By Kristen Manieri

Guts, Confidence and Self-Acceptance

This week I was joined by author and columnist Amy Alkon. Amy is a force. On one hand, she’s unapologetically authentic with a “this is me… like it or lump it” brashness. But on the other hand, she’s incredibly vulnerable and deeply committed to helping people live more courageously.

She is the author, most recently, of the “science-help” book Unf*ckology: A Field Guide to Living with Guts and Confidence. She’s also a mediator and volunteers weekly in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, providing free dispute resolution for LA residents. She has been on Good Morning America, The Today Show, NPR, CNN, MTV, podcasts including Joe Rogan’s, and she even has given a TED talk.

I thought it was important to bring Amy into this conversation of conscious living because many of us have areas of our life where we shrink a little, we let ourselves be a little smaller. You might even say, where we sell ourselves out.

And to me, part of living life more fully and really thriving is learning to navigate our perceived shortcomings, fears and stumbling blocks. Part of that is simply identifying what those are and the other part, as you will soon hear, is taking action in spite of them.

So, if you’re thinking about what it would be like to live with more guts, confidence and self-acceptance, listen on.


  1. We’re not stuck with who we are. Humans are malleable. With patience, persistence and action we can mold ourselves to be more of the person we want to become.
  2. If this applies to you, it’s good to recognize that we have a tendency to be agreeable, to go with the flow even if we don’t want to or it doesn’t feel right. In many ways, it’s human nature. But in building our capacity to operate with more self-respect and dignity, sometimes it makes more sense to politely and calmly prioritize being true to ourselves, which might look like saying no, canceling, or setting some firm boundaries. Sometimes the need to be liked and not rock the boat causes us to sell ourselves out. Part of living consciously is seeing where we have this habit and practicing ways to course correct.
  3. Everything Amy talks about around gaining more guts, confidence and self-acceptance takes loads and loads of practice. It’s not going to happen over night. Have patience. Be persistent.
  4. Part of that patience comes from the decision to fall in love with yourself. I’m not talking about self-obsession or narcissism; I’m talking about having a healthy relationship with yourself so that you can honestly see your flaws but you don’t stir up shame and self-hatred about them. Growth can’t happen under a cloud of shame and ridicule but it can happen in a state of love and acceptance. We can learn to be responsible for our behavior and the related consequences without being so hard on ourselves.
  5. Action transforms character. When we start to make changes on the outside, we start to change our brain patterns, behaviors and feelings.
  6. Think about trying mantra meditation. Find a word or short phrase to repeat quietly in your mind or under your breath to give you a boost of calm, clarity or confidence.


If you head over to www.advicegoddess.com, you can learn more about Amy’s three books, read her blogs and columns, and even book a private session her.

It’s been two years since the 60 Mindful Minutes podcast launched. I’m excited to hit this milestone and to see our listenership grow but I’m even more excited to hear from you. If you ever want to reach out with some feedback or with a guest suggestion, you can connect with me at kristenmanieri.com/contact/.

Until next time,

Subscribe to the newsletter