Category Archives for "Inspiration"

The 3 Things You Need to Practise to Achieve Your Dreams

By amandaalexander | Business

“Every dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” 

There’s no preamble to this article:  The 3 things you need to practise to achieve your dreams are:


If you feel that you’ve been struggling to gain momentum to make the changes you yearn for, then this article is especially for you.

Let’s start with PASSION!

It is essential to have passion in order to achieve the success you crave.  But, contrary to popular opinion, passion doesn’t perform miracles in isolation.  You can’t just be passionate about something and expect everything to fall into place.

The PASSION bit is the spark; it’s where the desire to make a difference starts.  But what if your passion has gone poop?

Here’s my theory – If you ain’t got no passion, I think it’s likely that one thing needs your attention – YOU! You can’t be passionate about anything if you’re worn down, depressed, knackered, being unkind to yourself, dislike yourself. Easier said than done, but if this is the case, you need to take really good care of yourself.

Once you’ve put extreme self-care as your no. 1 priority, at that point you will be able to gently raise your eyes above the horizon of merely surviving or plodding along.

Occasionally in life, plodding along is all you can do – we all have our plodding periods – don’t kid yourself that you’re the only one. So when you find yourself in one of those plodding phases, it really is important to look after no. 1 first.

This ain’t airy fairy BS self-care advice: It’s the TRUTH!

The truth according to Amanda Alexander, anyway 😉

Here’s where your STRENGTH comes inIt takes STRENGTH to build yourself up when you’re in that plodding phase, so by gently lifting yourself, you’ll prove to yourself that you are indeed strong – and that will raise your confidence and increase your sense of hope. I promise you that as you’re working on it, you’ll soon notice that your plodding has turned to – oooh, let’s say – a speed walk!

And one day, you’ll find yourself hot to trot! Which means your inner STRENGTH muscle is shaping up very nicely! Guess what? PASSION will be a mere trot around the corner..

And what about PATIENCE?

You might be all fired up with passion leading the way, you have toned your strength muscle nicely. You’re on your way!  However, you’re also going to need oodles of PATIENCE for the dips that you don’t seem to be popping out of quickly enough. Those times when you’re wondering…

  • When will things turn around?!
  • How much more do I have to endure before this gets easier?!
  • Will I ever start making any real progress?!


The road to success has lots of twisty turny bits, potholes and unexpected detours. Nobody gets a perfectly tarmaced road to success.
Quite frankly, your twisty turny road to success may sometimes feel like it’s never going to end. BUT, probably when you’re least expecting it, when you’ve got PASSION, STRENGTH and PATIENCE firmly in place, you’ll discover that one of the unexpected detours leads to you achieving that thing your heart desires.Hang on in there.. you’re on your way!

What’s Your Story This Christmas?

By amandaalexander | Inspiration

People keep asking me “Are you ready for Christmas?”

Well, the house looks festive, – there’s a beautiful Christmas tree in the living room, a wreath on the door and sparkly lights outside the house.  I’ve ordered a goose (not a turkey fan) and I seem to have bought enough cheese to feed all the mice in the village. And their cousins.

But overall, the answer is no, I am NOT ready for Christmas.  Hopefully, by the time you receive this, I might be more “ready”, but at the time of writing (Thursday evening), I  most certainly am NOT!  I haven’t wrapped a single present, I still have a fair bit of food shopping to do, I’ve done no “get ahead” cooking and I definitely don’t have a bl**dy plan for Christmas Day (or any other day). Nor have I  “packed away” work for the Christmas break.

I’ve spent today working hard to resolve stuff that wasn’t even on my urgent important list, but which overtook the urgent important stuff.  Hmmmm… It’s as if somebody is testing me to see how much I can take!  I doubt it’s all going to magically fall into place just in time for when the bell strikes midnight on Christmas Eve, like it does in the Christmas movies!

But hey ho (ho ho).. it’s just stuff.

Christmas can  be a time of love, joy and togetherness. It can be a time when we get to slow down (after we’ve bought and cooked the goose!), ditch the healthy eating (goose fat roast potatoes?) and indulge ourselves (make mine a large Baileys on ice). It’s also the time just before New Year –  a fresh start, a new leaf – so it’s also a time for reflection, gratitude and planning.

And part of that reflection, for me, has to be about others.

There is so much pressure around Christmas to get it all done, have a good time and “be happy”, Whilst I don’t want to be a killjoy –  many  love Christmas and are excited about it –  I think that it’s important to think about what a tough time of year it is for many people.

Time to address the elephant in the tinsel decorated room:

Many people are grieving;  many are worried about their marriages;  many are worried about money;  many are ill;  many are alone….

Even in my own little World, I can think of at least 5 of my friends who have suffered a bereavement this year.  In just the last week, my oldest son Max told me about the battles some of his friends are facing  –  it made me weep.  I feel so much for those poor kids facing very difficult challenges in their young lives.

I love this quote:

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle: Be kind”

It reminds me that each of us has our own story at Christmas.

