Category Archives for "Confidence"

How Laura Changed Her Life Without Changing A Thing!

By amandaalexander | Confidence

When we started work together, Laura was not in a good place. In her own words: “Phrases/vocabulary such as “fear of failure”, “not good enough” & “trapped” reared their ugly heads on a frequent basis”

She felt that she had lost her way, lost touch with who she was and it was negatively impacting her enjoyment of life and her relationships with the people she loves. She hated her job, she was worried about her relationship and she didn’t like herself.

For most of her life, Laura told me she had given credence to her negative beliefs by engaging with them regularly and allowing herself to believe them. When we started working together, despite desperately wanting to break the negative cycle and habits that she’d formed over the years, she still really doubted whether she could truly believe in herself again.

However, she has well and truly conquered that well-worn voice of self-doubt.

I decided to film a video to share Laura’s transformation with you. She has given her full permission to share all of this information, but I don’t go into full personal details, and incidentally, Laura is not her real name!

In this video, you’ll get a “coaching” version of a before and after snapshot. You’ll be amazed at the changes!

Maybe we should call it mental Botox?! ☺

In our review session, I asked Laura to reflect on the lessons she’d learnt over 4 months.

She thought about my question and replied:

“It’s about a confident approach. It’s about a positive outlook. It’s about personal growth.”

Laura told me that she’s more engaged with every area of her life, more fulfilled and that the flatness that she felt – almost depression – had just disappeared.

Her new philosophy is:

“Life is out there for grabbing and for living”.

One of the most important things we did was getting her to identify her values and her needs. We started gently, working on shifting her perspective in one area of her life, implementing easy and fun habits, and this resulted in a rapid knock on effect in EVERY area of her life.

She’s gone from a vicious circle of feeling like everything was grey and broken, to a virtuous circle where everything is brighter and whole, even when it’s not perfect.

Here are Laura’s top two tips:

1. “You have to take a leap of faith and get your head round the fact that you just needed to put in some hard graft to create new positive habits to replace the old negative ones.”

2. “Don’t try to fix your whole life. Take baby steps every day: I loved the daily use of positive mantras such as “today is going to be the best day yet” and “I am awesome” – I’ve even given each day of the week a positive name (Marvellous Monday, Terrific Tuesday, etc.). This didn’t come easily at first as I simply didn’t believe it, but it’s amazing how powerful practice and repetition are.

I use this positive vocabulary with my son and the impact has been astounding – he believes it and I believe it. The rewards from taking those baby steps, both on an emotional and a career level, when I’m full of confidence AND when I have some self-doubt, adopting the “what have I got to lose” approach, have been nothing short of life-changing…..”

If you haven’t already read my recent post on daily habits and downloaded the free workbook, here’s a large hint!! Go do it! It’s life changing!

Laura concluded:

“Now I can say with confidence that I love myself unconditionally, I value what I have to offer, I am enjoying life more, so much kinder to myself, living in line with my values, have more motivation, I am brave, have stopped waiting for people/situations around me to change and accept them for who/what they are and separate myself from them if necessary.”

Watch my video blog, get inspired and get started with your own transformation! Whether you want to take one area of your life ‘up a notch’ or you feel that your whole flippin’ life needs an overhaul, all you need is to take a deep breath, garner your courage to do the work and then take the first tiny step forwards.

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This Is The One Thing Successful Women Do Consistently!

By amandaalexander | Business

I was at an event last weekend and I asked 2 female millionaires this question:

“What differentiates you – as millionaires – from others? What are the attitudes you have or the things that you do differently that have helped you to become millionaires?

They each had different answers. But there’s one thing they both said and it stood out very clearly to me:

They both said that no matter what, they keep taking action. Even when they don’t know what to do, they take the next action – any action.

After the event, another successful woman messaged me on Facebook. Her name is Jane Cassell and she runs a company called JC Independent Wills & Probate. Incidentally, she’s also the woman who is about to write my will (she is brilliant)!

This is what she said:

“You asked a great question on Saturday evening – characteristic / distinction. My answer to that question is action. Without a doubt, action. We continue to take action, even when we’re tired, and life gets too busy to take action. We still take action.”

But it’s not the millionaires or even the brilliant Jane Cassell who have inspired this week’s post. It’s a lady called Lyn, who emailed me this week after attending my “Set Backs and Stepping Up” presentation for The Global Women in Leadership Summit. She thanked me for my session telling me it had made a huge difference to her. She described herself as “the stereotypical shy person in a room full of strangers”.

