Putting Yourself First Isn’t Selfish, It’s Necessary: What’s Really Holding You Back? With Tiffany Carter | EU 749 min read

April 20, 2020

What are some people-pleasing traits and why is it harming you? How can you be your true authentic self when you are flooded with doubt and insecurities? Why should you put yourself first? In this podcast episode, Veronica speaks with Tiffany Carter about putting yourself first and figuring out what’s really holding you back. Meet […]

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I'm veronica!

I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, marriage coach, course creator, retreat host, mother of 3, married for 23 years and host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 


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What are some people-pleasing traits and why is it harming you? How can you be your true authentic self when you are flooded with doubt and insecurities? Why should you put yourself first?

In this podcast episode, Veronica speaks with Tiffany Carter about putting yourself first and figuring out what’s really holding you back.

Meet Tiffany Carter

Tiffany Carter

Tiffany Carter takes the mystery out of making BIG money while doing something you love. She uses a magnetic combination of her clear cut communication style that she developed as a TV news broadcaster for NBC and CBS, her business savvy and proven strategies as a multimillionaire entrepreneur, and her intuitive ability to connect with women on a deeper level, to uncover what’s blocking you from achieving your dream life. She’s a passionate female empowerment speaker and marketing sales specialist, responsible for more than a hundred million dollars in sales transactions. Tiffany’s zones of genius are helping women become financially free, through education, empowerment, and proven straightforward business strategies. This multi-millionaire entrepreneur went from a life of self-destruction to success, from abuse to abundance, despite the odds being entirely against her. Tiffany’s mission runs deeper than helping women create wealth; her bigger purpose is to help women find their worth.

Visit Tiffany’s website and connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and listen to her podcast.

In This Podcast


  • Being raised by a narcissist
  • Co-dependency
  • Spiritual intervention
  • Loving yourself
  • Putting yourself first
  • Money mindset

Being raised by a narcissist

Tiffany was an only child, raised in the second wealthiest family in a wealthy community, by a single mom who was an entrepreneur. On the outside looking in, you would never have known her home was not safe. Tiffany was sexually abused from age 11-21 years old, her mom was aware of it and supported it. In order for Tiffany to stay safe and appease her mom, she developed this amazing self-confidence. But on the inside, she felt that she didn’t deserve to live.


Everything was about the other person first, for pure survival.

When you are raised by a toxic person, narcissist and addict, in order to survive that, everything you do in order to get love and attention, you make everything about the other person. Tiffany was not allowed to have any feelings and she was people-pleasing. She surrounded herself with toxic people, recreating that childhood trauma to the point that she wanted to end her life.

Spiritual intervention

Tiffany had always thought that God forgot about her. 5 years ago on her birthday, she was matter-of-factly talking to herself and saying that she was going to end her life, but if there was some reason she shouldn’t do this, that she be sent a very clear sign. Without remembering how, she ended up in a recovery room of a 12 step program for adult children of alcoholics and dysfunctional families. This was enough to give her a sliver of hope to not end her life.

Loving yourself

What’s important is that I love myself and the God of my understanding loves me.

There is no way around pain, you have to walk through it and you should not do it alone. It is scary and it will bring you to your knees, but this is what you need to do in order to start working on your self-worth. When you truly love, accept, and embrace yourself even if someone else doesn’t love you, this is true self-worth. When you get to this point, this is when you release yourself from co-dependency.

Putting yourself first

We are the most exceptional project and person in our lives, and it’s selfish to not put yourself first because if you don’t:

  1. You’re lying and not being honest
  2. It’s manipulative, this is what people-pleasing is

Live the life you want to live

In our daily consistent choices and actions, that is where we create the life of our dreams. The little things we do every day adds up.

Live with intent.

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Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic Podcast

I’m a licensed therapist and women walk into my office every day stressed and disconnected. As a mom of three daughters, I want my girls to know who they are and feel confident about their future. I can’t think of a better way to help other women than by demonstrating an empowered and unapologetic life.

So I started  Empowered and Unapologetic to be a safe space for women to be vulnerable and change their lives for the better before she ever needs to see a therapist.

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook communityjoin the VIP community or attend our annual retreat,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

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Empowered and Unapologetic is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Podcast Transcription

