There are some people you are just drawn to by nature. It’s the law of attraction. It’s the namasté. It’s the Golden Rule. It’s all the cliché, yet awesomely present virtues we live by. These little sayings teach us to honor the good in others, push ourselves to build strong character and most importantly, positively impact the lives of others. Once I met Sarah Herron, I knew she would be a friend for life.
Two years ago I was on the treadmill at the gym running next to a petite woman with a glowing smile and piercing blue eyes. She was instantly recognizable from her current season on ABC’s The Bachelor, but there was something about her presence that made me want to get to know her off of the TV screen. By intuition I knew I would like her. I said a simple, “Hi,” and while we were both watching an episode of her battling for the love of Sean Lowe, I leaned over and said, “Do you have a boyfriend yet?” That simple sentence started a conversation and led us to exchange phone numbers.
I now call Sarah a good friend. I have seen her grow, struggle, laugh, cry, get drunk, forgive, hike to the tops of mountains, push herself mentally and physically, question herself and also open her heart to love — a lot of love. Strong intuition and one small introduction gave me a new friend, a friend that I respect and am proud to stand next to.
Here’s an opportunity for you to get to know my friend on a deeper level. Sarah shares her wisdom and stories on how to surround yourself with positive people and learn to believe in yourself. She has already had the success of being an award winning Art Director and inspirational TV personality and she’s not stopping anytime soon. I’m so excited to watch her take the reigns and grow, achieve and positively empower women’s lives in 2016.
Who were your mentors growing up?
My cousin Jessica. She is 5 years older than me and the closest I’ve ever had to an older sister. She lives in Michigan and I was raised in Colorado, but I spent every summer of my childhood and teen years with Jessica. She was the catalyst for some of my fondest adolescent memories and because I idolized her so much, she shaped me into the person I am today. She taught me how to style my hair, took me to concerts, taught me about boys, shopping, how to pose skinny in pics, dieting, NOT-dieting and everything in between. She is the BEST.
How would you describe yourself as a little girl?
As a little girl, I was very imaginative and creative. I was never into sports, and hated team activities. I think a lot of this steamed from the physical limitations of only having one arm. I remember being concerned at a very early age what other children were thinking of me and if I was “good enough” to play games with them. Back then (and still today) team sports made me insecure and self-conscious so I avoided them at all costs. I was also pretty chubby, so I had a major aversion to getting hot and sweaty! Instead, I preferred to use my imagination. I grew up in the mountains as an only child so I had to get creative for fun. A lot of my time was spent playing make believe outside, or doing arts and crafts. I was all-girl and loved baking and making potions in the kitchen, painting, playing with dolls and even sewing. I loved acting, so I was always in plays and loved making home movies on our video recorder. I also loved to swim and my mom could never get me out of the water. The 5 characteristics I’d use to describe myself as a little girl are: Imaginative, Creative, Funny, Interesting, Spoiled (you’ll understand why in the next section).
How do you think others would have described you? Your parents and also your peers.
I think my parents would have described me as a fun, curious, and creative little kid. I think my peers would have described me as friendly, fun, and spoiled. I always had all the cool toys and a mom who was always taking me on fun day trips and adventures. I had a lot of friends.
Have you always been confident? If so what gave you confidence and if not when did you make a change and start loving yourself and honoring your body?
I have definitely NOT always been confident. When I was young I had insecurities about being “different,” but it wasn’t a huge issue. For the most part I was comfortable with my peers because they knew me and accepted me for who I was. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college when I moved to San Francisco that I became extremely insecure and lacked confidence. I became very depressed and started to think I was not as pretty, or interesting as other girls my age. I struggled meeting new people and with dating because I was so consumed with negative thoughts about looking different and only having one arm. Several years later I moved to Los Angeles, a city where the superficial pressures of looking perfect became a burden on my self-worth yet again. While all of my single girl friends wanted to go out and meet guys, I wanted to hide at home. The anxiety of meeting men and trying to fit in was holding me back from loving myself and having the fun I knew I deserved.
