Category Archives for "Resilience"

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!

This is the best thing ever for stressed out women!

By amandaalexander | Habits for Working Mums

The “bedtime story”: An unfortunate series of time drains

My friend Chris says it’s because I have a lot of fire energy…

But for whatever reason, I seem to have been plagued with more than my fair share of technical failures recently.

In the past two months alone I have faced hard disk failure TWICE, keyboard failure and now, the latest technical misadventure is that my brand new Apple MacBook has developed a mysterious, intermittent fault with the space bar.

Always looking for ways of logistically maximising my time, yesterday I decided I could fit in an appointment to get this issue fixed after a meeting in London.

After my meeting in South East London, I headed to the West End to the nearest Apple store – Regent Street.

The underground line that should have taken me directly there broke down and a 30-minute journey turned into a one-hour journey.

I finally arrived at Piccadilly and discovered the Regent Street Store was closed for refurbishment. So I identified the next nearest store, Convent Garden, and started walking there. I got lost – because that’s how I roll – so the half mile walk became 1 mile.

I arrived at the Apple Store and booked my appointment. Despite having a business service plan for technical support, which is supposed to guarantee me an appointment within 15 minutes of requesting it, the Convent Garden store was so overwhelmed with people that the guarantee failed to deliver.

I waited as long as I could, eventually giving up as my time ran out: I had a train to catch home.

The naughty space bar magically started working on the train home – hence me writing to you now – but I’m sitting on a time bomb until the problem re-occurs. So after writing this, I will have to drive to my nearest Apple store – a two-hour round trip.

I am not holding my breath for an instant fix when I get there. The riveting saga of the dodgy space bar, will, no doubt, be continued…

Sh1t happens… for all of us

You might be thinking of a similar experience you’ve had: Something “small” goes wrong in your life and the solution never turns out to be quite as simple or as quick as you’d hoped.

This kind of “spanner in the works” inevitably happens when you’re busy, when you’ve got an important and urgent deadline; when you really cannot afford the time.

Let’s face it: Sh1t happens.

It seems that life conspires to see how much more nonsense you can take. And the less time you have, the more time the issue will take. It’s almost as if there might be an additional Newtonian Law we haven’t yet proven: For every problem, the amount of time it takes to resolve is in inverse proportion to the time available.

Not so long ago, this series of time drains would have made me into a foul, angry, bad-tempered, slightly unhinged, highly stressed harpy. My knickers would have been in a right old twist.

However, I have *mostly* kept smiling…

Amanda, are you on drugs?

I believe that there is ONE thing that has made a HUGE difference to me being a less stressed out woman. Whilst I’m certainly not sitting here with a beatific smile on my face, a halo over my head and a zen-like aura of calm, I AM taking most of this in my stride.

For example:

  • I was able to be philosophical about the train that broke down, doubling my journey length.
  • I was able to laugh at myself and appreciate the extra walk after getting lost even WITH the aid of Google Maps.
  • I refrained from taking out my annoyance on the guy in the Apple store because the service I’m paying for failed to deliver
  • Whilst the LAST place I want to be today is in a large, windowless shopping centre trying to get the problem fixed, I’m looking forward to borrowing the bloke’s car (decent acceleration) to drive there: Silver lining!
  • And I’m very aware of how LUCKY I am to have a problem like this : First world problem, innit?!

So what has made me calm and philosophical about a frustrating series of time drains?

And do *you* want some of what I’ve been taking? 🙂

Drum Roll Please…The best thing ever for stressed out women is…

No, it’s NOT drugs. Or Prossecco. It’s not even coffee.
And no, it’s not regular……………exercise.

The one thing that is the best thing ever for stressed out women is **meditation** – also known as mindfulness. I’ve been practicing meditation reasonably regularly for about 2 ½ years.

In the past couple of months, I resolved to make my meditation practice the ONE SINGLE HABIT that I do, without fail, on a daily basis.

And I’m convinced that it’s changing my brain for the better!

What if this could help YOU to cope better?

If a barmy, fiery, electrical-breaking disaster-zoned fruitcake like me is able to remain calm(er), then how might meditation help YOU?

  • What if this made you less critical of yourself and more accepting?
  • What if this helped you to shout less at your kids and feel like a better mum?
  • What if this helped you to remember more and forget less? And let’s face it, you have a lot to remember!
  • What if this helped you not to take a snide comment from a co-worker to heart and you were able to shrug it off more easily?
  • What if this helped you not to wake up at 3am worrying about your project deadline?
  • What if this simply helped you to roll with the punches more?

