Your Mess is Your Message + How to Feel Your Feels with Amber Rae

Episode 244: Show Notes

Today on the podcast we welcome Amber Rae. Amber is an author, artist and speaker and has been called the “Millennial Motivator” by Fortune and "The Brené Brown of Wonder” by Mind Body Green. Amber’s work invites the truth that lives within us and helps you befriend your emotions and express your gifts.

Today on the podcast we welcome Amber Rae. Amber is an author, artist and speaker and has been called the “Millennial Motivator” by Fortune and "The Brené Brown of Wonder” by Mind Body Green. Amber’s work invites the truth that lives within us and helps you befriend your emotions and express your gifts.  |  The Strategy Hour  |  Think Creative Collective

In this episode, we uncover powerful techniques for how to deal with anxiety, worry, perfectionism and everything in between. Amber is here to help us let all that self-sabotaging sh*t go to live a better life – possibly our best life! If you want some action steps on how to make that happen, then this, right here, is the episode for you.

The Breakdown-Breakthrough For Amber

Amber was rising in the ranks in Silicon Valley, but she hated her life. This was the turning point for her – lying on her apartment floor, having an explosive panic attack and wondering who the hell she had become and how she had gotten here. This breakdown was really Amber’s breakthrough. She knew this wasn’t her and that she needed to change or she would die.

All of us say that we want to let go of anxiety, worry and perfectionism. We know it will feel really good. But when it comes down to really letting this stuff go, it’s not always as easy as we think. So how do we actually achieve letting go of the anxiety, worry and perfectionism that is holding us back, especially when we numb, we cope, and we avoid in so many ways? That can be scrolling Instagram, toxic friendships, eating food that doesn’t make us feel good, the fourth glass of wine... These things might be okay in moderation, but why are we turning to them? What are we avoiding? Years of anxiety builds on itself and at some point it does explode.

Creating The Space To Listen To Yourself

The turning point for Amber was when she started to listen. We live in a culture that shames and stigmatizes any emotions that are not positive. But the truth is, these emotions, these feelings can be our friends when we know how to turn toward them and listen to them. Amber began to acknowledge her feelings of anxiety and say to it, “Hey anxiety, what is it that you want me to know?” Rather than trivialize them or brush over them. But how do you find the time to listen when you have so many outside obligations? Maybe you’re a working mom or are running a business or find you just have no time? The truth is, we don’t have to make drastic shifts to create a drastic shift in our life. It can be something as simple as journaling for ten minutes every morning to create space to hear yourself. It can be saying “No” to something. It can be starting your own small ritual. It’s the tiny tweaks that make the big difference.

Owning Your Life For Yourself

Women are really good at improving themselves, bettering themselves, changing their negative and destructive habits when it is in service of someone else – like a child, for example. Women want to be good role models for their children, and it is often easier for them to change when it is for somebody else. But how do we as women own our lives for ourselves and for no one else?

The process of writing her book, for Amber, was much like showing up for a child. It was something to be accountable to. Something to be her best version for. Writing her book fulfilled her desires for self expression and growth. She was in service to it and it was in service to her. Knowing how you want to feel every day, and what you want to create and the process of creating can be a great form of ownership for women. When Abbie started journaling, which took her a long time to get into, she was amazed by the stuff that came out of her – the swirling self-sabotage, the destructive thoughts and the meanness. So, how can we use tools like journaling to create a positive relationship with our often negative / destructive emotions?


We don’t have to make drastic shifts to create a drastic shift in our life.
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What Is The Story You Are Telling Yourself About Yourself?

One of Amber’s favorite quotes is, “We will always find the evidence for what we choose to believe.” We are the creator of whatever narrative we tell ourselves. So what is the story you are telling yourself about yourself? For Amber, usually, she is the asshole, she is terrible, she is not worthy, she is not good enough. Sound familiar? Amber decided to start turning toward those thoughts, with the help and guidance from a workshop. So, do you tell your journal the truth? The first thing to do is to release, really let go. Don’t be afraid of those self-sabotaging thoughts. Get them out of you! Express what you are terrified to write down. Go there. Because the beauty is, we always get to question our thoughts. Where did you learn that you are a worthless piece of sh*t? So many of the thoughts we inherit are from society and other people. And if we don’t pause and question those thoughts – we become them. So when you have a self-sabotaging thought, ask yourself, “Where did this come from?” What if the opposite of what you were telling yourself were true? Look for evidence of that. Look for the evidence that you are not a worthless piece of sh*t. Trust us, it’s there! If you believed that to be true, how would you show up in the world? A lot different we bet.

