What in the world is a Brave Yes CEO?

What in the world is a Brave Yes CEO?

In many ways, the mere act of starting a business — freelance or otherwise — is a Brave Yes.

The second you step out of that 9 to 5 trap and into a life with more time freedom, you are essentially saying YES to yourself.

That is always the first Brave Yes™ — a threshold of beginnings, uncertainty and hope.

It’s scary.

It’s liberating.

But, the truth is that no matter how scary and liberating that first step is, the success of your business is entirely up to your willingness to adopt a Brave Yes CEO Mindset and begin planning in a way that allows you to maintain, scale and even grow your business in the way you desire.

And, the other part of the equation is about YOU loving your business and the life it’s bringing to you over and over, year after year.

So a Brave Yes CEO, as I see HER, is living and leading a bit differently than the average CEO. She’s …

  • Making decisions based on her own soul alignment — not just on what will sell and make money.
  • Not doing business as usual.
  • Living and leading in a way that is operates in her integrity and values.
  • Choosing systems that promote ease and joy over exhaustion for herself.
  • Using her strengths and superpowers for good, for impact and for deliberate action.
  • Focused on leaving a legacy not just a business.
  • Taking imperfect action and courageous risks often out of her comfort zone.
  • Doing the hard work on herself to have the clarity, capacity and courage to make those bold moves she wants to make — without experiencing burnout.

There will be more to say on what a Brave Yes CEO is over the course of this year.

First, it is going to be the name of my podcast.

Secondly, join my newsletter … For the first half of 2022 — the first 26 Weeks — I will be unpack The ABCs of a Brave Yes CEO.

Finally, let’s work together in 2022!

What could you do if you had more creative momentum and positive energy in your life? The possibilities are endless … let’s make it happen.

How to Set Brave Yes Intentions for your Business and Life

How to Set Brave Yes Intentions for your Business and Life

Do you ever wish all that busy work that you are trapped under each and every daywould actually just work, already? It would get you further along on the path? It would spotlight the magic sauce to more ease and more joy?


That’s not what’s happening? Instead you keep spinning your wheels through the messy middle of now with hopes of getting to a brighter future. A happier future.

Well, I am not a fan of wasted action.

I don’t want small talk.

I don’t want big plans that hold me hostage from living a beautiful life.

🔥 I want impact.

🔥 I want to be doing transformational work with those who want to do transformational work — because WE are the ones building this new world.

🔥 I want flow that feels good and in my values of how I want to lead and live.

Let’s forget tactics.

  • Let’s build beautiful things.
  • Let’s light up the darkness.
  • Let’s move mountains with our divine rage.
  • Let’s forget the rules and follow our brilliance.
  • Let’s set fire to the things no longer working — in ourselves, in our businesses, in society and in this world.

It’s time to plant the seeds for your tomorrow and our new and much better world.

It’s time to get off the sidelines.

It’s time to stop playing small.

It’s time to get clear, summon the capacity and dig deep for the courage to put your #BraveYes into the world.

Listen to this podcast now or keep reading below!

This year I’ve been playing with a new methodology around intention setting since my work is about playing bigger and really rising up and shining more in your life and specifically your work.

I have a general rule — well, it’s more a bit of an anarchist/non-conformist/anti-authoritarian streak — where if you tell me exactly what to do, I’m not going to do it.

My clients know this about me. 😄

So, when all the craze several years ago was picking a word of the year, the more my brain tried and tried, the more my heart and soul resisted.

So I started setting intentions instead and that was all great.

But sometimes intentions are a little too comfy.

How to Set Brave Yes Intentions for your Business and Life

I’ve been testing this approach with some of my coaching clients and it’s all about setting your Brave Yes Intentions and THAT has felt great for me — and my clients are loving it as well. Just enough push to keep us in flow — and not too much to create overwhelm or exhaustion.

Setting Soul Goals & Brave Yes intentions is not a left brained exercise.

  • It’s right brained.
  • It’s spiritual.
  • It’s time consuming.

And it needs to be done in the perfect environment — a safe space or spaciousness — where you can really open up and allow all possibilities to step out of hiding. Otherwise you end up choosing intentions based on shoulds or false illusions — those things that are based on what is beckoned to you, that shows up in front of you and suddenly you need to — like my daughter with Starbucks. She doesn’t need it until she sees it and it sure is everywhere.

For me, it begins with a bit of a ritual: spiritual practice of journaling, meditation and contemplation and then digging deep for the questions I need to ask myself.

The best questions make us think harder and go deeper within. So I want to coach you today on finding your personal Brave Yes Intentions.

Let’s just pretend for a second that we’re together on Zoom and you are being coached. I would ask that you have a notepad with you to take notes. You’ll want to capture the ideas that rise up.

The first question I’d ask you — and one I’ve been asking my clients this month — is what seeds do you want to plan in 2022 to create the new world we could help design and take shape?

Sit with that for a minute and let it rest with you. What seeds do you want to plant? YOU. Seeds of _____.

For example, if you want a kinder more just world — your personal Brave Yes Intentions will be to do more justice or kindness work in your life. How can you operationalize or systematize climate justice or Black Lives Matter?

Sometimes the best way to find your Brave Yes Intentions is to look back at the past year and reflect on what unfolded that you did not serve you and start to wrestle with what life could be like without that — whatever it is.

For years I’ve been walking women through these very intentions though in the past they were geared to staying small, being peaceful and falling into a cozy quiet place.

Now, my work is the complete opposite.

I’m here to work with women who are ready to blaze their own path.

To play bigger

To be at the tables where change is happening.

To rise up and let divine rage take over.

Let’s keep going.

Take a deep breath and ask yourself this:

  • What do you want more of this year?
  • What do you want less of?
  • What do you want to make sure you keep prioritizing?
  • What do you want to start or stop?

When I think about my own intentions for 2022, especially after the nearly two years of this pandemic and the shock and fear we experienced as a family due to health issues, I’m seeing a need to have a set of intentions around living life more. Our girls are going to be wrapping up 10th grade and going into 11th in 2022 and the time is slipping away for us to be together. It’s already slipping, honestly. And we learned that life is short and not at all predictable. That we need to live more for today.

So my Brave Yes Intentions are very much around playing bigger and taking more risks than ever both personally, professionally and certainly creatively and in my coaching programming.

And, the funny thing is that while doing the inner work to find my 2022 Brave Yes Intentions — I found my absolute perfect Word of the Year. It came naturally to me and powerfully. So 2022 is definitely going to be very interesting. I’m already feeling the power of my word and my intentions and I see the possibilities opening up.

What’s ONE Brave Yes Intention you have for yourself, your life or your business — for 2022?

Scarcity Mindset? 3 Gratitude Prompts to Heal Feelings of Not Enough and Cultivate Abundance

Scarcity Mindset? 3 Gratitude Prompts to Heal Feelings of Not Enough and Cultivate Abundance

Scarcity mindset first showed up for me a few years into being a creator and business owner.

I am an accidental, self-taught entrepreneur — which means I didn’t go into business considering the many obstacles I might experience. Nor did I struggle to start up. My business began fast — and at scale, serving hundreds of women within a couple months.

But over the years, as the market shifted, the certainty bottomed out and there were times of ease and flow — and times of struggle and famine.

  • When in flow, life and business was so easy. Effortless.
  • When in famine, life was so hard, and my mental health was affected — more so by scarcity mentality than scarcity itself.

Since my Brave Yes Coaching framework is about saying YES to yourself — and feeling safe to do so — I work with my clients on healing their scarcity mindset and working on correcting any “scarcity holes” in their business and life.

Listen to this as a podcast here:

What is scarcity — and why is it so prevalent?

Scarcity is a belief that we are all here to compete for limited or scarce resources and that there is not enough to go around for everyone.

Scarcity mindset or mentality is when you become overly obsessed on something feel you do not have enough of in your life. When in this state you struggle to enjoy life because you are so obsessed with what is lacking.

This creates a survival mode and desperate approach to being in this world. Just look at the more is more culture that the corporate world operates under to see the grips of scarcity and how it works.

All you have to do is see the lines outside a business offering limited availability of a product to see how scarcity creates hysteria.

True Scarcity is when there isn’t enough to go around and we have to fight for what we need or want. It’s a feeling or state that means we do not have all that we need — or want. This is rooted in the present. If you aren’t sure how you will pay your rent, money truly is scarce.

Scarcity mindset is a perception that you won’t have enough and it’s often rooted in fear of losing it all or comparisons with others who appear to have more. It’s more based in the future.

Are we ever really doing enough? 

Do we ever get to the end of our workload? 

And since our livelihoods — especially if you have a business or do work in a company — depend on the outcomes of our output it’s really easy to get bogged down in what we haven’t yet acquired and our lack.

