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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Ross

This month's theme is trusting those gut instincts of ours. It sometimes just feel like gas... and maybe it is... but chances are it's much more than that. The Macmillan dictionary defines a gut instinct as "a feeling that you are certain is right, although you can give no good reason why". Learning to trust this basic instinct is crucial to living your fierce. It is essentially trusting your years of experience, your analytical abilities and the data cache of expert advice you've collected and stored.

There is great power in making one's own decisions. I also understand there tends to be a lot of fear in making decisions. I have witnessed countless people avoid making decisions like their lives are a game of dodgeball. They will duck, dodge, and dive from that ball at any cost. I love winning a game as much as the next (probably more than the next actually), but one is putting their destiny in the hands of someone else when you live your life in the proverbial dodgeball court.

I have come to believe a few things to be true for myself:

  1. A decision I make is one I can always be either proud of or learn from

  2. No decision is truly permanent (knowing this gave me great power to trust myself)

  3. Being the master of my own destiny feels pretty damn good

  4. A lot of time gets wasted on doubting my gut instincts or fearing that I am "wrong". Time that could be spent learning from my decision, fixing it or making a new one.

However, trusting your gut is only one tool in your decision making tool belt. Seeking expert advice when we are unsure, accepting feedback from trusted sources and learning from ours (and others') past decisions all play into making successful decisions that help us live our fierce and follow our passions.

So trust those little hairs that stand up on your arms, trust that frog in your throat and trust the little acrobats flipping around in your stomach. They're trying to tell you something.

Fiercly Yours,

Andrea (LYF Co-founder)

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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Ross

A wee bit about Carol:

Mom of two, Wife, Wrestling Coach, Mental Performance Consultant in training. Freestyle Wrestling Olympic Champion and Bronze Medalist, 2x Pan American Games Champion, Commonwealth Games Champ, 4x World medalist. Canadian Hall of Fame Inductee

What does it mean to you to Live Your Fierce?

Living Fierce means having the courage to pursue your passions even through the fear of failing miserably. It also means having the determination and the grace for yourself to keep finding a way, even after you've failed miserably many times over!

What were some of the obstacles / barriers to reaching your goals and living your fierce?

I've always had a very loud-mouthed inner critic. Still deal with it everyday! Once I actually achieved the pinnacle of an amateur athlete's career, it didn't go away. Could not financially support my training early in my career.

Describe 1-3 things which were instrumental to your overcoming these obstacles / barriers.

1. I surrounded myself with supportive people: my parents, coach and club supported me financially early in my career so that I could have those early experiences that really helped motivate me to really pursue being the best in my sport;

2. Teammates, coaches, friends, and family believed in me and supported my pursuits.

3. I really worked hard on my mental game: worked with a couple of mental performance consultants. Learned a lot of strategies and skills to build confidence, perform under pressure, and to deal with the road bumps along the way.

What are some of the attributes you look for when choosing your support system:

Compassion, humour, can commiserate and allow me to wallow but will also help pick me up off my face and see from a different perspective.

Carol's words of fierce…

Be self-aware about what self-care means to you.

Sometimes, balance in your life means "on average" - some days it's about being able to give your undivided attention to your family, other days, it's about leaving the kids at home with daddy so mommy can go and kick some ass out in the world.

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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Ross

A wee bit about Andrea:

Andrea Ross, is an energetic, playful, multi-skilled athlete and action artist in the stunt performing industry. She’s basically turned being clumsy (or selectively coordinated as she likes to describe it) into a hirable and sought after skill. Her filmography can be found on her IMBD page.

Her jump off point is Squamish, BC where activity is the only lifestyle. Kiteboarding, hiking, mountain biking and skiing are part of her routine to unwind…often on the same day. Never afraid to have a laugh at her expense, time spent with Andrea is always a riot.

Andrea is also the founder of the Live Your Fierce (LYF) Project. LYF is a community and leadership platform for fierce women, led by fierce women.

Some of the projects / jobs / achievements that Andrea is most proud to have experienced or been a part of:

National Freestyle wrestling team member (2010 National Champion)

Graduated UofC with 2 degrees

Stunt performer in film & television for the past 5 years

Co-Founder of The LYF Project

New mom to a rad little dude

What does it mean to you to Live Your Fierce?

To me, living your fierce is identifying what your true passion is in life, working through the obstacles to get there and then unapologetically living it. To live your fierce is to have a deep appreciation for all of the work that went into getting there and for those who supported you to get there. To me, fierce includes a combination of confidence, resilience and vulnerability.

What were some of the obstacles / barriers to reaching your goals and living your fierce?

My biggest obstacles I faced in order to pursue living my fierce were of my own making. I was waiting for someone to believe in me more than I believed in myself. This caused a lot of waiting around for things to happen. I had connected my fear of failure to the belief that I should not try unless those in my peer group believed I would succeed. I had, and still have, so many incredibly supportive friends. During the times I was most doubtful, insecure and uncertain, I had let some family members, partners and toxic people dictate my path, based on what they thought I should do and be.

Later on, when I finally learned to build boundaries and surround myself with the right people, the barriers to living my fierce became much more extrinsic. Things like, living in a city where opportunities in film where scarce, not having any connections to people already in the film world and missing a few key skill sets to be hired for the jobs I wanted. I found these details much easier to navigate through and around. I had always been prepared to do the work I needed to (ie. Moving cities, networking and training like a mo-fo). The inner work has always been the toughest to tackle.

Describe 1-3 things which were instrumental to your overcoming these obstacles / barriers:

1) Trusting in a close group of loving supporters and paying minimal attention to the ney-sayers. These are not “yes” people in the sense of agreeing with everything that you do. They are “yes” people in the sense that they believe you will also achieve your goals and they are willing to help you troubleshoot through the challenges. They help you turn the "No's" into "not yets".

2) Knowing that doing just a little bit, instead of all of it goes a long way. It adds up, momentum builds and the progress is made.

3) Anticipate things not necessarily going according to plan and trust yourself to find options, ask for help, be resourceful when the plan hits a roadblock. Ask yourself is this actually a dealbreaker? The answer is usually no.

What are some of the attributes you look for when choosing your support system:

Honesty - support does not mean being surrounded by "yes people". It also does not mean being around pessimists and close minded people either. I chose to share my journey with those who help me identify proverbial potholes while sharing the enthusiasm to hit my end goal.

Independence - I love sharing in my support system's journeys just as much as I depend on their help for mine. I feed off of the communal energy and drive.

A solid sense of humour - cause life is too damn short to not laugh at the ridiculous situations we find ourselves in. Laughter is cathartic and best shared with those close to you.

Andrea's Words of Fierce:

Tough, even awful things happen to all of us. The ones who battle through the smoke of despair, hurt and tragedy, who leave the role of victim, become the driver of their own journey find happiness and fulfilment. Find the courage and the ways to turn no / can’t / fear into yes / can / fierce.

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