[VERONICA CISNEROS]: Empowered and Unapologetic is part of the Practice of the Practice podcast network, a family of podcasts that change the world. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom podcast, Beta Male Revolution, or Imperfect Thriving, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.
Have you ever thought, “How did I manage to lose myself? Being a mom is hard, especially when you we’re feeling stressed and disconnected. We exhaust ourselves trying to create the perfect life for our family. You deserve to enjoy your family without the stress perfectionism brings. On this podcast, I teach you how to identify who you are outside of all of the roles you play.
Hi, I’m Veronica Cisneros. I’m a wife, mother of three and a licensed marriage and family therapist. I am on a mission to teach women just like you, how to become empowered and unapologetic. Welcome to our girl gang.
Hey ladies, welcome to Empowered and Unapologetic. I’m your host, Veronica Cisneros. The first time I met our guest, I was completely blown away by her ability to engage the audience being raw, real and honest. She literally had me at hello. Today’s guest, not only takes the mystery out of making big money while doing something you love. She uses a magnetic combination of her clear, cut communication style that she developed as a TV news broadcaster for NBC and CBS; her business savvy and proven strategies as I multimillionaire entrepreneur and her intuitive ability to connect with women on a deeper level to uncover what’s blocking them from achieving their dream life.
[VERONICA]: She’s a passionate female, empowerment speaker and marketing sales specialist responsible for more than a hundred million dollars in sales transaction. Her zones of genius is helping women become financially free through education, empowerment, and proven straight forward business strategies. This multimillionaire entrepreneur went from a life of self-destruction to success. So, please help me by welcoming Tiffany Carter, the host of the educationally edgy and popular podcast ProjectMe with Tiffany; top business coach, a passionate advocate for abused women and children. I have to say, I am so impressed that your mission runs so deeper than helping women create wealth. Your bigger purpose is to help women find their worth. And that’s like so crazy profound, helping women find their worth. Welcome, Tiffany,
[TIFANNY CARTER]: What’s up girl. I’m so happy to be on your show and connect with you. I just adore you.
[VERONICA]: And the same. I was so super excited and just blown away by just all of the work that you’ve been doing for us women.
[TIFANNY]: Thank you. I mean, here’s the thing. I didn’t have to start ProjectMe with Tiffany Carter. I already have another business I’ve had for 12 years doing digital marketing in the pharmaceutical medical and supplement world. It’s already a seven-figure business. I didn’t have to do it for money, but I had to do it for my soul. This is my true baby. It was something I, I didn’t have a choice. I had to do it, but the beautiful thing is because I didn’t have to do it for money that translates energetically to other women. They can feel that, that I’m really showing up out of service and love and not just trying to get something,
[VERONICA]: Girl, I totally hear you. That’s how Empowered and Unapologetic was also born. Because of that same reason. There were too many women suffering silently and something had to be done. So, I absolutely love and adore and respect your work. So, if you can please tell us about your story.
[TIFANNY]: Well, my story, I first always need to say this is that it can be triggering to some people, and if you want to hear like my full story in detail, I am sharing that on my podcast. So, we don’t have enough time for me to go through it. It’s kind of reads, not kind of, it reads like one of those lifetime movies that you’re like, “This is awful, but I can’t stop watching.” It reads like one of those. So, I do have to preface it with saying that it can be triggering and I do use humor to lighten it, but I’m not certainly making light out of the heavy situation. So, I was sexually abused from the ages of 11 to 21 years old. My mom was aware of it. My mom supported it, I guess that would be the best word to use.
On top of that, being an only child raised by a single mom who worked all the time, had her own business, she was an entrepreneur, it was not a safe household, as you can imagine. And it’s not like I had a brother or sister to go to. Both of my parents are only children to this day. Right now, I only have one living relative and that’s my mom. So, I was raised by what clinical terms, which obviously that’s your expertise, but by a narcissist. And you know, when a narcissist, you’re just, I’m just a piece of furniture. I’m an extension of her. So, she utilized me to service her clients as an entrepreneur and I would have to like bring them cocktails, allow them to grab me, say inappropriate things to me. But there was a primary person who molested me that entire time from 11 to 21.
You can imagine why I had no self-worth and why that’s such a big part of my mission. I was also bullied in middle school and a little bit in freshman year of high school. I was labeled as the class slut because as many people who are listening and maybe aware, yeah, like when you are groomed that early on and you’re taught like you get attention and love and acceptance if you give sexual favors, that’s what I did with boys at school. I didn’t know any better. I thought if you liked someone, that’s what you’re supposed to do. It was very confusing. So, but on the outside, looking in, you would have never known. And I like sharing this part because so many of us start comparing ourselves when we’re scrolling on social media, or even like, when we’re looking back at like what friends are doing, that we went to high school or college with, and then we compare ourselves and start judging ourselves.
I was raised as a second wealthiest family in an already wealthy community. So, there were two giant gourmet kitchens, a wine cellar, the size of a bedroom. Okay, but the inside of the house was a nightmare. And I was put into like a modeling, not that I was a famous model, but like catalog modeling. So, on the outside, everything looked good. And I knew in order for me to stay safe and appease my mom, the narcissist, I developed this amazing false competence, but on the inside, I mean, I was nothing. I was, I didn’t deserve to live. So, you could imagine how that carried on through my life. I got hired at NBC on air before I even graduated college. So, I was 20-years-old. Remember I said, I was still being molested to 21.
[VERONICA]: Absolutely.
