How to overcome fear of rejection

By amandaalexander | Courage

Have you ever held yourself back because of thoughts like these?

– What if people don’t like me?

– What if people reject me?

– What if people are mean to me or belittle me?

Of COURSE you have. You are human. It’s ok to be afraid of people rejecting you – it doesn’t mean that you are lacking in any way. When we are rejected, our “lizard brain” kicks in. It produces cortisol and we want to run away…. Fight or flight! You’ve heard the metaphor “like a slap in the face”? It’s a very apt metaphor for how we feel when we are rejected.

But the problem is, you know that your fear of rejection is holding you back.  Good news – this post will help you how to overcome fear of rejection!

This week I listened to an interview with a man called Jia Jiang on a podcast called Bulletproof Radio. Two years ago Jia decided to embark upon his own personal project called “100 days of rejection”. His goal was to desensitise himself from the pain of rejection and overcome his fear of being rejected by making 100 requests over 100 consecutive days.

The Krispy Kreme Olympic Donut Experiment

On the third day, Jia went into a branch of Krispy Kreme and asked for a series of donuts made into an Olympic ring, fully expecting to be rejected. However, the assistant said yes, disappeared for 10 minutes and emerged having made him an Olympic ring of Krispy Kreme Donuts!

Jia recounts that he was completely overcome, surprised and touched at this “yes” as it was counter to his expectations during his experiment. 


“How many Olympic donut experiences have you missed because you’ve been scared of rejection?”

In fact, out of the 100 days of asking things which Jia thought were sure to get him rejected, he was only rejected 49 times. That’s right – the majority of times, even though Jia designed his requests to be rejected, he experienced the opposite.

What might you achieve if you gave up on being afraid of being rejected?

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway!

Rejection therapy did, as you’d expect, desensitise Jia and it meant he became more courageous and more adept at questioning the “nos” However, stretching outside our comfort zone is not always a upwards trajectory, as Jia demonstrated on day 97 of his 100 days of rejection. Day 97’s challenge was to give a speech on a street.

I guess that, like me, you’re probably thinking that by the 97th day, it was probably a breeze for Jia to give a speech on a street.

Not so…

Jia was so afraid of being rejected by strangers, the build-up leading to him making his speech was a real psychological struggle. This is simply because our “lizard brain” takes over – the amygdala that kicks in to prompt us into flight or flight mode.  We are biologically programmed to be part of the tribe and we don’t want to do anything that might threaten being excluded from our tribe.

Jia concludes:

“Sometimes no matter how hard you train yourself, the fear of rejection will still be there. However, you’ve strengthened yourself and minimized your enemy – fear. If you rely on the strength, and “feel the fear and do it anyway,” you will always be glad you did.”

12 lessons on how to overcome fear of rejection

Here are 12 lessons for overcoming fear or rejection that I took from listening to Jia Jiang:

  1. You have the freedom to ask whatever you want
  2. Other people have the freedom to respond to your request however they want
  3. Detachment is key: This will give you the confidence and freedom to ask.
  4. Even if you become a master of being rejected, you’ll always have to combat your “lizard brain”. That’s just a normal physiological part of being human. Don’t sweat it (although you actually will!!)
  5. Focus on what you can control. You can’t control acceptance or rejection, but you can focus on your actions, one by one.
  6. Celebrate failure! For me this is about looking for golden nuggets of learning from each failure
  7. If you don’t face your fear, you’ll always live in a certain amount of fear, because you’ll never know
  8. When you are the one doing the rejecting, there is no reason for you to be a “jerk”! Be kind and be reasonable
  9. Remember that “No” is the most painful word in any language. There’s the key for why we take on too much, eh? We don’t want to be rejected. This is a biggie for me. I don’t know about you, but I actually don’t like saying “no” to my kids. I don’t want them to be upset, angry with me. It’s much nicer when they think I’m the best mum in the World!
  10. Help your kids to get a bit more comfortable with failure by asking them “Tell me something you failed at today”. Help them to think about what they have tried hard with. Help them to get used to the fact that it’s not the end of the World when they fail…. And that they can keep on trying.
  11. Set up a system whereby people HAVE to reject you. For example, set up a number of rejections that you will take before you give up. Then you can “give up”, honour satisfied!
  12. And if all else fails, ask yourself – How many Olympic donut rings might you miss out on if you don’t ask? 🙂

I hope this post has given you some food for though on how to overcome fear of rejection.  Let me know what works for you! And if you’ve enjoyed this post, please TELL YOUR FRIENDS…  They won’t reject you for it! 🙂

Career Problems: Are you creating them before they even exist?

By amandaalexander | Career

Over many years of being tuned into the female psyche whilst coaching my client base of mainly women, I have noticed that we tend to leap ahead of ourselves, especially with our careers. We create career problems that don’t exist. And this can stop a budding new career in its tracks before it has even started

How we create career problems that don’t exist yet

Women are BRILLIANT at getting ahead of ourselves. We are masters at over-complicating things, over-analysing and imagining every possible outcome of a scenario at lightning speed. In short, we are pretty good at creating problems that don’t yet exist!

But when we anticipate career problems before we’ve even got the job, it leads to hesitation, self-doubt and ultimately, it holds us back. I believe that women create their own barriers to success with this kind of “fantasy problem creation”.

Any of this sound familiar?

1. You spot a job opening for a role that sounds almost as if it was made for you. You get really excited about it.

2. You they realise that there’s something about the job that might make it a deal-breaker or mean a serious compromise. It might be that you don’t want to work full time and the job is advertised as such. It might be that the job involves a lot of travel away from home and you have young children and that’s not going to work. Or, you might look at the skills and experience requirements of the job and realise that you don’t quite have ALL of the “must have” requirements.

3. If you have focused on the not quite perfect aspects of the job, you mentally leap forward in time to the point at which you have got the job and you are unhappy because you ARE making that serious compromise.

In a few short steps, you have gone from being fired up and motivated to apply for the job, to feeling unhappy, defeated and worried about it. **

Or maybe you have honed in on the 20% of the job requirements you don’t quite meet, so you become disheartened and worried. Not only that you might not get an interview, but also that you will NEVER find a perfect job where you actually meet the role requirements.

