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Bonjour, Mon Cherie! Amanda Cherie here: music artist, TEDx speaker, and business psychology pro.


I help Fortune 150 leaders analyze effectiveness. I also help them navigate discomfort to get on with making the money moves. Then I go from supporting bold change to belting bold anthems like “Can’t Logic” (all about beating analysis paralysis).


I can tell you from working with exceptional leaders and from my own experience: Nobody has it all together. Even the people who appear confident AF on the outside can be a raw ramen noodle brick of nerves on the inside.


What do business executives, second graders, and multi-Grammy winner Adele have in common? They all feel fear.


Yes, even Adele got pre-show butterflies: “I puke quite a lot before going onstage, though never actually on the stage… But...the bigger the freak-out, the more I enjoy the show!"



For me, it was public speaking, and most “peopling” really. Rewind from giving a TEDx talk and speaking at universities to future leaders on how to overcome their discomfort so they can get on with making bold business moves. Growing up, just the thought of public speaking nauseated me. Heck, I didn’t even like answering the phone. I was 100% terrified. So I avoided it at all costs.


I still remember the day, a few weeks before finishing my senior year in high school, that I heard: “Congratulations, you’re Valedictorian (graduating at the top of your class).” The achiever in me was elated that my hard work had paid off. Then the words followed, “Start getting your speech together.” Annnnd my heart sank. I felt honored, but also kind of punished.


Since that speech I’ve given numerous talks to hundreds of leaders, spoken at universities, and given a TEDx talk (the night before which I vomited every hour). I still feel an intense amount of anxiety before speaking. But I embrace the fear and do it anyway because I’m pulled by my purpose as an influencer, motivator and entertainer.


You know the struggle, Mon Cherie. New jobs, first days at school, epic roller coasters, making friends, falling in love: they all tend to carry a side effect of the jitters. They also tend to carry a case of the confused, “What’s real anymore?” feeling, to quote the song “Can’t Logic” by moi.


There are two kinds of fear: one that protects you and one that can hold you back. And it can be tricky to tell the difference.


Let’s talk about how to recognize when fear is a sign that you should run faster vs. running away.



Here’s 3 Questions to ask yourself to tell if the fear means Step Forward, or Step Away:


1. IS IT SURFACING LIMITING BELIEFS?


Are you projecting limitations onto yourself, others, or the world?


If you hear your inner voice saying…


“I’m not equipped enough to do that.”

“People probably won’t like me.”

“The ‘system’ isn’t in my corner.”


...you’re probably creating the fear within you.


Pay attention to your inner dialogue. Listen to the stories you tell yourself that may be holding you back. When your self-talk starts speaking from limiting beliefs, calmly meet that inner voice with love.



Once that inhibiting fear is met with love and knows it’s safe, it can chill and free you up to get on with slaying.


Release. Reframe. Repeat.


2. IS IT ALIGNED WITH YOUR ULTIMATE VISION?


Is the product on the other side of the fear in line with your long-term desire? Could it be a step toward revealing something within you that’s aligned with your full potential?

If the challenge at hand is not in alignment with your ultimate desire, this when the discomfort can be a sign to walk away.

But if you look past the fuzzy fear and see the ideal end game, saying yes to the action and steps necessary to make it happen becomes clearer.



On the other side of the fear could be an invitation to step into your power. In this case, it’s a matter of letting go of your resistance so you can get on with actualizing your dope vision.


Visualize. Align. Act.


3. IS IT KEEPING YOUR VALUES AND WELLBEING INTACT?


Are you honoring your personal standards and needs?


Maybe you’re considering skipping the gym because you’re feeling the Sunday afternoon FOMO from Netflix marathoning or pool lounging.


But if you have a personal value of fitness and established supporting behaviors (and assuming you’re not sick or injured), consider hitting the gym before the pool.



By all means, basic self-care is prioritizing your health - physical, mental, emotional or otherwise. Sometimes you need the rest (and the vitamin D). Just make sure you’re prioritizing your long-term values and wellbeing over in-the-moment comfort.


Know what you value. Stay with your standards. Slay your goals.



If you answered mostly “yes” to these questions, the fear is probably originating from within. Unless there’s a cheetah chasing you or another clearly dangerous reason to running away, you should consider running toward the challenge at hand.


If you answered mostly “no” to these questions, the fear is probably protecting you. In this case, consider walking away. Reset, and start walking toward something more aligned.


If you’re still somewhere in-between, sit with these questions for a few minutes to better understand the origin of the anxiety. Knowing where the fear is coming helps to create more clarity in how to respond to it.

And if you need a bonus question, here ya go: What if Adele had thrown the mic before the concert instead of dropping it afterward? Boom.


Once you’re ready to transition from thinking to deciding, I have something else for you that can help your headspace.


If you want a song that you can dance to and (not over) think about, I’ve got just the thing for you: my new song “Can’t Logic.”


Can’t Logic” is an anthem about overcoming overthinking. It’s about trying to navigate life, love, and your own mind. It’s kind of like if the line ”to be or not to be” from Shakespeare’s Hamlet were a pop song. Throw in some 80s-esque drama, set it to Drake-esque beat, and you’ve got “Can’t Logic.”



Trust me, Mon Cherie. If you need a mental espresso break, listen to this song and see how you feel after. You may find that it becomes your go-to track for your next workout, poolside contemplation, or morning self psych-up session.


Every time you listen to “Can’t Logic,” you will literally have my voice in your head cheering you on as you make bold moves that feel right to you. And if you fail, that’s okay. Get back up and repeat. You can also listen to “Can’t Logic” on repeat, but ya know, totally up to you. ;)


Listen to “Can’t Logic” on Spotify, iTunes, or wherever you listen to your music.


For more bold blends of psychology and not-basic pop songs, connect with me on Spotify and Instagram.

XO

Amanda Cherie

Bonjour, Mon Cherie! Amanda Cherie here: music artist, TEDx speaker, and freak in the spreadsheets


As a business psychology pro, I help Fortune 150 leaders analyze effectiveness. I also help them overcome analysis paralysis to get to the bold money moves. Then I go from transposing data on computer keyboards, to transposing notes on a piano keyboard. 


But rewind from hippie-dippie hybrid Amanda giving university talks to future leaders on how to overcome analysis paralysis so they can get on with making bold business decisions. Tiny Amanda could choose the perfect blue glitter gel pen, no problem. But her response to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up” was always “How much time do you have?” Like most kids, the list was broad and seemed to only grow with time. 


When picking a college major, I was torn in many directions: business, a science, or something creative. Choosing a grad school major was even harder. And don’t even get me started on choosing concentrations within your chosen major. Oy. Effing. Vey.

You know the struggle, Mon Cherie. The tough choices seem to just keep coming. It’s decision after decision in your personal life, academic life, work life, side hustle life, down to what you’ll have for dinner and what you’ll wear when eating it. 


You feel overwhelmed. You feel a sense of urgency to act, yet terrified of making the wrong decision. You’re in that “refuse to play in guessing games unless I’m the winner” head space, to quote the song “Can’t Logic” by moi. 


Here's the thing though, there are no wrong decisions. Sure, you may fail. That's OK, Mon Cherie. It’s all part of figuring out what exactly it is that you DO want to be doing. Don't make your decisions even harder by being terrified of making the wrong one. 


Here are 3 ways to beat analysis paralysis so you can break through the BS, and get on with living your best life. But before we start, pause. Take a deep breath. Relax your jaw. Lower your shoulders. K…


1. LET GO OF PERFECTION. 


If you’re like me and like to control things in a Hey, Universe... “I solve for X and wonder Y you don’t stick to it” kind of way (shout out to “Can’t Logic”)...


Reminder: perfection is impossible. And 100% crystal ball prediction is impossible. There is no perfect formula, Mon Cherie. 

If you’re waiting for the perfect algorithm to flawlessly figure out the future, grab your skinny popcorn and rewatch Friends yet again because you’re going to be waiting for effing ever. And your FOMO on the right decision will quickly turn into missing out on real life opportunities.


The best you can do to be a baller decision maker is to become a bangin’ educated guesser. 


So go ahead, analyze the “what is.” What do you know? What things are constant? But remember you can’t analyze your way to a perfect answer. That’s where creativity comes in. At some point you have to transition from “what is” to “what if.” What can you change? What possibilities can you imagine that don’t exist yet? 


Leave room to experiment and try new things. Even if you fail. Even when it’s scary as hell. 


2. IDENTIFY THE REAL GOAL. 


It’s easy to lose sight of the ultimate objective of the decision. 

