Ep. 207: Katherine Knapke – Set Boundaries. Chase Dreams.

Today’s show is about overcoming fear on your way to chasing your dreams. We encounter moments of crossroads in life, where we are faced with decisions that determine our future. My guest had the guts to leave her chosen career behind–all to preserve her mental health. We are raising money for Mental Health America, so see the link below to donate and help us reach our goal!

Katherine Knapke, RN, BSN, is the Communications and Operations Manager at the American Negotiation Institute, where she uses her experience as a psychiatric nurse trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) and a mediator to address the psychological, emotional, and societal concerns that impact women in the workplace. In October, Katherine is launching the American Negotiation Institute’s newest podcast, Ask With Confidence, designed to empower women and help them gain the confidence they need when engaging in difficult conversations.

How Katherine arrived at her present work

Do you enjoy doing things that scare you? Katherine says she is grateful for the new things she does every day because they scare her. She makes her own schedule and works with many different people as they talk through their shared experiences. When Katherine decided to give this new field a try, she started learning applicable skills and making new connections. Even though she began as an Administrative Assistant, she moved her way up because of her work ethic and sacrifice.

TWEET: Take inspiration from others, not imitation. #chasingdreams

Considering mental health consequences

Do you think about the mental health consequences of the choices you make? Katherine knows that many people sacrifice their mental health to stay in a job they know isn’t right for them. She did the opposite by jumping into something new and untried–all in an effort to salvage her mental health! Katherine knew that she couldn’t continue in the nursing field that was leaving her unsatisfied and unfulfilled. Even though trying something new was a big risk, Katherine knew it was a step she had to take.

TWEET: What is the point of having a job and earning money if you’re too stressed about it to enjoy your life? #chasingdreams

Cultivating small acts of self-care

When was the last time you focused on self-care? Hopefully, it was earlier today! Most people mistakenly think that self-care has to be extreme, like that once-a-year vacation. We need to realize that small things like daily journaling and hobbies are forms of self-care. Cleaning and decluttering your environment can be self-care because you feel better, and your outlook improves. Even the simple act of showering can be a refreshing way to reset your mindset! Katherine explains why we need to learn to carve out small amounts of time that bring us moments of joy every day.

TWEET: We have to try and experience new things on the way to chasing our dreams. #chasingdreams

Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take–”Just start, no matter where you are. Make sure you can say no and set boundaries, so people don’t take advantage of you.”


  • [2:49] Why mental health should be openly discussed in families
  • [5:30] What young Katherine wanted to do
  • [6:58] Feeling unfulfilled with nursing
  • [8:37] Katherine’s work today
  • [13:30] Trying out new things
  • [15:37] The mental health consequences of choices
  • [18:04] Setting hard limits
  • [19:38] How to identify your limits
  • [21:25] The importance of small acts of self-care
  • [27:50] Taking inspiration from others
  • [31:34] What’s next for Katherine
  • [32:03] ONE action for a dream chaser
  • [32:55] Get to know Katherine better

Resources mentioned:

American Negotiation Institute

Katherine on Instagram

Katherine on LinkedIn

Ask With Confidence Podcast

Watch the episode on YouTube

http://www.aimeej21.com/birthday  Donate to our fundraiser for Mental Health America


TWEET: Everyone you see at Point Z had to start at Point A. #chasingdreams

TWEET: Anytime you learn something new, the first few steps are difficult. #chasingdreams

TWEET: Getting help for mental health blazes the trail for generations that follow. #chasingdreams

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