Listen to the Full Episode:

If you haven’t heard, I’m on a mission. I want to support 5000 women in creating their after story. So, if you want to be one of those women, this episode is for you because I’m diving into how I’ve done this for myself, and how you can do the same in your life.

How to create your own after story and stop focusing on your before story and everything that’s wrong.

Birthing new after stories has been a constant in my life, and it all starts with a question: what is the after story you want to create? A lot of women tend to believe that creating an extraordinary after story requires big action, but while action is necessary, there are actually a series of little actions you can take to get started becoming the woman who creates your after story.

Tune in this week to discover how to start creating your after story. I’m showing you how to stop focusing on your before story and everything that’s wrong, come up with the vision, begin working towards it, and see all of the progress you’re making with every small action you take along the way.

If you’re not on the email list, what in the world? Every Wednesday, you will receive a new edition of The Edit. We have different sections on how to create Haute habits, my diary, and the thought of the week. It’s so much fun. So, make sure you click here so that you don’t miss an issue. 

We’re hosting an event in Arizona in November: SOSI Desert Live! It’s going to be a big-energy room, a party, a celebration, and my whole goal is that you will leave the desert seeing yourself in a completely new way, which will then have such an impact on how you show up in the world and the results that you create. For more information or to get one of the few remaining tickets, click here.

What You Will Discover:

  • How to start by getting clear on your before story.
  • Why creating your after story starts with knowing what you want to bring into your life.
  • What’s really happening when you’re telling yourself you don’t know what you want.
  • Why creating your after story in one aspect of your life will impact every other area of your world.
  • What this process of creating your after story looks like in practice, and all of the challenges you’re going to face.
  • The importance of never beating yourself up for living your before story.
  • All the little tricks that have helped me create my after stories and leave my before stories in the past.

Featured on the Show:

Episode Transcript:

My vision is to support 5000 women in creating their after story. So, if you want to be one of those women, this episode is for you. Let’s dive in.

Welcome to the School of Self-Image, where personal development meets style. Here’s your hostess, master life coach Tonya Leigh.

Hello, my gorgeous friends. Welcome back to another episode. I have been busy this week, y’all. My team flew in and we had the best time working. I spent three days filming some exciting things for the School of Self-Image Membership, so for those of you all who are in the membership, it’s coming. I don’t know exactly when, but it’s been filmed.

I was talking to my man during these three days. There was one evening when I came home, and we were talking about his desire to want to do video. And he’s so handsome, you all. I don’t know if you’ve seen him. He is good looking. And he’s super smart. He has a lot of interesting and impactful things to share with the world.

But he was telling me that he just feels awkward. In fact, his words were, “I feel like I’m being a fake when I’m in front of the camera.”

I was sharing with him that I could so relate. I used to think the same thing. A camera would turn on and I would turn into a weirdo. I know some of you all can relate to this because you may struggle with the same thing. But for me, I would get super anxious. My palms would get sweaty. And I would spend so much time worried about what the people in the room were thinking of me that I would end up not being me. I would be fake.

But fast forward to today, it is so easy for me to be in front of a camera. I actually enjoy it. It’s fun. Now, the work to prepare for three days of filming, that’s a different story. But when the camera turns on, I love it. And I was thinking about creating that for myself.

How did I go from a before of feeling super awkward, super weird, and not showing up authentically on camera, to now just enjoying it and feeling like it’s a place where I get to serve on a much bigger level. It’s a place where I get to have fun. It’s a place where I get together with really cool people like my creative team and we get to create magic in the world.

How did I create that after? And what I discovered is it’s the same way I’ve created every after that I’m currently experiencing. And that’s what I want to share with you in this episode today, how to create your after story.

Because if you haven’t heard, y’all, I’m on a mission. I want 5000 after stories from you all. I want for you all to learn how to constantly birth new afters. So, if you all want to help me with my vision and my mission of the after that I’m creating right now, which is helping 5000 women create afters, email us.

If you’ve been listening to this podcast and you have completely reinvented yourself, created crazy mind-blowing results, email us at and let us know. And who knows, I might feature you on the podcast one day. That would be fun.

So, let’s talk about your before and after. And I want to share with you some ways to think about it, so you can create whatever your version of your after story is.

So, I like to consider who you are right now your before because just in the moment that I said that, you are different than you were just a second ago. Maybe you had some different thoughts in that moment. Maybe you felt physically a little different.

We are constantly in a before. Even for me right now, I’m in my own before and I’m trying to create a new after. And the after is you at some point in the future. There’s the after of you at the end of this day. There’s the after of you tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, next five years. It’s like the future you.

And the question becomes, “How do I get from this before to that after?” And so, the first thing you have to do is you must decide what is your after. You need to know what you want to create.

And this is often the most difficult part of the process. A lot of you will tell me, “I don’t know what I want.” I think everybody knows what they want. I think what’s really happening is you’re just scared of claiming what you want.