If you’re picking a new graphic tee, the low-level goal is to be a decent member of society, obvi. Beyond that you may want the shirt to be soft AF. But the highest-level desire may be to express your personality with a bold image or message. (Shout out to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.)


Ask yourself, what’s the thing behind the thing? Meaning, what is the greater significance beyond face value? What’s the deeper need or desire I’m looking to fill with this decision?

Decisions are like croissants. They often have more layers than you can see on the surface. 

You’re not just buying a concert ticket. You’re investing in an experience. You’re not just paying for a haircut. You’re spending time talking personal life and pop culture with your therapist-I-mean-stylist, and leaving feeling dope AF. 


Understanding the deeper goal beyond the decision can help to create clarity in which option is most aligned with your ultimate desire. 


3. MAKE IT SIMPLE. 


I’m all for drafting a solid plan or creating a mind map to organize your buzzing thoughts. But lists can get way too long, way too quickly. 

This happens in the business world all the time: grid lines, bar graphs, and fictitious numbers to make leaders feel safe about their decisions. But what leaders sometimes don’t realize is that the spreadsheets are basically bowling bumpers. The strike bowl comes from the throw, not the bumpers. 


Similarly, the plan helps you stay on track, but it’s only as valuable as the action you take. 

The more time you’re spending on 90-bullet lists, the less time you’re spending actually doing the things that will get you to the goal. Think of it like a personable budget. It’s less about the plan, and more about the choices that align with your ultimate goal, IRL.

To break through the BS, ask yourself how you can make things simpler. Even the big decisions can sometimes be simpler than we may make them - maybe not easier, but simpler.


If you’re ready to get on with a decision already but still feeling stuck... letting go of perfection, identifying the ultimate goal, and simplifying can help you to get past the analysis paralysis. You can turn that energy into productive problem solving, and feel like a calm force doing it. 


If you want a song that you can dance to and (not over) think about, I’ve got just the thing for you: my new single “Can’t Logic.” 


Can’t Logic” is a pop dance hall anthem about overcoming overthinking. It’s about trying to navigate life, love, and your own mind. It’s kind of like if the line ”to be or not to be” from Shakespeare’s Hamlet were a pop song. Throw in some 80s-esque drama, set it to Drake-esque beat, and you’ve got “Can’t Logic.”

Trust me, Mon Cherie. If you need a mental espresso break, listen to this song and see how you feel after. You may find that it becomes your go-to track for your next workout, poolside contemplation, or morning self psych-up session. 


Every time you listen to “Can’t Logic,” you will literally have my voice in your head cheering you on as you make bold moves that feel right to you. And if you fail, that’s okay. Get back up and repeat. You can also listen to “Can’t Logic” on repeat, but ya know, totally your decision. ;)


Listen to “Can’t Logic” on Spotify or wherever you listen to your music.


If you want more motivation, plus more bold blends of psychology and not-basic pop songs, let’s stay connected. 


Sign up now for unlimited candy for your ears and coffee for your mind, on me!


XO

Amanda Cherie

Bonjour, Mon Cheries! Amanda Cherie here: singer, songwriter, business psychology professional and TEDx speaker. Like every kid, I couldn’t decide which I wanted to be when I grew up: a mad scientist, a hippie artist, a model, a GUCCI saleswoman, or a bullheaded corporate businesswoman (#tauruslife).


When you’re a Jill (or Jack) of several trades, you get to perform your music in bold outfits. And you get to use your Industrial-Organizational Psychology graduate studies to help Fortune 150 leaders measure and maximize their performance and bold money moves.


When you’re a Jill (or Jack) of several trades, you get to perform your music in bold outfits. And you get to use your Industrial-Organizational Psychology graduate studies to help Fortune 150 leaders measure and maximize their performance and bold money moves.


You go from speaking to leaders about the art of resilience, to writing and belting a song about it. Most of the time they only cry from the latter. Just kidding, I haven’t gotten a tearfilled standing ovation from a business presentation, yet. *Closes eyes and actually visualizes said response.*


Professionally speaking, I’m basically a power-walking paradox, but I’m also a bit of a contradiction in other ways. When it comes to style, I’m a maximal minimalist. No joke, a friend once referred to my style as “intensely structured chaos.” And when it comes to my vibe, my essence, whatever you want to call it, I’m like a Negative Pollyanna meets a Positive Nancy. Says the woman who studied positive psychology in grad school, I’m kind of a positive pessimist.