Despite being a stereotypical shy person, this is what Lyn did after my presentation:

“I have genuinely spent the last few days thinking about all the things I can do in order to connect with people – I’ve accepted an invitation to an event; I’ve started my Fabulous 50 list; I’ve contacted 7 people so far, from that list; I’ve been through my Outlook contacts to see who else I should be speaking to!

I’ve also applied for a job I saw advertised online – it was one of the headline jobs in an email, I took a look and decided to send off my CV – usually I would have agonised over whether or not to send it, and whether or not I’m actually capable of doing that role. I used to spend an hour a day poring over the websites, trying to find something that I can do (without a degree!). Today, I just thought, ooh that looks good, it’s in London, it’s a better salary (and different level) to what I usually look at; I’m sending my CV! I have just proved to myself that I don’t have to spend hours overthinking these things – and that’s probably a bigger deal than the actual application!!”

Did you read that last bit? I’ll repeat it, just in case!

“I’m sending my CV..I don’t have to spend hours overthinking these things.”

Wow! How’s that for a bit of weekend inspiration, eh?!

Quite simply, Lyn took action. Even though she’s shy. And I bet you agree when I say that she’s got a big chance of getting the job she wants because of taking these actions.

We can talk ourselves to death about WHY we don’t take action – too shy, lack of self-belief, don’t have time, no energy, don’t know what to do, don’t have the support, don’t know where to start, too tired at the end of the day.

There’s some tough love coming with this week’s post. Let’s cut through the c**p and get straight to the point: In brief, you gotta take action!

How do you do that? Well let’s imagine you don’t have ANY excuses – what is one action you COULD take towards your goal?

Now do it!

And then…

Rinse and repeat.

But maybe you really DO have a valid reason for not taking action? Let’s deal with that now, shall we? 🙂

Take for example this common and understandable reason amongst busy women with multiple responsibilities:

“I’m too tired at the end of the day”.

OK – I get that. Don’t we all? 🙂

But if you have a goal and you really want to achieve success, whether it’s with your career, your money, your relationship or anything else in your life, you’re going to have to take action anyway, even if you’re too _____________ (fill in the blank with your excuse)!

If you don’t know where to start, just start anywhere. Do it EVEN IF….

Keep taking action – just like Jane, just like Lyn and just like those millionaires.

The Simple Habit That Will Increase Self-esteem

By amandaalexander | Business


High self-esteem is crucial to our success, equanimity and overall sense of happiness. If we want to feel happy and in control of our own life, it is essential that we nurture our self-esteem.

What the heck has low self-esteem got to do with Ripley’s Alien Mother Creature?

With low self-esteem, we filter our view of the World through our own distorted low opinion of ourselves. Low self-esteem is like the big bad mother of self-belief issues. She spawns lots of other baby limiting beliefs. And they in turn grow into monsters that are extremely difficult to slay – just ask Sigourney Weaver if you don’t believe me.

Do you suffer from low self-esteem?

Do you ever call yourself stupid or put yourself down? Do you frequently compare yourself to others and find yourself lacking? Do you worry that other people might not like you?

These are all indications of low self-esteem. But that’s ok – we’re not labelling you here!
You don’t have low self-esteem ALL the time. You only have it in those moments when you’re having those negative thoughts about yourself.

We generally expect people with low self-esteem to appear quiet, reserved: If you’ve ever met someone who finds it difficult to look you in the eye for example, you might suspect that they have low self-esteem. Not necessarily so.

I sometimes put myself down. Occasionally I compare myself with others and I have been known to fret about what other people might think. I never considered myself to have low self-esteem. I’m the sort of person who people view as confident, gregarious, happy and fairly well balanced.

Outward impression is not necessarily a reflection of what’s going on inside. And more importantly, self-esteem is not a fixed part of anyone.

Does low self-esteem come from a traumatic childhood?

Another thing we think we know about self-esteem: Doesn’t low self-esteem come from growing up in a family in which you are put down or belittled? Isn’t it common in victims of abuse? Well, yes – and no!

Dr. Rob Kelly, author of “Thrive” says that the link between childhood experiences and levels of self-esteem is not always to blame:

“People with a negatively distorted sense of self do not, however, need to have been regularly put down or abused by others during childhood….many people that I have treated with self-esteem issue have come from loving, caring families and it is largely their own self-criticism that has caused them to build such limiting beliefs about themselves.”

What IS self-esteem anyway?

Let’s take a quick look at the various synonyms for the word “esteem”:

Deem, judge, rate, respect, admire, value, regard, approve of, appreciate, like

When we add “self” to the word esteem, then we can start to get a feel for what self-esteem is:

Your level of self-esteem is a measure of:

• How you rate yourself
• How much you value yourself
• How much you like yourself
• How much you appreciate yourself
• How you judge yourself

In short, self-esteem is simply how you see yourself. If I asked you to tell me what sort of person you are, you might tell me that you are outgoing or shy; that you are hard-working or laid back; that you are a good friend or a conscientious person.

Essentially, you’d be responding with your beliefs about yourself. We all form beliefs about ourselves – who we are, what we like, what we dislike. They are not facts, they are simply beliefs that we have formed over years.

Your fluctuating self-esteem battery

Self-esteem is not real; it is simply your present evaluation of yourself – a set of beliefs. Sometimes you might evaluate yourself highly, sometimes less so.

Kelly tells his patients to imagine that they are keeping a mental score card of negative and positive thoughts. Each time they have a negative or critical thought it is recorded and each time they have a pleasant, validating thought, this is also recorded.

These positive and negative thoughts reflect the charge of your metaphorical “self-esteem battery”. So if, you have 70% negative thoughts in a day and only 30% positive thoughts, then your self-esteem battery is only 30% charged.

The effect of sh1t tinted spectacles

Kelly uses the evocative analogy of seeing yourself through “sh1t-tinted spectacles”. Here are a few examples of how those sh1t-tinted spectacles can distort your view:

• You look in the mirror and say “God, I look haggard”
• You have a day when you get 5 pieces of good feedback from people and 1 piece of criticism. You focus on the criticism
• A business connection you ‘phoned yesterday does not return your call and you create a reason in your mind that is all about you

Our human brain is a crafty thing. We create a belief and our brain immediately starts seeking evidence to back up that belief. We dismiss any evidence that proves this belief to be untrue – we want to prove ourselves right.

We see what we want to see – even though it doesn’t serve us, support us or make us feel good.

The secret sauce is in the PROCESSING

The trick in increasing your self-esteem is simply to increase the positive charge in that self-esteem battery I mentioned above: Change the positive/negative ratio of thoughts. Generate more positive thoughts and create higher self-esteem! And you can do that by processing your thoughts in a different way.

Kelly says that:

“processing is what takes place when your experience becomes a memory.”

Your memory is not reality – it is a construct made up of your belief systems, your unhelpful thinking patterns and your metaphorical spectacles – and how you decide to tint those spectacles.

In order to increase your self-esteem, all you need to do is switch your specs to a pair that are rose-tinted, rather than sh1t-tinted!

Here’s how:

Coach Yourself: The simple habit that will increase your self-esteem

Time to coach yourself: This is what I’d like you to do:

1. Give yourself the gift of 15-20 minutes of journaling time within the next 24 hours. Set a timer and create a positive hit list and write down as many positive things from your day. Be as creative and as flexible as you want with your list. The only “rule” is that you reflect on the positive things from your day, even if it wasn’t a stellar day! For this exercise, please also reflect on why each item is in your hit list. Why did it make you feel good? What positive thing did it reflect about YOU?

2. Set yourself a reminder at the end of each day to do a mental positive hit list at the end of each day. It’s a great habit to get into both for your self-esteem AND for a good night’s sleep: In a mindfulness sleep meditation, one of the first parts of the meditation is mentally running through your day from waking to getting into bed.

These “positive hits” can be:

• Moments of pleasure
• Things that made you smile
• Moments of pride in yourself or those you love
• Achievements – large or small
• Challenges you overcame
• Things that made you feel grateful
• Acts of kindness that you received
• Acts of kindness that you gave

To help you get the idea of what to write – and to demonstrate that I walk my talk! – here’s one I did earlier! This is my positive hit list exercise from Wednesday this week.