[TIFANNY]: I mean, think about that here. I’m on TV, polished newscaster, I don’t know if I was polished back then. I’m sure you guys could find bloopers and that anchor hair. But I mean, I was still being molested. This guy flew out to Washington and stayed in my house. And that was like the last time, thank God where it was like, okay, this can’t happen anymore. So, I went through my newscast and career, then I got transitioned into corporate America because I couldn’t be on the news anymore because I felt like everyone could see me, meaning see-through me. Like I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown on the air, which you guys have seen stories where there’s newscasters, who actually do, because I started like paranoid because that false self I had, I really thought people could see the truth, the fraud, how much of a piece of crap I was, you know, all of it. And I quit. It’s like who quits a TV job?
Granted, I was making almost no money, which a lot of people don’t realize that, but most people don’t quit that. And I didn’t even give a two-week notice. I mean, I had to quit. And then I went into, I interviewed at like 50 different companies in order to get into pharmaceutical sales because I saw other friends of mine doing it. They were making money. They wore cute outfits. They had a company car that I always loved. Health, you know, talking about health and medical stuff. I climbed that corporate ladder until I kept hitting the glass ceiling. It’s a very white, old male dominated industry. It still is. So, you can get only so high and if you are considered to be a conventionally attractive woman, you can only get so high. Like God forbid, we have a woman that has any sex appeal, that’s in a C-suite. Like they can’t handle it. I’m not, and it’s controversial, but it’s true.
[VERONICA]: You know, it’s so interesting because you go into, you know, the way you described your mom as supporting this. And then in addition to that, you go into this next environment, this next work environment who also supports this. And so, it’s kind of like, you’re recreating your childhood over and over and over again. And I’m wondering what that was like for you, because you say you were able to go ahead and quit this job. However, what was it? What was it that was like, you know, you got to this point where it was like, “Okay, wait a minute. Enough.” Like, what was it that you were able to make that decision and get out, especially if you’re being like literally groomed in all areas to be this person, you absolutely probably were disgusted and resented?
[TIFANNY]: God, this is, you’re so good. A lot of people and listen, I’ve been to a lot of specialists and therapists, don’t pick up on that part. Absolutely, what happens is when we have no self-worth and we’ve had trauma, whether it’s as extreme as mine or it could be, you know, it could be something where someone may be, you know, an uncle like said something creepy to you that was really weird. I mean, that’s all it takes. It doesn’t have to be as extreme as mine, or it could be bullying or a boyfriend in high school or college or whatever, but absolutely subconsciously when we have no self-worth and you think you’re a piece of crap, even if on the outside, you know, I graduated cum laude at college, I’m extremely, well-spoken obviously I am competent speaking to crowds and that kind of a thing.
I got into an environment where in essence, in a corporate way, I was being pimped out as well. I mean, my mom pimped me out. I mean, I’m being blunt about it, but it’s true. So, I’m being pimped out. What do you think that job is about? It’s about, you have to look attractive, you have to flirt. And I got to tell you, and maybe it’s a little different now, okay, but I don’t know. All I can say is I had to do that laughing off. Like, I mean, I had doctors grab my butt, I was expected to take them to dinner, it was very, but it was familiar to me and I know you get that. It was familiar. It wasn’t like, ”Eww. This is horrible. I’m not going to stand for this.” I was groomed for so at such a young age.
That was normal to me, even though it didn’t feel good, I’d come home like exhausted or I’d vent to like friends or coworkers, like, “Oh my God, this guy’s disgusting. Like, can you believe this guy is married with three kids and blah, blah, blah.” But I went back and did it again and again and again, over years and years and years. It was just normal. But do you think that raised my self-worth or self-esteem at all? No. It just kept me in that same low spot. It just kept reinforcing my already current beliefs about myself.
[VERONICA]: Yeah. You said it with, this is my norm. This is all I’ve known. And you know, when women are able to go ahead and be released from this level of imprisonment, they end up feeling so much shame and guilt for participating in it. And I love how you said, “I didn’t know any better. Like this is just what I was conditioned to do.” And so, it’s like me telling you, “Well, you know, now I want you to go ahead and live this life that’s healthy and practice coping skills.” You would look at me as if I was crazy and say, “Well, what coping skills, because girl, I’m using them? Like these are them. Like this is it.”
And in so many ways you were conditioned to be this performer and be on. And you talk about this level of confidence that you had and in essence, I’m just listening to you and it’s like, “Holy moly. It was this illusion of control and her just literally getting through and getting by the best way she knew how.” And I think this is also what keeps women from opening up and sharing their story. So, I think it’s so powerful that you’re just so open and raw. And that’s one thing I absolutely admire about you.
[TIFANNY]: Thank you. I mean, I had to do, as I’m sure you can imagine, years and years of inner work, inner child healing. I had to go through the dark night of the soul in order to be able to share this. I mean, five and a half years ago on my birthday, I was absolutely convinced and I was going to take my life and I was going to do it with pills from the industry that I’m in. You know, I have access to all of that. I know how to use it and I had an entire plan. And get this. I had 2.5 million in the bank at the time. You know, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. I mean, either you’re beautiful, you know, luxury townhouse in Los Angeles. I had my own, you know, my business was thriving. My own business was thriving and it doesn’t, it didn’t matter.
I didn’t feel like there was a point to be here. I had no quality of life. I was in the throws of an exercise addiction and workaholism because I was trying to run away from all these painful, deep anguishing feelings by focusing on people, places, and things, and anything outside for myself to dissociate. And I truly say this when people say like, you know, addiction, substance addiction is a progressive disease. Let me tell you guys. So, is any addiction. It is progressive. Whether it is you’re addicted to love relationships. I mean, I was an extreme codependent. That will kill you too, because look, I was going to kill myself from it.
