I’m so excited to introduce you to this feminine, fierce powerhouse! This is a story of how one woman, Amanda JP Brown, turned her fear into bravery and wrote her first book, You’re Brave Enough. Amanda has been Fiercing Forward for over 3 years and I have been fortunate enough to have met her at the 2015 retreat I led in New Mexico. I saw myself in her and remember the first day of “work” I had the girls do. I sent them each off on their own with nothing but their journal. They were to ask themselves where they currently were in their lives and what they still wanted. I told them no dream is too big. The house I rented was set up like a big horseshoe, with vast amounts of desert around every direction. I was walking around the grounds to check on the girls and in the heart of the horseshoe Amanda sat on a bench and as I passed by, she gazed up at me and smiled. I felt a shift in her in this moment and knew she found something. Two years later, she published her first book, which I’ve had the honor to begin reading! We jumped on video chat and she wanted to share with you her full story from fear to bravery and writing her first book.
I started a journey, a deep personal journey when I first found Ashley and Fierce Forward. I was missing something in my life and trying to turn off the noise so I could tune into to myself. I was struggling with how to do this because I didn’t trust myself. I was scared, scared to look at myself and explore my own truth.
I knew I couldn’t keep looking outside myself for answers, I needed to look within.
It all happened so fast and the timing was divine. Two years ago, Ashley created a Empowerment Journal Project ‘Truth’ and it spoke to me. I knew I had to sign up but didn’t fully realize the impact journaling would have on my life. Then she launched her first retreat. I heard the call to attend. It was a must and it was in New Mexico, which was close enough to drive. I didn’t know what to expect but I knew in my heart I had to be there.
It was these two things that forever changed the direction of my life and allowed me to connect with pieces of myself I’d shut down, buried and even disowned out of fear.
Ashley created a safe and sacred space for all the women to share their deepest fears and secret dreams. In the New Mexico desert, I shared my desire to be a writer and the woman I shared my fears and dreams with wrote this on my hand, “You are a Writer/Author.” I remember the power of seeing that written on my hand and realized it’s possible. That weekend I reconnected with a passion I’d denied for so long, the writer within my heart. And two years later I manifested this dream by embracing what I wrote on my arm “I am willing to live my dreams and be successful. I own my power!”
Amanda’s 5 powerful insights to believing in yourself
1. When you stop looking outside of yourself and go inward, you find your answers.
Ashley: You said that you “couldn’t keep looking outside myself for answers, I needed to look within.” What were you looking outside to and how did you make this transition to go inwards?
Amanda: Looking outside became my go to move in all areas of my life when I didn’t know what I wanted to do or even what I should do. I was constantly asking others for their advice. I’d lost connection with what Amanda wanted and thought. And when I could connect with myself, I didn’t trust myself and lacked confidence. Looking within only came after I gave myself space to sit down and reflect on what I really wanted.
I realized that in looking outside myself for answers, I wasn’t honoring myself.
This was one of the scariest and yet most empowering decisions I made in my life. Making this transition was sort of an evolution. The three things I had to be willing to do was be alone with myself to explore what I thought, I had to turn off the noise and I had to start reading books that guided me to believing I could change.
2. At what moment did you decide that the impossible was actually possible?
Ashley: I remember the moment I came outside at the NM retreat, I felt a shift in you. I think so many people don’t know how to find that connection point to “turn on” that sense of knowing what their next step is. How did this moment arrive for you?
Amanda: It’s hard to explain how this happened because I feel like it was a natural part of process. However the connection point for me to “turn on” my sense of knowing was only possible when I opened up to exploration through writing. I gave myself uninterrupted time to connect with myself when I committed to participating in the Truth Journal Project. One day I was just answering the questionings, exploring my truth and it just happened. I was writing and all the sudden a poem came out. It was the first time in a long time I had connected with that piece of myself. I was shocked and remember how emotional and freeing it was. I felt empowered and inspired to keep going. I felt like I was finally finding myself again. As I continued to write in my journal, my path continued to become clearer. Eventually I came to a place of knowing, knowing that I was meant to be an author but still scared of what that meant and how I would do it. However my shift truly started when I opened up to exploration of myself.
3. What was the mantra you used every day to push you forward?
Ashley: Can you share how you used your Limitless Bracelets as a personal mantra each day?
Amanda: Ahh yes, this is one of my favorite things to do with my Limitless Bracelets! My mantra I created and used while writing Brave Enough was
Badass passion creates & inspires truth.
This daily reminder inspired me to stay focused and keep going. It reminded me that in speaking my truth I was being badass. By sharing my passion through writing I could inspire others and myself. Writing was how I could create change and positively give to the world.
Writing this book, while at times seemed easy, there were also times when I played it safe. In many ways this is the opposite of being a badass and living your passion.
Simply creating the storyline of how I would show up (the mantra above) helped remind me of my Why. Why I was writing, why I was sharing and why it was important.
4. The power of visual reminders.
Ashley: At the retreat, another woman wrote on your hand, “You are a writer/author” and on your arm you wrote, “I own my power.” How do you think visual reminders have helped you on your journey to becoming these things you wrote on your arm and did it take you some time to mold into this essence of being or did you simply step into it?
Amanda: The visual reminders made something that I dreamed of possible especially when another woman was able to see that I could be a writer/author. It gave me hope that someone else could see my dream come to light. It empowered me.
5. Amanda’s top 3 tips for someone working on a big goal or dream.
Ashley: I want to commend you on knowing and following your heart. Can you share your top three pieces of advice for someone who might have a big goal they are working towards like you did and are not sure how to begin.
- Believe in andcommit to yourself and what you are capable of, regardless of what others think. Essentially what someone else thinks of you doesn’t matter. What matters is what you think and believe it’s possible for you.
- Break it up into small parts and don’t go back and criticize or judge yourself through the process. When I was writing I broke it up into small parts and just committed to 45 mins a day, 5 days a week. This made it manageable. When I started up writing again, I tried not to edit anything through the process. And remember you only have to be brave enough to take the next step, no more. Eventually enough brave steps forward will bring you to accomplishing your big goal.
- And lastly, get support from people who love you, support you and want to see you succeed!
Whether you are on your way towards a big goal, need a daily reminder or want to start your journey to Fiercing Forward, you can find these tools to support you where you’re at and where you want to go: