"Nothing changes if nothing changes." Heather Marie Van Cleave, a Speaker, Spokeswoman, Author, Entrepreneur, Radio Host, Survivor of Domestic Violence & Advocate for Mental Health, shared her story for the Hampton Roads Chamber Power of Women on April 27th. Van Cleave has been working to help others as a motivational speaker through her struggles and accomplishments. She overcame depression and PTSD from multiple traumas throughout her life, from divorced parents to domestic violence, to becoming a single mother.
Van Cleave shared her philosophy, "limited thinking is a precursor to the development of limiting beliefs, and they cause you to filter life through a lens of misperception. These lenses impact the way you perceive yourself and others, and the way others perceive you."
The Hampton Roads Chamber first started the Power of Women a few years ago to empower females to move up the ladder into top-level jobs. That focus has shifted slightly in this COVID-19 world. When the pandemic hit our region, we focused on economic recovery, business resilience, and getting people back to work. Now we realize we need to do more than that. We need to help workers, especially women, balance their work/life load in this new economy.
The Hampton Roads Chamber is dedicated to setting the conditions for business to succeed. And, right now, that means helping employees succeed. Van Cleave promotes wellness by encouraging all to find balance in mental health, physical health, and spiritual health. She sees this as the key to an intentional effort to have a healthy lifestyle. "If one is off, the rest will also feel imbalanced." We seek help for outward wounds, but aid for inward wounds should not be treated any differently.
Van Cleave encourages people to acknowledge there is a goal! Write things down and speak over the goals with others. "Collaborating is a working practice whereby individuals work together for a common purpose." Van Cleave stresses the importance of working together rather than working against each other.
Choosing to see change is one of the very things we can control in a world that seems entirely out of control. Everything in our life requires some choice, and when we choose to see change, we can start thriving and live our best life.
Van Cleave closes with, "when you remove the competition, stay focused on your goal and collaborate with those around you, we all succeed, we all rise, we all can live our best life."
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