Category Archives for "Courage"

Daring Greatly on a Grey Day…

By amandaalexander | Courage

Occasionally, I don’t want to be a blinking pioneer. I don’t want to be daring greatly or go for my big, bold f***g goals. I don’t want to stretch outside of my bloody comfort zone. I just want to be safely boringly plodding along.  

Sometimes I even have my stereotypical housewife fantasy. It goes like this: See the kids off to school, do a bit of shake and vac to put the freshness back, eat chocolates, watch Neighbours (is it still on?), make the kitchen floor sparkly clean with Flash and prepare a nice healthy meal for my kids.

Maybe whilst swigging a gin and tonic.

This post is about daring to be vulnerable. And I’ve decided to spill my guts (sparingly), because most of us are actually human and most of us tend to fall into the trap of being very harsh on ourselves when we’re not firing on all cylinders, whilst telling ourselves that we are the only one with a problem.

It’s just not true.

But how much shall I share? How vulnerable do I dare to be? In the big bad web world, where every word is recorded for posterity, where, once it’s out there, it’s out there.

One school of thought is:

“Post only positive and happy things”

Whilst another is

“Those who feel the need to keep telling us about their amazing lives probably have a lot of problems”

For the record, I find this particular perspective rather cynical and bitter. I tend to unfollow those who sneer at other people’s expressions of happiness.

I try to strike a balance. I post some of my joyful moments and some of my successes, when I’m moved to. I try to follow an 80/20 rule of focus on the good with the occasional rant about Trump/Brexit/injustice in the world/a utility company.

But I don’t think I’ve ever shared the deeply vulnerable stuff.

Until NOW!!

In this post, you’ll learn that (shock horror) I DO NOT HAVE MY SH1T TOGETHER ALL THE TIME.

You’ll learn that I am so far from reaching Buddhist enlightenment that I can’t even see the light whilst squinting.

You’ll learn that I don’t have a picture perfect relationship

You’ll learn that I don’t have unerring self-belief (but you probably knew THAT one already!).

You’ll also learn that, despite meditating every single day and practicing mindfulness for the past 3 years or so, sometimes I’m a VERY SLOW LEARNER.

You’ll hear that, very recently, I had thoughts like this:

  • Nobody likes me
  • I feel sorry for myself
  • I’ve got a cold and it’s the end of the world
  • I feel sad and lonely and scared
  • I don’t want to do anything

And I’ve decided to share this to help others feel ok about not always being ok. And why is that useful? Well, Brene Brown expresses it best:

“You can’t get to courage without walking through vulnerability”

A rainy Wednesday

I walked out into the pouring rain with Ernie, my labradoodle. It was 1.30 pm in the afternoon and I had delayed his morning walk because the weather was so foul, and I felt foul too.

I had a train to catch in 2 hours. Streaming with cold, coughing, spluttering and yawning, I threw up my hood and hunched up against the driving rain.

I felt really low today. Grey, grey, grey.

Two days ago, I’d had a blazing row with the bloke. It started with me making a comment about a light bulb. It had resulted in us not speaking to each other. Two days and counting. We were both sulking.

The boys had noticed and it was having an impact on them. I knew that it had upset them, made them feel vulnerable – is mum going to split up with John, they were wondering. After all, their parents are divorced parents; they’ve seen it, they know it can happen.

Guilt – I’m hurting my kids. I’m rubbish.

I was about to head to London for my very first gig with a prestigious coach training school and consultancy. I’d only been asked to do it a week ago and I’d cleared my diary to make it happen. I was thrilled to be asked – this would be a real “feature in my cap” for my coaching CV.

Last week I was thrilled – today I was just worried that I would be crap.

I caught up on some of my to do list in the morning. I did something that I’d been procrastinating on, that took me out of my comfort zone, made me feel vulnerable – because I was worried about rejection. I invited some friends round for afternoon tea. When I sent the invitation, I started to doubt myself.I was “daring greatly” to take this little action, and the negative self talk was loud:  What if they all said no? What would that mean about me?

Not worthy. Not likeable, not good enough. That’s what it would say about me!

Even though I was going to London to do something exciting and career-enhancing, I didn’t want to go. I felt lonely at the prospect of being “down south”.

  • I wanted to stay with my boys and heal the wound I’d caused.
  • I wanted to be friends with the bloke again.
  • I wanted to sink into a hot bath and hide.
  • I wanted to curl up in front of the fire and watch telly and have my mum bring me tomato soup and toasted cheese sandwiches. With tomato sauce.
  • I wanted to hold my boys so tight and infuse them with certainty and safety and love. A feeling of guilt so strong, I felt it in my gut.

As I trudged down the path, tears started rolling down my cheeks. It was all so grey.

My phone rang. It was the bloke:

“What time do I have to pick Fred up?”
A pause as he hears me sniffling, then:
“Are you crying?”
“Are you sure you’re not crying?”
“No. I’m not I’m fine” <snort, sob, sob>
“What’s the matter my love? Are you crying?”

The gentleness of his words almost imperceptibly cut through all the heavy greyness. And I let more tears flow, instead of biting my lip.

“Yes, I am crying”
“Why are you crying?”
“Because I’m snotty and my throat is sore and it’s raining and I don’t want to go to London I want to stay here with the boys and you and I don’t like not being friends with you and I don’t want to split up with you and I’m worried that nobody likes me and I’m worried I’ll do a crap job tomorrow and they’ll never ask me back. And I’m picking up an enormous poo”

A touch of laughter, a dollop of kindness, a whole heap of love.