There are a few types of scarcity that I have noticed with my clients over the years:

  • Scarcity of money
  • Scarcity of resources
  • Scarcity of time
  • Scarcity of power
  • Scarcity of belonging/support
  • Scarcity of motivation

It’s normal to feel these areas of lack or not enough sometimes.

“Most people — the average human being — doesn’t realize the power of these types of scarcity driving their daily lives and their every action, thought and feeling.”


There are a lot of people awakening to these daily drivers — but who are teaching methods to gloss over them rather than to heal them and work through them so they don’t take over.

Scarcity Mindset? 3 Gratitude Prompts to Heal Feelings of Not Enough and Cultivate Abundance

The Spiritual bypassing of True Scarcity

With more and more people feeling determined to become millionaires and to work freely anywhere in the world, there has been a ton of spiritual bypassing happening around true scarcity and feelings of scarcity mentality.

Some spiritual and business mindset gurus tell you that if you want to get YOUR piece of all those scarce resources all you need to do is adopt an abundance mindset and manifest.

In fact, they will tell you that if you want more, more, more you just need to give yourself some mantras or affirmations and will your desires into fruition. along with not enoughness is so prevalent in our society. 

Make a vision board!


I call BS.

I do believe in the Law of Attraction but I also believe that marginalized populations of our society can’t manifest their way through racism, sexism, oppression and being trapped in the broken systems of navigating poverty.

Scarcity is a very real thing for many perfectly wonderful people and it must be dealt with effectively — not glossed over.

“For many people the thrill of having more is intensified by the presence of those who have less. Waste is not the issue here. To many greedy individuals, power lies in withholding resources.”

bell hooks

There are many people in our communities who truly are unable to get their needs met because they are a person of color, LGBTQIA+, indigenous or a woman or because they are not educated enough, because they have mental health obstacles, and many other factors etc..

So if you are a privileged person does that mean you can’t experience scarcity?

Sometimes scarcity is real. Sometimes, though, it’s an illusion.

Regardless, the solutions are always, in my work, taking intentional, aligned actions.

My former longtime business was called Abundant Mama and my work was very much rooted in abundance work because I believe abundance work could change this world for the better. The work is not mindset work — it’s intentional and algined actions toward healing scarcity and feelings of scarcity.

Imagine if everyone felt safe, taken care of and as if we all have our needs met — always.

Since realizing from doing my own work on racial justice that “abundance mindset” is based in white privilege I do not promote it — but rather coach and mentor women through building their own abundance toolbox — actions YOU take that lead you toward feeling more safe, more trusting, more secure and more confident.

The Way Through is Through

Sometimes scarcity is real — even for the dominant culture.

To heal scarcity in my work with ALL women, we first get super present with the facts of your personal situation. My coaching offers safe space for you to share personal and confidential information that you might otherwise feel scared to share.

Sometimes scarcity is healed through real conversations where you get to be heard and seen — and valued. It’s amazing how much we bottle up inside.

You can suffer from scarcity if you are seriously are worried you are not able to pay yourself or your bills — or if you are legitimately worried about where the money will come from.

However, the work is always — whether rooted in fact or fiction — about taking aligned and intentional actions for mindful progress. I would never suggest a client “mindset” her way out of money problems and money fears.

There’s action and inaction. AND, since I work in soul alignment as well, there is some level of trust work that needs to always happen when we’re thinking about money and resources that we need.

So for me abundance begets abundance and so I practice taking actions that lead to more abundance.

When scarcity does show up for me — I dig deeper for the truth. In my case, there’s always been a legitimate fear at the root not just my mind playing tricks.

And then I take action to address the root issue.

In my GRIT coaching exercise that I offer to my clients in the zone of Scarcity, the aligned actions we work with around scarcity is based on the following themes:

  • Grow with a Growth Action List 
  • Re-align with the Present
  • Implement Radical Self-Trust
  • Thrive and Flourish with Positivity Pauses

Gratitude falls under T — thrive with positivity pauses since it’s a cornerstone positive emotion — but there are many more ways to actively cultivate positive energy.

Gratitude is my favorite place to begin because it’s such an accessible practice that most people know how to use it quickly and easily.

How to Start a Meaningful Gratitude Practice

Gratitude is a cornerstone positive emotion and antidote to scarcity mindset

It’s hard to feel lack when you are focused on all that you have and all that is going well.