Only You Can Question and Be In Control Of Your Own Thoughts

It might sound exhausting but no one else is going to question our thoughts for us. We are responsible for our thoughts. We are in control of them. There is so much in our life that we can’t control. But our thoughts, our narrative, what we choose to believe about ourselves – we can. A helpful tip is to be more conscious with the language that we use, in our heads and when we speak out loud. At the same time, we need to let go of certain thoughts, fears and feelings in order to move forward. For Amber she had to let go of the feeling that the the men she loved would leave her, because she lost her father. That has been a huge journey for her! Another thought she has had to let go of is that her worthiness does not come from what she does or accomplishes. Your worthiness is what you are born with. Every human is worthy and again it’s not about accomplishments. As especially for women, self-surety can be mistaken for or called out as boasting. So a lot of the time women struggle to tell people what they do with self-confidence, with the feeling that if they shine, they are going to upset people. It’s about unlearning these narratives that have been created, either by ourselves or by society or by other people. Know that the thoughts you have about yourself might not be that unique. The fear of failure and of not being enough is the thought that makes us feel most alone, but the truth is it is the thought that we universally share. We might have different life experiences, but our emotional experiences are, a lot of the time, the same.

Simple Practices For Getting In Touch With Your Inner Truth

What the f*ck does that even mean, right? It means take the sh*t that you are dealing with and turn it into fuel. That’s what Amber’s book was for her. Take whatever you are struggling with and let it inspire you, let it fuel whatever it is you create. Our feelings are our friends. If we can learn to see that an uncomfortable emotion is just a little child inside of us throwing a tantrum, you would be like, “Hey little child, why are you throwing a tantrum, what’s going on?” You would not hurt that child, you wouldn’t ignore it! So if we can learn to cultivate a friendship with ourselves and be sensitive to the uncomfortable parts of ourselves, there can be so much wisdom. Our culture is pretty emotionally illiterate and we’ve never really been taught what our emotions are, why they are here and what they want us to know. Talk to the emotions. Have a conversation with them. Talk to them like real people. Create characters, like Anxious Annie, Mamma Jenny – whoever they are, talk to them and see what’s up! Feel the feels. But if you feel the feelings do you become the feelings? There is a fine line here. You want to turn toward the feeling, hear it out, learn from it, understand why it is there but not become it. Do not become the anger, the sadness, the loneliness. Emotions are not who you are. They just come to visit you.


  • The Breakdown-Breakthrough For Amber. [0:04:00.1]
  • Creating The Space To Listen To Yourself. [0:12:02.1]
  • Owning Your Life For Yourself. [0:19:22.1]
  • What Is The Story You Are Telling Yourself About Yourself? [0:26:30.1]
  • Only You Can Question and Be In Control Of Your Own Thoughts. [0:28:32.1]
  • Simple Practices For Getting In Touch With Your Inner Truth. [0:34:20.1]

#TalkStrategyToMe [0:42:55.6]

1. Buy the book at www.choosewonder.com!



Amber Rae

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Called a “Millennial Motivator” by Fortune and "The Brené Brown of Wonder” by Mind Body Green, Amber Rae is an author, artist, and speaker whose work invites you to live your truth, befriend your emotions, and express your gifts. Her book Choose Wonder Over Worry was published on May 15th. Her writing has reached over 5 million people in 195 countries, her public art has spread to over twenty countries, and she's spoken to and collaborated with brands like Kate Spade, Apple, Amazon, and Unilever. She's been featured in The New York Times, TIME, Fast Company, BBC, ABC World News, Tim Ferriss's blog, and more. Previously, Amber helped launch six best-selling books as Chief Evangelist of Seth Godin's publishing experiment and started an "accelerator for your life" called The Bold Academy. She lives in Brooklyn and around the world with her fiancé, Farhad.


  • Fear.

  • Anxiety.

  • True self.

  • Mindfulness.

  • Self love.

  • Self care.

  • Women.

  • Depression.

  • Thinking.

  • Thought patterns.




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