It was all it took to break the entente discordiale.

The bloke listened, then said;

“When you get back from your walk, we’ll have a big cuddle. We’re not going to split up. It will be alright.”

And that’s all it took to help me to crawl back out of my poor little me rabbit hole. I took a step back from the dog poo (safely contained in a bio degradable poo bag) and I looked at the situation again:

  • My boys are loved by both their parents. I just need to keep that message very strong.
  • I am loved by those who matter. I am liked by those who matter. I am ok. I am enough.
  • I am not going to be away from my family forever. It’s just 2 nights.
  • I’m going to stay with one of my best mates, who I love and who loves me for who I am, with or without a cold, full-on gregarious or snotty, quiet and reflective.
  • I’ll take my London gig one step at a time. It will be an adventure. I will serve the people I’m there to serve, with my heart – that always works.
  • I’m so bloody lucky with my life.
  • I love being outside, I love walking with Ernie, even when it’s pouring with rain.
  • This too shall pass

So that’s the tale of an ordinary Wednesday when one ordinary gal felt a bit low and a bit sorry for herself.

It was nothing special, nothing heroic.

Most couples argue, most people get colds, most people feel guilt, most people feel self-doubt, most people have times when they just can’t be arsed with any of it.

Yet we hide it. We pretend that we’re ALWAYS OK thank you very much.

And mostly, “I’m fine thank you” IS fine. We don’t want to become negative psychic vampires, sucking the joy out of other people’s lives. Mostly, a measure of resilience is about feeling the pain, dealing with it quietly and getting back to OK.

But now and then, a little vulnerability can go a long way: It helps us to be more mindful, to put our worries, concerns and bumps in the road back into perspective. It allows us to bounce back more quickly. As Brene Brown has said in her book, “Daring Greatly”:

Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.

So this post comes from me to you, sitting on my train to London. The the rain is still pouring down as I look outside the window. My snot is still snotting out of my nose. But the tears have stopped and I’m daring greatly despite the greyness.  Maybe there’s even a touch of sunshine in my carriage.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, however you’re feeling, you hereby have permission to not be ok, to be vulnerable and to get a bit lost in the grey.

Because this too will pass. And soon you will be back to daring greatly – even on a grey day!

10 Qualities of Being Bold for Change That Will Inspire You (Part 2 of 2)

By amandaalexander | Courage

Welcome to the second part of my epic post on bold women! I started the post asking questions about being bold.

Questions like:

  • What does “BOLD” look like?
  • What kind of qualities does a “bold” woman have?
  • What can we actually achieve in our own lives – and therefore have an impact on the whole world – by being bold?

My thoughts turned to the bold women I know – clients, friends and guests on my Inspiring Women Interviews podcast.

I started asking my Academy members and Stepping Up members about being bold.

In this post, you’ll read another 5 stories of bold women. I’m sure that there will be at least one that will stand out for you!

1. They ASK (rather than waiting to see if it will happen)

Griselda Togobo is the Managing Director of , an organisation that supports and connects women in business across the UK. I know Griselda well – I work with her as Forward Ladies’ Regional Director in the North West.

I interviewed Griselda for my podcast recently, and one of the things I wanted to learn from her was her ability to ask.

Before setting up Forward Ladies, Griselda worked for Deloitte Touche as an Accountant (and before that, she qualified as an Engineer!). She enjoyed her job and the long hours, but her husband also enjoyed his. This was an issue, as she was pregnant and she didn’t want to leave their new baby in the nursery for equally long hours, so she started to look at other options. Griselda discovered business blogging and business coaching whilst she was on maternity leave and she thought “I give advice to big companies already – I could do this!”

She started her business by just asking:

“I just put it out there that if anybody wanted a speak at an event, happy for you to invite me and I’ll speak. I got a few invites to speak at events and I got clients off the back of that. That quickly pulled me into starting the company and registering it and taking it seriously so that I had started the business even before my maternity was up.”

When Griselda finished her maternity, she spoke to her boss and said:

“I really want to come back, but I need flexible working because our family lifestyle is just too hectic and I feel guilty leaving a child in nursery all the time”. He said, “Well, the firm is going through a change and we need somebody in the office. You’re good in the teams…”.

So she handed him her resignation!

I love Griselda’s bold and down to earth “just ask” mentality! She puts this ability down to not being embarrassed to reach out to people and connect with people in a very genuine way. She simply says:

“Hey, I like what you’re doing. It looks really good. I’d like to know more”.

Bold women like Griselda have a genuine interest in people, what they might need and how they might be able to help them. This leads to the ability to ask. Bold women know the benefits of collaboration.

Bold women simply reach out and ask.

2. They are not afraid of their emotions (even the negative ones)

Billie Piper was interviewed by Chris Evans on his Radio Two breakfast show several weeks ago. He mischievously asked her about an award that she’s up for, as lead role in the play “Yerma”. He asked:

“What will you do when you lose to Glenda Jackson?!”

Billie answered:

“I don’t know, I’ll just roll with whatever emotions come up at the time”.

I loved this answer and it got me thinking about the importance of emotional intelligence. Bold women aren’t immune to negative emotions – they feel disappointment, upset, anger and despondency. But they allow their emotions to surface, without feeling ashamed of them, pushing them away or conversely, being defined by them.

Here’s the thing, there’s a lot of pressure from emotionally stunted people (and yes, there are a lot of them out there), to “just be positive” and “get over it” and “don’t feel down”. They are likely to say: “There there, I’m sure it will all work out fine – just put a smile on your face”, when your life has just imploded. Of course, they mean well – they don’t’ know what else to say!