[VERONICA]: Absolutely. And addiction is addiction. It’s a disease. And it goes across the board, eating disorders, alcoholism, substance abuse, gambling addictions. They’re all under that same category of a disease because it can definitely kill you. And I love that you also included codependency. Can you please describe what codependency meant or what codependency looks like in your life with everything that you had been conditioned to do? Like how did that play out with friendships, with family?
[TIFANNY]: Oh God, you ask such great questions. I love it. So, when you are raised by a toxic person, an addict, a narcissist, in order to survive that, everything you do in order to get love, attention, basic needs, not to get abused further, everything is about them. Nothing is about me. I wasn’t allowed to have any feelings that if I had a feeling, like maybe I came home from school and I was upset because I didn’t do well on a test, but I knew my mom that wasn’t going to fly with her that day. Because I was so hypervigilant, I could tell. I had to just stuff it. So, now my feelings, my needs, everything was about the other person first for pure survival and for me, to just have any sort of peace in me. So, same with the person who was abusing me. Obviously, that person’s needs came first. I didn’t matter.
So, I was taught this way from birth even before I was being abused, right. Raised by narcissists. I was taught this way. Now my father as an extreme codependent, but he abandoned me in a different way, but he didn’t abuse me or anything like that, but he also didn’t come in and rescue me from the situation. There’s no way you were married to my mom and not know she’s sick. But he couldn’t do it and I’ve let, you know, I’ve forgiven him and let that go. But how it shows up in friendships and relationships is I dated, if someone asked me out on a date girl, I said, “Yes.” I’m talking, got someone I wasn’t attracted to, maybe the guy had a bad reputation. Maybe the guy was a dick, and I still went out because I better say yes, because I’m people pleasing, then you go into, even with, bosses.
Like, you know, I worked at Starbucks in high school and college and if they asked me to take a shift, even though that meant like I might miss something or I wasn’t feeling well, you know, my answer was always yes. Even in my early thirties, I would be dating a guy and let’s say they loved a certain kind of food that I didn’t like. I would say I loved the food. I mean, there’s a story I tell. And it’s like, I laugh at it now, but there was this one guy I dated and he was like super passionate about baseball. Like specifically the Dodgers. I am not into baseball. I hate going to baseball games. Like, I’ll go, but I didn’t really pay attention. It’s slow. It’s boring. It’s not my thing, and I completely lied and said like, “Oh my God, I love the Dodgers.” I even went to TJ Max and bought myself like a Jersey.
[TIFANNY]: I mean, that’s manipulation, right?
[TIFANNY]: But that was done from a space of, I have to do this or this person won’t love me. They’ll leave me. And then what happened? Then the guy surprised me with a season ticket. And I was like, “Oh God, I’m screwed.” I was like, “Oh, no.” But I mean, I never spoke up for myself. This is how I lost almost every single penny I had saved and worked my butt off for. By the time I was 30, I had a million dollars in the bank. Within three months, almost all of it was gone. And it was truly because of codependency because I had someone who I highly respected refer me to a financial advisor. It was his financial advisor.
And something, and tell me if you disagree, but I feel something codependents do since we don’t value ourselves, we put others on pedestals and take their advice as fact. Because what do I know? I’m an idiot. I’m, you know, I’m a piece of crap. So, long story short, when you sign like some kind of bank or financial document, you guys, you know, there’s like a lot of fine print, there’s a lot of pages, I didn’t read one word and I signed every damn page.
[VERONICA]: Tiffany, oh my God.
[TIFANNY]: But why, it was blind trust. And that’s what, I did that over and over again, just align trust. Someone, so I would fall for these guys who would tell you anything you want to hear. And friendships, I wouldn’t look at people’s actions, their words mesmerized me and I would fall into that. So, I had lots of just toxic people ever. Who do you think I had in my life? Addicts and narcissists. Just like you said, recreating that childhood trauma and wound over and over again, to the point where it got so insane, I didn’t want to be on this earth anymore. That’s how it shows up you guys.
[VERONICA]: So, I’m glad you closed with that. You know, you mentioned thoughts of suicide all the way to having a plan. What was it that in that moment that you were about to execute it or about to go ahead and go down that route? What was it that just clicked and made you want to stay here on this earth? Like, what was that turning point? Because you know, most women and I know a good amount of my listeners, most of us, we do suffer from codependency. You know, we do, we’re innately nurturers, right? We’re at times driven by emotions and so we’re constantly attempting to people-please all the time and doing things for others, because we think that makes us a caring, beautiful, loving person. However, in reality, that is all circling our insecurities and our inability to say, “No enough, I’m going to live the life I want to live.” And so, at what point was it that you decided, “Wait a minute, no, I’m not going to take my life. I’m going to live.” Like, what was that turning point?
[TIFANNY]: Truly. It was a spiritual intervention. I thought God forgot about me. And when I say God, I mean, whatever the God of your understanding. Like, I wasn’t like picturing a white man with a beard. I mean, the God, the universe, I really thought from a little girl. Of course, I did, thought you know, God was mad at me, God forgot about me. I wasn’t a chosen one because I overheard, you know, I wasn’t, I overheard bits and pieces of like things from the Bible. And then it was like, I would hear, oh, well, you know, some people are the chosen one. And I’m like, “Well, I wasn’t the chosen one.” So, I really thought that, and clearly there was a spiritual intervention that day. I truly don’t remember what got me there, but it really was my birthday and I do remember, I do a lot. I do talk to myself.