1. This fast-forward thinking then leads to these types of outcomes:

a. Your brain churns over how you are going to solve this, as yet, non-existent problem and you spend far too much precious energy and time worrying about it, trying to imagine a solution.

b. You come to the conclusion that the not-quite-perfect aspects of the job are going to cause you problems, that it’s not going to work for you.Almost as soon as your mind had started seeing the exciting possibilities of this new job, you dismiss it as unfeasible.

c. You decide that there’s absolutely no point in applying for this job because you’re never going to get it. You don’t meet all the requirements and so the recruiter won’t even give your application a second glance.

If any of this sounds familiar, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! In fact, today’s post was prompted by a message from one of my lovely, talented clients who was doing just this. And I’ve seen it so many times. Ye Gods, I’ve done it myself!

7 Steps to STOP Creating Career Problems That Don’t Exist Yet

Take a step back, suspend disbelief and STOP getting ahead of yourself.You need to STOP doing this because it WILL lead to self-defeating thoughts and behaviours. It will lead to analysis paralysis, giving up or simply putting the wrong energy out there even if you go ahead and do something.

All you need to do are follow these simple steps:

1. Tune into your what you WANT. Get excited. Imagine the BEST possible outcome.

2. Ask yourself, “What’s the first tiny little step here?”

3. Take that first tiny, weeny baby step

4. Once you’ve taken that step, ask yourself, what’s the next tiny step I can take?

5. And so on!

6. Keep up the excitement of what you want – keep visualising your best possible outcome. Have fun with your imagination!

7. Let go of the outcome. Don’t get attached to it. Yes – be excited. Yes – imagine yourself there. But NO – do not let it be your “be all and end all” Get rid of words like “I need to do this” or “I’ve GOT to do this”. You will be just fine whether the thing happens or does not happen.

Don’t Lean Back in Your Career

In my “Inspiring Women” podcast with Kristen Pressner of Roche Diagnostics, we talked about this habit of women “leaning back”.

This is what Kristen said:

“..women are making decisions to lean back or not fully be all-in in career or education in anticipation of a life balance issue that doesn’t exist yet”

She admitted it that she had been guilty of “leaning back” herself:

“When I was offered my current role, my job is a big part of the world and I have 50+% travel and I have four children and I have an hour and a half commute to the office each day.. Originally when I was offered the job thought, “Yeah, I’m not going to take … there’s no way. How does that work?” I almost turned it down until I really got real with myself about why, because I was telling myself, “Well, you’re going to have to turn it down because it isn’t a good fit for your family,” but deep down really I knew I probably could find a way to sort it.”

And clearly, Kristen DID find a way to sort it!

If you haven’t listened to this podcast yet, I recommend you do so. We have had so many rave reviews about this interview – Kristen is a true inspirational role model and you’ll feel as if you’re listening in to a conversation between 2 friends.

It’s very easy (and free) to subscribe to my “Inspiring Women Interviews” podcast and download , Sticher. Or you can listen and download the interview directly from my website.

You don’t have to “make it work” or find a way to “sort it” like Kristen, but please don’t hold yourself back by creating career problems that don’t even exist yet!

5 Questions For Living From a Dying Man

By amandaalexander | Courage

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a very unusual webinar with a gentleman called Mike Seddon. Mike is an entrepreneur whose first business selling software morphed into a specialist online service helping businesses to market themselves using Google Adwords. I had never heard of Mike before, but I was introduced to him by Ian Brodie, a Marketing Strategist for whom I have a great deal of respect.

When I started writing this to you, I tried to find the email Ian had sent to me about this “Last Webinar” to let you know what made me decide to register. And this search prompted a very real reminder of the importance of “carpe diem” as we never know what tomorrow holds. As I searched for the email, the name “Mike Seddon” came up as recently as 20th May, when Ian had interviewed him for his podcast.

Less than 2 months later, the same man was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was told he had just a few weeks to live.

Sobering stuff, isn’t it? But before you delete this email or dismiss it as depressing, please read on…

Hearing news like this is a reminder of how precious each day is and the importance of living our lives fully. I’m no expert on Buddhism, but I have done a little reading around Buddha’s teaching, attended a couple of workshops at the local Buddhist centre and one of the Buddhist philosophies that is always at the top of my mind is that, in order to fully live, we have to first accept that we will die. Forgive me if it’s not quite right, but that’s the gist of it.

Last week, I “met” this very courageous man for the first time on his “Last Webinar”. Here was a man who was staring his mortality straight in the face, yet he chose to spend one of those precious hours doing something positive for his fellow human beings, even at this most frightening of times.

I listened to Mike Seddon speak with tears in my eyes. This was a webinar presented by a man who had to choke back his own tears at the thought of leaving his wife behind. It was a webinar presented by a man who apologised that he would seem weepy as he adjusted his morphine levels. Occasionally, he winced with pain as he spoke. You’d have to be pretty hardened not to be touched by his courage.

However, this week’s post is about how we can live full out, It’s not about being negative – in fact, far from it! There is certainly realism, but also optimism, positive reflection and courage.

The No. 1 Thing Mike Wants You to Do TODAY!

Very simply, Mike Seddon, a man with weeks to live,  wants you to do this:  Schedule time out of your busy life to spend a day reflecting on your life in a way that is both aspirational, positive AND eminently practical.

His friend coined a name for the day – He called it a Seddon Day.

Mike asked each of us to schedule a “Seddon Day” NOW. He suggested we take ourselves off somewhere nice for the day, where we could reflect on his 5 questions deeply.

Your 5 Questions for Living from Mike

Here are Mike’s questions for you to ponder on your “Seddon Day”. The questions are his with some of my own interpretation thrown in:

1. What is my “Why” and am I living it? 

This isn’t just about your family. What is YOUR personal “why” in life? What’s your mission? Why were you put on this earth? What is your greatest gift? What legacy do you want to leave behind?  And are you living that “why” right now? If not, what

2. What does success look like? 

Build your life and your career/business according tot he value you bring to others and expect to be paid for the value you bring.