It wasn’t an easy day: I spent most of the day responding to my own mini business crisis – my broadband network failed and I was left with no connection to the Internet whatsoever. This meant I lost a lot of working time and had a couple of sticky situations to get round. Despite this, when you read my positive hit list, you’ll see that, even on a day that could be described as a “nightmare”, there were many positives:

1. Meditated first thing in the morning. Felt proud of myself as it’s an important habit, but it’s one that I have to push myself to do still.
2. Watched the mists rolling off the top of the hill and knew it would be a hot day. The sunshine always makes me feel happy.
3. Took Ernie for a walk in the forest and enjoyed the sunshine, peace and stunning views
4. Met a man in the forest who gave me a wonderful smile, engaged with me and wished me a wonderful day. It made me think how great it is when people connect and how lucky I am for such simple pleasures
5. Emailed parents of Duke of Edinburgh award participants to organise gifts for the D of E leaders. It would have been much easier not to as it will take time and thought, but it is important for me to acknowledge people.
6. Did some writing sitting on the balcony in the sun. Felt grateful for the autonomy and flexibility of my business
7. Responded creatively and calmly to challenge of running important client webinar after broadband developed a fault and I was left with no Internet signal. This shows that every day in every way I’m getting more and more resilient – rolling with the everyday blips of life and taking it (more or less) in my stride
8. Spoke to my friend Penny Pullan who logged into my business email system and sent an email to my clients about alternative conference line. Always love speaking to Penny and feel grateful to have a friend who I know will help me out in this kind of situation and who knows what to do!
9. Had a great conversation with Amanda Davie about coaching and EQ. Love talking to Amanda as she’s so bright, on my wavelength and she gets it!
10. No. 1 son helped me to clear away dinner dishes without me even asking. Wow! All those years of me feeling like a broken record are finally paying off!
11. No. 1 son ALSO mowed the lawn without moaning when asked. As above!
12. Bedtime story reading to Fred and friend’s daughter who stayed over. Really cherish reading a book to Fred and thankful for it as it won’t be long until he won’t want me to read to him.
13. Negotiated better deal on mobile phone contract and felt pleased with myself. I’ve also got extra contingency data
14. Upgraded mobile data contract to ensure better contingency next time there is a problem with broadband at home. I’ve really thought about mitigating a major risk in my business.
15. Spoke to John and Mum on the phone when I felt exhausted and fed up. Feel immensely grateful for these 2 big “rocks” in my life who always listen and always have wise words.
16. Was able to say “yes” to a friend dropping her daughter round and was also able to offer for her to sleepover. How great to be able to do this for a friend who helps me out so often.

If you do these 2 exercises – the written one to start and then follow up simply by creating a habit of ending your day with a positive mental hit list, you’ll quickly reap the benefits in more consistently high self-esteem.

And as you embed this new positive habit, you’ll find you naturally notice more of your own achievements, making it easier the more you do it!

You’ll have that Alien self-esteem mother monster slayed in no time!

Imposter Syndrome: 10 Surefire Signs You’re Suffering

By amandaalexander | Career

What do Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Sheryl Sandberg and Michelle Pfeiffer have in common?

…They all suffer from Imposter Syndrome!

Each of them has been quoted as saying that they fear that they aren’t truly deserving of their success, that they are somehow not qualified and that, at some point, they are going to be found out as a fraud. Michelle Pfeiffer responded to a question about how she’d developed her acting talent with:

“I still think people will find out that I’m really not very talented. I’m really not very good. It’s all been a big sham.”

When Sheryl Sandberg attended a Harvard University speech called “Feeling Like a Fraud,” she came to the conclusion that they were speaking directly to her.

Oscar-winning Actress Kate Winslet said,

“I’d wake up in the morning before going off to a shoot, and think, I can’t do this; I’m a fraud.”

And highly accomplished Actress, Producer and Director Jodie Foster said,

“I always feel like something of an imposter. I don’t know what I’m doing.”

If the rich, glamorous and famous suffer from Imposter Syndrome, what the bleeping hope do we have?!

What is Imposter Syndrome, anyway?

I like this description, borrowed from the Caltech Counselling Centre:

“Impostor syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist even in face of information that indicates that the opposite is true. It is experienced internally as chronic self-doubt, and feelings of intellectual fraudulence.”

Notice the phrase “even in face of information that indicates that the opposite is true.” This is the curious thing about Imposter Syndrome – the sufferer doesn’t believe the evidence in front of her (or his) own eyes.

I’m wondering if any bells are ringing already.

Here are 10 surefire indicators that you are suffering from Imposter Syndrome. You might not have all of these, but one thing is for sure, no. 10 is true, although you might deny it!