I don’t know if it’s only a child thing or whatever, but I mean, out loud, I answer myself, all those things. So, I did say, I remember where I was in my condo too. And I just said, “Listen.” And it was a matter of fact conversation. It was like this blunt. It wasn’t like with tears on my knees or anything, because those were all, I cried it all out a long time ago. It was like, “Listen.” It was like bargaining, almost like, “I’m going to do this and if there is some reason I shouldn’t do this, you need to make it, whoever you are up there, you need to make it so clear and evident because this is my plan. And like, basically I’m giving you like a hail Mary, because I’ve not seen signs or whatever.”
I truly don’t remember how I got there. It’s kind of like, I’m sure you guys have driven somewhere before and you’re like, “I don’t even remember driving there,” because you’re like dissociated, you’re spaced out, hopefully not drunk, but like you’re somewhere else. And I ended up, because someone had planted a seed, I ended up in a recovery room of a program, it’s a 12-step program called Adopt Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families.
[TIFANNY]: I ended up, I drove there and I don’t, I truly don’t remember how I got there. Someone planted the seed. Now it’s just amazing to this day because this meeting was, I mean, this meeting I went to, I still go to this day. I mean, it was like, it’s only three minutes from my house. So, there’s all these different God shots in there.
[TIFANNY]: And someone planted the seeds a couple times. So, I ended up at this meeting and it was women’s only, and for the first time I heard person after person describe a version of my story to where I didn’t feel like I was the person who just wasn’t the chosen one. I didn’t feel alone. I felt like, “Oh my God, there’s other people.” And then even the literature, like the fact there was books and, in the books, it described all the stuff that I’ve done my whole life, it removed some of that shame. And that was enough. That doesn’t mean all of a sudden, I was like skipping through the tulips, but that was enough to give me a sliver of hope to not end my life.
[VERONICA]: Oh my God.
[TIFANNY]: That’s what happened.
[VERONICA]: I’m like shaking it off right now because I literally have chills. Like that is an amazing, amazing story. And not only that, but hell yes, girl though, the moon was aligned, the stars were aligned, I mean, all of these things were in line to keep you here for a reason. And it’s just mind blowing that you have people that say, “I went to church and it was that day that I went to church it was like the pastor was talking to me.” And girl, you went literally to this group and they were talking to you. And it sounds like it was just this wonderful, amazing community that just opened up themselves to you and provided so much information and so much knowledge and just everything you needed to hear to go ahead and move on with your life. Holy moly.
[TIFANNY]: Yeah, and that was for sure the start. And I mean, it was, you know, it’s been a five-and-a-half-year journey that’s for sure. But that was the start. And that’s why it’s so important and why I even like, I even had many conversations because of course I started to really believe there was a power greater than myself after that. Because I couldn’t explain it.
[TIFANNY]: And I made a promise. Like, “You help me get through this healing process from rock bottom. I promise I’ll put everything I can into it. I’ll make it my number one priority. And I promise that I will help other women do the same.” That was my promise and that’s what got me through doing all the hard work because you guys, that was just the beginning. It wasn’t like smooth sailing. I had to unpack all this trauma and pain and re-parent my inner child. I mean, there was, it was not pretty, you guys. It was worth it, but it wasn’t pretty.
[VERONICA]: Well, in addition to that, in that moment, you were also, and I don’t know if you realize this, but you were also able to establish some form of trust. When you weren’t able to trust anybody because you really weren’t being your true, authentic self with anyone, you were putting on this mask. And with everyone you encountered in your life, you were being whoever the hell they wanted you to be. At no point were you being who you wanted to be.
[TIFANNY]: Never, never once.
[VERONICA]: Right? And so, you attend this meeting and now you’re leaving with this sense of trust, this sense of identity and empowerment. And it’s kind of like you left with this mission to go ahead and live.
[TIFANNY]: Wow. That’s such a great point because even though I obviously in one meeting, it’s like, I revealed everything about me, but I was myself. I was so broken. I was at rock bottom. I didn’t have the energy to put on the mask and these women were so kind and loving and genuinely accepted me anyway. You’re right. It did make me go, “Oh.” Like, and it was a relief. Like I can actually just be me, even though it’s an absolute disaster right now and there’s people who like won’t abandon me.
[VERONICA]: Yes. So, let me ask you something. Being empowered and unapologetic. How do we do this? How do we do this when we are flooded with doubt, insecurities, and inability to be our true, authentic self?
[TIFANNY]: Here’s the thing. There’s no, you know, “Here’s your Excel, spreadsheet of exactly how you do it.” But I will say this. There is no way around pain, the pain, the stored pain, the grief, stuff that you’ve pushed down like holding a balloon underwater. There is no way around it. We try, even subconsciously we try through getting fixated on our looks, on other people, on projects, on cleaning, on our kids. I see that a lot with moms, like just fixated, right? So, everything is focused outside of ourselves, being busy as an addiction versus putting focus on ourselves because we don’t want to be alone with our thoughts. And when we’re quiet, when we’re still that’s, when they all come up, which is why people binge-watch TV, they scroll Instagram for hour, right?
[TIFANNY]: And I’ll say this. There is no way around the pain. You have to walk through it. You should not do it alone. You absolutely need people to hold your hand and do it with. And yes, it’s scary and yes, I mean, it’ll bring you to your knees, but that is the only thing that works in order to then start working on your self-worth. It’s not like all of a sudden, I’m like, “I love myself.” Like even in a year it was like, “Okay, like I kind of like this about myself. Okay, well I’m not so bad.” And then it grew a little bit more and a little bit more and then it was like, “Okay, I do love some of these things about myself.” And then the ultimate thing is I did and I’m at the point today where I truly love, accept and embrace everything about me, even the stuff that is not flattering.
