have to work. And so there’s just different so many different scenarios, and I even live coached my kids, which that was an amazing thing for parents to say my kids are 32, 30, 28 and 20. And to say that, I made a lot of bad decisions as a parent and to know that my kids said, Okay, I’ll let you life coach. And we did it through zoom. So it wasn’t like in the same room. But we did it through zoom and all my kids. I mean, one day I want to have my kids on for them to share because where they went from I’ve had kids on drugs and alcohol and just like wanting to commit suicide, trying to commit suicide, my kids have been through so much like to see where they were at because of my decisions and my relationships, I really hurt them. Although they’re still you know, this, they have to own their own thing. 

But by coaching them today, every single one of my kids are working and they’re happy and they’re healthy, and they’re providing for themselves. And, you know, it’s just such an amazing thing to see what coaching can do, because coaching is there’s no judgment, because as a good life coach, I don’t I stay out of it. I’m just asking your questions. There’s no it’s you know, you have your answers within you. But I’ve got to try to ask the right questions to get them out of you.

AT:  28:33

And so what is would you say the top one or two questions that the audience can ask them right after this, or right now, that can kind of spark some ideas, would you say?

VM:  28:45

You’re saying that the audience can ask what know? 

AT:  28:48

What are some questions that the audience can ask themselves after this episode, to kind of figure out their authenticity, figure out their superpower? What are some of the questions that are often not us because we don’t often sit down and actually think about it.

VM:  29:03

You know, some of the questions are you know, you have to ask yourself, am I codependent that’s a big thing, of not being able to find that superpower when you’re codependent. You know, can I make decisions on my own? Or do I have to be with another person to start their, you know, to ask themselves things like, if they didn’t have to work? Like if money was not the issue, what would they be doing? Like what line of work would you be doing like if it wasn’t based on the money you’re bringing in because it doesn’t mean that you can’t do something in that field because maybe it doesn’t bring as painting maybe it’s something that really isn’t going to bring you in a full income to support your family. But figuring some things out that you can you know, start pouring your passion to. 

I have someone that loves making woodwork. And so you know, just getting into that, and when you’re doing something you love, and you’re able to start being truly you creative, whatever that looks like it just starts building confidence. You know, like even if it’s a table and in your getting to use your creativity and your your ideas and your things and you make it and then somebody wants to buy it like, you know, it’s like, wow, that. But yeah, that’s not your full-time job. But it’s just, you know, there’s things like that. So just asking yourself, like I said, if I didn’t get paid for this, like, what, what are the things that I love doing in them? Why am I not doing them? Why am I not, you know, stepping out? Or what could I do? What could I do to, you know, put myself a little bit closer, or to doing something with that maybe some of those paintings or you know, getting out some paintbrushes and paint in the evening, instead of watching TV or being on your phone, like, just get your creative juices going, again, because I think we live in a society so much that we’re just, we’re so technology, you know, we’re in so much technology that we don’t even, we don’t know, we don’t know, because we don’t even take the time to even see the possibilities of what things can be.

AT:  30:53

Yeah, I think we often forget what we used to love, because of the rat race and the never-ending loop that we’re in and day. Because I’ve done the exponent, like one thing you can think about is like what is the one activity or something you love reading about that you forget to go to the restroom, you forget to pee, you forget to poop. And that is the activity that you love, or that is the subject that you’re engrossed in.

VM:  31:17

not to interrupt you. But like getting back to like, if you love cooking, but you don’t cook because you’re so busy. Maybe you have a couple kids and your husband’s working, you’re working, maybe once a week, find a time that you and your kids and you make a recipe and you cook together, you know, because that builds, it just makes you feel good because you’re doing what you love. And then you’re sharing it with your kids, and you’re teaching them so it’s a teaching moment as well, a bonding moment. And then you feel better as like, okay, my mom that works all the time, and I’ll get to see my kids a lot. But now I’m doing my passion, which I absolutely love cooking or baking or whatever. And I’m going to once a week do this with my kids and my family. And then you know, we’ll have a nice dinner together. 