1. You tend to admire and overrate the abilities of others and underrate your own ability.
2. Others may see you as competent, but you still see yourself as incompetent
3. You have a hard time acknowledging objective measures of your competency
4. You have a hard time accepting compliments for your accomplishments
5. You discount the value of your abilities and talents.
6. You believe that everyone is capable of doing what you do, if only they tried
7. Despite repeated successes, you view each new challenge as your undoing. You believe you will be found out.
8. You attribute your successes to luck or “fluke”
9. However, you take full responsibility for all your failures!
10. You are likely to be highly capable, competent and successful in your field.

Now you have an idea of what it is and how it shows up, what’s the next step? How about a quiz?… You can download my “Imposter Syndrome Quit Kit”, where you can take a test to see if you are suffering from “Imposter Syndrome”. You’ll also learn 3 incredibly simply strategies to diminish the voice in your head that says you’ll be “found out” as a fraud!

And feel free to share the Imposter Syndrome Quit Kit with your friends!

How to be more confident at work even in the toughest situations

By amandaalexander | Confidence

Coming Monday 16th November at 12.30pm GMT in The Academy for Talented Women

How to be fabulously confident at work even in the toughest situations

In this masterclass, you will learn:
· How to project confidence in the way you walk and talk
· How striving for perfection is a killer for your confidence
· Why it’s so important to give yourself permission for self-love
· How to boost your confidence by understanding your strengths and limitations
· Why it’s essential to journal your achievements at work to reinforce your identity

Want to join us? Join the Academy NOW. You’ll get the recording and downloads even if you can’t make the masterclass live on Monday! 

Our masterclass expert, Sherry Bevan…

Sherry Bevan runs The Confident Mother which is all about celebrating and loving life as a woman and as a mother. Everything she does is to help women feel confident as a woman and as a mother. Sherry believes that confidence comes from these five elements: work, wellness, contribution, family and the feminine. How you balance those elements is unique to each woman and changes at different stages in your life. Get those five in balance in the way that’s just right for you and you WILL love your life and get to know how to be more confident at work as a woman and as a mother. After more than 25 years working as a senior technology manager in professional services, coming back from an almost fatal head injury on the race circuit, two bouts of severe postnatal depression, retraining as a breastfeeding counsellor, two promotions while on maternity leave, then redundancy, Sherry set up her own business in 2012 to have a more flexible working life and more quality time with her children. She is an action-taker who knows exactly how to move women beyond the confidence blocks and inertia that holding them back.

Sherry is the author of The Confident Mother which was published in September 2015. For more details and to read a sample chapter, visit

Feel free to connect with Sherry prior to the masterclass:
Twitter @SherryRB and @NCTMum

Want to join us? Join the Academy NOW. You’ll get the recording and downloads even if you can’t make the masterclass live on Monday! 

How to talk about your achievements (without feeling boastful)

By amandaalexander | Confidence

“We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?”

You probably recognize the quote from Marianne Williamson. Here it is in full..

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

A few weeks ago, I interviewed one of the finalists of today’s Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards in the Midlands. The finalist is a lady I nominated for the Awards. Her name is Grace Marshall and she is also one of my extraordinarily proud-making clients.

The interview came about because, during our coaching call, Grace wanted to get to the heart of something she was uncomfortable about: Self-Promotion. All finalists of the Forward Ladies WIBA are encouraged to shout about their achievements as finalists.

And yet, it’s easier said than done, to shout about our achievements, isn’t it?  And Grace was exactly the same as the rest of us – she had “little old me” syndrome! 

In the interview, Grace and I talked about:

  • How Grace initially felt that she wasn’t “worthy” of being nominated for an award compared to other women who had overcome huge life challenges
  • The problem with comparing ourselves to other people – and how to stop!
  • What “personal branding” really means – and how it actually allows you to embrace your weaknesses as well as your strengths
  • How to “get over yourself” and tell people about things you are proud of achieving, without feeling that you are being boastful or self-indulgent.
  • And, as Marianne Williamson said, how, when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same

This was part-interview, part-coaching and when you listen to the recording, you’ll love how Grace’s wisdom pours out as we unpick her resistance to allowing herself to shine. I think you will thoroughly enoy this interview and I hope that it will give you permission to shine.

Here are 4 of the key learning points from the interview, in Grace’s own words:

  1. By  learning to acknowledge your own achievements, you give others the permission to do the same

Grace said: “If we are acknowledging our successes, if we are promoting ourselves, a way that we can feel more comfortable, more at ease is by promoting others as well, celebrating other’s success. The more that we can celebrate our own success, the more we feel competent enough to be able to celebrate others for their particular unique qualities because we are happy in our own skin… And if as a result of me being a finalist, other women decide that they can put themselves forward as well because they are more deserving, that is a good thing.”

  1. Self-acknowledgment is key to helping you to build momentum

Grace said: “I think every time I sit down and just go through the motions of acknowledging what I’ve done and what I’ve achieved or what I’ve overcome, there is a transformation that happens in me that goes from so I guess it goes from dismissing or overlooking or just kind of normalizing to just properly acknowledging. And I get a sense of satisfaction, I get a sense of completion, I get a sense of achievement, I get a renewed sense of momentum for what comes next as well.”

  1. Self-acknowledgement is a brilliant personal productivity strategy

Grace said: “There are some things that don’t feel productive, that feel self-indulgent or lazy or pointless. But actually some of those things can be the most productive thing that we do. Things like giving us all the time to think. Things like recharging. Things like getting a good night’s sleep.

Sometimes taking a break can feel unproductive. It feels like we are not doing the work but actually if that helps us to be at our best, it helps us to do our best work, therefore it’s productive. And the same thing goes with celebrating achievements. Sometimes it feels like well, I’ve got so much to do, it feels way too self-indulgent to stop and celebrate what I’ve done because I’ve got to get on with what I need to do.”

  1. You don’t have to be a star, but you can be a light

Grace said: “I think there’s a difference between being a star and being a light. So I think we would look at people and go oh wow they are like a star and they are shining brightly like they are amazing. But actually the best stars are the ones that shine their light on other people. And you know for me, if I think about being a star, look at me, you know that doesn’t sit well with me. But if I think if I had actually all I want to do is be a light, I can be a light for other people.

So I can shine a light on the pathway of other people. Also when you are a light you reflect back to people what they are doing. And where they are strong and where they are shining. So a light is always about looking back at the people that you are shining on. And so I think you know for me it’s about being a light rather than being a star. So it’s about being able to illuminate other people but in order to do any either of those you have to shine. So you have to be willing to shine in order to be a light for this.”

And that is a beautiful metaphor to conclude – shine your light so that others can be illuminated too. There’s nothing boastful or self-indulgent about that!

Listen to the Interview

On being yourself

By amandaalexander | Confidence


Being yourself – one simple phrase. But what on earth does it actually mean to be yourself? And do you really know who you are? And what do you do when being yourself means being vulnerable?

Because let’s face it, if you truly ARE yourself, then some people won’t approve. Some won’t like you. You can’t please all of the people all of the time, after all. And what if “yourself” is “not good enough”?

What if you feel you have to “act” more formal, more funky, more corporate, more arty, more senior, more SOMETHING to achieve success? What if you are worried that “you” just doesn’t cut the mustard?

Believe me, this is something that I have battled with many times in my own personal growth journey! I’m going to briefly share with you what I’ve noticed this week. I’ve had conversations with a handful of the UK’s most influential women in business this week, with many more to come.

I have experienced self-doubt on many occasions during these conversations. With some of these women, I ended the conversation with thoughts like these nibbling away at me:

“Did she like me?”
“Did I come over as professional?”
“Did I waffle?”

to name but a few of the thoughts! Isn’t it fascinating, how much we question ourselves?!

Of course, some of the women I’ve spoken to and met this week may well think that “me” is a bit too enthusiastic, not refined enough, a bit too “whatever” for their taste.

However, others will feel the opposite. We connect with some people, more than others. I came off some of the phone calls buzzing, feeling as if I’d really connected with a like-minded soul. And that made me believe MORE in myself.

As the week has gone on, I have kept daring myself to be ME, more and more. And life has brought me several opportunities for that dare, but more about that another time.

This is the point: Daring to be yourself takes a heck of a lot of courage. Because, as we both know, some people won’t like you! But guess what, some will!

Here are a few coaching questions to ponder:

What do you worry about when you are interacting with people you don’t know?
Do you notice that there are certain friends or colleagues with whom you “put on act” when you are in their company?
Who are the people that you can be absolutely you, no holds barred with? Hint: There are likely to be very few!
What if you dared yourself to show a bit more of the true you to those people? Do you dare?

If you’d like to really get to know yourself and you are willing to play, I’ve got something so utterly brilliant coming up, that you’ll need to wear sunglasses because you’ll be so dazzled!

Next week, I’m launching a 3-part video coaching course. I’d go so far as to say it’s unique. I haven’t seen anything like it before.

You’ll get me coaching you over the course of 3 videos.

You will sit quietly with the questions, hitting pause on the videos as required.