3. Am I enjoying the journey? 

There is only this moment – right now. You’ve heard me talk about this a lot too. It’s pointless having future goals if you have to make yourself utterly miserable in order to achieve them. I believe in hard work, dedication and pushing yourself, but you won’t do any of that if you’re not working hard, being dedicated and pushhing yourself on a path that you love.

If you’re not enjoying the journey, then please use your Seddon Day to brainstorm what you can and what you WILL do to change direction! Think you can’t? Allow me to remind you that it’s later than you think and time is ticking away. This might help you to get more creative

1. Am I hanging out with the right people? 

Mike cautioned women in particular at this point about not taking as gospel the “success stories” we observe superficially in other women. He reminded us that “little people talk about other people and big people talk about ideas”. So hang out with people who love you, who share your values and who don’t gossip. There is so much richness in this big wide World of ours, so much to learn. Why would you impoverish yourself intellectually by spending your life bitching about others? Expand your mind and expand your social circle to one that brings you joy. For me, it’s about hang out with people who you respect and love, who will push you to stretch further and achieve your potential, who don’t let you take yourself or life too seriously and who make you lark around like a big kid!

2. What would happen to my loved ones if I was no longer around?

I told you the questions included practical and this last question is immensely practical. If you were to be run over by the proverbial bus tomorrow, would your family struggle to access your bank accounts? Would they know which life assurance policy you had taken out? Would they know where to look? Passwords?

Mike also asked – Have you created any passive income streams that can continue to provide income to your family even after you’re gone? His audience on the webinar was primarily online business owners, so you might think this doesn’t apply to you. But the fact is, you CAN create a “passive income” business, even if you are employed.

This last Seddon question will take some time to answer and implement, as you’ll have to create a few procedures. It’s all about getting your finances in order. It’s one of those things we all tend to avoid. Let’s face it, it’s the sort of thing you can put off for a lifetime (pardon the black humour pun!)

But look at it this way, if you were really unwell, would you want to be spending your last days calling financial institutions trying to work through their bureaucracy and inefficiency? I know from Mike’s Facebook timeline that he IS having to do this. And I have no qualms about a name and shame here – it’s the Halifax – Boo!

Did You Read This Far?

For some people, this will be a post to avoid.  I don’t think there are many people out there who are comfortable talking about death.  Some people may ignore it. Others may judge it as “depressing”.  Good luck to them!

But if you’ve got this far, then congratulations – I believe you are open-minded, curious and determined to live your life full out.  So I’ll leave you with this, one of my favourite quotes about the big “D” word!  It has been attributed to various people and as anonymous. The provenance is unimportant. The philosophy IS important….. Live every single moment of your amazing life! Live purposefully, fully and enjoy the ride!

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body,but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming — WOW— What a Ride!”

When is Your Seddon Day?

My “Seddon Day” is in my diary on Friday 21st August. Let’s get some accountability going here. When is yours? 🙂  I’d love to know if you’re moved to schedule your own Seddon Day.  Let me know in the comments below!

If you want to watch Mike’s webinar, you can do here.

About Shakespeare Hospice

If you got something from this post and Mike’s questions, I know that the biggest thanks you can give him would be to help in raising money for the charity that is supporting him to die at home and with dignity – Shakespeare Hospice. The other night Mike posted on his timeline that he was frightened. The hospice didn’t have enough nurses to cover him and he was having problems with his syringe driver. He appealed to people to donate so others would not have to have this fear.

So please, if you could donate whatever you can to Mike’s Just Giving page, then that would be extremely kind of you. Don’t be worried if it’s just £1. If every person reading this donated £1 today, then Mike would meet his target of raising £6,000 for Shakespeare Hospice by the end of today.

Why I changed my money mindset

By amandaalexander | Finances

Whether you are bringing in loads of dough, an employee, self-employed, a business owner or a stay at home parent having to manage what’s available… you just have to watch this video.

When I was a child, I learnt that, to be successful, I should go to university, graduate and build a “good” career. That was the way to be secure and wealthy, wasn’t it?

Or that’s what I thought..

So I went to university – and stayed far too long! Not only did I do a BA, I did a double honours BA. Then I went on to do a conversion M.Sc. in Computation. I took out a Student Loan to fund my M.Sc.

I applied for the graduate trainee scheme of a global IT company. Tick! I got in and started a good career. I soon became an accredited Project Manager on a decent salary, company car, pension scheme etc.

I met my future husband and we became DINKYs (Double Income No Kids Yet). We had some great times and we spent with profligacy. But we also had plenty of financial pressure building – for example, my husband to be had 2 children to support from his previous marriage.

We got married, spent a fortune on our wedding, an even bigger fortune on our honeymoon, decided to move house and took out a bigger mortgage for the bigger house! Just as we were about to move into our bigger house with our bigger mortgage, straight after our indulgent pre-baby holiday, my husband was made redundant. I was 6 months pregnant when that happened.

A week or so later I was threatened with redundancy. My husband didn’t get a new job until my son was 6 months old. And when he was 6 months old, I was made redundant. By that time I had decided that I would re-train as a Coach – a decision which incurred a significant investment in my own training and coaching. Boy, it’s been a long time since I had the so-called “security” of a career as an employee!

Like many people, we lived beyond our means. We let the good times roll. When the unexpected happened (as the unexpected always will), we had no buffer. We seemed trapped with no way out.

Fast forward 12 years and sadly, our marriage broke down. This meant were faced with funding TWO households instead of one. I know that there are many people who stay in their marriage because it is not financially viable to do otherwise. I understand that – it’s not easy.

Around this time, quite by chance, I met Ann Wilson, known as the Wealth Chef. She’s a best-selling author and a “wealth guru” – a title that sounds trite, but which I assure you is well-deserved.

Ann has been my “wealth mentor” for 3 years now. Learning from her has transformed my life and relationship with money.

If I could have one wish about my “wealth”, it would be this – I wish I’d met Ann 20 years ago when I was still at University. 

Ann has just released a new video series and in it, she’s teaching some of the most valuable things I’ve learnt from her – things that have made a huge impact on my own mindset about wealth as well as my financial attitude, planning, aspirations – all of it!

In the videos, she’s going to share:

▪ How to create passive income stream businesses; (I do this now)
▪ How to invest safely and easily in the stock market; (I do this now)
▪ How to put our whole financial freedom plan together so we know we have everything covered; and (I am getting there with this!)
▪ How to get rid of limiting beliefs that have held us back in the past. (I am getting better and better at this!)

Ann is so committed to helping others live the greatest versions of our lives with money supporting us, so we can:

▪ Free ourself up from having to work harder and harder for money;
▪ Travel and experience more of life’s wonders;
▪ Spend more time with our family and friends;
▪ Contribute more to the things we feel passionate about; and
▪ Know we will be safe and secure in our old age.

It’s hard to put into words how deep an impact this woman has! There’s nothing sleazy or dubious about the way Ann teaches. It’s solid, sensible yet also life-changingly eye opening.

Go here to watch her free video and be sure to take lots of notes because she always gives huge value! However, just to warn you…her videos will only be up for a short time, so go watch it now before they come down!

Click here to watch this free teaching video now.

This is the stuff they should have taught us at school and which I’m starting to teach my boys – slowly but doggedly!

Please tell her I sent you in the comments!

 Here’s that link again

7 Tips to Stay Sane, Happy and Healthy When Life is Manic

By amandaalexander | Wellbeing

How has your week been? Has it been slow or fast? Hard or easy? Fun or downright NOT fun? Has it been a bit MANIC?!

I started writing this email to you yesterday afternoon on the train back home from London This week has indeed been manic: Jam-packed with great connections, opportunities, challenges and events. I have met some wonderful people, achieved positive things and worked really really hard!

Maybe, like mine, your life can often be a bit manic, packed with things like this..

▪ Meetings
▪ Client delivery
▪ Commuter chaos
▪ Organising extra childcare due to travel
▪ Ditto for dog care!
▪ Trying to figure out what you’re going to feed the kids at night
▪ Wishing your kids would get to bed so you can go to bed early

If any of these strike a chord, here are 8 of my own top tips that help me. And I share them with you in the hope that they will help to keep you sane, happy and healthy too, even when life is a bit manic!

1. Choose sleep!

One of the things you have to consciously make a priority as much as possible when life is manic is getting enough sleep as possible. I realise the irony of this, of course! However, lack of sleep causes cortisol levels to rise which increases stress. Apart from the more serious health risks of elevated cortisol over a long period of time, in the short term when you’re tired you eat more when you’re tired, you put weight and so on.


2. Don’t get stressed if you’re not getting enough sleep!

According to one tabloid I glanced at yesterday, here in the UK we’ve had the “HOTTEST JULY EVER”. Us Brits tend to start melting as soon as we get a heatwave, we don’t cope very well. Which means we haven’t slept too well here this week. My point is this: Don’t sweat it (pardon the pun) if you have a few bad nights sleep. Seek opportunities for a few minutes rest throughout your day. You WILL get through that important client meeting even if you feel as if you’re an extra on the set of The Walking Dead. You WILL make it til the end of the day even though you are so tired your brain is addled. Remember what I said about cortisol levels? Well, you’ll raise them even more if you get stressed about not sleeping!

3. Accept that it IS hard

If you’re a mum or a carer, it is hard. I’m a single mum and it’s really hard sometimes. I can’t just flop on the sofa as soon as you get in from a busy day and there’s nobody else to do one thing whilst you do another. Many of you will know about that anyway with partners working away from home. Your kids will want your attention, kids are selfish and quite frankly they don’t really give 2 hoots about your problems. Try to be the “adult”, shrug your shoulders and remember why you love the little blighters!

4. Prepare some good stuff so you are reasonably well nourished

Easier said than done when you’re busy, I know! But we all know that what we put in our bodies has a big effect on how we feel. I’ve been carrying a bag of nuts around with me this week, a flask of iced mint tea and a bottle of water. I can tell you that these things were manna from heaven when I got caught in the worst “commuter chaos” of the year on Wednesday on “the hottest day of the year”.

5. Listen to your body

Right now I’m pretty tired and I’ve noticed a tummy ache which greeted me on Wednesday morning and hasn’t completely left yet. I know what this is – too much adrenaline coursing through my body, not surprising with all the things that are going on. But the point is this – be mindful of what your body is telling you. It has taken me many years to “get” this!

I’ve seen too many of my clients and friends literally make themselves ill by not listening to the warning signs. If something starts niggling, then think about what you can do to gently deal with it. For me, it means more mini mindfulness moments (meditation) each day, putting my hands on my tummy and constantly reminding myself that “this too shall pass”. Yep.. it can be that simple!

6. Do what you can when you can to redress the balance

I have decreed Sunday as a complete relaxation day. No rushing round, no extreme physical exertion, no work, just a complete wind down. If you’ve got a run of manic days, look in your diary for slots when you can just switch off and SCHEDULE THEM IN!

7. Look for EVERY opportunity for fun and humour

I save the best for last: I do this every day and I think it’s the most important tip! Life can be serious, which is exactly why you need to train yourself to see the funny side, look for the absurd, lighten up and go with the flow. Put a smile on your face and remember that, whatever your challenges right now, this is just another opportunity to build your resilience and look for the ridiculous, mad, daft or fun side.

Achieve Your Goals in the 2nd Half of the year:Mid Year Review

By amandaalexander | Goals

If you want to achieve your goals, you gotta have a plan! 

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” _
~ Jim Rohn_

Ouch! This quote is a bit edgy, isn’t it? Edgy because it’s true: If you don’t design your own life, then you tend to become an element of someone else’s plan. That doesn’t mean to say your plans must be grand, you don’t have to quit your job or move to the Outer Hebrides.

But it’s always better to know WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. Is it part of a bigger picture? Or are you doing it just because it was the first thing that came along and time just flies and you’re so busy and you really MUST get round to doing something about it…

Quite often, people get stuck in “comfortable discomfort”. What this means is that they are plodding along living a life which is kind of “meh”!
It’s o.k. but it’s not really the life you’d dreamed of for yourself.

