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Ep. 16 - Navigate Your Life By Owning Your True Self - An Interview With Alie Harwood

by Hearts Rise Up
December 30th 2019
As a shy introvert, disconnected from her true self, Alie Harwood was fraught for years in her teens and early adult life with a fear-driven mind of negative and self-conscious thoughts. She mostly re... More
right right, mm hmm wow, mm hmm, mm hmm, mm hmm, mm hmm, mm hmm. Hello to all of you. Hearts rise up podcast listeners. Thank you for tuning your heart's in for another episode. I'm carol chapman, your host today On this podcast. We share our personal experiences, tips and strategies along with powerful stories and compelling insights from guests that we interview. Our purpose is to inspire you to rise up to your best and highest self, tap into your own inner wisdom and elevate your state of being, your life and the world around you. It's that simple. So let's get right into today's episode. I am so excited to introduce my guests who is a wonderful, wonderful person. I've had the opportunity to spend a little bit of time with her.

Her name is Ali Harwood. Ali is a holistic wellness and confidence coach helping shy women introverts to break free from overthinking self judgment and holding back so they can finally feel happy in their own skin and express their true, authentic selves in the world. She believes that there is no greater fulfillment than knowing your true self and no greater freedom than owning your true self as this is how we find our peace, our passion and our purpose. Ali is a lover of all things personal and spiritual development. I love that healthy living nature dancing and wise words. I love all that too. Ali, Welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. I am so excited to have you with us today. I've learned a little bit about you and can't wait to have you share your heartwarming story with our listeners. So I would love for you to tell us a little bit more about you and um what you're doing these days as a holistic wellness and confidence coach.

Sure. So yeah, I think it makes sense to give you a little bit of background on my story. Um and so For the most part, you know, my teenage years and even up to my early 20s, um I lived very much inside my head. I was kind of privately struggling with low self worth and confidence. Um and that was largely tied to the shame that I felt towards my kind of introverted nature and I was very self conscious. Um and you know, always assuming that people were judging me or seeing my imperfections because that's how I saw myself. Um and even though I had a lot of good memories from you know, those those days, um it was difficult for me to be my my true self and in hindsight I can see that I kind of lost touch with who she was.

Um Yeah, and then so we came to deciding what I wanted to study um at university, I wasn't sure. So I took a gap year um did some traveling um which was, you know, a valuable experience, but it didn't, it definitely didn't touch the root of my struggles. Um and I decided to study speech and language therapy. Um it was it was the closest thing that um kind of resonated with me at the time, but soon after starting my first job as a speech therapist, I I knew that something was missing and I kind of already had like a suspicion that it wasn't, it wasn't like what I was really meant to do, and by that point I had just started to read and learn things in the, you know, personal development field and I took I took the time to really reflect on my my true passions and values and skills at that point.

And that was when I realized how much I loved the field of, of holistic health and wellness as well as personal development. Um and how much I love to relate to people as well through through shared experiences and interests and so on. Um so when I discovered the field of wellness coaching and I found an online training program, it it felt like an epiphany. Um and even though I could see that it would involve starting my own business, which is not something I would have ever believed I was capable of doing or would want to do the pool towards, it was strong enough for me to go ahead and enroll in the training. That's wonderful, That's just absolutely terrific. And I think that very few of us know really what we want to do until we start, we get out in the world and we start, you know, just experiencing life and that. But fortunately it seems like for you it didn't take too long for you to find your direction.

Is that correct? Yeah, I mean my so my speech and language therapy degree was was four years. Um and yeah, I mean I kind of identified the my passion for coaching or to go down that route shortly after that. Um So I still had to kind of deal with that, that voice in my head saying like you've just spent four years studying like you don't like why are you thinking of changing now? Kind of thing? I hear Yeah, I hear you on that. Yeah. But I I couldn't ignore it. So you know, I think it would be wonderful to just find a jumping in point to you know, talk about your personal journey and you know maybe some challenges along the way that led to that turning point for you. Would you do you have something that you could share about those challenges? Mm hmm. Yeah. So I think a couple.