But denying your emotions, trying to pretend you’re not feeling them, is not healthy, and ultimately, it doesn’t make you bold.

To be bold, you must accept and feel your emotions, even when those around you might not get it.

3. They pick themselves up when things go wrong and do something positive (even though they would prefer to hide under the duvet)

Sarah was very happy with her new life. Recently divorced, she’d met someone and things were going well.

Until one day, completely out of the blue, he dumped her!

She was shocked but, deep in her heart, she knew he was just a sticking plaster at the end of her marriage.

She was upset at the relationship’s sudden end, but she was determined not to let it plunge her into despair.

After allowing herself a couple of days to cry and feel the grief, she picked herself up and decided to focus on her business.

Even though she was still reeling from the impact of the sudden end to her relationship, she took a deep breath and re-negotiated her terms with her freelance clients and found them surprisingly open to the idea.

She knew that the increase was long overdue, and she still felt highly competitive in her work marketplace. She discovered that the bold move drew respect from her clients.

Sarah even stood her ground when one of her clients changed the brief halfway through, and secured full payment for her work upfront.

Sarah didn’t feel confident when she first renegotiated her terms – she was simply being courageous. But courage begets confidence, so, buoyed by her business success, her next positive move was to set about making her home her own – a secure and comfortable space where she could be herself.

A new bath, a bit of decorating and a few spring bulbs later and the sun emerged from behind the winter clouds. As the spring bulbs started to form new green shoots, Sarah emerged too, confident in her new life, secure and happy in her home, and ready to step boldly into new experiences ahead!

4. They are bold enough to stand up for what they believe in, even when they don’t like standing out

A few weeks before the European Referendum in the UK, in May 2016, I had already cast my vote for “Remain”, as I have a postal ballot.

I’ll resist the urge to digress and list my many objections to Brexit; suffice to say, I believe that the chances of global peace, wealth and wellbeing increase the more we are connected, and decrease when we are separated.

I was so worried about the outcome of the UK referendum, that I realised that simply casting my vote was not enough – I felt that it was my duty to do more. I couldn’t get upset about the outcome if I hadn’t at least done my bit to influence a positive result.

So I sought out “Remain” campaigners in my area and one day my friend Claire and I joined members from a local branch of the Labour party – the only party in my area that I could find who were canvassing for the “Remain” vote.

When we arrived at the town we were campaigning in, we found ourselves, as Remain campaigners, in a very small minority: We were vastly outnumbered by UKIP members, who were armed with stickers, badges, loudspeakers and banners. We tried to find a spot on the high street with our A5 leaflets, but wherever we went, we found ourselves surrounded by UKIP Brexit campaigners.

We behaved in the only way we knew how – with a smile and accosting passers-by as politely as we could. The response wasn’t, as you can probably guess, always polite or smiley back!

It was an eye-opener for me: At best, we felt as if most of the people we tried to speak to thought that we were sadly deluded. At worst, people were rude and ignorant. Again, I’ll resist the urge to digress into the kind of responses we got. The point is this:
It was the first time in my adult life where I have ever felt like a real outsider. People thought we were wrong, stupid and not like them. There is a natural urge for human beings to conform, to fit in with our ‘tribe’ and not to stand out. It was a very uncomfortable experience.

However, I’m proud that I did my tiny little bit for the Remain camp – I just wish I could have done more.

Since then, I have co-organised a demonstration outside my youngest son’s school to campaign for Fair Funding for Schools. To a lesser extent, it was still an experience in discomfort – in standing out in a way that might invite criticism. But it was much easier – and next time I decide to be a minority campaigner going against the popular local tide, it will be a bit easier. Because, once we’ve stretched outside our comfort zone, we create a new comfort zone that is bigger – and bolder!

Bold women don’t live their lives as passengers, keeping the things they care deeply about secret, just because people may not agree with them, or dislike them for having different beliefs or values.

Bold women might be fearful of standing up for what they believe in, but they will push themselves through that fear when it’s important to them – even when it means they stand out. In doing this, they become a bit stronger, a bit more courageous and a bit bolder. Each and every time.

5. They make courageous decisions (even though there’s always risk involved)

In 2015 Holly Ashford made the bold, some have even said stupid, decision to walk away from a highly successful 20-year corporate career to start her own business.

She’d had an idea, a dream, for many, many years of taking the skills she had in coaching and mentoring people together with her experience of interviewing hundreds of people for roles and designing and running her own assessment centres, and teaching them to university graduates so they too could be successful.

What started as an “itch” a few years ago, became something she couldn’t ignore, and coupled with a job she wasn’t enjoying and a feeling of being “stuck”, she decided it was the right time to leave. She knew if she didn’t do it then, then she never would. Holly said:

“if I never did then I’d never know if I could succeed at being my own boss and having more time and energy to devote to my 2 young boys.”

It’s easy to mistakenly believe that women who make bold decisions like Holly’s – quitting your career of 20 years to set up your own business from scratch – have some kind of special confidence that sets them apart. When you read it on the page, it sounds easy: “I made the decision to quit”.

Of course, there is always far more to any story like this than the headlines. Holly said:

“It sounds easy but it wasn’t. 2 years prior to that day we down-sized our house so that financial pressures wouldn’t become an issue, and I stuck the job out for 2 years in order to pay off a large chunk of our mortgage”.

