Nikki Zajac

What is it that empowers you most?
I think I feel most empowered when I’m doing what I love. It gives me a sense of purpose and allows my gifts to shine. More than anything, I think empowerment comes from a sense of mental freedom. There are many times in life when we feel like we have lost our power. Empowerment to me simply means remembering that our power was never lost, just forgotten. In this moment, we have the ability to take back our power and stand strongly in it. From this place we can make choices that makes us feel good; what we are all striving for in some way!

What is it that you love most about yourself?
I always work on loving and accepting myself, but I have never thought of one specific thing that I love most. If I were to choose something today, I would say I love my overly optimistic nature. In life there are setbacks, failures and losses, but I have this voice inside that always tells me that everything is going to be more than okay. A voice inside that tells me to trust the journey. A voice that assures me that everything happens for a reason. This optimistic characteristic has given me a sense of resiliency that has allowed me to bounce back from negative situations and still remain open to the world. I see a universe full of possibilities and I know deep down that anything great can happen.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
I think confidence is beautiful. Expanding on that, I think that living your purpose and doing what you truly love gives you confidence. When I am helping others, whether it is through coaching or teaching yoga, I feel beautiful. I also grew up as a dancer so when I dance, I feel alive and beautiful.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
This is an interesting question because I think that my role model changes all the time. When I find someone who is teaching a certain message or doing something that aligns with me in that moment, I tend to follow them and try to learn their ways of living. My role model for following your passion is Danielle LaPorte. She fires me up and makes me believe in myself. My role models also lie in the people I am closest with. My mother teaches me how to be caring. My father teaches me how to work hard. Every single person I meet seems to have something special to teach me in my life. I am definitely grateful for human connection!

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
My favourite cultural heroine is Mother Theresa. She makes the definition of selfless what it is today. She had such a caring heart and wanted to help so many people. In essence, she was here to serve and to give. I think about how the corporate world is structured and ran, while so many people in this world are suffering and realize there needs to be more people like Mother Theresa. If we all chose to give something to the world, the world would be a more thriving, beautiful and loving place. She inspires me to continue serving others as that is why I believe we are really here in the first place.

I see a universe full of possibilities and I know deep down that anything great can happen.

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
This may sound silly, but I would want to be Ariel from The Little Mermaid. I have always been fascinated by the ocean and all of its treasures. Since I was a kid, I was drawn to water. There is something so healing and magical about it. I would love to spend a day “under the sea,” freely swimming and enjoying a ‘world’ that still has so much yet to be discovered.

What is your biggest life goal?
My biggest life goal is to create a thriving business doing what I love. I think that there are so many women out there that are torn when it comes to choosing a career. “Do I do something predictable to get a predictable income, or do I take a chance on following my dreams?” For some of us, we may not know what that is. I want to coach women, teach yoga, host self-love workshops, write a novel and travel for motivational speaking. I know I have the ability to help so many women. Inspiring others fills my cup leading to a rewarding, fulfilling way to spend my life. It’s an exciting journey!

What is your biggest accomplishment?
I don’t know if I have had an accomplishment that is big, but maybe that is my post-perfectionism talking! I really value all of my little successes. The ones that I make along the way that contribute to the larger successes. I think for me, it would be doing what I love right now, in the present moment (coaching and teaching yoga). Many people wait their entire lives to start, but I took the leap and have been expanding it day by day. In the beginning, it was scary. Each day, I build on my skills and do one more thing that I’ve never done before (like this interview). I do guided meditations, host workshops, hold group coaching calls and it all started by taking a course three years ago that would certify me as a Life Coach. I think seeing my development and growth feels like a big accomplishment. I’ll be honest though, sometimes we don’t give ourselves enough credit.

What is your favourite quote?
My favourite quote is: “everything happens for a reason.”

I have had many ups and downs in life and this quote has reminded me that it’s never the end of the world. It is simply a redirection to where I’m supposed to go next (even if I can’t see it). I like to call them “blessings in disguise”. Every situation and experience in my life (good or bad) has helped me in some way become the person I am today. For that, I am endlessly grateful!

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
I would tell my 12 year old self that she is loved, worthy and beautiful. It was an age for me when I felt awkward. I went through so many changes with my body and I felt very ashamed a lot of the time. I was shy and curious at the same time. I would want her to know that life is going to have ups and downs, but everything will always turn out for the best. I would tell her how special she is exactly as is. I would tell her to ignore people when they are mean or hurtful. I would tell her to do what she loves and that she can do anything her heart desires in this world. I would say, “dream big, Nikki”.

What does feminism mean to you?
To me, feminism is empowerment as a woman. I think it is important that women have the ability to fully express themselves in this world. Throughout history, there have been a lot of restrictions and I think feminism brings to light issues that need attention. I believe as humans, we are always dealing with some sort of oppression whether it is with race, class or gender. Our power lies in believing in ourselves and loving who we are fully. From that place, we, as women can collectively create a movement that is stronger than any law or regulation.

Nikki is a Life Coach and Yoga Instructor in Winnipeg, Manitoba.