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Bullshit! You can love others without loving yourself!

Bullshit! You can love others without loving yourself!

I had a great discussion with my class last week on several topics but one of them was Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and someone made the comment that “it’s bullshit that if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone else.” And I hear that,…

What to Watch: October

What to Watch: October

I decided to highlight two shows this month because it’s my favorite time of the year (Halloween) but it is also National Domestic Violence Awareness month this month, which is an issue I’m very passionate about! So why not do both?  So the first show…

4 Ways to Fight Negative Thinking

4 Ways to Fight Negative Thinking

If you’re surrounded by toxic people or just negative Nancy’s, here are some tools for staying positive.

self love quote

There’s always going to be someone who doesn’t get you, who doesn’t see all of the value you hold. And that’s ok. You don’t need their words of validation because they do not power your worth.

The words you speak/think to yourself on the other hand.. they do power your worth. What are you fueling yourself with? Are you letting your inner critic take over? If so, here are some ways you can fight back!

▪️Spend time alone. You just need to! I don’t care what you do while you’re alone just do it! You need time to be with yourself without any other voices but your own. It’s important!

My alone time 🙂

▪️Gratitude— I will never get off my soapbox when it comes to gratitude!! The benefits are endless. I write down one thing I’m grateful for EVERYDAY! Sometimes it’s big, some times it’s teeny tiny, but it always shifts my attitude to a better place.

▪️Don’t take things personally. Always, always remember- everybody’s dealing with something but not everyone knows how to deal with their stuff in healthy ways.

▪️Find a healthy outlet. Whether it be reading, walking, boxing, or dance classes you need AT LEAST one healthy outlet that makes you happy and helps you escape the everyday routine.

It’s not easy to stay positive if you are in an environment where people are constantly putting you down. Even if you aren’t being “put down” having to spend a lot of time with people who are toxic to your positive mental health can be draining to say in the least.

You have to start taking better care of yourself though. If you don’t, at some point you will break. And nobody wants you to break.

To start getting help with negative self talk today, sign up for my mini course, “How to Get Rid of Your Bitchy Inner Critic” You should love yourself and you should tell yourself that every day!

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What to Watch: August

What to Watch: August

I realize that August is almost over, but I’m going to be honest, I’m not at a shortage for shows to recommend. And I’m such a nerd about it! I actually started a spreadsheet of all of the shows I’ve watched over the last several…

A little Update..

A little Update..

I just wanted to give a little update on what’s been going on and what I have planned for the blog and with The Smart Lioness in general! This past week my 12 week course Unapologetically Me: Fearless & Flawed finished up! I think it…

Building Self Esteem is a Process..

Building Self Esteem is a Process..

Have you ever been told that you are too sensitive? Do you fall hard and fast into relationships only to eventually get hurt? Do you feel like you have so much love to give but no one ever appreciates it, or the just ends up taking advantage of you?

I can tell you I totally understand how you feel! My whole life I was told I was too sensitive and that I didn’t need to take things so personally. And I’ve been taken advantage of enough times to tell you, I played my part!

I didn’t value myself. I didn’t think I was worthy of friendships unless I proved myself somehow. I put my all into relationships without stopping to take care of and love MYSELF, and at times even think for myself.

I couldn’t see my own worth.

It took time, effort, and hard work but eventually I built my self esteem up, and was able to see my worth and that it didn’t come from other people or things.

For me, my worth comes from within me and my relationship with God. I am worthy because he made me and that’s all that I need. 

How do you measure your self worth?

According to an article on here are a few common, but unhealthy ways to measure your self worth.

  1. How You Look — Looks don’t last forever!! And what is beauty? Every single one of us has a different definition for beauty so why even bother? A number on the scale doesn’t define you, nor do the amount of likes you get on a selfie. 
  2. Material Possessions — Will you ever feel valuable enough? When will it be enough? What if you lose it? Things hold monetary value but they do not affect your self worth.
  3. Your Relationships — Feeling important and popular may feel good short term but in the long run these do not make you more worthy. Your romantic relationships will not make you valuable. You do not need anyone else to give you value or worth.
  4. What you do — Building your worth on the foundation of your career is risky, what happens if you lose your job, or when you retire? You do not have to have an “important” job title to be valuable.
  5. Your Successes— Your achievements and successes do not make you valuable and your mistakes do not make you a failure. It’s okay to be proud of a win but it’s a totally different thing to base your self esteem on it. 
Hillary Montijo The Smart Lioness
It was a long road to get to where I am today but I wouldn’t trade any of it, because I wouldn’t be where I am today without it!

Know yourself. Love Yourself. Be Yourself. That’s my motto. When you truly know yourself, you can truly love yourself. And when you truly love yourself, you can truly be yourself. 

5 Common & Unhealthy Ways to Measure your Self Worth
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Are you ready to work on building your self esteem? All you need to do is take baby steps. Try out my Free 5 Step Guide to Higher Unconditional Self Esteem– Click Here to get started – Self Esteem Queen

A Netflix Show Review: Bonding

A Netflix Show Review: Bonding

In short, I LOVED IT! Bonding is a “dark comedy” with just 7 episodes currently on Netflix. Brendan Scannell plays Pete aka Master Carter and is one of the main characters, and who we meet first. I fell in love with Pete within the first…

The Pros & Cons of Journaling

The Pros & Cons of Journaling

Several months ago I posted about how I changed the way I journal to make it more enjoyable and meaningful. You can find that post here. Today I want to talk about the Benefits and Downfalls of Journaling. According to an article on, “Outcome…

Unapologetically Me: Fearless & Flawed

Unapologetically Me: Fearless & Flawed

Women and worthiness is one of my hot button topics. I can get really “passionate” when it comes to any debate on this topic, ask any of my close friends. But I get passionate because it’s important to me and it’s important because I used to not be able to see my own worth. I didn’t believe that we can determine our own worth. I was looking to every other resource but myself.