Fast forward a year and a bit from the day she resigned, and Holly has her own company. She’s learnt new skills, such as building a website from scratch and creating online training courses. Holly says the bold move has been worth the learning curve:

“My brain feels alive for the first time in years. I’ve got comfortable with feeling uncomfortable – no mean feat for a complete control freak like me. I have no certainly over where the next £1 is coming from but it’s exciting figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

Our family life has benefited tin so many ways – my husband is able to pursue his dream job which wasn’t an option previously, I have a balance that I’ve never known before and the ability to attend all the school events for both my boys alongside building a business. We even have a family dog – something we could never have considered before!”

Bold women make courageous decisions that are certainly not easy, or even instant. But once they have made the leap into the discomfort zone, they discover that they are living their lives truly on purpose.

10 Qualities of Being Bold for Change That Will Inspire You (Part 1 of 2)

By amandaalexander | Courage

According to the World Economic Forum, the gender gap won’t close completely until 2186. That’s 169 years until we achieve true equality for women.  With such a sobering statistic, you can see why the International Women’s Day team decided on “Be Bold For Change” as this year’s theme: We ain’t gonna close that 169 year gap any faster by quietly waiting for change to happen!

This week’s post is about being BOLD in your life, because change happens one person at a time. Each of us can make a difference – by aspiring to reach our own potential, each in our own unique way.  Being bold for change starts with you!

When I started pondering on today’s post, I asked these questions:

  • What does “BOLD” look like?
  • What kind of qualities does a “bold” woman have?
  • What can we actually achieve in our own lives – and therefore have an impact on the whole world – by being bold?

My thoughts turned to the bold women I know – clients, friends and guests on my Inspiring Women Interviews show.

I started asking my Academy members and Stepping Up members about being bold.   And this post grew and grew!  So much so, that it’s become a two-parter.

In this post, you’ll read 5 truly inspiring stories of bold women, with another 5 stories in part two.

Please remember, as you read these stories, that these women are no more or no less special than you. They have no secret abilities, no special circumstances.  In other words, these women are just like you.

So once you’ve read this week’s post, you can give yourself full permission to #BeBoldForChange ! By doing so you’ll be making your own contribution to closing that 169-year gender gap – simply by living your life with boldness!

1. They are bold enough to maintain their integrity, no matter what

Jenny Holloway, the most recent guest on my Inspiring Women interviews podcast has built her business on unwavering integrity.  When she started a small sampling unit to support up and coming designers who were struggling with their business, it was based on the principle that they would NEVER let anybody down.  As a result, the company built a reputation very quickly for being honourable.

People would ask for a sample of ten garments and Jenny would advise them to only order one and photograph it to see if it would sell.  She would plan to make the garment only once the designer had received payment.

The company was built on this “unheard of” principal – Jenny would not take people’s money unless she knew that they were also going to make some money.

Jenny’s company grew massively when she approached ASOS and was given a £230,000 loan to build a factory.

She insisted that the factory would continue along the same principles of integrity as the sampling unit.   She refused to sub-contract.  She refused to pay her machinists illegally with cash.

Jenny told me:

“I cannot look at myself in the mirror if I worked like that – you have to keep your spirit level, level. If you do things that aren’t right, that bubble starts tilting the wrong way, and it goes out of your box. I just cannot lead my life like that.”

She is the Director of two multi-award winning social enterprises – Fashion Capital and Fashion Enter, promoting excellence in the fashion and textile industry and helping people within industry to achieve success.

Jenny says that the most important ingredient to the success of her companies is keeping her spirit level, level.

2. They are bold enough to say “No” – even when they hate doing so

When Stephanie Rix, a member of my  Academy for Talented Women members and also one of our master class experts returned to work after a career break, she was asked to work more days in the week than she was comfortable with. At the time, her youngest child was still at pre-school and she wanted to enjoy the time with him before he started school.

Saying “no” went totally against her natural instinct. She confessed:

“I like to please/help people and have always had a problem saying no!”

But her time with her son was so important to her that she stuck to her guns, took the risk and held out for the days she’d counter-proposed. She didn’t back down and after a nail-biting couple of weeks, her company agreed.

Incidentally, Stephanie’s philosophy on this will inspire you if you’re steeling yourself to say no at work: “If a company values you, you work hard and deliver results, then they will want to keep you and you should be aware of your own worth.”

In fact, Steph is well and truly in the habit of being bold – last year she quit her corporate career and set up her own as a marketing trainer and career coach!

3. They are bold enough to build their confidence from the ground up, even when they haven’t established themselves as an expert

My friend Penny Pullan decided she wanted to create an online training event that would pull together best practices for business analysts across the globe. So in 2010, she first launched her Business Analysis Summit, when she was a complete unknown in the field.  She wasn’t a guru and she hadn’t written a book about business analysis.

She wondered; “Who am I to do this? Nobody knows me in this field’, as she was setting up interviews with key thought leaders in business analysis across the World!

Penny didn’t know if she could pull it off when she started her Business Analysis Summit: But she now attracts 1,500 attendees each year from over 50 countries to the summit that she wasn’t “important enough” to create!

Seven years later,  not only has Penny grown the summit beyond her wildest dreams, she IS now the guru, she IS now the well known name in the field and she IS the co-author of a book on business analysis – and two other books to boot!

4. They are bold enough to step outside their comfort zone, even when they are introverts

At a time when she was very unhappy and wondering whether her life was going anywhere, one of my Academy for Talented Women members, Anita, decided to join the local kayak club, even though she’d always found it difficult to join established groups where everyone knows each other and she doesn’t know anyone.

