Amy E. Smith is a certified and credentialed confidence coach, a masterful speaker and personal empowerment expert. She is the founder of the Joy Junkie Enterprises and uses her role as a coach, writer, podcaster and speaker to move individuals beyond their limiting beliefs and sabotaging mindsets to a place of radical personal empowerment and self-love. Amy is very focused on helping people find their voice and uses her popular weekly podcast, the Joy Junkie Show to address issues of worthiness, self-confidence and letting go of people pleasing tendencies to assist listeners in creating and living radically joyful lives.
She’s also the co-founder of The Self-love Revolution and has been instrumental in aiding hundreds of women in stepping into their authentic power and crafting lives they desire. She is a highly sought after speaker and has an uncommon style of irreverence, wisdom and humor. She’s also a featured expert on Fox 5 San Diego and Your Tango. You can find out more about Amy at The Joy Junkie and get a free copy of her eBook, Stand up for Yourself without Being a Dick, how to face challenges to radically improve self-confidence and self-love.
There’s almost 50% of women in the US of the child-bearing age who are currently childless. Amy sees the difference in how people speak to her about this subject from the first few years of her marriage with her husband of 17 years to now. Lately there’s more of an acceptance in that regard than what it was years ago. Almost ¼ of the women over 40 don’t have children.
What are your thoughts about that? One of the overwhelming response that Amy received from people when she broached this subject on her podcast was that they didn’t realize that they were allowed to not want children. Now she feels that there is a huge personal development movement.
How did this decision evolve for you personally? When Amy was a little girl she saw clearly for herself to not have any children of her own. She didn’t have the overwhelming feeling of being matriarchal. It still took many years to be totally confident about it.
It’s not our job to make people understand. This is where self-love and self-care comes in. People may never get it. She decides to not participate in conversations where she feels disrespected about her decisions. No one has the right to tell you when you should be fulfilled or not.
Did you have any backlash from family or friends on your decision? There was a long period of time when people within their families were convinced that she would change her mind. By the time they were about to go through the procedure they had already been married for 9 years. They then understood that having children just wasn’t for them. Amy’s mother mentioned one time, “it just makes it really hard when everybody in the office talks about their grandkids.” Amy clarified the fact that it’s her own life that’s being affected and not so that her mother can talk about grandkids.
A conversation regarding having children historically:
- You needed children to work your fields.
- You needed children to carry on your lineage.
- We weren’t over populated like we are now.
- That was the priority at the time.
The word selfishness leaves a really bad taste in our mouths. What’s needed is more people tending to themselves. Decisions should be based on yourself and not what other people think you should be. Those people who are fulfilled with themselves don’t need to look outside of themselves for validation. “By being selfish, you’re being selfless.”
How would say you mother yourself? “To mother” = to give rise to; to produce. Amy feels that the word didn’t resonate with her. She considers this more like self-care:
- If she feels good about something she doesn’t cower about expressing it.
- She handles herself with grace and kindness.
- If someone says something to her that’s highly offensive, you need to conduct yourself in a way in which you are proud.
- Take care of yourself.
What do you feel, upon reflection, is the major benefit of not having children?
She and her husband are planning on moving across country, they don’t have to worry about a school district or uprooting them from their friends. Amy sees that there’s so much freedom to speak off. There’s no sense of loss for her. Her relationship with her husband leaves her completely fulfilled. The expense that they have not incurred with having children is also another freedom.
What do you feel is your message for your life? In doing her work, Amy feels that what we all really want is just to be happy. Her goal and purpose is to be happy and joyful – to live a life of happiness. She believes that most people are chasing what they want to feel. She feels that fundamentally we do crave love from other people. If she can affect change in people’s lives, that’s an amazing legacy for Amy. That’s what fulfills her.
“You’re allowed to feel strong and convicted about your beliefs.” You don’t owe anyone an explanation.