There's a couple of low points that stand out for me. One is quite early on when I was 14, 15. I I mean because of because I kind of I felt like I think I felt like I didn't have the personality to kind of you know shine And so I decided to target my my appearance in my body and I decided to diet and you know, I actually became underweight and I realize now that it was you know, I was relying on that external attention to feel um worthy and you know, I I just thought ok at least at least I can try and control my you know my body and my appearance um and that kind of luckily you know it didn't get to it didn't get it didn't get worse because you know the thought of being admitted somewhere was very scary for me, so I improved there but it was never fully resolved, you know, it was kind of like an up and down with with that area um and and then the other the other low point for me was um in my third year of university um so I had I had been with my my boyfriend at the time for the first two years we met you know um in the like very soon after starting you know he he became like my best friend basically and in my third year of university I went from living with him to living in a different house to him um I was living with three other girls and that was when it it came very became very obvious to me that I found it hard to really relate to the girls that I was living with as well as those on my course and I really didn't like the idea of having to spend time with them whilst pretending that I was happy doing it just for the sake of being social um when I could be doing you know, my own thing alone.

Um and so I found myself socially withdrawing, yet at the same time I felt lonely when, you know, when I wasn't with my boyfriend and and also jealous of the other girls friendships, and I often found myself crying silently in my bedroom and not really knowing why at the time. Um and you know, at the same time I felt guilty of being anti social and constantly worrying what the other girls were thinking about me and yeah, and that was that was definitely a memory that stands out to me. The turning point from that was it came quite quite unexpectedly because that summer when I went back home to my parents home, um I came across an inspiring true story online about a girl who discovered that she had suppressed anger towards her, her father and she was guided through a powerful process to release that and that really resonated with me and I knew I had to follow it and I knew I had to follow that process myself.

And you know, it basically, it took a lot of my courage to actually tell my dad face to face how I really felt. Um and that was like a combination of of the anger that I had kind of suppressed. Um as well as like the love I felt towards him which I hadn't been able to express previously and and the and what I wanted to apologize to him for having looked back, you know, on a other relationship with more with more empathy and well compassion that experience not only like you know, rekindled our relationship between my my dad and me, but it had it was it was like my first experience of really taking responsibility for my own well being and happiness because I was really I was releasing myself of that emotional block that was you know, suppressed anger. Um and that that I can see now looking back that that created a positive like knock on effect in many of my other relationships, right?

Do you think that that is a just a natural trait of introverts or what do you think? You know, led to that? Which which part do you what do you mean? Just suppressing suppressing your anger and and and and just not stepping up to taking responsibility for yourself? Yeah, I think um I think it probably is more common amongst introverts. Yeah. But also to do with you know, your your experiences as well growing up and yeah, for me it wasn't you know, I I basically learned that it's not um desirable to express your anger or you know that there's gonna be consequences. And so yeah, I think it's a combination. Exactly. Were there any other turning points that kind of have moved you, you know forward um towards the transformation that you have?

I see now how that that experience with my dad then basically when I went back to university for my final year with the help of of living in a new house with a few, a couple of new people, I really decided to embrace that as an opportunity to start over. And so I started, you know, spending more time with my with my housemates with the intention of bonding with them instead of convincing myself that it's already been too awkward for too long or that they don't like me. And and I started to share more about myself instead of keeping everything private. And and I started to say yes to more social invitations and proactively meeting new people and to my surprise that turned out to be my best year of university overall in my grades and my relationships and my happiness and kind of kind of like a new sense of ownership over my life.

And so yeah, and that that also became the year that I began reading self help books and you know, started learning about the power of the mind and like, you know, becoming aware of my thoughts and my self talk and my beliefs and how they're impacting my life. Oh, it's amazing how that can just spiral us into just all this negative, negative self talk and just really it can be very depressing and and actually it can be a situation where we're just constantly turning those thoughts and then it just spirals us down emotionally and there is a huge power in the mind, basically, and I know that whenever I find myself, you know, thinking negative thoughts, um I think one thing that I do is I start thinking more thoughts about what am I grateful for, and that quickly shifts me into a more positive direction from the standpoint of just how I view and perceive the world around me and myself.