Turning up for the first paddle when she had never done it before and didn’t have any of the right gear was something she had to steel herself for.

However, she kept going, despite being far out of her comfort zone, and eventually met the man who is now her husband.  Anita and her husband have since done a lot of paddling together, including on their honeymoon!

5. They are bold enough to keep going, even when the going is tough

In 2014, my friend Sarah Pickles was given the devastating news that she had triple negative breast cancer at the age of 32. After hearing the diagnosis she knew she only had two options; let the cancer completely take control of her or to take control wherever she could. She took back some of her own control by writing.

Sarah had an idea for a book that would help women with cancer to deal with the stress and anxiety of diagnosis and treatment, as well as giving them inspiring tips for diet, exercise, health and beauty.

So, throughout her own gruelling treatment, followed by a double mastectomy, Sarah kept writing. There were many times when she didn’t want to continue, but she forced herself to keep going:

“I had to keep writing, even when I was experiencing the worst of treatment, because it was so important to me that the book conveyed all my emotions as I was feeling them. I kept thinking – even if this helps just ONE woman, it would be worth it.”

When Sarah started, she had no idea of HOW to write a book. She never felt confident about writing throughout the process, but she kept going, simply because she had a compelling vision of making a difference to other women going through cancer.

The Shock Factor: Sarah’s story – beating breast cancer one day at a time, was published in December 2016, and within hours it had reached the number one best seller on Amazon in the breast cancer category, receiving dozens of 5 star reviews.

Will you be bold for change?

You might be an introvert like Anita – who knows what might happen if you take a deep breath and get out there, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone?

You might be like Penny, with a vision for a new business, but you are still a “nobody” in the field.

Maybe you are like Steph and you desperately want to say “no” to a job change that isn’t right for you.

Maybe you are like Jenny, to whom integrity is everything.

Or you might be like Sarah, trying to realise a compelling vision, but the journey is so painful that you are tempted to throw in the towel and take the easy road.

The circumstances don’t matter, nor does the “size” of your goal!

What does matter is this:  You can create your own future, you can break through your own barriers and YOU can create your OWN #BeBoldForChange story.

How are you being bold for change?  I’d love to hear your story, big or small, in the comments below!

Beyond Your Comfort Zone.. Join me for a Facebook Live

By amandaalexander | Courage

I’m fascinated by the thoughts, feelings and resistance that comes up when we move beyond our comfort zone.

I’m doing a “Facebook Live”at 6pm GMT today 27th January 2017, about moving beyond your comfort zone. I’d like to invite you to come and join me if you’re free, but if not, you can watch it afterwards on my Facebook Page.

For me, this week has been – and will continue to be – about moving beyond my comfort zone, so I figured “In for a penny, in for a pound”, big deep breath – why not do a live chat on Facebook about moving beyond your comfort zone? Whilst being way outside of one’s own comfort zone. 😉

Walking the talk! 🙂

The Facebook live will be based on the post I wrote last week that you might have missed: “What happens when you really go for it? Stepping outside your comfort zone”

Since writing that post, I’ve continued my exploration of the “journey beyond the comfort zone”. I’d like to share some insights – most of all, I want to inspire you and dare you to keep pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone.

Because we all know – a comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there!

Here’s a little picture to demonstrate my point:

If you’re trying to push yourself beyond your comfort zone, I think you’ll enjoy this Facebook Live.

How to…
If you’e never watched a Facebook Live before, all you have to do is visit my Facebook Page at 6pm GMT and you should see me there! You have to click on the video to get the sound.

Hope to see you over there at 6pm GMT !

What happens when you really go for it? Stepping outside your comfort zone

By amandaalexander | Courage

It might be career related, business related or something else.

What is that thing you really want?

I’ll start, shall I?…

I want to take “me” – which means my business – to a much bigger audience. I want to get, FAR more women, to stop doubting themselves and start living more daringly. I want to see them achieve things they never thought they could.

Why? Because this brings me FULFILMENT. It’s my way of making a difference in the world.

I do it with my weekly posts, my occasional videos, my coaching programmes, my workshops – and it touches a few of you. I want to touch more, on a bigger scale.

I also want my fabulous business to support me and my family in my journey towards financial freedom. A few more zeros on my end of year accounts would be grand, as well!

So I have my vision, I have my why – both on a macro and on a personal level.

But what’s next, after we’ve dared to utter what we really, really want?

Well, as you know, I’m a great believer in taking baby steps to achieve big goals. You may have already read my post on the magic of daily habits and downloaded my free Daily Habits Workbook last week. Daily habits are indeed a big part of the equation.

Assuming we’ve got clear on what we really want to achieve and we’ve started taking baby steps, with the aid of our daily habits, what else do we need to do?

Well, at some point, if you have a BIG goal, the pace is going to increase, the stakes are going to rise, things are going to get REAL.

At some point, you’re going to have to hold your nose, take a deep breath and jump into the zone of discomfort!

Winston says:

“There is always much to be said for not attempting more than you can do and for making a certainty of what you try. But this principle, like others in life and war, has it exceptions.”

Here are 4 things you can expect when you step outside of your comfort zone

1. You’ll have to work very hard

If your thing is big – as mine is – then you’re going to have to work very hard indeed.

I always think that the phrase “hard work” hides a multitude of sins. I remember people telling me, when I was expecting Max (now 14), that labour would be “hard work”. Well, I can tell you that the phrase hard work bore no relation to the actual experience of hard work when I was in labour.