I’m not sure if you noticed, but we are almost exactly half way through the year! It’s almost July. How did that happen? Which brings me back to the importance of having a plan for your life. We all know about goal setting and traditionally we set goals in January.

▪ Did you set any annual goals in January?
▪ If so, are you half way to reaching them?
▪ What have you achieved so far this year?
▪ Has the year run away with you?
▪ Have you been too busy to make time for the bigger picture?

If you’re squirming a bit now, don’t beat yourself up – you’re human and you are NOT alone. Life happens and I KNOW how busy you are (aren’t we all!)

But nothing changes if nothing changes! So let’s do something about this, shall we?

The Mid Year Motivation Workshop: Tuesday 30th June at 12.30pm BST

Join me for this FREE no fluff, no theory all action lunchtime workshop this Tuesday 30th June at 12.30pm. This will be a short, fast-paced webinar where, in 30 mins, I will take you through a set of questions to review the 1st half of the year and create a PROPER PLAN for the second half!

This workshop is 100% free, 100% action-orientated and 100% positive.

What’s in it for me? You’ll get to experience my style and approach as a Coach and Trainer. If you benefit from the workshop (and I know you will), then you’ll say good things about me to your colleagues and friends – and my business grows from referrals.

Click here to register your place on the Mid Year Motivation Workshop with Amanda, Tuesday 30th June at 12.30pm to 1pm UK Time

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. You can share this with your friends – all welcome! I’ll record this webinar for you and let you have access for a week after, but no longer, as it defeats the purpose of getting your goal plan created fast!

Hope you can join me for some mid year motivation and plan creation!

Here’s the link again to my complimentary Mid Year Motivation Workshop to register your place.

Is Addiction to Drama Fuelling your Stress?

By amandaalexander | Stress

 How do you react when you feel aggrieved? Perhaps you’ve discovered that you’ve been the object of some unpleasant gossip? Maybe your boss has behaved in an objectionable way yet again? Your partner hasn’t answered is phone and you’ve tried several times?

So you work yourself up into a frenzy, imagining the worst.

It is easy to become addicted to drama and trapped in a vicious circle of our own making, where drama begets stress and stress begets drama.

Let’s take gossip as an example, something to which we’ve all either been on the receiving end or  – dare you admit it – the giving end! People gossip because it fuels their addiction to drama:

  • “Who on EARTH does she think she is?”
  • “She did WHAT?”
  • “Well, I think it’s shocking, don’t you?”

It’s no coincidence that if you do a Google image search on the word “gossip” you’ll find image after image of people (mainly women, alas) whispering to each other and looking, well… looking EXCITED!

We watch soap operas and thrillers because we get that same frisson of excitement, not because they relax us and make us feel at one with the world! When people gossip they are simply propagating their very own soap opera, without the expense of purchasing a TV license.

Drama is what makes the World goes round. Human beings are programmed to be able to deal with short rushes of adrenaline and cortisol. Back in the day as cavemen, we might have experienced that adrenaline rush whilst hunting a saber-toothed tiger or defending our cave from the marauders in the next cave who wanted to nick our freshly casseroled tiger.

In other words, that was how we got our drama fix. But after those short intense bursts of adrenaline and cortisol, we recovered.

But how do we get those adrenaline rushes in modern life?

Most of us don’t hunt tigers any more. We might go to the gym 2 or 3 times a week, but this isn’t going to satisfy the need for a primal rush. Most of the time, we are sedentary and safe.

So we seek other ways to get the rush. And herein lies DRAMA:

It seems that modern men and women are most likely seeking their adrenaline rushes in all the wrong places… 

  • By sending a furious email to one of our suppliers who has failed to meet an agreed delivery date
  • With that 5pm crisis meeting in the office
  • With the cycles of extreme highs and lows we get from addictions
  • By getting hooked on creating little “dramas” in our life by over-focusing on a “hiccup” and blowing it up into a “nightmare
  • By waking up at 3 am in the morning chewing over and over on a problem, even though you know you’re not going to solve it by doing so

And the dangerous thing is, when we propagate drama in these ways, we are experiencing a continual drip of adrenaline that is extremely corrosive because we elevate our cortisol levels. Which means we get stressed. And we stay stressed. And then we pile on some more stress.

By fuelling drama in our lives in such unhealthy ways, our bodies and minds are literally not getting the rest-bite they need. This means we experience things like chronic fatigue, weight gain, depression, depressed immune system. This is just the start of the list – you know where it ends.

Confession from a (recovering) drama addict

Here’s a little story: A while back I discovered a “friend” had approached my son, whilst he was staying at his dad’s house. She had given my son her full and unfettered opinion on his mother. Needless to say it was inappropriate behaviour for an adult.  Naturally, my first reaction was anger that anyone would do this to my child. However, for the purposes of this article, that’s irrelevant.   What IS relevant is that, after the adrenaline surge of the anger, how addictive the “drama” of the situation became.

I repeated the story in my own head (especially in the wee small hours lying in bed) and to those close to me. I justified this to myself by saying that I needed to “talk it through”.  In fact, I was fuelling the drama.

It’s generally good to talk things through when you’re hurt and this is a typical “tend and be-friend” reaction that women have to stressful situations.   However, the benefits of talking it through do not increase the more you talk about it the event!

After a certain point, it’s not getting it off your chest. Instead, you get infused with the drama. By re-living the anger/hurt/upset again and again, you are effectively creating CLONES of the upsetting event.

And here’s the dangerous thing:

Your poor subconscious doesn’t know that you’re “just” relating a tale.   It thinks it’s happening for real. The physical reaction is the same as if it has just happened: Raised adrenal levels, raised cortisol levels.

The more you fuel the drama, the more your hormones go CRAZY, because the amygdala, that little bit of your brain that governs the flight or fight response, thinks you need to stop the neighbours from stealing your sabre-tooth tiger casserole!

If you’ve been reading my posts for any length of time, you will have heard me use the phrase:

 “Awareness is the precursor to choice”.

In other words, once you are consciously aware of your behavior – and the reasons for it – you can make choices that help you rather than choices that hold you back.

