My passion is helping women learn how to manage their thoughts and habits so they can build a life they truly love. I know it’s possible because I’m doing it.
Our generation has been told we can have it all, and we’re learning that’s true, but there’s a price. We constantly feel exhausted and behind in all areas of our life when we try. Taking care of ourselves goes out the window in order to get everything else done. Our perfectionistic tendencies that got us the good grades, the good jobs, and the praise and approval are now ruining our health, friendships, and well-being.
My coaching work was born out of my own experience as a Type-A overachiever who had checked all of the life boxes (Ivy League education, marriage, home ownership, professional advancement…) and found myself wondering why I still didn’t feel fulfilled.
I used to think that just reaching one more goal, getting a fancy job, or earning another gold star would be the answer to what turned out to be a relentless sense of not feeling good enough. I looked to other people’s messages to find clues to who I was supposed to be.
The first of these experiences happened at the end of my sophomore year at the college I thought I “should” go to. I pushed myself hard to fit in in an environment that was so opposite of who I was that I ended up being hit so hard by depression that I couldn’t get out of bed.
I took the next year to reset. I lived at home and applied to a smaller school in Southern California. The next two years were fabulous, I met the ladies I still consider to be my best friends, studied by the pool, and re-discovered my love for being outside.
After graduation, I took the job I thought I “should” take (you’ll notice a pattern here). As a business consultant, I traveled every week from Portland to the Bay Area. There were a lot of things I loved about this job, but it wasn’t healthy for me. Leaving at 5am every Monday morning to get on an airplane to not return until Friday really took a toll. I ended up having panic attacks. There’s actually a pretty funny story about the first one that I’ll tell you about sometime.
After some soul searching I realized that what I really wanted to do was to become a professional camp counselor. Since that’s not really a thing, I picked something that seemed stable. I went back to school to become a teacher.
I started to hit the burnout stage around year 5 of teaching and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. So, I earned a doctoral degree. And several years later became an assistant principal.
Then recently, life gave me a serious ass-kicking with the death of a close family member. I realized that there was no way I could continue to live my life at full throttle the way I had been. I hit reset, turned inward, learned a lot about managing my mind and created a business I’m passionate about.
I’m using my experiences with overwhelm, not feeling good enough, and all of the personal development work I’ve done to help other high-achieving women build lives they love.
It can be so easy to get caught up in others’ expectations, whether it’s from specific people in our lives or society in general. We create lives based on “shoulds” and “have tos” when really our lives should come from joy and “YESSSS!”
I believe we can each live the life of our dreams. I’m working on mine and would love to hear more about how you are working on yours. Join my exclusive Facebook group, The Badassery, for regular information on beating overwhelm and living your most awesome life.
Amanda Ryan Fear, D.Ed. is a women’s leadership coach and the founder of Swell Life, LLC. She is passionate about helping women live their lives by design rather than default and believes that each woman has the inner wisdom and power to live her own most joyful life. By stepping into our big, badass lives we can change the world.
Amanda has 20 years of experience as an educator of children and adults and has led hundreds of workshops and trainings. Prior to starting her education career she worked as a business process consultant for several years. After getting her butt kicked by life over and over again, Amanda has found that listening to her heart rather than trying to fit a mold of who she thinks she should be has paid off every time. Amanda is a graduate of the Dragontree Life Coaching method through the Dragontree Illuminator Program, is a facilitator of Tara Mohr’s Playing Big Work and a lifelong student of women’s leadership and personal development. In addition to her passions of surfing, riding horses, climbing (mountains and rocks), reading and travel, Amanda is learning how to ski with her 8-year old daughter. She also really likes hanging out at home with her husband, daughter, 4 dogs and 1 cat. You can check out her transformational surfing retreats for women of all types at www.swelllife.org.