It wasn’t until I was referred by a friend to appear on ABC’s The Bachelor, that I changed my outlook and attitude on my situation. I couldn’t believe I had been accepted to be on the show, it was completely surreal. I had grown up watching the show for years and fantasized about being one of the women who gets to have a fairytale romance. I knew the opportunity was once in a lifetime and in many ways a divine intervention. I knew in order to have this experience honestly and with any success I was gong to have to face my insecurities. If I was ever going to have a shot at MY fairytale romance – be it on TV or in real life – I was going to have to accept and love myself first. As I embarked on the greatest journey of my life, I made a deal with myself: be open, vulnerable and honest about who I am and in return, I will find love. And I did! Not with a man on TV, but with myself, my friends, family, fans and many more. As soon as I let go of my fear of acceptance, I was able to let in more love and self-acceptance than I’ve ever dreamed possible.
What do you do for yourself on a daily basis to be the best you?
It isn’t always easy to stay in a healthy, self-loving place but I’ve found that if I practice a few simple routines in my day-to-day life, I am working towards a better me (and a better day overall).
1.) Self care. The first step in loving and honoring yourself is treating your body as such. I try to work out or get moving every day for at least an hour. I’m also adamant about personal heigiene and pampering. I’ve never regretted taking a shower. Ever. I’ve also never regretted a pedicure. When you feel better, you look better and people can sense that energy.
2.) Prayer. I strongly believe in talking to God and the universe. It’s all a part of practicing appreciation and patience with life. When I practice mindfulness and acceptance for life’s path, I flow better with the big picture.
3.) Be social. It’s very easy for me to want to be introverted and alone on my couch, so I have to force myself to get out with some friends and have fun. It always pays off! Once you can identify the friends who lift you up and make you a better person – surround yourself with them, the experiences you’ll have with them are invaluable and much more fulfilling than a Netflix binge!
What advice would you give young girls about achieving their dreams, work ethic, and friendships with women?
My best piece of advice for young girls is to just START. Sadly, no one is going to make our dreams come true for us, they’re not going to tell the guy to come up and say “hi,” first, they aren’t going to hand you the raise, or the praise if you don’t put in the work first. I believe in baby steps – especially because I know how hard it can be to muster up the courage to do things you’re uncomfortable doing. But the only way you’re going to achieve your dreams or get what you want is if you’re willing to change the way you’ve been doing things before. Start a new hobby, start a conversation, start a new goal… whatever it is, just start and the universe will reward you. I’m a firm believer that when you do the things you love to do – for you – positivity will find you.
Where do you see yourself in one year?
In one year, I plan on being in a more senior position at my job, hopefully still living in sunny, beautiful southern California. I pray that I will have deep, meaningful relationships and love in my life, a new hobby or 3, healthy friends and family, and ultimately, an even better appreciation for life.
How do you feel being a role model for so many people around the world?
I love it! considering that I never, ever set out to be a role model or a crusader, it’s extremely humbling to know I’ve impacted so many lives. I’ve never considered myself “inspiring,” I was just little ‘ol Sarah Herron doin’ my thing over here and somehow I was gifted a platform to speak out. Most of the time I wonder how I was given this gift, I’m no different than anyone else. I still have days I don’t want to get out of bed and days I feel so small and insignificant. Really, I’m the one looking up to all the awesome young girls who’ve given me strength and made me feel so loved.
What is something positive you are doing for your community?
Currently I’m working on the Truth campaign for the American Legacy Foundation to help teens be the generation that ends smoking. I have a 15 year old sister so working for a cause that directly speaks to the demographic I care so deeply about is incredibly rewarding. I feel so fortunate that I get to potentially help END an epidemic and work with teens to be agents for positive change.
What’s the motto you live by?
Like my Pandora station, I change my motto as it pertains to my life (or mood) at any given time. Recently, I came across a Frank Sinatra lyric that hit me like a ton of bricks when I needed it most. “The best is yet to come.” This is the motto I’ve been going by for a few weeks because it helps me give pause and gratitude for all the blessings in life, while giving me hope and excitement that things are going to get way awesomer. Which is the best feeling ever. I can’t help but smile every time I read it.