It’s hard to feel angry when you are feeling grateful.

Cultivating true feelings of gratitude requires intentional actions — not just rote reciting of random things like we hear around the Thanksgiving dinner table.

When I tossed all faith to the universe and quit my 9 to 5, we had managed to have about 6 months of income saved up. We gave it that long to make the dream happen. If it didn’t work, I would go back to get a real job. Thankfully that never was needed as Abundant Mama did well instantly. But it wasn’t always easy. 

That’s where my daily gratitude practice — going strong for 11 years and soon to be 12 — truly became a foundation for myself, my mental health and my work.

Why is Gratitude so powerful — what does the science say?

Putting a deep focus on what you value, what is good and what is working improves your wellbeing — giving you the capacity and clarity to focus on getting what else you need or want.

This is one of the many powers of gratitude.

When I started my gratitude journaling 11 years ago, I never dreamed I would stick with it this long.

But the truth is that I have found nothing but positive energy from. the practice. A big part of my success is in being consistently motivated and moving forward in my life and work. Gratitude is a key part of my self-care.

When we have positive feelings inside of us, have the energy and the capacity to do challenging things or to navigate through tough situations.

The practice for me is to write in my journal — sometimes 3 things. Sometimes two pages.

And while many have told me they find gratitude journaling rote — and they get tired of writing the same things over and over, I have a natural ability to find the gold in my day to write about so that it’s hardly the same.

I’ve been coaching women through this practice for a decade and offered a lot prompts over the years. However, today I am focused on the standpoint of scarcity.

Scarcity Mindset? 3 Gratitude Prompts to Heal Feelings of Not Enough and Cultivate Abundance

Gratitude journaling can get boring if you don’t know how to elicit the root of the gratitude itself — which is why I try and give my clients new prompts all the time.

These are designed just to help you work through feelings of scarcity.

  • What can I be grateful for right now that always keeps me safe and protected?
  • Who can I show gratitude to for always being there for me?
  • What strengths of mine am I grateful for right now that have gotten me this far?

What part of this post lands for you? Take time to notice and journal.

Lead more Courageously by asking Yourself This Powerful Question

Lead more Courageously by asking Yourself This Powerful Question

“Those who stand for nothing, fall for anything.” — Alexander Hamilton

Silence is violence, we say.

Speak up and let your voice be heard, we say.

These days we tend to wear our hearts on our sleeves and what we believe, what we stand for and what we are all about is everywhere.

But it’s also a result of following what others are saying, what others are doing.

I want to dive into this a bit more because choosing is hard — and essential.

And it’s essential if you want to lead more courageously — and make a bigger impact.

And do you even have to choose?

Listen to this podcast now or read the main points below.

What do you stand for?

Take a moment to really think about that question.

  • If you are an entrepreneur or small biz owner like I am — knowing what you stand for is essential and will impact your business. But you should also know what you don’t stand for so you don’t end up chasing too many shiny objects. I always work with my female founder clients on the art of saying no — so we can make room for the Brave yeses. We have to clear the field — our energy field and life field — to make space for what we do stand for.
  • If you are a leader or changemaker in your industry and you have had some ideas of what you stand for but don’t know what to do with it because corporate or government culture is getting in your way … know that you have so much more power than you think. Living your purpose and letting what you stand for doesn’t have to be a flaming hot cheeto in the room. You can be quiet and subtle — unless you are ready to uplevel and do something bigger in your life or career. Then that’s where good career coaching or life coaching can help you. Quiet and powerful is possible.
  • If you are a creative person who wants to put your creative passion on the front burner of your life and you aren’t sure what that looks like yet … then I encourage you to play with your purpose and your passion in creative ways. The best artists and writers and creatives aren’t overthinking and putting too much time into planning. They are just doing the messy work of being imperfect.

What it Means to Lead more Courageously

When I started my first real blog — Awesomely Awake — my mission then — as is my mission now — was to help the world wake up. It has since fallen so asleep I’ve lost hope on what is possible for true mindfulness and presence practices — which I still use very much in my coaching work because I am a forever fan.

My life word is in fact AWAKE. But the purpose behind the blog and the coaching work I did back then was to wake people up. I was so tired of seeing people walking around like zombies on their phones and not engaging in the world around them.

Now it’s just the way it is for so many but I am still very much all about this — even if over the past year and a half has meant a reliance on tech in a bigger way than ever.