The Scientific Proof That This Works

The Washington Post published a fascinating article last year showing how meditation not only reduces stress, but also changes your brain. A neuroscientist from Harvard conducted brain scans demonstrating the changes that meditation makes to many areas of the human brain.

Long term meditators have increased amount of grey matter in the insula and sensory regions, the auditory and sensory cortex, the frontal cortex and the prefrontal cortex.

None of which will mean much to you unless you’re a neuroscientist! However, what all this does mean is that meditation can improve your memory, your sense of equanimity, your sense of perspective and your ability to empathise, to name but a few.

And as for the impact that meditation might have on your stress levels: The area of the brain associated with stress – the amygdala, responsible for our fight or flight response – got smaller for the people in the group who went through an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction programme.

You can read the whole article here.

“But Amanda.. I don’t have time to meditate”

Wrong, rubbish, incorrect! If I have time, so do you!

We carve out time for the things we value. If you think you don’t have time to meditate, it’s because you don’t value it.

The tricky thing is, you won’t value it until you experience the benefits. And you won’t experience the benefits if you don’t carve out the time on a daily basis and do it for several months. Bit of a catch 22, isn’t it? I completely understand that, as it’s taken me years to get to the stage of committing to meditate on a daily basis.

Which is why I’m writing to you about it today. I’m hoping to convince you.

If you read the Washington Post article, you might think that you need to find a meditation teacher and carve out 40 minutes a day. This is not my experience. I meditate for 15 minutes a day. When I’m really pressed for time, I reduce that to 10 minutes.

And as this Buddhist Monk will tell you in a 90 second You Tube video, you can spend just a minute meditating and still experience benefits.

Here’s how I make time to meditate…

And the only way I can possibly keep the promise to myself to meditate on a daily basis is by doing it first thing, before I get up. Before coffee, before kids, before anything!

The difference is that I’ve set my alarm 15 minutes earlier and I committed to myself. This happens, no matter what.

I open the blinds, sit up in bed, grab my phone and open an app. The one I use is called “Get Some Headspace” and I pay a subscription for it. However, you don’t have to pay for an app. Try a few of the apps for free or type in “10 minute mindfulness” into YouTube. You’ll find plenty of free lessons.

A Baby Step Challenge to help you get started

Tomorrow is the start of a new month, the perfect time to start a challenge.
Baby steps are always the best way to create positive new habits. So here’s my simple and gentle challenge for you:

1. Set your alarm 5 minutes earlier.
2. Sit up in bed
3. Set a timer for 5 minutes
4. Close your eyes
5. Put your hands on your belly and focus on your breathing for 5 minutes.
6. Try saying “in” as you breathe in and “out” as you breathe out.
7. Do it for 7 days straight, no matter what. Commit to it.

If you find this easy, try 10 minutes for the next 7 days.

Meditation doesn’t have to be hard – don’t overthink it and don’t worry if your mind wanders. All you need to do is gently bring yourself back to focusing on your breathing.

Let me know how you get on, and please share this post with all the busy, juggling stressed out women (and men) you know. It might just inspire them to give it a try.

And now, I’ll leave you, as – guess what? My space bar has started missing a beat again!

It’s off to the Apple Store for me…with an ever so slightly beatific smile on my face. 🙂

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 😉



7 Steps to Feel Better After The Shock of Your Life

By amandaalexander | Resilience

I woke up this morning and got “the shock of my life”.  I’d drifted off to sleep at about 3am this morning and woke at 6.30 am to find out that the UK had voted to leave the European Union after yesterday’s referendum Feel Better After.

As the idiom goes, it really does feel like “the shock of my life”.

I’m not alone. Of the 16 million people in the UK who voted “Remain”, many are feeling equally shocked and devastated. It has been a tumultuous day in the UK. The victorious “out” side has hailed today as “Independence Day”, the UK Prime Minister resigned within an hour and the pound has plunged to a 31 year low, its biggest ever fall.

Devastated.. that’s a strong word, isn’t it? One of the dictionary definitions is this:

“With severe shock, distress, or grief”.

You might not be one of those 16 million who voted to leave the European Union, in which case you’re probably not feeling devastated!

However, you, or someone you know, might be experiencing shock, grief or distress for any number of reasons. If so, then this week’s post is for you. I’ve rigorously tried and tested steps 1 to 6 today and I use step 7 every single day of my life!