Let me explain. “Positive pessimism” means I’m still both a realist and idealist, and I try to use both sides for the good of myself and others.


Think Florence Welch singing about her demons with her angelic voice, or Silver Linings Playbook’s equal parts dark mood and playful banter. Ah, positive pessimism at its finest!

Here are 5 ways you also can become a more positive pessimist:


1. KNOW YOUR DEFAULT MINDSET Some people wake up happy. I am not one of those people. You won’t find me having sing-offs with the birds every morning, nor will you find them dressing me.


My roll-out-of-bed default is Jerry Seinfeld meets Russell Brand-on-a-rough-day. Yes, I just described my natural countenance as two dark-humored, middle-aged men. I love both of them for the record. And, might I add, they’ve both found ways to make a lucrative living from said dark humor.


I’m an artsy night owl with a corporate job for a Fortune 150 enterprise. So being an owl living in a lark world doesn’t exactly help me with the waking up bright and happy concept. I rode the proverbial struggle bus to school every morning when I was a kid. I pictured myself as a positive-minded, productive woman who had figured out how to be a morning person that rolls out bed with a red-lipped smile that stays on until she says otherwise. Hate to break it you, Young Amanda, but you and 6 a.m. still have an on-the-rocks relationship. Sorry not sorry.

With my natural lean toward pessimism - or “realism” as we pessimists like to refer to it - I used to play the “I was born this way” card. But over time I’ve realized the power our mindset has over our success.


I believe in the power of mindset not only because I’ve studied it but because I’ve lived it. I literally lost everything in Hallmark-turned-Lifetime story for another day. But all’s well that inspires a poppin’ first single like “Brand New Empire,” am-I-right?


I literally wrote a song about bouncing back from setback. So I’ve embraced the power we have over our own mindset. And I’ve tried to shift to being a bit more of an optimistic pessimist.


It’s important to be self-aware of your default state of mind. But remember you ultimately have the power to channel your thoughts toward whatever mindset will best serve you.

2. LAUGH AT THE DARK HUMOR. When you hear that inner sarcastic voice, it’s hard not to laugh, or at least raise the corners of your mouth to what others may look a bit devious. Little do they know you’re just enjoying some silent humor in the dark corners of your mind palace. And if appropriate, share it with others who may be as twisted as you are, or who may at least be entertained by it. Disclaimer: condescension isn’t cute. But well-placed dark humor where it is appropriate and welcomed can feel like an oasis. The more vivid the language, the better. No, I’m not referring to kinkiness. Although, if your mind went there, feel free to savor the moment... Okay, I’m talking more along the lines of metaphors.


This isn’t just the pessimism talking. Research shows that metaphorical language can actually help painful emotion feel more bearable. So perhaps consider throwing some metaphor into your sarcastic humor. Take this dark-witted example from The Hunger Games: “I've seen you in the market. You can lift hundred pound bags of flour,” I snap at him. “Yes and I'm sure the arena will be full of bags of flour for me to chuck at people.”

Ah, don’t you love dark, witty wordplay?! It may sound ironic, but sometimes dark humor feels like the brightest part of my day. Not much cheers me up like a black hole of dark-humored memes, a dramatic Marvelous Mrs. Maisel scene, or guiltiest pleasure of all: a Kardashian scream off.


It’s okay to your inner cynic bring dark tidings of comfort and joy. After all, laughter is medicine, Mon Cheries.

3. DON’T FALL TOO FAR DOWN THE DARK HOLE.


Once you’ve gotten a good laugh, press pause. The Mad Hatter headspace is great for mental tea time, but pessimism can quickly spiral down a black hole.


The turning point from a downward spiral to well-channeled positive pessimism can start with simply a moment to stop and breathe.


Breathe in through your nose slowly and deeply. Breathe out through your mouth slowly and intentionally.


Pausing to breathe will give you time to back out of the black hole. Why, you ask? Breathing intentionally will give your brain a chance to put the places responsible for reflex on a Hulu commercial break, and create space for the places responsible for reasoning.

If you’re going to let your pessimism loose, it’s important to make sure you’re in complete control of it.


Keep that seductively cynical energy under control. As a positive pessimist, you can ride the dark wave like a pro, on a bright a bright yellow “surfboardt.”

Whether pessimism is a smooth ride or a destructive derailer is up to you. Just make sure you’re pressing pause before diving too far into the darkness.

