Trust your gut and intuition, because it has value. Our society has taught women to question themselves and their abilities, subtly or directly. It is a part of humanity to have doubt, but I wish I understood that the gut was guiding me toward safety, health, and greatness.
Today, more than ever, wellness is at the forefront of societal discussions. From mental health to physical well-being, women are making significant strides in bringing about change, introducing innovative solutions, and setting new standards. Despite facing unique challenges, they break barriers, inspire communities, and are reshaping the very definition of health and wellness. In this series called women in wellness we are talking to women doctors, nurses, nutritionists, therapists, fitness trainers, researchers, health experts, coaches, and other wellness professionals to share their stories and insights. As a part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Leslie Dobson.
Dr. Leslie is a clinical and forensic psychologist, author, speaker, friend, mom and wife. She walked the halls with psychopaths and dangerous criminals for years, and she learned three important things, 1) You need to protect your energy, 2) You must give yourself permission to be empowered and stand up for your life, and 3) You must set boundaries in relationships to preserve your energy and life.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Ireceived the highest standard of training and experience in numerous government jobs, but I found the systems in which I worked to be extremely oppressive. When I began my own company, choosing the people I work for and represent, I finally felt happy, empowered, strong, and unstoppable. I have set and met every single goal in my life. My goals have been small, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. I set and achieve my goals on a weekly basis, and this process allows me to feel motivated, with unwavering momentum. If I took a risk or felt a lull in life, I let myself mourn the loss or experience for about an hour, and then I reminded myself of the magic, strength, ability, and power within myself. I kept moving forward. At the present time, I specialize in criminal and civil litigation. I work with amazing people in my private practice. My book called the Friend Cleanse comes out January 2024.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
The most interesting part of my career has been moving past imposter syndrome, and joining forces with other women. It is very easy to feel like an imposter on your climb to the top, because there will always be a comparison to the greats; however, I set a mind frame that resembled a pyramid. I will never be a founding father of psychology, but as I rise to the top of my career pyramid, I am rising with powerful women just like me. We are not imposters. We have an incredible foundation underneath us. We are together and in support. We are looking forward to honing our skill and reducing how many people sit close to the top of the pyramid with us. It is all perspective. I remind myself and others all the time, so many people wish to be where we are in our careers, knowledge, self-awareness, and health.
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about a mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have had significant mistakes and struggles in my life, my family, my self-care, and my emotional state. I felt unseen for years while working in incredibly dangerous settings. I questioned my decisions and my path so much, that I felt depressed and lost. I struggled with a near death medical incident the entire year of 2005 and I thought about ending my life. I endured eight years of grueling fertility treatment, and then the near death of my baby. I chose to say goodbye to toxic people in my life, even if they were family. I pushed through risk, mistakes, and struggles because I am worth it. I am worth it to myself, my family, my husband, and the absolutely amazing individuals I get to work with every day in my private practice. If I can use my experience and my skillset to help other people, especially women, find themselves, feel empowerment, unwavering peace, confidence, strength, and direction, then everything I have pushed through is worth it. If I can be the strength or the voice that people hear when they are filled with self-doubt or struggle, then I will speak louder. I have moved through struggle by focusing on the value of life.
Let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
I strive to do two things in my job, 1) Find the truth in legal cases and bring that to a jury, and 2) Empower people to give themselves permission to set boundaries with toxic people, and to protect their energy in order to save their life.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing?
- Never stop. You may take pauses in life, but never stop. You may pause and reflect, setting realistic goals for yourself, family, relationships, friends, career and health, but you are not allowed to stop. You are not allowed to give up on yourself or your dreams.
- Expect that motivation will ebb and flow. Happiness will ebb and flow. But, keep your eyes open and look for motivation by trusting your gut and your intuition. When your gut calls, grab onto it and allow the momentum to take you forward.
- Listen to red flags. Red flags are all around us, with people, socializing, work dynamics, mental and physical health. Listen to them. Your body is bringing red flags to your awareness because it is identifying a threat. The threat might not be clear, but it is important to pause and reflect.
- Build your tribe. Find people in your life that life you up and do not drain you. Once you start deciding who gets to be with you, and who you will give your energy to, you will feel control, empowerment, and happiness.
- What’s ahead? Your life. It’s time. It’s time to prioritize yourself. We made it through a pandemic, and the world can feel like it’s falling a part. At the end of the day, if you do not show up for yourself, no one else will. Model this for others and strive for security and confidence in your life. I know you can do it. I am only an email away if you need help.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
#lookback. Look back and see what we have become. Look back at the movement of women and power over time. Look back and honor the grueling climb to the top. Look forward and share the vision of female empowerment with everyone around you. But most importantly, share that story with yourself and live every single day like it is the last.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- Journal throughout your life, because even if it seems inconsequential, it will hold value to someone. It might even be your retirement plan.
- E-mail your kids, starting when you are pregnant. Email them as a journal, as a release, as a way to show them your life journey and your growing love and fight for them throughout your life.
- Trust your gut and intuition, because it has value. Our society has taught women to question themselves and their abilities, subtly or directly. It is a part of humanity to have doubt, but I wish I understood that the gut was guiding me toward safety, health, and greatness.
- If people disrespect you, they don’t get to have you.
- “No” is a complete sentence. I wish I had known that I did not need to give people my reasoning when I set boundaries in the past.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health, and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Mental health is not only my job, it is my passion. When you feel bad, it is very hard to see beyond the strength of those feelings. I want people to know that life does not have to feel that bad, and with the right resources, we can move past the stuck point. We can incorporate joy, meaning, support, hope, confidence, and empowerment into our lives.
What is the best way for our readers to further follow your work online?
I would love to hear from you! If my message can help your mental health in any way, please follow me on social media, linkedin connect with me, or message me through my website. I’m all ears. I got you.
Thank you for these fantastic insights! We wish you continued success and good health.
About the Interviewer: Wanda Malhotra is a wellness entrepreneur, lifestyle journalist, and the CEO of Crunchy Mama Box, a mission-driven platform promoting conscious living. CMB empowers individuals with educational resources and vetted products to help them make informed choices. Passionate about social causes like environmental preservation and animal welfare, Wanda writes about clean beauty, wellness, nutrition, social impact and sustainability, simplifying wellness with curated resources. Join Wanda and the Crunchy Mama Box community in embracing a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle at CrunchyMamaBox.com .