That doesn’t mean I like some of the stupid stuff I do or the less flattering things I do, but I accept it. And I still, I love myself regardless. And if someone else doesn’t love me, that’s okay. That’s true self-worth. That’s okay that they don’t. They don’t have to love me. What’s important is I love myself and the God of my understanding loves me. That’s the Holy grail when you get there. That’s when you release yourself from the codependency because I see moms do this a lot and it breaks my heart when their kids get to a certain age, maybe middle school or high school and you know, the kids are like, “I hate you,” or they don’t want to spend time with you anymore.
I see moms get like, their identity gets crushed or the kids are now like, you know, going to college and they’re not there and now they’re left alone and now they’re really left to sit in their whole pain and codependency because their kids are gone. Or if a guy breaks up with you or a guy ghosts you or something like that. I see, and I used to be like this too. I’d be devastated. I mean, I wouldn’t even be able to get out of bed because that was death. That’s death to a codependent.
[VERONICA]: Absolutely.
[TIFANNY]: But if someone, even my fiancé, Mike, like if he was like, “I’m out of here,” and did something like that, I’m not saying it wouldn’t hurt, but it wouldn’t destabilize me to where I would be a disaster. I would still be okay. That doesn’t mean I’m not worthy. That doesn’t mean I’m not lovable. That just means for whatever reason, he’s on his journey and it’s not. Vibing that’s about him.
[VERONICA]: Absolutely. You know, one thing that you said that was so powerful is, women wait until that happens. And I don’t think that we’re purposely waiting. I think it’s, we really don’t know. We really don’t know that this is unhealthy. And I say, we, because I was there too on so many levels. I thought my husband identified who I was and defined my self-worth. I thought me being a mother and all of the roles that I played, defined who I was and it wasn’t until I realized, “Holy moly, if I hear mom one more time, if I hear mom one more time, I swear to God, I’m going to go out and run away and I’m not going to take my phone. And I don’t care if the cops get called on me because I just want to be left alone.” And I remember being at that point where I couldn’t really connect with my kids because I looked at them as a task.
And in addition to that, it was again, something else my husband needed from me. And it’s like, “Dude, what the hell? I can’t do this anymore.” However, I refuse to admit that to my friends because they were also moms. And I was the one who looked like I had it all together. So, I was not going to let go of that badge of honor. There was no way I was going to let go of that badge of honor. And so, I just stayed there and I thought this was the norm because I was watching every other wife do it; housewife, you know, a wife that had a successful career. I was watching all of these women do it. And it’s like, “Okay, wait a minute. Then I need to do it.” And so, I love that you just said ladies, when you’re defined by your kids, when you’re defined by your husband and these tasks, it is a form of codependency because you are dependent on them to identify who you are and have the sense of appreciation and value. And that’s not where it exists. We get to define that, right?
[TIFANNY]: Oh, amen, girl. So, well said, and it’s, we’re not defined by our level of productivity. We are not defined by how many tasks we did that day, what we do for our children, how often we volunteer and then we also work and then we also work out and we also cook dinner five times a week. We are worthy. And I want you guys to hear this. We are worthy just because we woke up in the morning. We are worthy if we took a day of rest and just chilled on the couch all day. We are worthy if we decide, “You know what? I really don’t enjoy cooking anymore. This is too much for me. I’m only able to do it two days a week and we need to figure something out. You know, I don’t have it in me to clean my entire house once a week. I’m, you know what I’m worthy of spending $200 a month or whatever it is to hire a cleaning service to come in.” We don’t need to do all of it. We really don’t. That’s when our self-worth is totally and solely focused on things outside of ourselves. That’s so dangerous. That’s what almost killed me.
[VERONICA]: Bingo. Yes. So, Tiffany, how have you helped women get out of their own way? I understand you have the ProjectMe program. I want to hear more.
[TIFANNY]: So, what I do in ProjectMe with Tiffany Carter, number one, I’m a big believer in offering a lot of free resources. So, I have my top success podcast where we cover all sorts of different topics from things like this. Codependency self-doubt, competence, how to get motivated, how to get back on track to starting a business, growing a business, how to be financially empowered as a woman and not be dependent on any man, woman, family member, job, government institution for money? Because that’s so empowering and so impactful for our self-worth. You don’t have to make millions of dollars like I do. Even making an additional, you know, $500 a month, let’s say, and you’re making it, you’ve done this for whatever you want to use it for.
Whether it’s for Botox, whether it’s, you know, I mean, I prefer putting it on yourself but it doesn’t have to be like, “Oh, I’m doing a side hustle. I’m starting a business so I can do this for my kids and this for my family.” I require all of my clients, all of my private clients I coach, I require you to tell me at least three things that you’re going to do for yourself and that’s okay. I want you to put yourself first. That’s what the ProjectMe part of my brand stands for. We are the most exceptional project and person in our lives and it’s selfish to not put yourself first because if you don’t number one, you’re lying and you’re not being honest.
[TIFANNY]: It’s manipulative. That’s what people-pleasing is. And I’m saying that with love to you guys, because I used to do that. You’re not necessarily always conscious of it. I’ll be really Frank and humble. I became very conscious of it. I knew what I was doing. I just didn’t know there was another way. You know, like when I would go to someone’s house, like someone would invite me to their house, I would go out of my way to bring all sorts of gifts and stuff like that. I had an agenda, so I knew it. So, some of mine was conscious. Some of it was subconscious. And I just want to make sure that women know putting yourself first is the answer.