And I also think we can have desires that are so suppressed. But it’s in you. I promise you, I can help you dig that out. You do know what you want. But you can’t create an after if you don’t know what the after is. And that’s why I love the process that I teach within my membership because I make it super simple.

We focus on one after that they are going to be focused on for the year. But the beautiful part is, in the achieving of that super-focused after, it impacts every other area of their lives. They end up accomplishing other goals that they wanted to do just because of who they have to become to create that one after.

And it also requires that you stop looking and focusing on what you don’t want. If you focus on where you are and who you’ve been that got you there, you can’t look forward to who you need to be.

If you find yourself saying things throughout the day like, “I’m so tired of being unhealthy. I’m so tired of disappointing myself. I’m so tired of procrastinating. I’m so tired of not having enough money,” you are constantly putting your attention on what you don’t want.

And because energy flows where attention goes, you keep pumping energy into your before story, which makes the before story become so much bigger. So, we need to start pumping energy into your after. And the way you do that is by focusing on it more.

And in the beginning, it’s a little bit harder to do this, especially if you’ve been thinking about what you don’t want for so long. But I want you to give yourself at least a little time in the day to think about your after, and for a moment, to try her on. Get into her energy at least once a day for 10 to 15 minutes.

Imagine what she feels like. Imagine what she thinks. Imagine where she’s going, who she’s with, what she’s wearing, how she’s carrying herself, what she’s eating. Because she is your guide to your after. And the more time you spend with her, the more time you’re curious about her, the more you practice showing up like her, one day, you’re going to look around and be like, “Holy moly, I have become her.” That’s how it works.

But you have to stop constantly focusing on your before if you want to become your after. This process became so clear to me when I was trying to lose weight. For years, all I focused on was, “I have a weight problem. This is going to be too hard. I hate that I can’t control my eating. I hate the way I look.”

So, I was constantly focused on my before. But one day, I realized, if I want to lose weight, I need to stop showing up like an overweight person. And I started to visualize the naturally slim version of myself, how she ate, how she felt, what she thought about herself and her body and food and how she dressed, all of it.

She was my future self that would guide me to my after. And the more time I spent with her, the more momentum I got towards what I wanted. And I lost the weight. Weight has never been an issue for me since. But I will tell you, that in between was difficult.

I was having to change old mental patterns that were so familiar. But I kept practicing and kept practicing. And that brings me to another point that I want to make when it comes to going from your before to your after.

You need to embrace that you’re going to fail. My clients love to call this backsliding. My clients will say things to me like, “I was doing so well.” And that looks different for everyone right, depending on what you’re wanting to create.

But maybe they’ll say, “I was dressing up every single day, and for the last week, I’ve been in my sweats.” Or they’ll say, “I was doing really well. I was working out. I was feeling good. And now, for the last few days, I haven’t been doing that.”

My entrepreneurial clients will tell me, “I was so excited about what I was about to put out into the world and then I got really, really scared and I haven’t shown up on social media for a whole month.

And I’m like, “And? What are we going to do about it now? Who cares? So what?” And it’s really interesting to watch their brains because they want to make it mean that something’s gone wrong. They want to make it mean that it can’t happen. They want to make it mean that they’re a failure.

And I make it mean that, hey, this is just part of the process of getting to your after. It’s not a straight line. And you are braking up with someone that you’ve probably been for years. And if you’ve ever been in a dysfunctional relationship with someone, the person that you know is not good for you but they’re familiar, they’re known, and in that moment they can feel safe to you, even though you don’t like the relationship.

That is what it’s like breaking up with our before. And you’re going to be tempted to go back. And you might go back and get a little snuggle with her. You might go back and have dinner. But every time you go back, you realize, “This isn’t who I want to be.” And you walk away.

And every time you do that, you get stronger. The more often you walk away from your before, the quicker you’re going to get to your after. You never will get to your after by beating yourself up for hanging out with your before, ever.

So, embrace that you might be tempted to go back. Embrace that you may even go back. And each time you do that, it’s just a learning opportunity to figure out why. Like, “Why did I keep going back to my before?" Learn about yourself, but never, ever beat yourself up for it because that’s something that before you would do. So, the more you practice beating yourself up, the more you’re being like her.

Your after you, the future you, she doesn’t beat herself up. So, stop it. Stop being so mean to my friend.

Another little trick that’s really helped me to create my after stories is I know what I want, like I have the vision for that, but sometimes, what we want can be so overwhelming. And if you’re in the membership, you know that I ask you to set extraordinary goals for yourself. And so, they’re impossible to the woman you are today, right? You’re going to have to birth a new woman to create that for yourself.

And so, constantly focusing on that big gap can be very discouraging. Your brain will tell you, “You have so far to go. This is going to take too long. This is never going to work. Who do you think you are? You’re going to fail.”