There’s just so many different ideas of things that you can do. But like, like we said, we just, we don’t take the time out to be to think about, you know, what would make you happy? What would you know, if you knew that you only have 30 days to live? I mean, what would you do? I mean, what would make you happy? What would be something that you know, you’re like, oh, I want to do that I want to try that. I’m all about trying new things. I have a whole list of things like this going into this next year, I have a whole list of things I want to try. I want to learn Spanish. So that’s another thing I have on my thing, you know, but I’ve been saying that for years. So now I’m like, okay, no, this year, I want to learn Spanish, I’m terrified of heights, I’m gonna go skydiving. And that’s gonna be like overcoming my biggest fear. And, you know, getting outside your comfort zone. That’s where growth happens and scary. And not everybody has to do things that are that extreme. But I think if you can daily figure out on some level, how to get out of your comfort zone, whether you’re at work, and you’re in a boardroom meeting, and you never speak up, start saying something, you know, just do little things that might scare you, but that will really start building a self-confidence. 

And by doing that, then you slowly start building, you know, building that confidence is like a muscle you’re building and then all of a sudden, you’re starting to get competence, where you’re more and more confident to allow that inner superhero that lives within you that you’re scared to people to see that real you get to a point that you don’t you’re like, whatever, hey, this is me. This is who I am. Okay, guys, you don’t like it, you don’t like it, this is who I am. You know, and just being okay with that, like, I you know, for a long time I stayed away from wanting to speak and write my book because I have to really work more than the average person to overcome add not gonna sit here and put a stigma on myself. But I really have to overcome because words go backwards on me. I’ll say things backwards. I totally don’t even know what I was saying to you. And that’s embarrassing when you’re talking. And that really happens. But I’ve had to realize to be authentic. This is me when it happens. And it has happened when I’ve been speaking in front of people. Okay, guys, I just had a moment and I’m being real with you. We’re gonna get back on track here in a second because I just completely went blank, I watched that girl go out the back door and she had this really cute dress on and I pull it forgot what I was saying, you know, but just even being okay. In uncomfortable moments. And I think the more you can just realize this is who I am. This is me. I’m not going to let my what I would call my limitations hold me back.

AT:  34:21

Yeah, except that you’re human. If you didn’t have those moments, if you didn’t have those fears, forgetfulness, or add or anything anxiety, all human fears and emotions are universal. That’s what I realized that 40 years of Zen, and to not accept you being human, you’re a robot, essentially, right. So I can identify what you’re talking about in terms of like, you know, embracing your authenticity, because before I started the podcast, I was like, two years, one year to think about it. Yes, one year just to think about it. And then finally one year to actually take the action because I was so scared was the People might think about what I wanted to talk about. And now I’ve gotten to the point where it doesn’t really matter. Because you know, my intention is to share what I know to the world. And if just one person can take away one little piece or one sentence from what we talked about, then it would have met my purpose for the world, and it is who I am. And you know, what you’re saying is who you are, it doesn’t really matter whether people think life is too short, to really care.

VM:  35:24

You know, you just start small and you don’t overthink it. Like some people are like, Why don’t have gifts, I don’t have talents, I don’t have, you start so small, I mean, it, you just start because we all have them. And you just start small. And you’ll be surprised when you just start doing the things that are making you happy and bring you joy that over time, you’ll start seeing that your gifts and talents start developing. And then you start you know, using them and walking in them, because it is really sad just to look around, and you just go to the mall or just look at people and just wonder like, for all these people really using their gifts and talents that they were given, like, naturally given to have, or many of them don’t even know what they are, because they’ve never tried, they’re too scared to get out of their comfort zone and try. 

Like if I was too scared to go out of my comfort zone and try to be a speaker and to talk, then the things that I talk on, I wouldn’t be touching and helping these people who like people write me and the things they tell me it’s like, okay, that’s definitely not me. I mean, it’s like, you know, the energy like working through me, like, you know, it’s like, the words are speaking to people, and I’m thankful for them. Like, I’m, I’m happy that it’s helping them but had I not just said, you know, we’re going to go for it. And then, like I said, it started small. I would never have even thought about writing a book or getting out in speaking and getting on stage. I mean, that’s like the biggest fear in the world, they say is like getting in public speaking. You know, like, that’s like one of the biggest fears. But you know, how many people don’t even know because they’re too scared to even try. 