We are also seeing a movement for many to use tech less — so maybe there is hope yet. Peloton’s sales are dropping because people are going back to gyms. I stood for waking people up and that’s what I began to write about.

The movement and followers came along with me.

That eventually led to mindfulness and well-being programs for moms and the abundant mama project, which was rooted in mindfulness and spiritual practices to navigate the hardships of motherhood.

I think that by being here, listening to me, you too are awake — and maybe you are also tired.

  • Tired of hustling.
  • Tired of the daily grind of keeping up.
  • Tired of doing the same things over and over that aren’t working.
  • Tired of not thriving or flourishing but rather feeling like you are drowning in not enoughness and to-do lists that serve others best interest.

Now I stand for something else — well, lots of things — but mainly this — we need a diverse body of women — including you — to be at all the tables where decisions are being made, in the rooms where policy is being shaped, leaning in and not leaning out. We need women to show up, be seen and let their brilliance be known.

“The state of our future relies on YOU putting your genius out into the world —- whether that is in speaking up and speaking out, your ideas, your services, your art or your energy, your products, your offers, your voice.”

Shawn Fink

The world is very broken and awake women like you need to save us — to lead more courageously.

Once you know, you know. It’s like the gates of heaven opening up.

The sun rising.

The cloudy skies clearing.

It’s magical and energizing.

We don’t always know. We aren’t always able to get to clarity on our own. So find a partner to discuss this with. Share ideas. Be honest with each other. And if you don’t have a trusted partner for this exercise, try it with a mentor, coach or therapist, even.

Because .. doing something with what you stand for is likely the very key to your own well-being and happiness.

Perhaps you’re thinking … well, crap, I stand for a lot and I can’t choose and I get overwhelmed and I don’t even know how to move forward and actually DO something and take action because of that — and if that’s true, you’re not alone.

I’ve been there. Most of my clients have been there. Many times.

I call people like you — and myself — multipossibilitarians.

“Multipossibilitarians are women who stand for many possible ways you see yourself helping or healing the world.”

Shawn Fink

If only we could do it all! If this is you let’s chat. I am a master at helping you discover your strengths to match your potential.

OR, If the answer lights you up. — what are you going to do about it?

I work with creator, entrepreneurs and changemakers who are ready to uplevel or make a pivot in your life, work or business. Perhaps YOU are looking for a coach to help you design your Brave Yes around this very question is what you need for the new year. Let’s chat. I offer complimentary coaching sessions with women interested in coaching with me so we can see if we’re a good fit. Learn more here.

On Designing a Foundation of Resilience In Order to Be a Changemaker and Leader

On Designing a Foundation of Resilience In Order to Be a Changemaker and Leader

When life and business are precariously stacked to work against each other, the best thing we can do is restack it all again and again.

On a retreat in October 2019, I began studying resilience and stumbled into a metaphor for a more resilient life.

Rock cairns — a group of stones carefully and often precariously piled on top of each other to create a tower.

I had heard of rock cairns and even stumbled upon a few randomly in my hikes along creeks. But it wasn’t until this several day retreat and sitting in silent meditation that I realized that our lives can be designed as a foundation of resilience just like these beautiful rock towers.

Designing a Foundation of Resilience is essential for living and leading more boldly and bravely. If we want to change systems and disrupt the status quo — as we should all be doing — we need to have the emotional resilience and physical energy to do so. 

But designing a foundation of resilience is not something we’re taught. We often figure it out too late — once a storm has hit.

In my work as a coach, I have created a foundation of resilience model that works like a charm. And the model reminds me of the rock cairns — towers that when built right are strong enough to handle anything. But when they are built incorrectly, they don’t stand a chance. 

When just one rock is misplaced, it can throw off the balance of everything else and our lives  — or our mindset — can fall apart.

When the wrong rock is chosen, we can feel less confident, and less sure of ourselves.

But when the just-right rocks are selected and stacked just right a solid foundation that can endure nearly any storm is created. 

When we can build a life with the wrong tools we can feel out of alignment. We feel shaky. Wobbly. Out of sorts. 

But when we build our lives — and businesses — based on intentional, purposeful decisions, our foundation is solid. We feel grounded and firm in who we are and what we are about, we feel strong and we can handle any storm that comes our way.

Rather than choose the wrong rocks that won’t create the right foundation, we must be intentional with each and every rock we put into our lives that create the ground we stand on each day.