Real hard work towards your big goal is a bit like childbirth. You have no idea what it means until you’re in the throes of it.

In other words, it’s not real until it’s real!

I’ve been putting the hours in these past few weeks, on a steep learning curve wondering frequently “How on EARTH am I going to achieve all of these things?”

Winston says:

“Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.”

2. You will doubt yourself

At multiple points, not just once, when you are working hard, it will be so hard you’ll think:

“I don’t know if I’ve got what it takes”
“I’m not clever enough”
“I don’t know if I have enough time/energy/motivation”

This self-doubt can be debilitating and wastes a lot of energy, meaning you have to catch up on more of that hard work!

By the way, if you haven’t seen it already, I’ve got a free webinar next week about how to deal with this self-doubt. Click here to sign up to “Doubt Yourself and Do It Anyway” or see details at the bottom of the post!

Self-doubt and I battle it out frequently. I have been experiencing self-doubt a fair bit this week whilst trying to shoot a video to promote Doubt Yourself and Do It Anyway. I lost count of how many takes I did – it must have been at least 40! There was a lot of swearing, a lot of self-criticism and according to the bloke, a lot of body dysmorphia.

Winston says:

“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”

3. You’ll feel like giving up, more than once

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. But what if you’re not tough? Please refer to point 2 – self doubt!

When you start working hard, you will inevitably come across things you don’t understand, things that you don’t like doing and things that you want to give up on.

My story: Facebook Ads. Oh. My. God. Trying to figure out the Facebook Ads “Power Editor”, even with a step by step video guide, took me right back to being a kid who didn’t understand maths. I just wanted to GIVE UP.

Yesterday evening, I cancelled my exercise class and told the bloke to go without me. I carried on working through – for another 3 hours. It was painful as in childbirth pushing stage painful! I wanted to give up, more than once.

Winston says:

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

4. You’ll feel scared

When you are “upping your game” and stepping up, you are going to have to step outside of your comfort zone. And it’s called “comfort zone” for a reason. It’s comfortable – not scary. Ergo, being OUTSIDE your comfort zone means – you are scared.

You will feel as if you’re in a light aircraft, all kitted up with a parachute, waiting for the plane to get to the correct height. You know that very soon, it’s decision time. Your instructor will open that door, position you at the edge and count down.

This is the point at which you have a choice. You can decide NOT to jump. The great thing abut this is that you’ll be safe, because you haven’t taken the risk that comes with jumping out of a plane with some silk strapped to your back!

But if you make that choice, you’ll never know what it would have been like to leap from that aeroplane. You will never feel the achievement of having faced your fear and doing it anyway. And you will probably beat yourself up for not having had the courage to step up (or jump!)

At this point, if you decide you ARE going to jump, you will be terrified like you’ve never been terrified before!!

Thoughts like this will race through your head…

“Why did I EVER embark on this journey? What on earth was I thinking?”
“Am I going to fall flat on my face?” (Or worse if you ARE actually jumping out of a plane)
“What if all of this is for nothing?”
“What am I going to do it I fail?”

When you jump, you really jump. And there’s nobody else with you. That moment of decision is yours and yours alone. There will be cheerleaders, supporters – before and after – but the only person who can make the jump is YOU. And that’s the really scary bit. That’s the bit where you have to screw your courage to the sticking place and just do it.

I can tell you, I feel as if I’m free falling right now. I keep reminding myself to breathe. I keep focusing on the sky instead of the ground. I am waiting for that chute to open.

Winston says:

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Continue reading

The One Thing You Need To Do To Achieve Your Dream

By amandaalexander | Business

In this day and age of self actualisation, you will hear a lot about the importance of having big goals. You will hear from Coaches (like me!) and celebrity motivational experts like Tony Robbins that you can have anything you want and that you just have to decide what it is that you want. You will hear that as soon as you’ve achieved clarity, you’re half way there! Easy! You will hear that by having a clear and juicy vision of your life, career or business, you simply have to work backwards and identify the steps.

And then – well – it’s just a matter of taking those steps, isn’t it?
Job done.
Big dream achieved.

Well, not quite that simple.

All the above is true – I DO believe you can pretty much have/be/do anything you want. I also believe that getting very clear on your big juicy goal is important – because that dictates which steps you’re going to take.

But the bad news is, deciding what you want and getting clear on what that looks like is NOT the hardest bit.Continue reading

7 Questions That Will Motivate You In Uncertain Times

By amandaalexander | Courage

Times they are a changin’…. Now there’s the understatement of 2016! Changes, in the UK at least, seem to be happening at the speed of light.  Buckle up, this rollercoaster ride isn’t about to end any time soon!

Here are a *few* snapshots from the past 3 weeks here in Britannia…

* Blighty is leaving the EU.. at some point. We think.

* The 3 “big wigs” at the forefront of the EU Referendum campaign, including our Prime Minister have all resigned.

* The Voldemort character who plotted to use a Boris-shaped stooge to further his own dastardly ambitions to become Prime Minister went from leadership candidate to voted out to sacked within 2 weeks.

* The UK has had their first ever all-female shortlist for a replacement Prime Minister

* …Which lasted about 4 days, then one withdrew after a kerfuffle with the press and accusations of using motherhood as a campaign angle.

* On Monday, after the shortest and easiest leadership race in history, the UK discovered that Theresa May would be their next PM.