And you will experience just a tiny element of the power of coaching.

Here’s what I am going to coach you on in these videos:

1. How to Know Yourself, Like Yourself and Be Yourself
2. How to Understand What You Want
3. How to Trust Yourself

This is important, essential and powerful stuff. And oh so necessary. Too many women are afraid of being themselves. Yet it’s the golden key to success, fulfilment and balance. Too many women don’t know what they want or what they are about because they have been so busy focusing on helping others. I’m on a mission to change all that!

Oh, and I almost forgot. The video coaching programme is going to be 100% FREE!

[Firstname] I strongly suspect you’re going to love it. I haven’t decided yet what to call the free video coaching programme, though. If inspiration strikes you for a title, please drop me an email!

Yours, excitedly, adventurously and authentically
Amanda x

Useful Links

How to Bounce Back From Public Failure and Humiliation

By amandaalexander | Confidence

250 Men Turned up Specifically to Boo at Her…

Imagine failing at something so publicly that you were featured on the front page of the national press.

Now imagine if, at the time of failure, you were standing at the front of a hall in which 250 men who had turned up specifically to boo at you and revel in your failure. And imagine a journalist shoves a microphone under your nose and asked you to comment about how you felt.

You would probably feel like crying. And that’s exactly what Baroness Warsi, who experienced all this, felt like doing at that moment.

I attended an International Women’s Day lunch in Leeds last week with Forward Ladies. Baroness Warsi was the keynote and she related this story as part of her talk.

She related stories of canvassing for votes, knocking on doors and being greeted with comment like: “I’m really sorry, I’m not going to vote for a Paki”.She concluded that she was “Too brown for half of them too female for the other half”

And yet despite the story related above, there is no way you’d label this inspirational woman is a “failure”. Here’s a very short introduction to Baroness Sayeeda Warsi:

“A lawyer, a businesswoman, a campaigner and a cabinet minister, Sayeeda Warsi has had many roles, but she is best known for being the first Muslim to serve in a British cabinet and the foremost Muslim politician in the Western world. In August 2014 she resigned from Government citing the Government’s “morally indefensible” policy on Gaza.” (source )

Warsi conveyed two key messages during her talk last Friday:

1. You have to overcome fear of losing or it will hold you back.
2. Don’t let anyone limit your potential.

Baroness Warsi would never have embarked upon a career in politics or made an impact on so many lives had she feared losing or allowed those booing men, the British media or social media trolls to bow her into submission – and limit her potential.

I was curious to know exactly how Warsi bounced back from such defeat and humiliation and how she continued a public career in politics (“The bitchiest women I’ve ever met are men in politics”).

How do you keep going when you get knocked so badly? How do you continue to strive for your goal when there are people who are gunning for you to fail? That’s scary stuff…

At the end of the lunch, we were given the opportunity to ask questions.

I asked the Baroness how she maintained her self-belief and bounced back from public failure and humiliation. I wanted to know the “secret” of staying power, so I could pass it onto you!

But I have bad news for you Amanda! Warsi didn’t have any secret formula for indestructible self-belief and not letting people bother you.

But here is what I did learn from her response to my question:

1. She has a clear motivation for not giving up after failure. She believes strongly enough in her own mission and vision that she keeps trying.
2. She has a strong support network, particularly within her family. They give her a safe refuge of love, no matter what the trolls are saying about her.
3. She believes that it is better to have fought and lost than never to have fought at all.

Warsi said that she has met too many women in their 40s – childhood friends – who admit to feeling regret at what they haven’t done: “If only I had…” In other words, They regret not trying – they regret their fear of failure.

I sat at my table listening, trying to figure out the magical, never-heard-before gems of inspiration in her answer. There weren’t any. It was all common sense.

She confirmed what I already know to be true from coaching many brave women over many years:

1. You have to have a strong vision for what you really want to achieve, because you WILL fail at some point – and your vision is what you hold onto to go beyond those times of failure.

2. Your vision must be underpinned by YOUR most important VALUES. A vision based on values that you don’t truly hold dear will crumble at the first hurdle.

3. When you fail on your journey, you are allowed to crawl into a corner and lick your wounds. You are allowed to lean on those nearest to you, who love you – momentarily. But then you must get up, dust yourself off and get back up again.