So I invite you to take an honest look at how you might be fuelling drama in your own life:

  • How might it be harming you to allow yourself to get carried away by drama?
  • What could you do to break the cycle and get off the drama merry-go-round?
  • Would you rather be right or happy?
  • Where do you need to expend energy in your life now? Where’s the priority for your energy?
  • What are 3 healthier ways of getting your temporary adrenaline fix?
  • Who are you without drama fuelling you?

Let me know in the comments below. And if you like this post, please share the goodness by hitting one of the “share” buttons below!

Interviews with Inspirational Female Leaders

By amandaalexander | Leadership

I am thrilled to announce the launch of my brand new podcast show: “Inspiring Women Interviews”. And I mean “thrilled”. This is a huge and exciting step for me and it aligns perfectly with my own mission to help professional women to achieve success and change the world in their own way. This is not a throwaway “tagline” – I believe that when smart women have the courage and confidence to actively use their skills and talents, without holding themselves back, that the World will become a better place.

One of the best ways I know of encouraging professional women to stretch outside their comfort zone is to introduce them to inspirational female leaders. And so the podcast was born!

Hence the official description of the “Inspiring Women Interviews”:

Each month, Amanda Alexander interviews a high-flying female leader who is committed to sharing her experience openly and honestly to support gender equality. The purpose of the show is twofold:

1. To inspire women to BELIEVE in themselves so that they can reach higher in their careers and

2. To help them to be creative and resilient in their response to the challenges they may face along the way.

If you are a professional woman who wants inspiration to step up, then this podcast is for you! However, this isn’t a podcast only for women: These interviews will help men who recognise the wider benefits of encouraging more women into leadership. Together we can change the World!

The first interview is with a truly inspirational female leader and advocate of women in leadership, Kristen Pressner of Roche Diagnostics. Kristen is a VP and Head of  HR for EMEA and Latin America. She is also a champion for women in leadership and a mother of 4.

Since the podcast went live on Tuesday 2nd June, Kristen and I have received many messages of thanks and praise.

Here’s just a few of the most recent comments:

▪ “This should be required listening for ALL women and girls from aged 14″
▪ “I could listen to you both all day!”
▪ “It energised and inspired me”
▪ “Such a fluid interview”
▪ “It inspires me to make sure that the women who come into my life get my help to change the world one thought at a time.”
▪ “Fantastic interview…There were so many points in it that were relevant to me both personally and from a business perspective.”
▪ “She (Kristen) was very authentic in her answers and you could see she is so passionate about women in leadership and in the workplace in general. Loads of things she was saying resonated within me”

I can almost guarantee that you will thoroughly enjoy and learn from this interview, in which Kristen and I discuss:

▪ Planning your career progression
▪ How to make it “work” as a working mother
▪ How to return from maternity leave with confidence
▪ The most important qualities of a leader
▪ Why we need more female leaders globally
▪ The challenges faced by women in leadership positions
▪ The case for positive discrimination to increase the number of women on boards
▪ Being  strong female role models for our children

I invite you to listen to this whilst you are cooking, driving, walking, running, ironing or even having your hair cut! But please DO listen because I am certain that you’ll love it.

I’d also like to ask you to help me spread the word about this podcast. You can do this quickly and simply:

1. Click here to subscribe to the show on iTunes
2. Rate it 5 stars!
3. Pop a quick comment under your rating to say why you enjoyed the podcast.
4. Let your friends know about the interview with Kristen.

And if you have a teenage daughter, you might want to listen to this with her. Let’s give our future female leaders the insider knowledge BEFORE they have to make big decisions about their careers!

Click here to listen to the interview with Kristen Pressner

p.s. I’m looking for future interviewees. Are you – or do you know an inspirational female leader? My interviewees will be highly successful women who are authentic, approachable and keen to share their experiences for the benefit of women and girls. Once you have listened to my interview with Kristen, you’ll know exactly the type of interviewee that will fit the bill! I’ll also be interviewing in my capacity as a Psychologies magazine blogger, so this represents an incredible opportunity for profile-raising for the right people. Please drop me an email if you would like to make an introduction.

How 6 Women Built Their Courage and Made Big Transformations

By amandaalexander | Courage

“Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.”

― Alice Mackenzie Swaim

I LOVE this quote, because it expresses perfectly the courage we need to face our fears and make positive change in our lives.

You need courage to make any kind of change in your life, whether it’s career transformation, ending a relationship, starting a business, getting a promotion at work or battling through a nasty illness.

You have to stretch beyond your comfort zone unless you are happy to remain static in your life. By definition, beyond your comfort zone is an uncomfortable place, and to deliberately open yourself up to discomfort requires COURAGE.

However, you’ll be surprised at how little it takes to start building your courage. In this post, I want to convince you that it’s easier than you think, by sharing 6 stories of 6 “extraordinary ordinary” women.

I am sure that all of these women would identify with fragile blossoms more than towering oaks! Yet each of these “fragile blossoms” has made huge transformations in a short period of time.

Here are 6 inspirational stories from 6 real women.

All 6 of these courageous women took my Stepping Up programme a few months ago. I think you’ll be inspired by their real-life stories. Each has made significant and real transformations in their lives. Enjoy!

Tamara had been made redundant and wanted to set up her own business…

She actually ended  up setting up not one but TWO businesses because she discovered something that she truly believed in with the 2nd business. However, in order to move forward with this, she had to get over what her family and friends might think of this. She had held herself back because she was worried what others might think. But she took the first step by getting really clear on what SHE wanted, rather than what others thought she SHOULD want.


Maria rediscovered her courage after being crushed by fear for several years….

This amazing lady’s story is one that would have you transfixed and horrified as a fictional drama on TV. But it was real: She had suffered greatly from a sustained “attack” by a group of people filled with fear and hatred. For this woman, even making the decision to JOIN Stepping Up was a huge one. But she took that first step. And that step led to many more. 3 months on and she has battled through ups and downs, sometimes taking two steps back for every one forward!

On this journey, Maria has begun to regain something very precious – her self-belief. She tuned into HER values, which gave her more strength. And gradually, her confidence is returning. This lady is becoming more courageous every day. By the end of Stepping Up, she had started to rebuild her business, something she never thought she’d have the courage to do.


