We had the good fortune of connecting with Morgan Hannaleck and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Morgan, how do you think about risk?
Risk taking has been critical when it comes to the growth and development I have achieved in both my life and career. I was raised in a very harm-avoidant environment, where safety was overly-emphasized in my life to the point that a fear of risk was instilled deeply within me. Although this all came from a place of love and care, this fear of risk prevented me from intentionally stepping out of my comfort zone, leaving me in a place where my growth remained stagnant. It wasn’t until I took the initiative to lean into discomfort that my personal development began to exponentially grow. The more discomfort I faced, the more I adapted and was ready to handle more. Risk involved forcing myself into scenarios that didn’t feel good in the short-term, but long-term, I’ve gained beautiful new perspectives, experiences, and opportunities that have changed my life.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I create and display my work through a variety of outlets! The most important aspect of my work, regardless of how I show it, is that I utilize my authentic voice in the process. I spent the majority of my childhood and teen years living behind a mask. I learned through many peers and adults in my life that who I was at the core was not accepted, so I began molding myself into what I believed other people wanted me to be. I learned to betray myself in attempts to feel love and acceptance from others-and what I have learned in my healing journey is that love and acceptance I sought by changing who I was wasn’t authentic either, because it was not for who I truly am as I didn’t allow my true self to show. As I began getting to know and connecting with my authentic self, my work started to reflect this. I wrote a book about my experience with an eating disorder as a teen, I became a public speaker and began sharing my mental health journey to kids at schools, and I switched my career entirely by pursuing a new degree in the field I felt the most passion for. This was NOT easy as I felt an intense fear of judgement from others as I strayed away from all I have known, accompanied by the discomfort ambiguity brought me as well. Certainty can be comfortable and demand little from us, but clinging to it limited my future and potential. I learned to look at the bigger picture when jumping into the unknown and all it can bring me, tune out the voices of judgement from others, and honor the desires and needs of myself. I have learned that in order to be authentic with others, you first have to be authentic with yourself. This means you have to know yourself, value yourself, and express yourself-even if that might generate discomfort. That is what my work is all about.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would start off by taking my best friend on a hike at Torrey Pines, specifically on the Beach Trail loop! That way, we could get a hike in and see the beautiful views Torrey Pines has to offer, and end our hike with a hangout on Black’s Beach. Another day, I would take my friend to La Jolla Cove to see the sea lions and walk the La Jolla Beach Trail. After, I we would go to dinner at Dukes! I would also prioritize showing my friend the board walk in Pacific Beach-we would rent bikes, stop for some margaritas at Baja Beach Cafe, and watch the sunset! Another day, I would take my friend for a beautiful sunrise run at Sunset Cliffs. We would grab brunch afterward at Morning Glory and spend the rest of the day exploring shops downtown. Lastly, I would be sure to take my friend to see the skyline in Coronado and bring a picnic with us to eat as we watch the sun go down.
San Diego is absolutely beautiful and has so much to offer!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I dedicate this shoutout to all of the people that have supported me throughout my journey-family, friends, co-workers, mentors….the people that believed in me during the moments I did not have it in me to believe in myself. Your support and love kept me going in the darkest of moments and I will forever be grateful for this.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/morganhannaleck/?hl=en

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/morgan-hannaleck-b11269183/

Other: https://mindingyourmind.org/speaker/morgan/

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