* It’s now Wednesday and David Cameron is on his way to see the Queen to tender his resignation formally. Let’s just hope Mrs. May has hired “Speedy Removals”

* Scotland, London and possibly Wales are threatening to have their own referendum of independence. At this rate it’s likely that the United Kingdom is going to look like a patchwork quilt

* The leader of the opposition is hanging on a cliff edge for his position with his fingertips whilst most of his party MPs line up to stamp on his hand.

* The Governor of the Bank of England is about to slash interest rates to an all time low

* And sterling is about as predictable as a toddler’s tantrums


In the intervening period between writing and publishing this post, I won’t be surprised to hear that The Monster Raving Loony Party has been re-formed and that The Sun has announced that it is backing them as winners for the next general election in 2020.

Meanwhile, across the pond, the US is gearing up for a battle for the Whitehouse, potentially to welcome their first ever female President. Or their first ever Trump.

I’m saying nothing. As House of Cards’ Francis Urquhart would say, “You might think that. I couldn’t possibly comment”

In the meantime, despite the world being unpredictable, turbulent and shocking, we have to get on with it, don’t we?


Here are 7 highly motivating questions that will help you, no matter what the next headline news brings. You might find them easy, you might find them difficult. But don’t give up if you can’t answer straight away. You might want to sit down with a friend the first time you go through these questions.



The only rule for the partner asking the questions is that they must KEEP QUIET.  No “active listening” malarkey, no “Yes, me too”, no “ahas” or “umms” or even “aahs”.  Just ask the question and shut your mouth. You are allowed to nod and smile, but otherwise you should be like the perfect Victorian child:  Seen but not heard.


  1. There is no right or wrong way to interpret these 7 questions, so interpret as you wish.  If you come up with a better question to answer, that’s allowed!
  2. Equally, you choose when you want to ask the questions – first thing in the morning, last thing before bed or anywhere in between
  3. Create an automated reminder or an association so that you begin to ask these questions daily without forgetting. For example, an association might be “When I boil the kettle in the morning, I ask my 7 questions” If you choose to do this, then write the questions on a card and stick it onto the wall or cupboard above your kettle.
  4. Persevere. We all have good days and we all have bad days. Don’t beat yourself up if you find the questions hard on the bad days. Even if you sometimes feel you are just going through the motions, stick with them. You’ll still be re-programming your mind. As Tesco says, Every Little Helps!
  5. Bonus goodness: Answer your questions out loud. Speak the answers like you mean them. Head up, shoulders back, big smile on your face. Your physiology has a strong impact on your psychology.


The questions are in the first person.  If you are getting help from a partner, get them to change “I” to “you” (obviously!!)

  1. How far have I come?
  2. What am I excited about in my life right now?
  3. What am I proud of in my life right now?
  4. What am I committed to in my life right now?
  5. What am I grateful for in my life right now?
  6. Why am I so wealthy? (rather than “why am I so poor?”)
  7. Why am I so blessed? (rather than “why does this have to happen to me?”)

* Stop Press!   Since the time of writing the article and publishing it (half a day), Mrs. May DID hire a very speedy removal company.  And she made Boris Foreign Secretary. In, out shake it all about!  See! Told you it was change at the speed of light!


I adapted these 7 questions from a woman who has been the most influential mentor I’ve had in my life.  Her name is Ann Wilson and she’s also known as .  She is brilliant at motivating people. In fact, a few weeks ago, she lifted me out of a slump and got me back on track!

If you like my approach, then I’m pretty certain that you’ll also like Ann’s.  She’s recently released an excellent free video training programme, called  . The stuff she teaches in the second video is highly relevant to growing your wealth in times of uncertain times.

Especially for those of us with a currency that is as uncertain as a toddler’s tantrums 😉



Why I was crying not cheering

By amandaalexander | Courage

Before you start reading, a warning..

I am not holding back from my political views in this post. As I get older, I get bolder. I also believe very strongly that I serve the World more when I am open, honest, authentic .

I hope, whether your views are aligned to or different from mine, that you will still read this in the spirit it is offered – a spirit of love. I also hope that you will take from this week’s post the over-riding message I want to share.

So there you go: Full disclosure given. On with the story..

An Emotional Mangle!

On Thursday 16th June, I felt as if I’d been put through an emotional mangle. It was a day that had already been influenced by World events – the awful shootings in The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the rise of Donald Trump and especially, for me, the increasing tension leading up to the UK’s EU Referendum on 23rd June.

This culminated on Thursday in the murder of Jo Cox, mother of two, human rights campaigner and recently appointed Labour MP for Batley and Spen, in West Yorkshire.

Jo was shot and stabbed in her constituency. She had been a staunch advocate of human rights, arguing against bombing in Syria, raising awareness of the benefits of immigration and firmly and vociferously in the “Remain” camp for the referendum.

Whilst England fans were cheering as we scored a second goal against Wales in the Euros on Thursday afternoon, I did not celebrate. I was reeling, shaking. I phoned my mum and had a cry instead.

Events leading up to tears…

I believe with all my heart that Britain should stay in the European Union. I haven’t always felt this: Up until a few months ago, I was like many people – confused and unsure.

All I’m going to say on my reasons is this:  The World needs more connectedness, not more separation.  I believe that we need to bring people together and seek to find common ground rather than divide and seek difference.  I have already voted – thanks to a postal vote granted from my days as a peripatetic Project Manager.

But it wasn’t enough for me just to vote: I wanted to do more, so I investigated how I could support the “Remain” campaigners. To cut a long story short, I joined a group of Labour Party members in Frodsham who were leafleting for “Remain”.

