All of us face challenges in our life that sometimes break us down and make it difficult to move forward. It’s how we pick ourselves up and move forward. Do we take the lessons we learned or do we bury the pain and move on as if nothing happened? Nancy Depcik, this month’s Inspirational Woman, decided that not only would she pick herself up and take heed to the lessons she learned, but she would help people also learn from the lessons she learned. Using her own experience to push others to be more dynamic, confident, and successful, Nancy has helped so many and continues to do so in her work as an inspirational speaker. The SkinLess Project is proud to announce this month’s Inspirational Woman: Nancy Depcik. You describe yourself as a motivational speaker. What made you take on this role? Several years ago, I went through a life altering change. It took me years to recover and to reinvent myself. Along the way, I learned lessons that brought me to where I am today – living a very loving and fulfilled life. I want to share these lessons with other women who may also be going through a difficult time. Everyone has their own story, but the emotions we experience are all the same. During times of transition, there is fear, grief, confusion, and so much more. My hope is that by sharing my story, I can make their journey a little easier; a little stronger. You have had successful businesses in the past, can you describe some of your past achievements? I have been fortunate to have a number of successes in my past. One of my earliest careers was as a school teacher, and it was exciting to help mold the values and beliefs of children. On the business end, I excelled as a salesperson, earning the award as #1 salesperson in the nation for my company. From sales, I became an entrepreneur and owned several different businesses, one of them being a Quiznos Sub. My sales and marketing expertise made my Quiznos achieve the largest and most profitable grand opening at the time. But the most fulfilling success of my life is my current career as a professional speaker. I help people find Unshakable Success in both their personal and professional life. Through my speeches and workshops, people will discover a strength and confidence within themselves that will give them the hope and courage to face life’s challenges. You are committed to helping women lift themselves up in difficult situations, why? Because I have been there and I know how scary and painful it can be. I also know that a helping hand from a friend, a family member, and sometimes even a stranger helped me to pull myself out of the darkness and move to the next level of my life. My hope is to be that helping hand for someone else who needs it. My hope is to ease someone else’s pain, and to help them find the strength to move forward. Have you experienced difficulty in your own life, please share? Yes, like everyone else, I’ve had my share of challenges. My most recent one, though, really shook me to the core and caused me to look deep into my soul for some answers. Just several years ago, my 15 year relationship suddenly ended, which resulted in me losing my home, my business, all my finances, and worst of all, my self-esteem. I felt betrayed and scared and worthless. It was a very dark time for me and I didn’t know how I was going to dig myself out of the mess. I know you’ve all been there, so you’ll understand when I say that I was in a daze and I didn’t know how to get through the day. But somehow I found the strength to put one foot in front of the other. With time and belief, the fog began to clear and I found myself in a new place, starting a new life. The people I met along the way and the lessons they taught me are what I share through my speeches and my workshops. Why do women find themselves in situations of despair? I believe we all find ourselves in situations of despair – both women and men. Women are just more likely to talk about it and want to share their feelings and fears with other women. We are more open and willing to seek out the people who will help us, and more importantly, we are willing to receive that help. Why specifically more women vs men? I believe that women vocalize it more. Men may feel that it is a sign of weakness to show despair, where women want and need to talk about it, understand it, and resolve it. Women often see their worth based on what society tells them, what are your thoughts on this? This is a very difficult reality to overcome. One of the things that have helped me to develop my own self-worth is to surround myself with women I admire and those that I aspire to be like. I surround myself with confident, kind, and interesting women who encourage me and help me to go after my dream. Look at your friends, your neighbors, the people you work with. Which women give you encouragement and have the attitude you would like to emulate? Those are the women to reach out to. Those are the women who will help you discover your own self –worth and a belief in yourself that won’t waiver. How does one even begin to start tackling difficulties in their life…amidst bills, obligations, harsh realities? Never tell yourself “no”. In a world of harsh realities, you already have enough of other people telling you “no” for a variety of reasons, so never tell yourself “no”. What do you want to accomplish this day? This month? This year? Write it down and tape it to a mirror, dresser top, refrigerator – anywhere you can see it and read it each day. Then do something every day to reach that goal. It could be something as small as one email, a phone call, or a friendly smile when you just don’t feel like smiling. But if you keep at it every day, eventually you will reach your goal, your dream. Don’t ever let anyone discourage you and tell you anything less than “you can do it”. Surround yourself by women who will help you move forward. No dream is too small or too great. You also speak about facing aging in your talks, tell me your personal relationship with aging and what advice would you give young? One of the great things about getting older is that you have finally figured out what you like, what you don’t like, and you stop making excuses for it. I’ve lived my entire life hating to cook. So many of my friends and family members were convinced that if I just knew HOW to cook, I would like it, so they gave me cooking books, videos of the famous chefs, even cooking classes. And you know what? I STILL hate to cook. But now I don’t make excuses for it anymore. With age, I have learned to embrace my own uniqueness. For the younger women, I would encourage them to stop worrying about the things you can’t control. Aging is inevitable – it’s not going away. So embrace it, have fun with it, and look forward to the days when you don’t have to wear those 4” heels anymore. Besides, the number for your age isn’t what matters, it’s your attitude and the way you look at life. A positive attitude is something no one and nothing can ever take away from you – not even your age. What is your favorite thing about your life? My favorite thing right now is the balance I have found in my life. I have learned so much over the past few years, and now I have a clear vision of where I am going and what I was meant to do. Knowing my core values and finding happiness in who I am will now get me through anything. I am confident that I am on the right path, and I love where it is leading me. What is your favorite thing about yourself? My personality. I have a very positive attitude and have found a way to uncover some good even in the worst circumstances. The secrets I share in my speeches are the things I have learned that will help you to maintain a positive attitude no matter what comes your way – no matter how challenging or difficult life may be. What is the favorite lesson you have learned from other women? The best lesson I learned was from a 90 year old woman who taught me one of the greatest lessons of my life. She lived life to the fullest and had a love in her heart that I will never forget. She taught me the importance of self-worth. Just take a quick look at my You Tube clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvkJBlylOYI. It only takes seven minutes, and I believe this is a message you will carry in your heart forever.