That’s what the brain does. The bigger the goal, the bigger your brain’s going to freak out. Completely normal. So, what’s been helpful for me is to break that down. And for me, I just focus on monthly afters, weekly afters, and sometimes daily afters.

Because remember, your after you is any you in the future. It could be in the next minute, the next hour, the next day, the next week. And so, by focusing on, “What do I want my after to be at the end of 30 days? How have I changed? What have I created? Who am I being in 30 days that I’m not being now?”

It’s a way for your brain to ease into your bigger after. That brings me to another really, really important point. And that is to embrace the tiny daily actions. We often have this all-or-nothing black­-or-white mentality that says, “If we’re not doing perfectly, if we’re not doing big things, then it’s pointless.”

But that is not true. You birth your after story one little action at a time. It’s shifting your thought ever so slightly to feel a little bit better. It’s eating one less bite. It’s posting that one social media post, or doing that one 30-second Reel on Instagram. It’s going for a 15-minute walk.

These actions may not seem like a lot in the moment, but imagine the version of you who did those little things every single day. In fact, imagine that you just walked every single day for 20 minutes. Where would you be in one year from now? How would you feel? What impact would that have on your health and wellbeing?

Now, imagine the version of you who doesn’t walk for 30 minutes or 20 minutes every single day. What’s the effect of that?

These little actions add up over time. And the reason why they’re so important is you are providing evidence for your self-image. And you can keep doing little things to reconfirm who you are right now. Or you can do little things to reconfirm and provide evidence for who you’re becoming. And who you’re becoming is the purpose of this work because who you’re becoming is going to be the person that creates your after story.

We get so caught up in taking big action. And I love action. I take a lot of action. But I like to take my action from the mindset of I’m doing this for who I want to see myself as. And then, the result is secondary.

Of course, I love creating results. I love reaching my goals. But when I show up to record this podcast, when I go for a walk, when I get dressed up, when I go to the gym, when I choose certain things on the menu, I’m not thinking any longer about the result I want to create. I’m thinking about the woman I want to be. And I will tell y’all, that is a big differentiating factor.

When I was constantly focused on results, that’s when I wasn’t creating them because I was constantly reminding myself of the lack of the result and telling myself a big story about how hard it was and how I was never going to get there. And that slowed me down from creating the result.

Because in this moment, the result isn’t there, so if you’re so attached to the result and you don’t have the result, chances are you’re going to be in a state of lack and frustration and disappointment in this moment. But I can promise you, when you start taking the action to provide evidence for how you want to see yourself, you get immediate gratification. And that feeling is what drives you to continue towards your after story.

So, focus on who you’re being. Take action to constantly confirm to your brain that hey, this is what we’re doing now. This is who we’re being. And if I stick with this, if I keep showing up as the woman in my after story, as my future self, the results will come.

But right now, we’re not focused on the result. We know what we want to create, but we’re going to bring that practice back to today and just focus on the little actions that will provide evidence that this is who we are.

What I just shared with you might be one of the most important things I’ve ever told you. I want you to really internalize that because I know that’s why a lot of you are sabotaging yourself.

You don’t see the money yet. You don’t see the partner yet. You don’t see the new job yet. You don’t see the weight loss yet. And so, you get frustrated and you give up. But what if you shifted your practice to what you can see in this moment, which is, “I am taking this action because this is who I’m becoming.” It is such a shift in how we approach our goals and it’s so much more powerful.

This process will help you to create your after story. So, know what you want. Spend time getting to know her. Embrace those little daily actions to provide evidence that this is who you’re becoming. And then, embrace also that you’re going to backslide.

You will be tempted to go and hang out with your before self. Completely normal. Nothing has gone wrong. But when you’re hanging out with her, be honest with yourself. Be honest, first of all, as to why you’re there. You’re scared of what’s over there that you can’t yet see. And that version of you is just familiar.

But also, be honest with how that version of you might be holding you back in certain areas. And have the courage to get up and walk out of the room and go hang out with your after. Go hang out with your future self. She is a smart, smart cookie. She knows what’s up.

And if you hang out with her, she will inform you. She will guide you. She will inform how you should think. She’ll encourage you maybe to wear something different today. She’ll encourage you to take an action that may scare you. But she’ll tell you the whole way, “I got you. I’ve got your back. Let’s go.”

And then, one day, you’ll be in your bathroom or maybe you’re out in public and you’ll pass a mirror and you’ll see yourself, and you’ll be like, “Oh, I’m not having to try anymore. I’m not having to put in the effort. This is just where my brain goes. This is where I love hanging out. This is who I’ve become.”

And, inevitably, if you’re like me, you will set another extraordinary goal for yourself, cast that big vision, and suddenly, you’ll be doing this work all over again, creating your next after story.

Have a gorgeous week, everyone. I love you and I can’t wait to see you in next week’s episode. Cheers.

Hey, have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self-Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Head over to and get a copy that teaches you how to think and show up in the areas of mindset, style, and surroundings so that you can transform your self-image.


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