That is where it all lies; honoring yourself and your needs. And that is where the most beautiful transformations happen. Your families feel it, your kids feel it, your relationships will change. We cannot control what anyone else does, but we can manage control and change ourselves. And that’s where everything stems from in ProjectMe. Yes, I teach women how to make great money doing what they love in a way that feels good. Yes, that’s really important. But I also show women how to find their passion and purpose that’s from within not from something external, if that makes sense.
[VERONICA]: Yes, a hundred percent. So, I have two questions for you. One’s from Leslie. She’s in our girl gang. She asks how to build a business as a stay-at-home-mom when your husband is in the military and you move a lot.
[TIFANNY]: So, I love this question, Leslie. What it sounds like is that you have that time belief in your head, like time and energy, right? Like I hear this all the time from moms. And it’s like, “I have what I have. How could I possibly have any more time or energy when I’m basically single, you know, a single parent I’m a single mom, as my husband has gone and I’m looking at all these other people who are starting businesses and that kind of thing. And then we build it up in our head that it takes so much more time and effort and energy than it really does. So, number one, I would say let’s really challenge that belief because I know what’s under a statement like that. It’s you not believing you have the energy or time. So, I love challenging these beliefs with a simple question.
Is that absolutely true with a hundred percent certainty for a fact for now and forever, that it requires a ton of time and energy for you to start to build a business as a single mom? No, it’s not. So, that’s the belief that’s under it and you don’t need to go zero to a hundred, you know, like that black or white thinking. I have a tendency to think that way too. Just build it, build it over time and at your pace. Not starting, nothing’s going to happen. So, I would rather see you crawling and you do a little, every single day. You don’t have to like be a spazz and go like out of the gate and like run yourself frazzled but by not doing anything, nothing’s going to happen. And that’s why also, I have something for you guys too. If you go to projectmewithtiffany.com, right there, when you land on it, there’s two things.
One, I have a financial freedom pocket guide that I know you guys will really, really find helpful, especially you moms. And I also have a money personality quiz. It’s really important to take that. We’ve spent a lot of time putting it together to understand and uncover some of these beliefs that we have around making money and serving ourselves and serving others. There’s a lot of guilt with moms around taking time away, anything away from parenting. And then the money thing is like, “Oh God, that’s selfish. Like I’m putting money ahead of my kids.” So, I want you guys to get that. And they’re both free. So, get the pocket guide, projectmewithtiffany.com. You’ll see it right when you land there and the quiz is right there as well. But I would say Leslie, like, go do those things. I love answering questions, but also actually giving you an action item to do like I’m giving you homework to do as well.
[VERONICA]: And I respect that you did that. And the reason why is because, you know, in my field, so many people ask me, I’ll have doctors come in, other therapists come in and say, “Okay, Veronica, I already know what this looks like. You know? I mean, hello. I have my own private practice. I do this for a living. So, just give me the answers.” And it’s like, “Girl, you will fight me tooth and nail if I take away that anxiety. So, instead let me help you understand what’s getting in your way. Let me help you understand why you cling on to this pain, why you cling on to this negative thought distortion so that you will eventually let it go versus me taking it from you because I’m not trying to get into that girl fight.” So next question, Kristi and Alex both asked, how has money changed you? And to add to that, how has it changed your relationships with others?
[TIFANNY]: Ah, such a great question. And again, questions are statements in disguise.
[TIFANNY]: So underneath this question that you have a belief somewhere in you, whether it’s conscious or subconscious, that money changes people, you heard that message growing up, money changes people in bad ways. Once you get rich, you think you’re all that. There’s some belief under there, or you wouldn’t be asking me that because, but what’s good is there’s part of you that’s wanting to seek evidence that that is not true. Or you wouldn’t be asking that question and you wouldn’t want someone like me to answer it because as you guys have probably gathered, I’m really straight up about everything, whether you enjoy it or not.
So, money, remember, I was brought up in a wealthy family, so you can imagine my money mindset. Being abused and being wealthy. So, what do you think I tied money too? Money is dangerous. Having a lot of money, and my mom was an entrepreneur, so I was like, “That’s even a whole nother level.” I was like, you know, that it’s selfish. Having a lot of money or focusing on a business or having a business as a woman, especially, and like wanting to be successful is selfish. It’s destructive. It’s horrible. So, I had all those beliefs in there too. So, I had to do a lot of work around that. I started out making $17,000 a year. So, that’s where I come up with low self-worth equals low net worth because I didn’t think I was worthy of making more. I made a lot of choices where maybe I made money. As you guys heard, I had a million dollars by the time I was 30, then lost almost all of it in three months.
So, if you’re paycheck to paycheck or you get a little further ahead and then like all of a sudden something happens with your car, then you get further ahead, and all of a sudden there’s a medical expense. There’s low self-worth, low net worth connection. There’s a belief under there. I would say this. Making more money, number one is way better than being poor. It’s way better. I mean, so in the tangible sense, I mean I fly first class, five stars is my norm, I deserve it. I don’t, I make no apologies about it. So, there’s that part of it. The other part is I am very aware of the high-powered energy around money. And so, I had to become a better steward of my money. I didn’t know what to do with that kind of money. So, I was people-pleasing and, I’m not exaggerating. I’ve given probably several hundred thousand dollars away not to charities to guys, to anyone who asked me for money. It’s funny.
