In this blog post, we dive into the inspiring story of Dr. Karen Latimer, a highly accomplished family physician, wellness coach, author, and mother of five who I interviewed on my Possibilities Podcast.. Despite her numerous achievements, Dr. Latimer reveals her struggle to accept compliments graciously, shedding light on the power of internal and external narratives. We explore her upbringing in a blue-collar family, the pivotal moment that sparked her ambition, and the challenges she faced along her path to success. Driven by a desire to please her parents and break free from societal expectations, Dr. Latimer shares her journey of self-discovery, finding balance, and rewriting her own narrative.
Growing up in a modest household in Queens, New York, Dr. Latimer describes an environment focused on fulfilling immediate expectations rather than nurturing dreams and aspirations. With limited exposure to the possibilities beyond her surroundings, she internalized the message of following the rules and staying within her lane. However, a transformative moment occurred when, at the age of five, she experienced a female doctor (with a male nurse, no less!) treating her injured ankle. This encounter left a lasting impression on her as well as her parents, igniting a desire within her to be impressive and set herself apart.
As Dr. Latimer pursued her dream of becoming a doctor, she faced the challenge of imposter syndrome. Raised in an environment that emphasized good grades and appearance, she struggled to believe in her own worthiness. The absence of role models and the belief that success was reserved for others hindered her confidence. To overcome this, she embraced small steps outside her comfort zone, saying “yes” to opportunities that made her uncomfortable. This gradual exposure helped her build resilience and challenge the self-imposed limitations.
Dr. Latimer emphasizes the importance of balance in her life, acknowledging that she had to make choices and sacrifices to be the mother she aspired to be. While striving for greatness as a physician, she made conscious decisions to prioritize her role as a mother and create memorable experiences for her children. Recognizing her privilege of having a supportive husband, she acknowledges the different path her life might have taken if circumstances were different.
The external and internal narratives we create often shape our perception of ourselves and our abilities. Dr. Latimer emphasizes the need to challenge these narratives and to be kinder to ourselves. Through life coaching, she discovered the power of speaking to oneself as a friend, offering compassion, empathy, and support. By acknowledging that our thoughts are not necessarily our reality, we can rewrite the stories that hold us back and embrace personal growth.
Dr. Latimer shares her journey of self-discovery, recognizing the moments when she feels off-kilter and assessing the different aspects of her life. By identifying areas that need attention, she takes intentional steps towards balance and growth. In a world consumed by external expectations and social media pressures, she encourages individuals to focus on what truly matters to them. By being authentic, kind to oneself, and rewriting unhelpful narratives, one can find true balance and show up as the best version of themselves.
Dr. Karen Latimer’s inspiring journey reminds us of the power of self-reflection, self-kindness, and rewriting our own narratives. From her upbringing in Queens to her struggles with imposter syndrome, she has emerged as a role model, not only in her professional accomplishments but also in her ability to find balance and authenticity. Dr. Latimer’s story encourages us to challenge societal expectations, embrace our ambitions, and be compassionate towards ourselves as we navigate our own journeys of personal growth and success.
“Anything is possible if you have a plan and you have intention.” ~ Monique de Maio.
Let’s make 2024 the best year ever together!