Amanda Ryan Fear, D. ED.

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 then I became an assistant principal, because you're always supposed to go for the bigger job, right? 

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. 

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