So I bet that was a huge point of self discovery for you, definitely. But at the same time, you know, I don't think there's I don't think I can ever be reminded of that enough, you know, because every day there's kind of way, it's like a it's like a daily practice, right? Whenever those negative thoughts and beliefs come up, you have to choose to be aware of them in that moment. Absolutely. It's a it's a consciousness and we have to be, we need to be mindful of it and because we're human and it's in their, their patterns, like for instance, patterns that have been repeated over and over and over and in your particular case, you know, since you're very early years, your teenage years, those patterns are hard to break it and it's hard to create new habits and but it seems like that major major point of of learning um and turning point for you, for you started with, you know, that relationship with your dad and oftentimes that's where turning points occur it can be.

It's either maybe our relationship to ourselves or our relationships with others. How have you changed and grown as a result of it and how is it brought you to where you are today and kind of like um giving you that strength to to move forward and make the decisions in life that because I understand now you you don't you're not no longer and I didn't even mention in the beginning that you were that you were raised and born in the U. K. But you now live in Oman. Um So that's quite a shift to um I would have to say for anyone who's you know gone through some major challenges and and major changes in their life. You know, it's it's decisions life life decisions that affect us so how have you how have you changed and grown as a result of that and what are the learnings? Additional learnings that you've had along the way? Yeah. So I think definitely the first kind of the first point was with this releasing the suppressed emotions and then the mindset kind of being aware of my thoughts and beliefs that was like the foundation and then and then that led to basically the way I talk to myself and treat myself on on all levels so building you know building self love and respect and compassion and forgiveness towards myself which again is you know, it's a daily, a daily practice for me um and also that, you know, that then inspired me to change the way I show up with other people.

So expressing my true thoughts and feelings more and being willing to be vulnerable with people and and then with my business of course sharing my story publicly was a big step for me. Something that's that's really important to me is really prioritizing my passions and my values and my desires. I like to say that it's it's like taking empowered responsibility for the experiences that I want to have rather than waiting and wishing and postponing and settling. Exactly yeah. I mean, I think that's what personal development is all about is learning more about ourselves and how we navigate our lives and looking for the for the positives and looking to do things that are more constructive, it's so easy for us to create destructive or have destructive mind, you know, mindset or behaviors and patterns and we've got to shift out of that.

I think that you've just kind of just sum up some of the things that you that you've been doing to move forward is that you have daily you release those suppressed emotions and you have this awareness and you're your your tender with yourself, you don't you know, you you practice self love, you're not as hard on yourself, you have more compassion, more patience and the more that we do that with ourselves, the easier it is for us to operate that way in the world with others. Right? And so I think that I can just imagine that these are some of the things that you teach and coach your clients with those types of practices. Yeah, exactly. You know, basically the work I do now with my clients reflects the steps that I took in my own journey. So the biggest kind of lesson for me was that I realized how, you know, having low self worth and confidence affected all areas of my life and all parts of my being, taking, being a holistic wellness coach as well.

You know, I really believe that all areas of our lives are connected. And so yeah, I wanted to create a program that takes that holistic approach and and covers the emotional, the mental, the physical, the social, the spiritual well being. I love that. So, you take your clients through a process of all those elements within their lives. Wonderful. It would be helpful if you would share a little bit about how that approach helps your clients. So very similar to my own experiences. I I the first step is about letting go of your past and by releasing suppressed emotions. So, it's really kind of identifying your, you know, your triggers and and what what emotions come up from that. Um you know, whether whether that's anger or shame or guilt or, you know, whatever, whatever comes up and just releasing that through, you know, through forgiveness and through through seeing it from a different perspective, you know, what did you actually learn from that?

What can you be grateful for? Um and then, yeah, the second step is all about your mindset and you're kind of, you know, your sense of identity, which is basically like formed from the beliefs you have about yourself, and then basically transforming those into transforming the limiting thoughts and beliefs into ones that like empower and reflect your your true best self. You know, you're you're like the empowered version of you and then following from that, it's yes, it's cultivating that self love and acceptance through different practices um and then honoring your body as well through physical self care and just being, being in tune with what your body needs and wants. Um and then with the, with the social well being, the relationships, it's about finding your voice and taking responsibility for your part in creating fulfilling relationships, and then the final one is about connecting to your, your purpose, your potential, your your vision.

