Fail Forward

with Arlene August

Introduce yourself! Who are you?
My Name is Arlene August, I am a wife, mom, blogger, vlogger, entrepreneur alongside my husband and I am an author as well! I’ve written a book called Daddy’s Girl, that takes you on my journey towards true love and acceptance, after tragically losing both of my parents when I was just 17 years old.

What is one thing no one really knows about you?
I really want to study forensic psychology.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“You should wear peoples’ opinion of you like perfume – when you’re complimented or criticized, wear it on the surface of your skin and wash it off at the end of the day, but don’t ever swallow it – it could kill you.”

What would you say to 16 year old you?
Oh sweet Arlene, you are so valuable, so beautiful! There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. The empty space in your heart can’t be filled by money, friends or booze. You don’t know it now, but you’re destined for incredible things – don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

Also, your natural hair is not a curse. Leave that flat iron alone! (LOL)

What is your greatest fear?
This is a tough one for me! I would say my greatest fear is dying before fulfilling my purpose.

Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel?
Of course I have! It made me feel inadequate and almost fraudulent, if that makes sense? I felt like my authenticity should have been able to get my point across to anyone, and when I wasn’t able to it made me doubt myself and my ability, sometimes, I’ve even doubted my truth.

What message do you think every woman should hear?
You are enough. 100x over, you are enough.

Have you always had confidence in yourself?
Not always, I’ve often doubted myself and my ability to do certain things, but I’ve learnt that failure is only failure if you don’t try and try again until you succeed. It’s ok to make mistakes and fail, but it’s important to fail forward, and not have that failure define you.

What do you love most about yourself?
I love how bold and honest I am, sometimes it gets me into trouble! LOL but it makes me who I am.

Do you remember a specific time you overcame adversity?
Yes! After my parents passed away, I found myself at an almost constant disadvantage. Overcoming the pain of that immense loss, and making it a part of my victory story is a huge part of overcoming the label, stigma and shame I felt for being orphaned because my father killed my mother and then committed suicide. That shame was debilitating for a very long time, but I found the love I always longed for in God, and worked hard in my journey towards complete healing. A journey that I now take ownership of, and share through my book to help others find their hope too.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Everyone is fighting their own battle, and no person can make you truly whole. It’s something you have to find within yourself. The victory is already in you, you just need to find it.

What motivates you most?
My family, and the thought of the future I have with them.

How do you manage your work-life balance?
It feels like a constant work for me to find balance because we work for ourselves and switching off is difficult. I do my best to have the first things be first, so whatever is most important in the moment will have my attention.

I’m also learning to plan my days and weeks well because if I don’t, all it causes is frustration and confusion for not just me, but also my mom in law and husband at our office.

But once my son is home, I switch off work mode and put family mode on. There’s nothing more important to me than having my son and husband know and feel that they are my priorities, so I do my best to constantly work towards that.

What is your favorite meal?
Biryani! Hands down.

What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I do my best to always challenge myself to be better. One of the ways I do this is by waking up early (most mornings) to spend some time in praise and worship, and prayer.

I also read a lot of books, and the bible daily to challenge myself to work hard towards where I would like to be, but I’m also mindful to be content with where I’m at right now. Most days this involves me literally naming the things that I’m grateful for, that seem insignificant; like running water and warm bed to sleep in.

Do you have a mentor? If so, what did they teach you?
I don’t! I’ve actually wanted a mentor for some time now, I’m just not sure how to go about getting one. DO I approach someone, does someone approach me? Help!

What is one thing people would be surprised to hear about you?
I don’t have many friends. My circle is small because I prefer quality over quantity. I do feel lonely sometimes though.

Did you always know what you wanted to do as a career?
No! I was a bit of a gypsy when it came to my career. I wasn’t sure what I was meant to be doing for sometimes to be honest with you. Starting my own blog a few years ago began the slow burn process of discovering my true purpose and passion – which is writing, public speaking to impact the lives of others (I’m all about impact over influence), as well as building a few businesses alongside my husband to leave a lasting legacy behind for our family.

Were you scared to start the process?
YES. I believe that anything you know will be life changing is absolutely terrifying. But my desire to fulfill my purpose was bigger than my fear, so I took the plunge!

What is something on your bucket list?
To visit the Maldives and swim with the dolphins!

Where do you find inspiration?
Through my incredible husband, books, and listening to the victory stories of others.

arlene august

Arlene August is a qualified Make-Up Artist & Image Consultant. She is also an Inspirational & Beauty Blogger, Speaker and Co-Founder of the Inspired group of companies

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