Claire applied for her (unadvertised) dream job..

Not only that, she has been bold enough to negotiate the job as work from home and 3 days a week – even though it was originally intended to be full time in an office. She is over the moon and she tells me she would NEVER have even approached the company in the first place without my support within Stepping Up. We did quite a bit of email coaching back and forth and I remember her first email when she saw the opportunity. Claire wasn’t sure she dared to approach the company. I dared her. She made the first contact and the rest is history in the making!


Patricia started getting paid for something she had previously done for free!

Patricia was volunteering for a charity. She rose to the challenge with one of the Stepping Up exercises which required her to email or phone people and ask them to answer 6 questions about her.  She took a deep breath and got more than she bargained for. Not only did she get feedback, she got a job:  The feedback made her realise she had been under-valuing herself. This planted a seed in her mind: What if she could secure a PAID position within the third sector? It was an idea that had never occurred to her before. And lo and behold the perfect opportunity presented itself. And Patricia took it!

But there’s more! Patricia attended an interview for a place on the board of another charity. She consciously saw herself as their equal, something she often struggles to do. Like many of us, she is great at seeing other people’s strengths and her own weaknesses!  She is now overcoming this Imposter Syndrome and going for it!


Jess achieved happiness, direction and clarity after a major life transition

Jess had lost her mojo and was grieving for her life abroad after she and her family repatriated back to the UK earlier this year.  She felt lonely, disorientated and directionless. We found her mojo was merely hiding. We soon coaxed it back out by getting Jess to tune into what made her feel alive, on purpose, connected and full of energy. She only required the merest nudge!

Once she’d realised what was important to her and what she needed, she took action –  baby steps –  to get her needs met. Jess has taken up running, made new friends, attended networking meetings, sold her house abroad, been back to visit her old friends, eliminated a fear she’s carried around for years and got clarity on the direction of her career.  She says she’s excited and “scared” because that career direction feels more like a “calling”. Phew! What a ride!

Suzanne took on a huge Internet client within her business development role, stepping WELL outside of her comfort zone.

She really stepped up to a new and exciting  level within her role:  Suzanne took on this
s-t-r-e-t-c-h challenge in her career whilst also managing everything by herself at home with a young child during a period when her husband working very long hours.

But that’s not all!  During her time on Stepping Up,  she started a new dance class, booked a holiday in a place that makes her soul soar and created a plan to set up her own sideline business!

I almost forgot to mention –  Suzanne also found “the house of her dreams”  She put in an offer and has just signed the contract to exchange on that house today! Suzanne said that key to her being able to step up in this way was learning to “trust her own instincts and her own experience”

Are these women any different from you?

These women are just like you. They have self-doubt, put themselves down, worry, have problems, get poorly, feel upset and have to deal with unexpected curve balls whilst they are stepping up.

They are not great strong oaks who know no fear. They are fragile blossoms, opening even when it’s cold and snowing outside.

The only difference between these women and you is that they took a deep breath and took the first step. The first step they took was a risk: They made the decision to invest a little money in their future happiness and success. They enrolled on Stepping Up back in February.

Here’s a suggested first step for you!  Click here and find out more about Stepping Up TODAY!

The early bird bonus I’m offering is quite simply AMAZING and it disappears for good at 6.01pm Saturday 16th May. The bonus is so deliciously good I have considered removing it before this time.

If you’re willing to be courageous, I’m right here waiting for you to blossom. And I’ll be here for you, even if it’s snowing!

If these stories of transformation don’t convince you, then nothing will and Stepping Up is most definitely not for you. I could have added another 6 stories if I had the time! But if you are thinking of joining us for Stepping Up and you courageous enough, then I would be honoured and delighted to help you.

But do it now. Before you forget. Before some little person screams for your attention. Before you’ve had a glass of wine tonight (and you forget!). Before you charge around on Saturday doing the shopping, doing chores, head off to do some sport or start your weekend taxi service. Do it now because there are only 10 places left and the early bird bonus ends at 6pm BST on Saturday. And if you’re wondering what it is, just scroll down to the bottom of the Stepping Up page!

If you’re willing to be courageous, I’m right here waiting for you to blossom. And I’ll be here for you, even if it’s snowing.

By the way, if you would like to chat to any of the women mentioned above before you join Stepping Up, feel free to contact me. I have changed their names to maintain privacy within this post, but they are each happy to be in touch via email with individuals wanting to explore Stepping Up.

Now click here before you forget! 

Why you should never threaten to “eat your hat”

By amandaalexander | Career

Have you ever said “I’ll eat my hat if that happens”?

It’s been a breathtaking, shocking, tumultuous rollercoaster over the past 24 hours in the UK: A majority win by the Conservatives, a landslide victory for the SNP in Scotland and 3 resignations from 3 party leaders. Last night, the Exit Poll started indicating that the Conservatives were on course to win and that the Liberal Democrats would lose dozens of seats.

Paddy Ashdown, Chair of the Liberal Democrats reacted to the poll with utter incredulity. He said he’d “eat his hat” if the exit poll was true. Which just goes to show: None of us can predict the future and the UK election results have demonstrated this very clearly!

Yet often, we are certain that we do know what our future holds. I have lost count of the number of times I have worked with clients who had a specific goal, but who were certain they could never achieve it and it’s all down to lack of self-belief. I get such a kick out of it when my clients go from not believing that they can possibly achieve their big dream, to starting to see new opportunities, taking action and then suddenly… the “impossible wonderful goal” happens.

Oh, how many hats might have been consumed over the years…

Once upon a time…

Here’s a wonderful real life story to inspire you and it’s almost as fresh as the election results. It’s the story of one of my Stepping Up clients, Claire, who had a dream of a an “impossible, wonderful” job. She came to Stepping Up wanting to believe in herself more and have the confidence to be bolder and go for opportunities.

She achieved more than she had ever believed possible. In fact, Claire would probably have eaten her hat if you’d told her THIS was going to happen.