Ready? Then let’s help you to feel a little bit better…

1. Allow yourself to feel the emotions

Many people are afraid of strong emotions – both their own and others. Don’t be afraid. You’re allowed to feel!

This morning, as soon as the referendum result was announced, the outpouring of shock and grief on social media amongst my circle of friends was HUGE. This is simply what people do in times of stress – they reach out to others – and many of them express their emotions.

However, amongst the outpouring, a few were advising:

“What’s done is done. No use chewing over it. We need to deal with what has happened and move on”.

Actually – NO! Not only are people ALLOWED to be upset, angry, bereft after “the shock of their lives” – it is a normal, healthy response.

A study of people who lived to be 100 years old at Yeshiva University in New York found that emotional expression was a common trait, along with a positive attitude (but we’ll come to that in step 6)!

Whether you’ve lost your place in the EU, split up with your partner, lost everything you own or lost someone you love, you’re allowed to feel “negative” emotions! The grieving process is necessary for dealing with your emotions healthily and it shouldn’t be bypassed.

Please, don’t suppress your emotions after “the shock of your life”. How you express them is your choice entirely, as long as you do so safely and responsibly. You’re certainly not obligated to express your emotions publicly or on social media, but you ARE allowed to express them in a way that is fitting for you.

2. Go outside

After a weeping session over the phone to my mum, she instructed me to get dressed, make a coffee, pour it into a flask and go for a walk. I did what I was told, because mums are always annoyingly right, aren’t they?!

If you’re devastated, getting outside into nature won’t remove the cause of your devastation, but it will help you to reduce the harmful cortisol running through your body and build up some feel good endorphins instead.

Go outside, be “in nature”. It will, quite simply, give you a little respite from the shock.

3. Tend and befriend

There is scientific evidence demonstrating the female response to stress is to “tend and befriend”:

This is how the American Psychological Association explains the response:

“Tending involves nurturant activities designed to protect the self and offspring that promote safety and reduce distress; befriending is the creation and maintenance of social networks that may aid in this process. The biobehavioral mechanism that underlies the tend and befriend pattern appears to draw heavily on the attachment/caregiving system, and considerable neuroendocrine evidence from animal and human studies suggests that oxytocin, in conjunction with female reproductive hormones and endogenous opioid peptide mechanisms, may be at its core.”

In laymen’s terms, as women our natural response to stress – and one that produces positive physiological (and therefore psychological) benefits – is to look after our kids and draw upon our network of friends. And in particular our female friends. I called 3 of my girlfriends whilst out walking this morning. We cried and talked through our emotions with each other.

Call a friend and talk it through.

* A note for the blokes reading this!.. I’m not saying that men DON’T ‘tend and befriend’, but they certainly don’t do so to the extent that women do. This could be a good female trait for you to emulate, guys!

4. Accept, breathe and choose

My friend Clare Josa ran an excellent Facebook livecast this afternoon called “How to hold on to hope when the sh1t hits the fan”. She advises a 3 step process:

  1. Accept
  2. Breathe
  3. Choose how to respond

Simple and brilliant. You can get more details on this 3 step process and some other great “sh1t hitting fan” strategies via  the recording of Clare’s livecast here.

5. Create some structure amongst the chaos

Now that you’ve allowed yourself to cry, given yourself some space in nature, chatted with a friend, done Clare’s 3 step exercise, it’s time for a bit of tough self-love.

Write yourself a “to do” list of what you’re going to achieve today/tomorrow. Make it a very “back to basics” list. If you are hit by grief, you’re not going to be at your most productive.

Face this fact, but don’t let yourself descend into apathy and depression. The rule is this: Force yourself to achieve at least 5 things on your list. By applying some normality and structure to your day in times of shock, you will give yourself a float to cling onto as the waves buffet you.

Write a simple “to do” list for tomorrow. If you’re experiencing serious grief in your life, you can really go back to basics and add things you’d normally take for granted.

“Get a shower” and “get dressed” and “make my bed” are all allowed when your world has been turned upside down. Tick off each “achievement” as you go along.

By creating this very gentle structure and achieving some “normal” stuff, you will feel just that little bit better.

6. Get relentlessly positive

Tough love part 2. Dr. Sarah McKay of Your Brain Health says this:

“simply envisioning a different life may as successfully invoke change as the actual experience”

Your tough love part 2 task is to get relentlessly and creatively positive. Let your creative mind free. What positive might come out of this shocking situation, even if you think it’s unlikely? What ideas do you have to inch (not leap) towards a happier future?

