Narissa Watson credits affirmations for changing her life.
The motivational speaker and founder of Make Me Beautiful – a wellness and self-love organization – said she was a “broken girl who eventually became a broken adult” until she was introduced to the power of positive thinking and affirmations.
“No one told me about affirmations or taught me about self-love,” Watson said. “One day I prayed and asked God to help me with my purpose and that’s when I started Make Me Beautiful.”
Watson says she’s committed to teaching others about the power of affirmations. After hosting (on August 13) her inaugural event, the Mental Health & Affirmations Conference, she is making plans to expand her reach.
“I want to touch more people with what we are already doing,” she said. “Through the conference, we wanted to show people how affirmations can be implemented in their daily routines, and now we want to continue expanding on that.”
Dozens of participants, primarily women, gathered in Frayser at Legacy of Impact Center for the conference, which featured a catered lunch, live entertainment, and guest speakers from other local women empowerment groups.
Emphasizing the importance of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), Watson had certified ACEs trainers on-hand, allowing participants to leave with a certificate of awareness.
ACEs are traumatic events that occur before a child reaches the age of 18 and that ultimately end up affecting the person as an adult. Watson said understanding trauma is an essential part of her work.
“I think back to my own childhood,” she recalled. “No one ever gave me the words I wanted to hear that encouraged me.”
Watson, who became a teenage mother at 17, said she was looking for someone to affirm her and ultimately found it in the wrong places.
“I love my parents and they did the best that they could with what they knew at the time,” she said “But I ended up depending on men to validate me and my self-worth, and as a result, I made bad decisions.”
A victim of verbal and physical domestic abuse, Watson stayed with her former partner even after the abuse started.
“One time, he really left me for dead,” she said. “And even after that I still stayed.”
After years of soul-searching, Watson turned her life around. She credits her spirituality for getting her out of a dangerous situation before it was too late.
“It took a while, but I eventually began to hear who God said I was and that changed everything for me.”
Her organization, Make Me Beautiful, is an extension of the commitment the now mother of two said she’s made to “God, herself, and her family.”
“God gave me a vision about the conference and I wrote it down two years ago but I was afraid to move forward,” she said. “I heard God telling me that it wasn’t about me making money. It was about impacting as many women as possible. My goal was to fill the entire room.”
Although there was a conference fee, Watson allowed women with financial limitations to participate at no cost.
“The room was full,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it, but I just kept thinking that this is what God told me to do.”
Watson envisions the Make Me Beautiful conference as an annual event. Meanwhile, she plans to continue sharing her message through social media platforms and by speaking at events where she can reach more young girls and women.
“I just want to keep going, keep speaking, keep pouring into people – every opportunity that I get.”