Summer shares a lesson learned from her memoir on self-love.
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Practice self-love to grow in self-realization

Without a doubt, the teenage years are tough from an angle of self-love and self-realization.

For some, it’s even more challenging because not only are they struggling with discovering who they are, they are also trying to learn how to love and accept themselves. That was me. As a teenager, I was still reeling from the bullying I had suffered from the time I was in elementary school because of my hair condition and bucked teeth. Add in acne and stretch marks and I was a walking case of struggling with self-love. Slowly though, I began to realize I needed to accept what I looked like with all my imperfections. Some things would change while others would not. Still, I was worthy and other people’s opinions didn’t matter as much.

This period was a defining moment in my life for several reasons:

  1. My S.O. What message was born in this time as I came to a place where I accepted there would always be things I couldn’t change. So, I shouldn’t let them hold me back and define me.
  2. Self-love is critical. Once I began to accept my appearance for what it was, I cared less about what others thought of me eventually learned to appreciate myself and all my imperfections. I was okay exactly as I was – no matter what others said.
  3.   Self-realization is key. As a teenager, I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted.  Life experiences and time revealed these things to me, but understanding myself and my desires were the key to setting and achieving goals.

This time in my life helped me explore careers and set goals for myself as I talked to people about the work they did and saw how other people lived. I began to form my own opinions about who I was and what I wanted.

You can learn to appreciate who you are and discover what you want. But it takes time. Give yourself permission to make the journey and explore the paths before you on your way to self-love and self-realization.



I’m Summer Owens, and my passion is helping youth and young adults realize success no matter what obstacles they face. As an international resilience and leadership keynote speaker, author, S.O. What! Success Coach, and creator of the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum, I empower people to say, “So what!” to even their greatest challenges.  provide a framework to help people see past their challenges and focus on solutions using the S.O. What! Success System (Overcome Obstacles + Eliminate Excuses + Calculate Choices = S.O. What! Success). Through keynotes, workshops, books, online courses, and workbooks, I use life’s challenges and my own story of resilience as a rape survivor and teen mom success story to help others confidently pursue their dreams.

Looking for an inspiring college motivational speaker? A high school literacy curriculum? A middle school life skills workbook? A great example for teen mothers? A women’s empowerment or single mother’s conference speaker?  I’m your girl and will help any audience say, “S.O. What!”.