1. Not going for your vision is most certainly a safer way to live. You won’t have to face the critics, the trolls or the haters. But is being in fear of other people a good way to spend this one precious life you have? I don’t think so! I think it’s better to face the demons and live your life courageously and purposefully.
2. Seek out like-minded, courageous, positive and sunny people. If you don’t have these people in your life right now, here’s how to attract them: Be courageous, positive and sunny yourself!

Don’t let anybody limit your potential! Be bold, be brave and go for it!

An Easy Way to Increase Your Own Self Worth TODAY

By amandaalexander | Confidence

I was in Ireland on Mothers’ Day a few weeks ago; the boys were with their Dad back here in England.The trip to Ireland had been booked months before and I realised I’d be away from my boys for “the big day” only when I noticed the ubiquitous Mothers’ Day marketing messages everywhere a few weeks earlier.

Unfortunately, neither boys nor Dad are very good at remembering things like Mothers’ Day! And I forgot to remind their dad to remind them (anyone else do that?!) I didn’t even receive a text until I sent a snotty missive at midday to their Dad: “It’s Mothers’ Day you know! Not even a text!!!”

However, other than a bit of irritation, it didn’t consume much of my thoughts on the day or afterwards.

Let me tell you why it didn’t matter

I realised that I don’t measure my worth as a Mother or as a Woman based on how well I’m treated on that one day of the year.

Of course it would have been nice to find a card surreptitiously hidden in my suitcase, but that was never going to happen!! ☺

The reason why? I know how to cherish myself. And knowing how to do that helps me to have a high self worth.

Let me expand on that

On my self-belief masterclasses, one of the strategies that I share is this:

“Treat yourself as you would like to be treated by others”

What this means is that YOU have to learn to be kind to yourself. You have to identify your own needs and if necessary, meet those needs yourself first, rather than hoping others will do so for you. It’s wonderful when other people (especially partners or kids) make us “feel special”, but I want you to feel special whether you have those people in your life or not!

I teach this in the context of helping women to boost their self-belief. But it goes WAY beyond that. I believe that it is a key ingredient in being a resilient, happy and successful woman.

I was running my self-belief masterclass last Friday at The Cooperative Bank for their Aspire Career Network. I asked a question:

“Who has _never_ bought themselves a bunch of flowers?”

In this particular workshop, only a few hands went up, but usually there are a fair number of hands that rise in admission of never having bought themselves flowers.


Have you ever bought yourself flowers?

**I have spoken to a number of women over the past few weeks who are living through very challenging transitions** – serious illness, separation, divorce, bereavement.

**It’s at these times when our self-worth – and therefore our self-belief, takes a knocking**. And it’s at these times where looking after yourself in the way you’d LIKE someone else to look after you is a good habit to have got into beforehand.

One of the many things I’ve learnt since I separated is that it is essential that I cherish myself. When you’re alone in the house with 2 kids, you simply HAVE to because nobody else is going to!!

Some Ideas for Cherishing Yourself – and Increasing Your Own Self Worth

Here are the things that I do to met my own needs and remind me that I matter, that I’m worth the effort!

  1. I cook a decent meal for myself when the boys aren’t with me, rather than just throwing something together “because it’s only me”
    Tonight is one of those evenings.. home made burgers, sweet potato wedges, baked tomatoes and avocado. I even garnished the tomato with a basil leaf! ☺
  2. Dressing to feel good, with my make-up on, even if I’m working from home all day and not seeing anyone apart from the boys. I don’t do this every day, only when I feel the need – if I’m feeling a bit “frumpy”. When the boys see me “dressed for the office” they ask me “Where are you going?” and look at me strangely when I say “Nowhere!”
  3. Going to bed early with a book when I’m tired and I just want to hide away from the World. This means resisting the urge to re-commence work after the boys are in bed as well as resisting the urge to look at fascinating things on Facebook!
  4. Building a fire each evening and often lighting tea lights in the living room. Like most women, calm surroundings soothe me and the fire burning away helps me wind down in the evenings. Our wood burner is roaring every single night unless it’s summertime and the boys are expert fire starters! 🙂
  5. And of course.. buying myself flowers.I haven’t done this for a while, but today, I was at the greengrocers and noticed some beautiful gerberas. I love bright colours and I remembered the question I had asked at the workshop on Friday.

YOU matter – YOU are worth the effort

The more you cherish yourself, the more you will increase your own self-worth.

So, what are you going to do for yourself?

Will you buy yourself a bunch of flowers? Get to bed early? Take yourself to a museum? Put your make-up on, even when you’re not going anywhere?

Start treating yourself as you’d like others to treat you!