So do you have a personal philosophy or mantra that you live by and how have you applied it in your life? Probably the one that's most relevant is the one that you said in my intro about, you know, there's no greater fulfillment than knowing your true self and no greater freedom, owning your true self, and so the knowing, knowing your true self, I think it's definitely an ongoing journey because we're always evolving um and it it just requires, you know, deep self awareness and being honest with yourself, asking yourself, there's those questions, those powerful questions and and I think a big part of that is distinguishing between like what represents the real you and your, your true potential versus like what is your false limiting beliefs and conditioning, which you could say are still a part of you.

But I think that they're more like an amplification of your ego mind, right? Yeah, exactly. I love that amplification of your ego mind. I think that that's so true that so many people in the world just get caught up in what others or what they think others, you know, I think they should be or should do or or whatever. And oftentimes we just really get hung up in what the what what, okay listening to our ego as opposed to really listening to our heart because that from from my perspective, I I think that if you really want to get in touch with your true self, that that your true self is really what comes from the heart, what, you know, deep down inside you as opposed to, you know, the answers to life's biggest questions and the things that that that that are true for us aren't outside of us, it's it rests within us and it takes great introspection and self reflection and, you know, deep awareness to uncover that and then be true to that, to own it, to take a stand as opposed to allowing external circumstances or societal norms or expectations of others to, you know, influence how we live our life and what we do.

And I think that that's that's what leads to true happiness is when we are true to ourselves. And I just I love the terminology that you use about owning your truth, it's just so important. So I think it would be wonderful just to hear a little bit more about your vision for the future and what other things that you want to achieve as you grow your business and we all know that, you know, things evolve over time, our whole life evolves and we can go through different transformations and changes over the course of years of even the life experiences that kind of influence what we do with our lives, but at this point in time, what's on the horizon for you? Yeah, so something that I am exploring at the moment is the power of creative expression primarily through dance and movement, who I love that, tell me more about it. Yeah, so I've always loved dancing and and singing as well.

Um but it's definitely it's been very, you know, something that I will I will completely let go when I'm by myself, but when it's around other people, you know, it's always been like, you know, I've been very self conscious of course, yeah, being a fellow introvert in the same way and I've just started kind of really prioritizing creating time for myself too, to just dance freely. And the like the feeling I get from it, like how liberating it is to be able to express myself through that has been so powerful that I've I now really would love to be able to create that safe space for other women to experience it. I realized that it's because especially, you know, being an introvert where we are often thinking and planning and you know, maybe following rules, the freestyle, dancing and movement is the opposite to that it's all about feeling and flowing in the moment and being spontaneous and letting your body lead.

And so um yeah, I would love to, you know, do workshops and and kind of like a retreat um involving not only that, but you know, it would be great to collaborate with some other professionals and involve some art and drama and writing and then also some meditation and, you know, like the nature, nature side and um so kind of, you know, a big complementary mix of things. Well, I have I have somebody that I can introduce you to that actually I recently interviewed on the show that I think would be um someone that that you need to get to know and who knows, it could be a potential collaboration she's here in the US but you know, time and distance really is irrelevant these days because uh you know, of this global technology that we have. So I want to introduce you to her. I love that what you're doing and how you want to incorporate this.

Because I think that there's just so much power in that that creative process of just letting go and particularly with the dance, definitely I want to just kind of wrap up if I can't. I've got a few additional questions that I just kind of want to get through just to, you know, get a little bit more interesting insights about you. I'd love to know, first of all, what's your favorite pastime dancing? Of course, Yeah. Who would have guessed And what lifts you up again? It would have to be music and dancing and nature. Oh, wonderful. I'm so glad that you found that you know, as an introvert. It. Um it is it's it's a great way to to break out of your shell to be more expansive. And of course I love nature myself. What helps you feel grounded and centered? I would say meditating or just simply you know, maybe just simply being in a peaceful environment, spending time whether that's in nature or um just having a quiet time and journaling I think as well.