What are 3 Elements to Consider when Designing a Foundation of Resilience?


Every rock you choose should bring you joy. If it doesn’t, your foundation will be out of alignment and not stable. Rocks of negative energy will disrupt your flow and your creativity. If joy is at the root of every decision you make, you can’t help but create a foundation of resilience.


The rocks of your life should bring more presence than drama, more calm than chaos, more relaxation than stress. Rocks that bring too much friction and choppiness will always cause shaky ground. Operating with mindfulness at the heart and soul of everything you do will create radical presence so you can listen and learn about what is working in your life.


The rocks of your foundation should be based thoroughly on your deepest, strongest values and strengths. As long as you always come back to what drives you and reflects your most moral obligations, you will always feel aligned. As long as you operate in flow and in your zone of genius, you will feel aligned and resilient.

Shawn Fink (she/hers) is a coach for creators & changemakers ready quit self-sabotaging & take up more space in your life, creativity and business. Host of The Brave Yes Show podcast. Learn more here.

When You’re Tired of Being Strong as an Entrepreneur Juggling Family and Earning an Income

When You’re Tired of Being Strong as an Entrepreneur Juggling Family and Earning an Income

Do you ever feel so utterly tired of being strong as an entrepreneur and a mom that all you want to do is collapse under all the weight you are carrying and free yourself of everything?

This might look like dreaming of running away.

This might look like hiding under the covers.

This might look like dropping all the balls and leaving them scattered on the floor.


I have been there.

And it’s another reason why so many women entrepreneurs and changemakers have been languishing for years.

If you have been following along, I have been exploring the politics of languishing.

It started with our obsession with overworking and overdoing.

And our relentless pursuit of destructive perfectionism and being perfect.

Followed by the root of everything … our desire to be Good Girls.

Now, I am diving into how our strength and desire to be stronger and stronger is exhausting us beyond belief.

Listen to this on the Brave Yes Show now or keep reading below!

When You’re Tired of Being Strong and You Have No Choice

In the several months before the pandemic hit, I was at my peak, physically. I had been going to the gym and doing hot yoga multiple times a week. I had fallen in love with Zumba. I was lifting weights. 

I was strong. 

But as I was building my physical strength after years — a decade, or more of absolute neglect of my body’s muscles and bones — I often felt weak. I felt not enough for being so out of shape. 

There were many times when I needed to give myself a pep talk or two during some pretty intense asanas in yoga class.

I was pushing myself to do some poses my body didn’t like — or rather, that my mind told me I could not do.

You’ll fail. 

You’ll Fall. 

You’ll look weak.

You’ll appear like a newbie. 

And I didn’t dare look weak or lame in yoga class with all the other hot yogis, after two decades of practicing.

And so I did what any Good Girl Yogi would do.

“I whispered, I am strong as fuck, silently to myself.”

Shawn fink

Over and over, I told myself, I am strong as fuck. I am strong as fuck. 

Those words got me through.

Over and over in that class — in my life — I began to utter those words. I even shared that mantra with my membership community at the time, who all loved the mantra so much that they adopted it, too. 

But, like you, I am tired of being strong.

The truth is that being strong and feeling strong is a part of the power system that we are a part of as women and for those who identify as women.

None of us want to be the weak yogi in class or the one with the least amount of weight on their barbell.

None of us want to be too overwhelmed to crawl out of bed each day or unable to meet deadlines because we are overwhelmed by life. 

And yet … that is how many of my clients are feeling when they come to me for Brave Business Coaching.

We are tired of being strong

We are tired of being strong. 

Tired of holding it all together.

Tired of being the ones to shoulder the weight of the world.

Tired of pretending everything is perfect when it’s not always even close.

Working with women entrepreneurs on emotional and spiritual resilience has been the foundation of my coaching during the pandemic. 

If ever there’s been a motto in my life I am happy to pass along, I am strong AF has been it.

“But, underneath all of that strong woman, fierce energy is a little girl who is tired. Exhausted.”


Who wants to lay down at the trunk of a tree and rest for a good long time.

Or curl up in someone’s lap and have them cook her a meal or two.

Who wants to be taken care of … care for, nurtured, nourished. 

Strong women are tired of being strong women.

And yet we hold this world together. 

That’s a lot.

This was evident from the reaction of my Instagram post that I wrote for myself and shared with others.