So my Christmas message to you is not a phatic “Have a great Christmas”! It’s a message from one human to another to say  – I see you, I acknowledge you, I’m with you.  In some small way, across the miles, even though we might not know each other,  I send my heart out to you, whether you’re feeling upbeat or a bit battered, joyful or sad, healthy or in pain.

Whatever your Christmas story, I send you my love.

p.s If you want to reply in the comments below or even drop me an email in answer to the question I posed in the title, I’m here and I’m listening.  Really! 

The Best Gift for Women Who Are Trying to Get Things Done

By amandaalexander | Guilt

Have you seen any of those provocative memes on social media that warn people not to mention Christmas until 1st December?

I don’t comment that I covertly started buying my first Christmas presents in October, when I happened to see an advert in a paper for toys that I thought my nieces would enjoy.

When my youngest son mentioned an author he likes, I checked Amazon one evening and pre-ordered his latest book for Christmas from shhh.. you know who. Also in October.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those incredibly organised people who finishes all their Christmas shopping by 1st November and who has written, addressed and stamped all their cards ready to be sent on 30th November.

But I AM a woman who is mum to two boys and aunt to three girls.

And I am also a woman who thinks about what we’re going to eat every evening and who plans, shops, cooks.

I am a woman who suddenly remembers, smack bang in the middle of my working day, that my youngest son mentioned his friend’s birthday party next Saturday. Who emails the boy’s mum to ask for details, because the party invitation has gone astray.

I am a woman who makes packed lunches every day and constantly reminds them to pick up their towels, make their beds and clean their teeth. I am a woman who drives her eldest son to football practice, with 15 minute notice, because he’d really like to go.

And as well as all that, I am a woman who runs a business full time.

In short, I’m a woman who is constantly trying to get things done.

So when I see those social media memes that tease people who start thinking about Christmas in November, I quietly wonder if their life might be a little less jam-packed than mine!

I suspect you will get this completely! Whether you start thinking about Christmas in November or not!

Because for so many women who are always trying to get things done, particularly at this time of year, the dial is turned up high on freneticism.

The danger is that you constantly feel as if you are falling behind or that you have not done enough.

You might feel that you are somehow not efficient, fast, smart, disciplined, organised enough. You may have a running commentary in your head at the end of the day chiding yourself for what you DIDN’T get round to.

The multitude of amazing mini achievements that you DID clock up are mentally ticked off without a second thought. You probably rarely stop to acknowledge yourself.

The cumulative impact of feeling like you’ve never quite come up to scratch is insidious. Mental self-flagellation becomes a painful habit. It’s as if you are fighting the same battle day in day out, that always ends in defeat and despondency. How can you ever catch up? Get it all done? When will you ever be enough?

So I wanted to give you, as another woman who is always trying to get things done, a little gift in this week’s post. It’s actually a very precious gift.

It’s called “enoughness”

I’m giving you explicit permission to tell yourself that, whatever you did, or did not achieve this week, it was absolutely enough. And that most importantly, YOU are enough.

Let me repeat that:

You have DONE enough.
You ARE enough.

Here is one of the most comforting, reassuring and empowering quotes I have ever read for busy women like you, who achieve so much each day. It’s from Brene Brown. I’ve printed this out and stuck it on my office wall. I read it at the end of every day. I am sharing it to remind you of the gift of “enoughness”:

“Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. it’s about cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think no matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough”

Enjoy your gift of enoughness at the end of today. Give yourself a pat on the back and ​tell yourself: “I have done enough today. And I AM enough”

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please use the social media share buttons to pass on the gift of enoughness to all those other busy women!

Three Things You Can Do Now to Help the World AND Be Happy

By amandaalexander | Inspiration

Before writing this post, I sought advice from a few wise women.  I did this because I felt compelled to “speak my truth”, but I wasn’t sure if I SHOULD!

One of those wise women was Heather Bestel, founder of The Happiness Garden.

Heather said:

“I think you have two choices: share your truth or don’t share your truth. It’s that simple. If you share your truth, you will lose subscribers and you may get trolls.

If you don’t share your truth, you will feel that you haven’t stepped up and been courageous when you believe you should be.

Whatever you do needs to be right for you. You already know the consequences. So, now it’s a question of choice. If you go one way, you’ll need to be prepared for other people’s feelings. And if you go the other, you’ll have to be prepared to deal with yours.”


Why I’m sharing my truth

“Get naked with your truth, offering the world your greatest gift: your authentic self.” -Gabrielle Bernstein

I’ve made my choice: I’m sharing my truth. I’m doing so because I want to inspire you to step up, be courageous and to speak YOUR truth. Because your services to this world are required!

I urge all my clients to live purposefully, not accidentally, but we can’t do that whilst being complacent and letting other people do the scary stuff that makes a difference. Living purposefully does not come with a guarantee that everybody will like us.