Want to know what made the light bulb come on above my head? A book I read called, The Shack by William P. Young. This book completely changed my view of myself, of God, and just about everything else. This book caused me to start to work on the spiritual part of myself and it lead me to my undergraduate internship at a church working with porn and sex addictions counseling. This internship changed my life for multiple reasons— my supervisor was one of those rare gems of a person who motivated me to dig deep, and to get outside my comfort zone. He was open minded, full of knowledge, good advice, and just the right amount of humor. And he taught me SO much more than I could have ever expected to get out of that experience.

The Shack was just the first step that lead to a domino effect in my life. Once I accepted that I hold the power of my worth everything changed for me.

The Shack book by William P. Young

But it wasn’t just accepting my power it was also a result of my effort to learn more about myself, to see where I was getting in my own way. I learned how I could feel even better by identifying all of the ways my own thinking and way of processing things was flawed. For example, I learned that I am really bad about “predicting” what people are going to think or say and I almost always was predicting negative outcomes. Which just isn’t realistic and neither is thinking that I know how people are going to respond to me in every situation or circumstance. Changing my thinking was a large part of what helped me become a healthier and happier person.

I also learned about boundaries and why they are important and necessary for life and relationships and for taking care of me! I learned the difference between a “safe” and an “unsafe” person and how to protect myself from toxic people who aren’t good for me.

But the most important thing here is that my passion for helping women to see their value comes from an honest place of understanding what it’s like to not be able to see my own value. And it’s also why I think it’s so important for women who are feeling shitty about themselves or doubting their worth, or if they can’t see it at all, or if they are just around people who constantly make them doubt who they are— to make the commitment to focus on themselves.

That’s why I created Unapologetically Me: Fearless & Flawed — which is a 12 week program focused on realizing your worth, building confidence, and understanding how your own thought processes are holding you back and causing you to fail.

Each week is focused on a different topic, for example, “self defeating beliefs” is one topic I Cover where participants will learn what self defeating beliefs are, and then will get a list of common self defeating beliefs to help them identify which self defeating beliefs they might have. Next, participants are given worksheets and exercises to help them change those beliefs to more realistic and healthy beliefs. Lastly, participants are given questions to help them reflect on what they have learned.

In addition, participants will be added to a small, secret Facebook group to discuss progress, problems, successes, etc each week. Plus I will be doing once a week group calls through Zoom to provide more support throughout the program. If you prefer to not work in a group and would rather work one on one, that is also an option, but there is limited availability. So email me ASAP if you are interested at

I know that my course will help women because these exact tools helped me. I have always had a fear of public speaking, like a lot of people do. In college it took me three attempts at taking my public speaking class before I didn’t give up and drop it, because I was so terrified to have to give speeches in front of the class!

Fast forward several years, after I have done all of this work on myself (and continue to do), and I graduate from Graduate School with my masters in Clinical Mental Health. And then I find a job as a college psychology professor. I CANNOT tell you how nervous I was my first day of class! It was bad! My whole first semester of teaching was pretty difficult for me, mainly because of my fears, and my anxiety! BUT! I kept going, I kept teaching & showing up and I kept getting better, and less nervous each time. I stayed positive, and tried to be prepared, and I used the coping skills I learned in my personal development to keep myself from going insane or having a total meltdown!

Five years later I’m still teaching psychology and I love my job! Every new semester that begins I still get a little nervous on the first day but as soon as I get into class and see how nervous the students are as well, it relaxes me and reminds me, Nobody is perfect and who cares if I mess something up!

Now teaching has really become a place where I’m able to be who I truly am, believe it or not. I’m not a strict teacher at all, I like to laugh, be my goofy self, and sometimes I even sing! Which I never thought I would be comfortable or confident enough to do in front of anyone ever! But I’ve totally allowed myself to relax, let go, and whenever my inner critic starts up, I fight back!

I can’t express to you how important it is to work on you, that inner critic, and whatever it is that holds you back. If you don’t know what’s holding you back, what better reason do you have than to start trying to figure that out right now? You never know what that could mean for you. If I can face and conquer my fear of public speaking, You can overcome your fears too, and I can give you the tools to do that. Hell you could end up doing the one thing you were the most scared to do, and you could end up loving it!

Unapologetically Me: Fearless & Flawed gets started on June 3rd — Early Registration is open now!! Sign up with this link!

Feeling inspired and want to get to work now?? Do my free Dare to Roar Challenge to get a small taste of what to expect in June! Use this link to get started!

FREE 3 Day Simple Self Confidence Booster

FREE 3 Day Simple Self Confidence Booster

Earlier this week I did a FREE 3 day confidence boosting activity in my good friend Saje’s Facebook Group hand in my stories on Instagram. It was a super simple, yet effective way of giving ourselves a little boost of confidence that sometimes, we could…