“We can be weak. We are not coffee.”

shawn fink

And despite this feeling that we are too tired to be so strong all of the time, we push through, we hustle, we strive, we force, we control and we power through … all of which has added up to create a hurricane of exhaustion and languishing.

Suck it up.

Don’t cry.

Don’t run like a girl.

Don’t be a sheep or a snowflake. 

Don’t worry so much. 

Don’t be a scaredy cat.

When You're Tired of Being Strong and There is No Other Option

When Being a Girl Means Weak and Weak is Bad

Our society’s infatuation with strength and mental toughness is everywhere — so much so that it often feels like some influencers are trying to manipulate humanity by urging us to try their strategies to be superhuman — to be able to fit in more and more and more each day and to be more productive and more efficient and more rich.

Messages like …

  • Don’t give up.
  • Keep going.
  • Don’t stop.
  • Only the strong win.

There is no shortage of articles on how to be mentally tough — none of which I actually thought were good by the way, as most are written by men who, as we know, carry a great amount of pressure to be emotionally tough themselves.

And, for most of us, being strong and acting tough is a trauma response.

It is for me.

I learned to be tough very early on. I was an only child of teenage parents. I ran the woods as a free spirit. I was tough the second I came out of the womb.

In fact, I have few memories of my father — who I have been estranged from for 40 years — and one of them was when I was crying after my bedtime because my one and only precious aunt had been in a motorcycle accident. I wanted to be at the hospital with her and my mom who had just left to see her. Rather than console me, he locked me in my bedroom and put a fan in front of the door. I remember crying and crying and banging on the door. He never did let me out.

Just be tough.

Be strong AF.

Suck it up.

The pressure and politics of being human forces us to be strong and to work toward being stronger and stronger. 

Because being weak is not acceptable — even when we’re are tired of being strong. 

I even find myself feeling conflicted about this in parenting my own daughters while questioning when they are being too sensitive, too tired, too weak, too unmotivated.

I’ve talked about this line between asking our children to be perfect vs. striving for excellence if we don’t want to raise children who are perfectionists or who feel not enough.

Well, here we are again with a similar conundrum. Do we want to raise strong, resilient kids or do we want to honor their moments of feeling weak and their emotions? 

Of course, it’s a both/and scenario like most things required of us as parents and as human beings.

Every single one of my clients has expressed how in their own childhood they weren’t allowed to be weak or sensitive and how that has influenced their work ethic and their inability to soften and rest and allow themselves to be weak. They’ve shared with me that there was no space for crying. There was no space for emotions. There was certainly no space for being weak, for being soft, for being a feeler.

And they wished there had been. 

While there is a shift happening in gender norms and expectations, there is still a huge emphasis for ALL of us to be strong.

Be stronger, in fact, seems to be the message. Handle more. Carry more. Do more. 

And yet, women, for a long time, have been the definition of weakness. 

As a result, we have been trying to prove our strength. We are working more, earning more, juggling more and trying to look perfect while we do it all. 

To the point of overworking and overdoing.

To the point of perfectionism.

To the point of being Good Girls.

In a Pew Research survey that asked people to use words to describe men and women, the evidence is clear that gender stereotypes affect how we see women — and, as a result, how we see ourselves.

The primary word used to describe women was beautiful. Other words used to describe women more than men? Kind, responsible (ie: good girls), caring and compassionate.

Words used for men: leadership, powerful, ambitious, and strong. In fact, Americans are much more likely to use the word “powerful” in a positive way to describe men (67% positive) than women (92% negative).”

In fact, strength was commonly used for men and was not for women.

So there you go, ladies.

You don’t need to be so strong.

No one’s expecting you to be.

And yet, most women are the strongest people I know.

When You're Tired of Being Strong and There is No Other Option

Permission to Embrace Being Strong AND Soft

When we feel overwhelmed or in over our heads in a project or in our lives, the last thing we want to do is ask for help — or even suggest that we need help. The last thing we want to do is rest, take it easy and chill out and let things go for a while.

This is what it means to be strong AF.

We don’t want to be weak. We don’t want to have to ask for help or rely on others. 


We absolutely don’t want to hold all of this weight of the world, we don’t want to carry all of the load, we don’t want to feel like we have to keep it all together. 

We don’t want the pressure to earn a higher income, get more likes on social media, network with more and more people, attend all the social and political and community events being held, keep a perfect house, raise perfect children, and on and on and on.

We want to be. 

We want to feel joy.

We want to feel alive.

We want meaning, and purpose, and passion.