We can’t step up whilst keeping our heads down. And when we do step up, we’ve got to keep going: We can’t step up and stay within our comfort zone – we’ve got to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. We can’t change the world, live our life purposefully or step up into our brilliance by doing nothing, keeping our head down and saying “it’s not my bag”.

And we can’t tell our kids to be brave and “go for it” whilst shrinking in fear ourselves.


Let’s get the truth speaking out of the way!

Like billions of others, I am reeling from this week’s US presidential election results. I am aghast that so many people have voted for a man who has such blatant disregard for PEOPLE. I am intensely concerned for the World we live in;  worried that the racists, bigots, misogynists and haters have been granted carte blanche to come out of the closet.

I have spoken my truth! But this aside, let’s make no bones about it – the World is volatile and uncertain right now. Which means that we need talented men and women to stand up and get their talents out into the World.  (I wrote about this on Wednesday in my guest blog for The International Coach Federation – “Coaching in a Volatile and Uncertain World”.)


So here are three things you can do now – and from this day forward to help the world. AND be happy whilst you’re at it!


Three Things You Can Do NOW to Help the World AND Be Happy

The world needs you in all your uniqueness and with all your talents. The world needs you to step up, live your best life and embrace it more than ever. Here’s how you can help the world AND be happy:

1. Speak your truth

“What if you had the courage to speak up?”

Speaking your truth is about being in alignment with your core values and standing up for what you believe in: It does not mean shoving your opinions down other people’s throats – you can speak your truth kindly and elegantly. The distinction is assertive versus aggressive. I hope you’ll notice that in this post, I have spoken my own truth succinctly and resisted the urge to rant!

As you’ve also read, it’s flippin’ scary to speak your truth – as my friend Heather says, you have to be prepared to deal with the consequences: “The haters are gonna hate”.

You’ll need courage, but if you don’t speak your truth, if you leave it to someone else, then what? How many people are also “leaving it to someone else”?

You’ll find an excellent short article on speaking your truth on Oprah’s website .


2. Live your life fearlessly

“Do one thing every day that scares you”

Living fearlessly is not quite what I mean: We all feel fear, but we need to keep practising feeling the fear  – and doing it anyway.

I want you to live your life fearlessly, because fear is the biggest baddy of them all: Fear trumps Trump.

Fear endeavoured to stop me writing this post. Fear endeavoured to stop one of my clients from picking up the phone to speak to a recruitment consultant this week. Fear endeavours to keep us small, quiet and complacent. When good people let fear win, bad things happen and lives are never fully lived.


I had to make a difficult phone call earlier this week. I sat with my finger poised on the dial button of my phone for several minutes. The little voice of fear inside my head gave me plenty of excuses:

  • You can do this tomorrow
  • You won’t get a good reception. Wait until you’re in a better area. Tomorrow.
  • Send an email instead. Tomorrow.

But I made the call, because there’s another voice in my head that I’ve trained well. Eventually that other voice piped up: 

“FFS! Amanda, get your big girl knickers on and MAKE THE DAMN PHONE CALL”

So I faced the fear head on and made the call.  And the fear disappeared.  

You don’t need me to tell you that the only way to live fearlessly is to face up to fear. But the only way you can do that is practice. So keep practising and you’ll notice the fear melt away. It won’t ever completely go, but you’ll be able to dance with it rather than shrink from it.


3. Practice random acts of kindness every day

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do”


Many “ordinary” people feel powerless in the face of World events and politics, but we are NOT powerless.

In a volatile and uncertain world, we have a choice: We can either give up and become victims, subject to the whims of those in power. Or, we can do what we can. When many people take many small positive actions, change happens. And what could be a simpler way to change the world in our own little way than through random acts of kindness?

  • Have you ever let the person behind you in the supermarket queue go before you, even when there was more in their trolley than yours?
  • Have you ever sent someone a card to tell them how much you appreciate them and why?
  • Have you ever picked up litter and taken it home?

These are just a few examples of random acts of kindness. Performing random acts of kindness is one of the best ways you can help the world AND feel on top of the world at the same time!

On Wednesday, I did something I’ve never done before: At the end of my Forward Ladies business breakfast meeting in Manchester, there was a lot of food left over – about 40 freshly baked bagels with cream cheese and prosciutto. I asked the manager if we could wrap them up in individual packages so that I could give them out to homeless people. He was so kind – he helped me to wrap them and gave me a plastic vegetable basket to carry them. I ventured out with the basket of goodies into the city centre feeling a bit nervous. I was actually nervous about other people looking at me, and I didn’t know what reaction I’d get.

I needn’t have worried. Each of the homeless people I offered those bagels to accepted and thanked me graciously. This little exercise made me put my own fears about “the next 4 years” into perspective.  I am so fortunate – I have never been in a position where a stranger has offered me their leftover sandwiches wrapped in tin foil. I might have created fearful thoughts about what the future might hold, but I am not homeless. My fear was all in my head – the people I spoke to were living the fear.

Be the change the World needs by bringing your gifts into the world, facing your fears, speaking your truth and doing what you can.