Here’s her story in her own words:

“I should start by saying that my objective for stepping up was improving my self-belief, confidence and resilience to get clear on what I wanted in my career and make a much needed change.

I have achieved that and so much more. Whilst on Stepping Up I reconnected with an ex colleague / friend. This person was an amazing boss and years previously had picked me to be on a new team they were setting up on a large national project on which we both worked. We went our separate ways and had lost touch. When I looked at their details I noticed they now run their own successful business and had a vacancy that matched my skills perfectly!

The company sounded amazing, the job sounded amazing and I already knew the company founder was brilliant. So I decided to step up, take a punt and approach that person for the job (in a creative way that helped me stand out). It took a lot of courage to do this and I can honestly say that I would never have been this brave or bold without the stepping up programme or Amanda’s amazing coaching.

After being so brave and getting an initial response I had a real wobble but Amanda refocused my perspective and kept me focused on the faint possibility of me nailing my dream job.

Fast forward a few weeks… I’m negotiating a package for my dream job in my dream company with my dream boss. I can hardly believe it..but it’s real!

And I wouldn’t have believed it if you’d told me last year that I would take these actions and be on this path.”

Hmmmm…. I wonder if Claire might has eaten her hat?! It’s a great story isn’t it? And I want to share it with you because I want you to believe that something like this could happen to you too.

What do YOU want that you believe might never happen? Beliefs are funny old things.. they are in fact stories that we make up in our heads based on a set of experiences that we have usually distorted in our minds.

The fact is, YOU JUST DON’T KNOW what is possible for you. And I want you to know that if you can have more self-belief, if you dare to be bold and if you take positive action, then you will greatly boost the chances of going from…

Impossible to Improbable to Absolutely Possible to REAL!

By the way, this is what I’m good at – believing in yourself, getting you out of your own way and getting on with it. And my Stepping Up programme has just helped 12 women, including Claire, to do just that.

The doors to the next Stepping Up programme are hereby OPEN.

Check it out..

Do this now. There are only 12 places. You’ll want to see what I’ve got in store for you and you’ll DEFINITELY want to see the bonus gift I’m offering to those who take action quickly. In fact, I’d go so far to say that it’s the BEST bonus I’ve ever offered for fast action takers!

I’ll hand over to Claire to finish:

“Stepping up has been amazing it has allowed me to become who I really am and be true to myself. In so doing and with the world class uniquely awesome support of Amanda – I am about to close a deal for my dream job! I should say my objective for stepping up was improving my confidence and resilience to get clear on what I wanted in my career and make a much needed change. I have achieved that and so much more. I cannot recommend Awesome Amanda and the Stepping Up programme highly enough – if you want to be the best version of the brilliant woman you really are and have the confidence, resilience to reach for the stars to fulfil your potential then go for it! Book your place now. Your life will never be the same (and I mean that in a wonderfully positive way!)”

Stepping Up is officially OPEN for enrolment. Check it out NOW!


An 8-Minute Cure When Things Are Piling Up on Top of You

By amandaalexander | Mindset

Take a moment to reflect please… How has your week been? Good? Bad? Average? A bit good a bit bad? Cloudy with sunny spells?

I had a sort of average day yesterday. It wasn’t bad, nor was it spectacular.

I spent a good 2 hours yesterday morning, starting very early before the school run, doing time-consuming chores. Things like this:

▪ Stripping beds of sheets that have been on there far too long
▪ Laundry, laundry and more bloody laundry
▪ Packing up parcels to be sent
▪ Clearing up the morning “boy aftermath” in the kitchen

You know the sort of thing!

I did all this stuff as fast as I could, but it still took four times as long as I’d estimated. And all this before my workday could actually get underway.

I had a lunchtime deadline on a piece of work. I had a business to run, money to earn, food to put on the table! But all this STUFF was taking up my time!

Then I spent almost 5 hours on one piece of work that had 2 hours blocked out for it.

So yeah.. it was an average day really. Not awful but not sparkly and shiny either.

However, here’s the thing: As I was racing around doing my chores, I was simmering inside with “poor little me” thoughts.

The “poor little me” thoughts are the thoughts where we see ourselves as “special” – semi martyr, semi victim, with nobody giving us credit for “just how hard we work, how much we do”.

And no, I most certainly ain’t a perfectly sorted egoless goddess. Just like the next woman, I sometimes get these “poor little me” thoughts! They have been particularly pernicious little beasties since this house became a “single parent household”.

So, there’s a big bad bold admission for you.

It’s the ego talking, of course. It whines like this: “You keep going and nobody appreciates what you do.”


However, one of the advantages of having been a Coach for donkey’s years is that such thoughts don’t hang around for very long. I’m able to take a step back from the “poor little me” whiny inner voice and do some quiet reflection.

When I feel that I’ve over-indulged my “nobody gets how hard this is” broken record of martyrdom, I can quickly sober myself up and take a wider-angled view. Which means I feel happy again.

Of course, I’m no more special or struggling or coping or managing or juggling or whatever than YOU. Or the next person. We all have our own crosses to bear and none of us know what the other person is managing behind closed doors.

I was on my way to share more truly insightful nuggets of wisdom and advice with you on this! But then, just before I sat down to write to you I watched an 8-minute video shared by a friend on Facebook.

This video was shot at the One Young World conference in Dublin. It is a heard-rending, raw and powerful speech from a young North Korean escapee. I don’t know her name, but I’m sure we will all know it soon.

I urge you to watch it. Because whatever I was going to say is nothing compared to watching this girl’s speech. You won’t need any nuggets from me once you’ve heard this girl speak.

Any “poor little me” feelings will melt away.

I won’t give anything away, because I really want you to watch this.

Click here to watch a video that will instantly cure any thoughts of “poor little me”

Note: I can’t find this on You Tube; it was embedded in a post with no link back to You Tube, so this is a link to my Facebook page where you’ll find the video pinned to the top.

Suffice to say, the household chores, the deadlines, parcel packing etc are all mere trifles: “First World Problems”

In fact, not problems but blessings.

Remember to smile, love, share and savour each moment Amanda, because, if you have the freedom to read this, then you have freedom. And that makes all the “stuff” pale into insignificance.