Mm hmm. Do you find that you can uh you can find those moments and those places where you live today. Yeah, definitely. Good. And again it's something I prioritize. Yeah, it's important, you know, those are the things that keep us going and keep us centered and balance. Do you have a favorite book or go to Resource that you'd love to share with others? Yeah, I think The Power now by Eckhart Tolle was one of the first books that really like woke me up in terms of, you know, discovering the power of the mind and I loved his, his other book, the kind of sequel and New Earth as well. Mm Those are some great books, I agree and I'm also a big fan of the Melissa Ambrosini show, which is a podcast. Um so she interviews experts in the fields of health and wealth and relationships and spirituality and there's they're always so interesting and empowering, I haven't heard of that, but I will definitely make sure we include that in our show notes along with the books as well.

I think it would be interesting to know what's the best advice that you've received from someone. I think it's the fact that, you know, even the most confident successful people in the world are not fearless and they're not without challenges. And you know, basically they will, we will always face new challenges and fears no matter how much we grow and in fact, especially as we grow, you know, new new fears will come up a new and new experiences, but I think the most important thing is how we choose to interpret them and listen to them. Exactly, yeah. It's very much about choosing to see the challenges as you know, happening for us, not to us and you know, and just acknowledging the fears, but then overriding them with, you know, by by just following what feels right, following that inspiration and choosing the courage to move forward. Wonderful.

And just a few parting comments. Um what advice do you have for others to rise up to their best and hi yourself, I think creating that time and space on a regular basis just to just be with yourself and to have a conversation with yourself to be able to just tap into what feels needed, what feels true for you, what feels right? What feels good, what feels inspiring and to make those things a priority. I think that's the best advice anyone could offer. I will definitely take that on board myself as well. Ali I want to thank you so much for being on our show today. It has been such a pleasure speaking with you before we wrap up. There's just a few things I'd love to cover. Tell us how others can learn more about you. Yeah, sure. So you can visit me at my website at www dot wellness with ali dot com and that's A L I E.

Um and you can find me on facebook and instagram at wellness with Ali and I also have a private facebook group called the confident introvert tribe and I'm really active in there and we get, you know, it's kind of a chance to go a bit deeper and interact with each other and more more exclusive tips and inspiration there, awesome. Well it's wonderful to be able to bring together in a community and facebook and instagram are great for that, and I understand you have a free gift that you're offering our listeners today. Can you share a little bit more about that and where our listeners can obtain that? Yes, so it's called the confident introverts pathway and its six steps to go from shy and insecure to confident and empowered. And um you can find that again at my at my website, you'll see, it says free guide option. Um, page sorry.

And um it basically is a is an overview of the actual program, my 90 day program that I support women with. Um so yeah, again, it's for shy women introvert who really want to break free from the over thinking and self judgment and holding back and um guys, you know, it goes through those steps that I mentioned before. Um so letting go of your past discovering your true self um cultivating self love honoring your body, creating fulfilling relationships and then only your purpose and your potential. Oh, sounds fabulous, and I think that that would be a great intro for anyone who is in that situation where they are looking to build that confidence and empowerment within themselves. And also it's a great segue if they're interested in your 98 program.

So it gives them a nice little introduction to that as well. So, I want to thank you so much for being on our show today and we'll make sure that all the information on the free guide where they can access it will be in our show notes. Thank you so much for being our show today. Thank you for having me. Alright, have a great day, you two wait, don't go yet. Stay with us just a bit longer before you go. We hope today's show helped to bring a bit more joy and happiness into your heart. We also hope that it inspired you to unleash your own inner power and to rise up to your best and loving heart centered, highest self. Just a few things before we go. We'd be so grateful if you'd leave us a review on Itunes, because those reviews are so important to our show and we'd love for you to subscribe to our podcast and share the show with others, particularly those episodes that are your favorite. And we'd love it if you let us know what tips and strategies you use to rise up to your highest itself, you can reach out to us at www dot hearts rise up dot com or you can email us at Hello at Hart's Rise up dot com.

Well, that's it for now. Until next time. Keep rising up and may love, and happiness always be in your heart. Bye for now.

Ep. 16 - Navigate Your Life By Owning Your True Self - An Interview With Alie Harwood
Ep. 16 - Navigate Your Life By Owning Your True Self - An Interview With Alie Harwood
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