Even if you never carry out any of your ideas, simply by imagining a future beyond the initial shock, you will engage your brain to help you to feel better.

7. Exercise your gratitude muscle

And last but not least.. that old chestnut.. GRATITUDE! This works every time and it’s my most well-used piece of advice.

Look around you and notice the things you are grateful for today. The more you train yourself to notice things to be thankful for, the more you’ll see.

When you’re experiencing trauma, developing an attitude of gratitude for the small joys in everyday life will develop your resilience – and feel better.  

Even after “the shock of your life”.

When is the right time for you to give up?

By amandaalexander | Resilience

Last Wednesday, at our meeting, I shared my “thought for the month”. Here is the gist of it:

I’ve had many people telling me they feel as if they are only just “getting started” with the year in the last week of January. It seems that many have had a tough start to the year. Some have faced challenges that they have hit head on and have felt like giving up. I’ve even had a few of my own!

But here’s the thing: Fortune doesn’t only favour the brave, fortune favours those who keep on going, doggedly and with determination. Much of the time, you won’t know it on the outside, but inside they are gritting their teeth. They might be holding back the tears. Catch them in a bad moment and you might even see one of those tears escaping from their eyes.

Resilience is about keeping going, even when you are exhausted, life is giving you a good old bashing and you feel as if your quest is hopeless.

Successful people may appear as if they have charmed lives. You may feel envious and wonder “How did they do that?” The reality is very likely that they just kept buggering on. You might only know how many obstacles they overcame until after they have succeeded. And you might never know, because they might never talk about it. So don’t assume that anything worth achieving has been easy, even by those who claim it was!

When you really want something and you believe in it, you have to keep going, even when everybody else appears to be coasting.

Failed again? Oh well! Have a cry, find someone who loves you and believes in you. Get them to “gee” you up. Dry your tears and then get on with it! Try again.

And again. And again. And again!

Seth Godin, a renowned and brilliant business writer and blogger, wrote a very short book called “The Dip”. Essentially, the message from “The Dip” is this: When you are at your lowest point, when you can’t see the light because you are right at the bottom of a pit and you’ve just slid that final few feet, this is the time when you most want to give up. But this is also the time when you should NOT give up.

Actually, you CAN give up – but only momentarily. You can give up for the day and say “I’m done”. You can eat chocolate, run a hot bath, pour a G&T or do whatever it takes. You can feel properly sorry for yourself.

But then, the next day, you’re going to get up and you start again. You will try again. Alas, that is NOT the point when everything will turn around for you. Hot baths, G&T and chocolate, are not miracle catalysts, they are just sticking plasters. You’ll still have dips.

But you must not give up.

When you least expect it, one of two things will happen:

1. One day, you will have an idea and that idea will WORK to get you out of the bottom of the pit. You’ll do something differently. All of a sudden, you realise you’ve found a way out of the pit. And you’ll start climbing up.
2. One day, someone will unexpectedly throw a ladder down into your dark pit. Nobody could have foreseen that ladder and it will seem like a miracle. You couldn’t have planned that ladder.

And the reason for no. 2 is that miracles always seem to happen to people who don’t give up.

Sometimes all it takes is someone to tell you! So I’m telling you – now is NOT the time for you to give up!

Want some proof that miracles happen to people who don’t give up? Your wish is my command! Here are 2 messages from a couple of the ladies at our Forward Ladies meeting:

The first is from Lara and I have transcribed it from the voicemail she left me. The second is from Brenda who spoke to me and then emailed me later:

I just wanted to say, “thanks for your little snippet at the end about January and things just happening. I feel like I’ve had an awful January and that really gave me a kick up the bum. Then as it happened I then took a really interesting phone call about something exciting and then I got a load of customer orders. So things are really on the up. Thank you, I needed that” Lara

Thank you for those comments – I was about to give up but I’m not going to now” and then by email:
As I said at the meeting, your comments really helped me, it seemed my dream was not going to come true but several new avenues have opened for me to explore!” Brenda

So, when is the right time for you to give up?
Not just yet…
Ask me again tomorrow. 🙂

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

By amandaalexander | Mindset

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

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

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

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

You know the sort of thing!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Any “poor little me” feelings will melt away.

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

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

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

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

In fact, not problems but blessings.

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

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!