When people start seeing you’re successful, who comes out of the woodwork and has all sorts of sob stories, I can’t tell you how many checks I wrote. So, I had to learn how to be a better steward of my money in order to be a better service to the world. Because look at that, I could have given all that money to help build more safe houses for my girls who were sex trafficked. But instead, you know, like guy number 512, you know, now has a Mercedes because of me.
[VERONICA]: Exactly my last question. What are you doing right now? And I ask all of my guests, what are you doing right now to live the life you want to live?
[TIFANNY]: It’s what I am continuing to do because in our daily consistent choices and actions, that is where we create the life of our dreams. It’s not doing something for a month. It’s not like 90 days to success, right? It’s what we do. The little things that add up consistently every day. I still go to that same Adopt Children of Alcoholics meeting you guys. I go to that same exact meeting that saved my life to this day. Although some weeks I miss yes, but for the most part, no, I don’t. So, I put my recovery and my relationship with the God of my understanding and my health above all else, above anyone else. That’s numero UNO. And you have to still be strict with that because those are my own self boundaries though sometimes that gets challenged and the universe wants to challenge you.
Like it’ll dangle a fancy carrot and then I’ll want to blow it off or I could slip back into my workaholism or my exercise addictions. So, I have to keep myself on track and make that a priority. I have accountability. So, I have, you know, I’m a coach, but I also have my own coach. Just like I know Veronica. You just said like you have doctors and therapists that come to you. I love hearing that because you should have that. I also have a therapist.
[VERONICA]: Shout out Lorraine.
[TIFANNY]: And it’s so important to have those people. So, you know, I have a therapist, I have my own business coach. I also have my own health coach. I have a personal trainer at the gym because that keeps me accountable to myself. And that is also me taking actions that say, “This is a priority. I’m a priority. What I’m building for my brand, my business, my mission to help all of you, that’s a priority.” My health, I honor and respect and love myself. That’s a priority and we can’t just say it. We have to do those daily actions, otherwise we’re completely out of integrity.
[VERONICA]: Bingo. So, with that, what advice, quick advice would you give to a mom who feels stressed and disconnected?
[TIFANNY]: If you are feeling anything other than grounded and serenity and clarity, not like it has to be every minute of the day, but for the majority of the time, absolutely, there is a self-worth situation going below the surface. There’s stored trauma. They’re stored grief, stored anger, there’s stuff that has to be processed. And you definitely need to seek out someone who can guide you through that, whether it is a therapist, whether it is someone like me, who you can resonate with and I’ve been there and I can help guide you. Whether it’s both, I recommend both personally because they’re completely different approaches and not just try to sit there and do it yourself and spin your wheels. That’s very dangerous. That’s part of what led me down the path of almost leaving this earth; is I was trying to do it alone because I was ashamed.
I had been tired. Self-help you know, library from Barnes & Noble and it wasn’t working. So, we need people. We need to lean on people and start learning to have some trust and faith and others to help guide us through it. But you have to take that action. You know, Veronica and I can’t make you. You have to go. You know what? I believe these two ladies right now. I’m listening to this exact episode for a reason. I trust them. They seem like honest, honorable women. I need to take action for myself, even though it’s scary, even though it’s terrifying. I need to do something different because I believe there is some part of me that’s worth it. There’s some part of me that is, and I’m telling you, you are. And I know Veronica would tell you too.
[VERONICA]: Oh, yeah.
[TIFANNY]: No matter what crappy stuff you’ve done in your life, no matter if you’re currently in an addiction that you’re hiding from people, no matter what you’ve done in your past, no matter if you’re a raging biatch to your spouse, you are worthy of having the best relationship with yourself and your highest quality of life. But the catch is you have to take action. We can’t make you.
[VERONICA]: Yes, yes. And what that, how can we find you?
[TIFANNY]: So, the best place to reach out to me is on Instagram, @ProjectMe with Tiffany. I spend two hours every single day in my DMs, seven days a week, answering questions, and connecting with all of you. You can also reach out to me on Facebook. It’s the same thing at ProjectMe with Tiffany and then head on over, I really strongly want you guys to do this, head on over to projectmewithtiffany.com and get that financial freedom pocket guide. Take that money quiz. But I’m always here for you guys to reach out to. Some people are nervous to do that. They make an assumption like, “There’s no way she’s going to write me back. She gets tons of DMs.” Well, you know, try me to take action for yourself.
[VERONICA]: Absolutely. You heard it. Take action for yourself. All right, ladies, this was absolutely amazing. Tiffany, you are a complete badass and I’m so thankful and so blessed to have you part of this community and on our podcast. Thank you again.
[TIFANNY]: Thanks for having me, babe.
[VERONICA]: All right, ladies. Live with intent. I will see you later. Bye.
What’s up, ladies? Just want to let you guys know that your ratings and reviews for this podcast are greatly appreciated. If you love this podcast, please go to iTunes right now and rate and review. Thank you, guys.
Many women lose their own identity in the shadow of being a mom and a wife. We are a community of women who support each other. We leave perfectionism behind to become empowered and unapologetic. I know you’re ready for the next steps. If you want to become empowered and unapologetic, get my free course on Unapologetic Me over at empoweredandunapologetic.com/course.
This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guests are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

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I’m Veronica, your new Boss MOM Mentor with no filter and no BS. 

I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, women’s coach, course creator, and retreat host. Married for OVER 20 years, raising three girls, and the host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 

Enough about me… 

My jam? Helping high-achieving women thrive both at home and in the hustle of work.

I've been there.

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