Do you want to live an empowered life? Harriet Tinka was stabbed, kidnapped and left for dead by a former boyfriend. She turned that horrifying experience into motivation to not only live her best life, but to inspire others to live an empowered life. She has given hope to women who are faced with domestic violence. She’s known as a “Powerhouse Role Model” who makes being genuine the most powerful thing of all. Harriet is an invigorating transformational speaker, passionate life coach, blogger, Chartered Professional Accountant, Football Official, and an ultra-marathon runner. She is the founder and CEO of the award-winning Social Enterprise, Empowered Me, Inc, whose mission is to inspire and empower girls and women.
Harriet has received numerous awards including YWCA Woman of Distinction, Global Woman of Vision, Afro- Canadian Community Woman of the Year, Action for Healthy Communities Youth Empowerment Award, Rotary Integrity Award and Daughter’s Day Award just to mention a few. She is a tireless philanthropist, and a Toastmaster Divisional Champion. She feels blessed to have her journey supported by her partner Steve and her three lovable children Tristan, Rhiannah and Aaliyah.
Show Notes for S2 EP 16: Harriet Tinka – Overcoming Obstacles to Live an Empowered Life
WHAT DOES WOMAN OF VALUE MEAN TO YOU?
You have to look at yourself. I’m in love with myself and can share my experiences and value with others and help them be the truest version of themselves.
WHAT WAS YOUR ‘AHA’ WOMAN OF VALUE MOMENT?
I began as an international model. My family moved from Kenya to Canada. There were seven children in the family. One afternoon, a lady asked my mom if I wanted to be an international model. My mom said when I was done with my ‘modeling thing’, I had to get an education.
Ten years later, I went to university and met a man who seemed to be the perfect friend. As time went on, I noticed he was abusive verbally, but he’d apologize and I kept staying in the relationship. He got worse and worse. I went to the university, and they gave me a restraining order.
One evening while at university, it was late, and I was on my way home late at night. I got into the elevator, and I felt him grab me by the neck and yell at me about the restraining order. I began to scream. He too off his shoes and stuffed his socks in my mouth.
He pushed me into his car, and screamed at me. We got to an isolated area with a phone booth. He said I should get out of the car and call my parents to say goodbye.
When I said no, he threatened to kill me. He got so angry, he grabbed a knife from the glove compartment. He stabbed me, and I passed out. I woke up in the hospital. I was told I might never walk again.
I went from model to a cripple, and I was depressed. I started healing, and through my physiotherapy, I met a little girl who asked me what happened. She told me I needed to use my story to make a difference. I didn’t know what she meant at that time. Many years later, I met Dr. Alan Lycka who wrote a book with me about empowering others.
WHAT ARE YOU CREATING IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW?
After my healing process, I was invited by modeling agencies to teach young women how to walk. Modeling is a difficult career, and it impacts your self esteem. It can make you feel worse about yourself. I decided I didn’t want to do this anymore.
I opened my own business, Empower Me, to help girls and women get rid of their limiting beliefs. I teach the skills for loving themselves unconditionally.
Three steps to forgiveness:
- Define what you hate. EXAMPLE: I hate my stalker because…
- Define what you hate and define what you love. EXAMPLE: I hate my stalker, but I love being healthy.
- Get rid of the hate and focus on the love. EXAMPLE: I love being healthy.
WHAT’S YOUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE?
I’m excited to do even more with empowerment. I left my career as a CPA, and even virtually, I have reached so many people. I want it to go viral, so women can wake up fulfilled every day.
I’m excited about all the workshops I’m doing with your girls. I show them an exercise about self-worth. I ask who wants this twenty dollar bill. I crumple it and throw water on it. I ask again, who wants this twenty dollar bill.
With self esteem, I show them a treasure box. We’re all born with an empty treasure box. It can get filled or emptied or sealed. Gratitude it’s the first step to fill your treasure box.
THE LIGHTNING ROUND
- I used to think I wasn’t GOOD enough.
- What was the #1 thing holding you back from becoming a woman of value? My limiting beliefs.
- What’s the best advice you can give to a woman who wants to become more empowered? Believe in yourself and make sure you talk to yourself in the most respectful way. Don’t let in what others say about you.
- What advice would you give to your younger self? Ask more questions, because then you can filter what is valuable.
- What is something people get wrong about you? They don’t realize that I’m human and can get down in the dumps, too.
- How would you like to be remembered? I’d like to be remembered that my legacy is not ended. I want women and girls to live an empowered life. I want it to go viral. The world will be filled with love and nurturing.
CONNECT WITH HARRIET