We want to make an impact and be creative for the sake of just being creative and serving others.

The thing is, though, we are caught up in a system where we are trying desperately to maintain our status. We are clinging tightly so we don’t fall down.

And we are clinging tightly trying to get to the top.

And all we ever really do is feel exhausted from the trying.

What if we just surrendered and allowed ourselves to be weak, to fail, to fall, to mess up, to drop the balls, to not be so fucking liked so much?

Being strong is something we shove down like bad tasting medicine. We just do it because that’s what we do. We have no choice. We are afraid of what’s on the other side.

This is the politics of being strong as fuck.

shawn fink

The thing is, though, when we reach out for help it’s not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It’s a way to empower ourselves and free our inner world up for more light, more joy, more freedom.

For a long time, I let my own pillars of strength falter and crumble because I didn’t reach out.

But resentment and loneliness grows in isolation.

And when I am weak, I make the whole system for women weaker. 

When You're Tired of Being Strong and There is No Other Option

Finding a Balance of Strong and Soft

When I work with a woman who is ready to unearth her courage, authenticity and life’s purpose, we always work on building and cultivating what I call unshakeable resilience.

And to do that, we work on her energy balance. 

My Energy Boost Pillars involve a technique that helps you balance your feminine and masculine energies. We do this through helping you figure out where you find flow and understanding what brings you energy and what zaps your energy. 

We do this by helping you be strong AND soft.

This comes from a place of feminine energy, a place of stepping into your inner power and creating a sense of agency around your needs, your feelings, your emotions, your desires.

And, part of it is also being honest about your weaknesses, your vulnerabilities, your challenges.

For truly strong women who are holding it all together this is HARD work.

My Instagram post about being strong that resonated with so many was a sign that we’re all tired of being strong for everyone else — and that we must find another way to power up and power through without feeling like we can’t be soft or ask for help.

We must start focusing on thriving not just surviving and that means we have to be willing to cultivate our strong and soft superpowers.

We won’t want to do hard things — And Yet We Must

I can be heard over and over saying to my clients that there are a lot of things we do not want to do that we must do. 

And that does require a bit of strength to power through.

But it never has to feel so hard and so miserable that we become resentful or lose our sense of self.

When you are feeling exhausted and want to stop being so strong, but you have to power through anyway, here are 3 pieces of wisdom I can offer you.


A Brave Yes isn’t about fixing you — it’s about inspiring you, motivating you, catapulting you to where you want to be — it’s about inspired action to keep going anyway.

In my experience of witnessing Brave Yeses unfold on a weekly basis, there are a handful of types of Brave Yeses that we can use to help us BE who we want to be in our lives and businesses.

What is YOURS?

Here are some questions to help you figure this out …

💟 What has been hanging around in the back of your mind for years but you haven’t made time for?
💜 What is the one thing getting in your way on the daily?
🔮 What does your future self need you to do right now?
☔️ What is raining on your parade over and over and over?
🦄 What is the one thing you want to be known for that you aren’t already known for?

If these don’t help — I have a LOT more where these came from.


The number one thing you need to know is that you never have to do hard things alone. You may feel like it. You may believe it. But reaching out and reaching up for support, for help, for connection, for relief and respite is VITAL. Look at your strong woman load and see what you can offload and ask for help. Look at your strong woman energy and see where you can use emotional or spiritual support and seek out someone who is going to help fill you up. Surround yourself with people who have a vested interest in lifting you up – and being lifted up themselves. This idea of reciprocity is powerful and creates a stronger energy field for you to bloom and blossom again.


Our addition to over-doing and over-working is directly connected to our pressure to remain strong and be strong. Learn to rest and rest often. Learn to know when your body needs to power through and when your body needs you to give it a break. Relief can come in many forms of rest. Learn to honor what brings you true recovery and healing.

In my coaching program, I have learned to recognize when a client needs a rest vs. needs to take more action. I can see the red flags being staked in the ground and can point them out.

Not everyone has that luxury, I realize.

So learn to notice your own red flags of needing rest. And let your own healing be a priority.

HEY STRONG WOMAN –> I would love to hear from you. Are you a entrepreneur who is tired of being strong and just flat out needs support to get clarity, motivation and some courage to keep going? Who needs to find new ways of creating soul alignment? Reach out to me for a FREE 1:1 Discovery Coaching Call. I will share resources and ideas to move you through your journey to more ease, more courage and more power.