So when I talk to people, I’m like, you know, I like to sit down with them and just baby steps with it. And you built that mindset. And once you get that mindset and that belief going. And that’s why you’re asking the people I’ve helped you get that mindset and belief going, lining up to their passion, the sky’s the limit. I mean, I see people just take off, it’s just take a little bit of time in the beginning kind of like getting that momentum going, just kind of getting a little piece there and together. And once that happens, and they get it. It’s like look out they’re unstoppable.

AT:  37:21

So, to summarize the questions to ask, you know, in order to get themselves there, number one, are you codependent? Are you being your full, authentic self? Are you drawing boundaries or not? Number two, you know, if you only had 30 days to live, or what would you want to do the next 30 days? And another exercise actually, that you reminded me that was pretty great. When I did it, is you imagine your funeral, actually, that you imagine your friends and family coming up to speak about you? What would they be saying ideally, who you are, what you’ve done, how you affect and impact the world around you. And so just think about that, and then do it? 

VM:  38:05

No, there’s no need to wait, don’t need to wait because you don’t want to get to the end of your life and have all these regrets should have what occurred and I didn’t because so and so didn’t think I should or so and so didn’t believe in me. Because if you’re waiting for someone to believe in you, or somebody to tell you, you should do this, there’s somebody it’s never gonna happen because we have to realize what’s placed within you what’s placed within me what’s placed within you was placed within the listeners is all different. So you can’t go by somebody telling you should or shouldn’t do that you have to really listen to your, you know, internal gut instinct and go with it, just go for it. 

AT:  38:37

For you to share your authenticity to the world as me it’s a joy to everyone around you. And to shut yourself down. It’s actually being selfish, like people are not going to get to know you to get to know the real you, the happy you to the energetic you, in you. If you have a voice if you want to speak if you want to put out a book or a podcast or anything, then don’t let your fear stand you down. Essentially, don’t let your fear prevent other people from getting the knowledge that may help them maybe just one word, one voice, like one sentence will be able to switch somebody’s trajectory. So don’t let your fear don’t be selfish. Don’t let your fear stop you from doing what you want to do. So does that sound like a good summary of what we talked about? 

AT:  39:27

Fear is not your friend, do not let fear hold you back except fear as just being human, and then push through and lean in and jump into the fire except the challenge. So that’s how you’re going to grow it. Do you have any I think that was like really fantastic. Like, you know, some of the questions that you know, audience can start asking and right after this, just take one or two questions and start asking or you know, think of just one passion or one activity that you’ve loved. And just you know, look on Google and schedule and say if we like dancing and look up the dancing events next time painting, look it up Have you always wanted to go work out? Or the weight lift weights? Google the closest gym next to you right now right after this?

And, Valerie, do you have anything like any parting words for the audience at all? If there were to do one thing I know, we talked about so many things, what is do you think that’s the most important thing that they get out of this episode?

VM:  40:21

I would love for you, whoever’s listening here just to take two, three, four or five minutes of just quiet time, wherever you have, whether you’re driving, or just find a time, you know what, after listening to this, that you can just really get with your thoughts and just ask yourself the questions, you know, am I living my best life? Am I happy? Am I leaving a legacy that I want to leave? Like you talked about, you know, what are my friends gonna say about me? Am I you know, walking in my, my fullest potential if you if you doubt any of this or you have questions, or you’re not even sure that I would just begin to start asking yourself questions, begin to start investing in yourself and get to know you better than you would any other girlfriend or anybody you want to start dating or anything like that, just start asking yourself the questions really make it a priority to know you better than you ever have known yourself. 

So that will be my thing. I would really want someone to just take some time to start asking themselves questions. And in like I said, just, we don’t know, we don’t know. And sometimes when the questions get asked, we don’t even know how to answer them. And if you can’t answer the question, take some time to think on it. Like, figure it out. Like, you don’t want to just say well, I don’t know, I can’t figure out the answer. So that then then ask yourself, well, why can’t I figure it out? You know, this, the questions keep building on each other, you know, you know, so there’s just always gonna, you’re gonna get to a question you’re gonna have to answer. So that’s my, that’s what I would say.

AT:  41:49

Yeah. And sometimes people have talked about, there’s actually seven levels of why’s before you get to the actual answer. 

AT:  41:54

Oh, that’s so true. I was gonna say that, but I want to go down another rabbit hole. But that is exactly true. So a lot of times when someone’s like, you know, I’m just angry all the time. Because XYZ, that’s usually not even the reason you’re angry, it really isn’t, you might be angry, but when you like you said, you get those seven questions, and you get to the root of it. And then when you get to the root of it, then that’s when things can start changing in your life. And that’s, again, that’s life coaching. So invest in yourself.

AT:  42:20

Any like resources, or websites, or podcasts or books that you found that you know, to be helpful for you in your journey, or that you recommend audience to go take a look after us.

VM:  42:29

So, I do have my book, but I will tell you the book that I just read, and I have to say, this has been my favorite book that I’ve ever read. And I have podcasts. And it’s Mel Robbins, the five-second rule, I guess, the five-second rule, and she talks about retraining your brain to do 54321 Go like, don’t think about it. You’re sitting there in an office meeting, and you have the answer to the next project they’re working on. But you’re too scared to say something up in your brain, you have 54321 talk. And if you don’t you miss the moment. And she really talks about this in the book and even like getting my house clean. Sometimes I’m so exhausted, because I work all the time, I’d be like, hey, Valerie, or Senate time for two hours. 54321 go in and it sounds silly, but I say it out loud. And I go, and I’ll get two hours done. And I will get all this stuff done. And I want to keep going. But her book has literally the way that she wrote and spoken, I just think that it just a lot of science behind it a lot of science behind our thoughts, our words, you know, the things that we do. So I think that’s just kind of we spoke about here. That’s great if that was one book, that’s a great starting point, for sure. And then of course I have, you know, my book maximizing life, you know, it kind of talks about the things that I went through to in finding myself to sit there’s different stages that I went through. And I talked about it in the book to go from being completely broken to completely thriving. It’s like opposite ends of the spectrum.

AT:  43:51

Yeah, thank you. What about the websites where people can find you on social media?

VM:  43:56

My website is And then my book is Maksymizing Life. And if you can’t see that, but I just made it easy. So, on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook is Maksymizing Life, I have the same handle on all of it just so people can find it easier.

AT:  44:13

And how do you spell it because I know it’s a different spelling.

VM:  44:15

So, it’s M A K S Y M and then I Z I N G Life so Maksymizing Life.

AT:  44:22

Awesome. And yeah, you have a coaching program too. So, for anybody who’s gone through these exercises. If you would like more help, please contact Valorie to see if she can help you obtain your superpower. Can I realize your superpower regarding that book, I would love to read it because I employ a similar thing like my cold showers in the morning. I’ve gotten to the point where I just turn it on. And before like if I can just I can’t hesitate. I just like go in and just go in.

VM:  44:50

Okay, yes, that movie Lets the Show Limitless on Disney too. He was talking about that too. I know Tony Robin’s The Cold Water Cold Showers. Awesome. Yeah, but I will send you a book so text me Your address, I will get one out tomorrow to you. Oh, okay. Awesome. Thank you. And I’ll send it to you. So you have it.

AT:  45:05

Okay, so awesome. Thank you so much. And I really appreciate your time here. The reason I wanted to bring you here, it’s because, you know, my first two episodes was on impostor syndrome, and so forth. And I just feel like that’s really the foundation of everything. If you want to succeed and finance, in your physical health, in your relationships, without working on yourself, you can’t do any of those without being the full authentic you, you are not going to have the energy to achieve whatever you want to achieve in life. So that’s why I wanted to bring you on and a thank you so much for coming on the show, Valerie.

VM:  45:40

Thank you for having me. 

AT: 45:42

All right. So remember that all the show notes, all the resources we talked about will be on And also, over there, you can sign up for the seven-day video course on productivity. It will also be in the Facebook group at Ann Tsung MD as well. And so just remember that this really applies to show I talk about this all the time, but just remember that everything that we need is within us now. Thank you.



Announcer:  47:50

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