My good friend Claire “volunteered” to come with me (hehehe!!) We met with some hostile reactions from those who were willing to tell us why they were voting “Leave”. It upset me very much that the reasons seemed to share one thing in common: Xenophobia.

One man told me that “Germany are itching for a World War 3”. Another said “France and Germany want to take over”. The Labour coordinator advised us to give one of the UKIP “Leave” campaigners a wide berth – a man in his 70s or 80s. Apparently this man had earlier squared up to one of the “Remain” volunteers, formed a gun with his hand,  and pulled the imaginary trigger in his face. He then stamped on his feet. Go figure…

My taste of campaigning for a cause on Thursday was not positive.  It was way outside of my comfort zone!  Following this unpleasant experience, the edgy state of the World and then the news that Jo Cox had been shot, I wasn’t feeling much in the mood for cheering on England.

But please bear with me – I’ve set the scene and it’s been lengthy compared to the denouement of this particular story….

Zest for Life

Jo’s husband Brendan wrote a beautiful, significant statement following his wife’s death:

“Today is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. More difficult, more painful, less joyful, less full of love. I and Jo’s friends and family are going to work every moment of our lives to love and nurture our kids and to fight against the hate that killed Jo.

Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most people.

She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn’t have a creed, race or religion, it is poisonous.

Jo would have no regrets about her life, she lived every day of it to the full.”

Life finds a way to go on

On Thursday night, I dried my tears and dragged myself out of the house to join some of my BMF (British Military Fitness) mates for a hard session in pouring rain.

On Friday morning I went to Freddie’s school for a special assembly. He had been awarded a “Praise Postcard”. He didn’t know that he’d been awarded the praise postcard or that mum and dad would be there – big surprise.

After that, I spent the day at The International Festival of Business in Liverpool. It was a day to celebrate women in business and of focusing on the positive impact of courageous women like Jo Cox.

This week, before Referendum Day Claire and I will be screwing our courage to the sticking place and will do some more leafleting for “Vote Remain”.

Life is good and there are good people. And you are one of them.

So the message in this post reflects Brendon Cox’s wonderful tribute to his wife, Jo:

It’s about living your life fully, with energy and compassion. It’s about believing in a better world and fighting for it every day of your life, in your own little way. And you can do that by letting love lead you, not fear.

“Is it love or is it fear?”

It’s a question I ask my clients many, many times. I ask the question about their decisions in every part of their lives. It’s fundamental.. Choose love or fear. Fear is what leads to hate, so choose love.

At 6.30 am on Friday morning, this little meme jumped out at me:

“People are still good, mostly” she said.
“Not from what I’m hearing”, he said.
“Love is quieter than gunshots, but there’s more of it” she said


Since writing this post, after The Praise Postcard Assembly, my son Freddie was praised for the work he puts  into all subjects, which he “loves”.

But one phrase read out by his teacher in the praise postcard stood out more than any of his academic achievements:

“Fred loves life”.  

There’s little more I need to add except:  Go… Live your life full out and with Love.

The opposite of fear

By amandaalexander | Courage

“There are only two emotions: Fear and Love. Go with love”
-Wayne Dyer

My intended post was about letting go of your ego, which I’ll share with you next week.  I felt compelled acknowledge the recent terrorist attacks.  Some are suffering after the murder of people they love, others are in heated debate about media coverage or what to do about it all.  And there are also many who are looking for ways they can, in their own little way, make a difference.

This edition of Inspire comes to you with the intention of making a difference in a very small way.   Knowing the opposite of fear in a different way, I’d like to share two messages that inspire love, courage and hope.

You may well have come across the one or both already.  Here is the first, translated from the original French. It was posted on Facebook by a man called Antoine, whose wife was killed last Friday in the Paris attacks:

On Friday night you stole the life of an exceptional being, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you won’t have my hatred.

I don’t know who you are and I don’t want to know – you are dead souls. If this God for which you kill indiscriminately made us in his own image, every bullet in the body of my wife will have been a wound in his heart.

So no, I don’t give you the gift of hating you. You are asking for it but responding to hatred with anger would be giving in to the same ignorance that made you what you are.

You want me to be afraid, to view my fellow countrymen with mistrust, to sacrifice my freedom for security.You have lost.

I saw her this morning. Finally, after many nights and days of waiting. She was just as beautiful as when she left on Friday night, just as beautiful as when I fell hopelessly in love over 12 years ago.

Of course I’m devastated with grief, I admit this small victory, but it will be short-lived. I know she will accompany us every day and that we will find ourselves in this paradise of free souls to which you’ll never have access.

We are two, my son and I, but we are stronger than all the armies of the world.

I don’t have any more time to devote to you, I have to join Melvil who is waking up from his nap. He is barely 17-months-old. He will eat his meals as usual, and then we are going to play as usual, and for his whole life this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free. Because no, you will not have his hatred either.”

The second is a broadcast by “The Project” host Waleed Aly. It is an eloquent, impassioned broadcast. I think it is important because it reduces fear and offers hope that each one of us can make a difference, very simply. I believe that it is well worth 5 minutes of your precious time to watch this:

The opposite of fear

I’ll end with Waleed’s words:

“We all need to come together. I know how that sounds, I know it’s a cliché. But it’s also true, because it’s exactly what ISIL want”

I agree with Waleed that “what we need is more love”

I’ll finish this week’s Inspire by repeating the quote in the image accompanying this week’s post, from the late, great Wayne Dyer:

“There are only two emotions: Fear and love. Go with love”

This is a mantra that accompanies many of my coaching sessions – and is one that helps me in every area of my life.


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 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! 🙂