4. MAXIMIZE THE DARK CREATIVITY.


Besides the pure enjoyment of sarcastic thinking, you can actually use positive pessimism for advantages beyond your own mind palace. You can use the energy to step into a creative headspace where you can solve problems and start to take action.


Don’t just take my word for it. Researchers at Harvard, Columbia and European business school professors discovered that sarcasm can lead to higher levels of creativity. So sarcasm can actually have a positive effect on your thinking.

More than that, well-channeled pessimism can help you be more prepared. If you don’t want to ruin your new suede boots (or you want to be prepared just in case the sky legit falls), you’re more likely to check the weather before leaving the house and to pack an umbrella, even if it’s gorgeous outside. Makes sense, right?


Personality science also backs up this logic. Research shows that well-harnessed pessimism can help you feel more confident, be laser-focused on your goals and actually reach them.


So as a positive pessimist, you can actually feel the confidence to anticipate and successfully navigate difficulty.


You can use the energy to step into a creative headspace where you can solve problems and start to take action that can benefit the concrete world. Ain't it fun living in the real world?...sung in my best Hayley-William-from-Paramore voice.

5. APPRECIATE YOUR ECCENTRIC MIND.


Learn to love your mind for how it works. Be grateful for your brilliantly "brunette" brain for its state-of-the-art humor radar.


While you’re at it, be thankful for whatever crazy situation you’re in that's inspiring your silent sarcasm. Appreciate your creative ability to influence said situation.


You can also celebrate in advance the story you will get out of it.


Think about how comedians see the world. They turn everyday experiences (and outlandish ones) into relatable, laugh-worthy stories. Take comedian Mark Birbiglia’s vivid recollection of a dialogue with his doctor:


Doctor: “If you’re a comedian, then how come you’re not funny now?”

Birbiglia: “What I wanted to say was, ‘I’m going to take this conversation we’re having now and then repeat that to strangers. And then that’s the joke. You’re the joke, later.”


Comedians, writers and musicians - their brains are always scanning the world for a story. They take their twisted observations, experiences and imagination. And they turn them into captivating works of word art for their own entertainment. Then they share it with people.


Similarly, as a positive pessimist you can use your unique mind to seek out the story in the situation. And you can begin to appreciate the value of the story, maybe even more than the value of your own comfort.

You can use positive pessimism to spark your next big idea or craft your next story. Or you may just in it for the comedic therapy. That’s cool too.


Either way, appreciate the multiple benefits of well-channeled sarcasm.

It’s hard to be optimistic sometimes. Duh. But it is possible to be an intentionally positive pessimist.


You can laugh at the dark humor. You can stop, breathe and decide to use your sarcasm for good. Then you can actually use for good. And you can be grateful for the gift of a beautifully offcentered mind that can bring to life fresh solutions, perspectives and (let’s not forget) comedy.


If you have a smile on your face and walk around saying, “I woke up like this,” good for you.

I did not wake up with a glowing grin, but ironically talking about all this positive pessimism has me genuinely happy. You should see the dazzling, devious smile I’m wearing.

For me, every morning is a rebirth. There’s an Amanda Cherie Renaissance from pessimist to positive pessimist. Every. Effing. Day. I work really hard to keep my mindset in a productive sweet spot.


Whether you’re an optimist or a positive pessimist, continuously fill your mind with things that can help you create your own mindset sweet spot. Talk with a friend. Take a walk through nature. Make a power playlist.


Speaking of power playlists, I’ve got something to help you get started with that, Mon Cherie. It’s like candy for your ears and a shot of espresso for your mind.

It’s my first single “Brand New Empire,” a power anthem I wrote about bouncing back from setback.


Whether you need energy to get going in the morning, set the tone for your next workout, or simply boost your mood throughout the day, “Brand New Empire” can help you level up your mindset.


Don’t worry, it’s not bubblegum pop. It’s a bit snarky and saucy. Take the line, “But I hereby dub you King of Con Art, Sir Psychopath.” Total dark humor!


Listen to “Brand New Empire” on Spotify, iTunes, or wherever you listen to your music.


If you want more motivation, plus more bold blends of psychology and not-basic pop songs, let’s stay connected. Sign up now for unlimited candy for your ears and coffee for your mind, on me!


Until next time, may your brain shine just as dark as it does bright, Mon Cherie.


XO


Amanda Cherie