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a number-one best-selling author, success and book coach, and speaker on a mission to help leaders use the power of writing to uncover their unique stories so they can scale their impact.

I'm Stacy Ennis,

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Episode 137 | Uncovering mindset blocks to success, with Amira Alvarez

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I'm a number-one best-selling author, success and book coach, and speaker on a mission to help leaders use the power of writing to uncover their unique stories so they can scale their impact.

Hi, I'm Stacy

A key part of my entrepreneurial journey has been uncovering a simple truth: I am almost always my own biggest roadblock. Not my skills, because I can learn. Not my connections, because I am highly connected. But my mindset.

This week, I speak with Amira Alvarez, founder and CEO of The Unstoppable Woman and host of The Unstoppable Woman podcast. She shares how she achieved a fivefold income increase in a single year and built a multimillion-dollar company.

In this episode, we explore how women (and men) can go beyond success and achievement to create a meaningful life. We discuss:

  • The hidden shadows of success and how they show up in our lives
  • Why a certain level of success doesn’t automatically bring contentment and happiness
  • Strategies to drive awareness during the journey to success
  • What the doer trap is and how to overcome it

I also share some of my personal journey, how I’ve dug into mindset to shift my work and life, and why this has been a deeply profound journey for me.

Show notes:

Learn more about Amira:

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To submit a question, email or visit and fill out the form on the page.

Transcripts for Episode 137

These transcripts were generated by robots, not writers.

Amira: I worked harder on the things that moved the needle, but I still found myself addicted to this. Whatever my goal is, I’m going to grind it out now. I was tapped into my intuition. I was tapped into some other key things that were allowing me to create more. But I found myself at a crossroads and realized that I wasn’t scaling at the level that I wanted to scale at because I was doing it in a way that wasn’t in alignment with how I was approaching life. And I realized I’m going to be miserable and not. It’s not in alignment with what I’m teaching.

Stacy: Welcome, welcome. I’m so glad to be with you this week on this podcast. We talk a lot about success. We talk about achieving big goals, but we don’t often talk about some of the challenges that we face when we hit a certain level of success. So that’s why I’m really excited about the conversation I have with this week’s guest. So let me introduce her.

Stacy: Amira Alvarez is the visionary founder and CEO of the Unstoppable Woman and host of the Unstoppable Woman podcast. Celebrated for achieving a five fold income increase in a single year and building a multimillion dollar company, Emira empowers accomplished women to amplify their financial success while maintaining a fulfilling life. Her exquisite life methodology enables high achieving women to embrace ambition and find deep fulfillment, challenging the belief that they can’t have it all and leading a movement that redefines possibilities, potential, power, and ambition for women. Emira, welcome. I’m so glad to be with you today.

Amira: I’m so glad to be here. Thank you Stacy.

Stacy: You talk about in your work, this concept of an exquisite life, and I’d love to hear about your backstory, what led you into what I would assume is your own exquisite life and then also inspired you to want to share that message and this methodology with other women.

Amira: Thanks for that question. It’s good. So for me, I think similarly to many super ambitious, driven women, I know how to work hard, right? I know how to, like, just burn the candle on both ends, use my willpower, pushed really hard to achieve the goals that I desired. And that was really how I was brought up. That was how I learned how to be successful in life, was, you know, okay, here’s the goal. Let’s go after it. And, like, just push, push. And I did that when I first launched my business, this particular business, I’ve had other businesses, and I really found myself working those 1214 hours, 16 hours days. And that was unsustainable for me. And yet I was addicted to it. And so I had a big breakthrough early on, about three years in.

Amira: I like to share my numbers, if that’s okay.

Stacy: Yeah, please. I’m all about it. Yes, please.

Amira: Because I think it’s important transparency here. Like, my first year in business, this business, this was over ten years ago, was thirty k. And my second year in business, working my patootie off, I made for myself ninety k. I didn’t cross that six figure mark. And I was a little disappointed about that. But I had tripled my income, which that was great. And then third year, I made 138k. Also working my pitudi off, but nice chunk of change, more. And then I realized I can’t actually work more hours, right? I can’t just keep doing what I’m doing. So I had to do something different. So I studied success, I worked with mentors, I did a lot of deep work on myself. And that year I had a goal of making a million dollars. It was crazy goal, right?

Amira: How do you go from 138 to a million dollars? This was top line revenue in one year. But I was like, well, somebody did it, I can do it, too. I started to work differently that year, and I five times my income. I went from 138 to 700k in one year, which was huge for me as a solo entrepreneur. And I might have had a VA at the time, part time, but basically it was just me and you. Know, I was disappointed I didn’t make the million. But when I woke up from that, I realized that in going for it and not being afraid to go for it, I had done something pretty great, which was to five times my income. The business itself has grown significantly since then, and we’ve multimillion dollar business.

Amira: It’s great still keeping the intimacy and the core values that we have. And so what shifted then was I worked harder on the things that moved the needle, but I still found myself addicted to this. Whatever my goal is, I’m gonna grind it out now. I was tapped into my intuition. I was tapped into some other key things that were allowing me to create more. But I found myself at a crossroads and realized that I wasn’t scaling at the level that I wanted to scale at, because I was doing it in a way that wasn’t in alignment with the truth of who I was. And I did a re, a massive deep dive. It took about two years. Okay, I now know how to shortcut that for people.

Amira: But I really looked at how I was approaching life, and I realized I’m going to be miserable. And not, it’s not in alignment with what I’m teaching to be miserable, and I don’t want that. So I have to do it differently. And I then, as part of that deep dive, started to do some work that connected me with my soul and more of my spiritual nature. A lot of meditation, not in a particularly woo kind of meditation, and a very practical kind of meditation. And I realized that one of the things that was holding me back was that I was keeping myself super busy to avoid what I call a core wound. And that core wound, for me was feeling unlovable.

Amira: And that if I was going to break free in my business, to really scale my business and have this business, that felt exquisite to me and a personal life, that felt exquisite to me. Because the way we do one thing is the way we do everything. It’s not separated. I was going to have to solve for that core wound, which is what I did. And then that created this follow on, which was, oh, a domino effect of everything locking into place in my life. And it started to feel exquisite.

Amira: That sense of delight every day, that sense of joy, that sense of flow, that sense of feeling really connected to the truth of who I am, my spiritual guidance, my soul, my greater self, whatever you want to call that, without losing my ambition, without losing the part of me that loves to create, loves to do more. And I think that’s a big thing that a lot of women are challenged with their ambition and their drive and the way they know how to do that. Just the sheer willpower is what they think is creating the outcomes that they desire, when in fact they have a bigger desire, which is to have this exquisite life. And they’re afraid if they let go of that drive part, that they’re going to lose their. The traditional notions of success. Right.

Amira: The business and the income and all of that.

Stacy: There’s so much to unpack. I mean, I made a bunch of notes while you were talking of things I want to dive into. But one area I’d like to really talk about is the mindset piece of success. It’s been really interesting. We’re recording this a few weeks after I spent time in London at an entrepreneurial event. We had entrepreneurs coming in from all over Europe, businesses anywhere from 250k in revenue up to many millions, tens of millions in revenue. So it’s a pretty wide swath of people with different business challenges. And the repeated thing that I heard and that I heard from my colleagues and the conversations were having is that at every level of success, to reach the next level, you have to keep excavating your mindset.

Stacy: You think that you’ve kind of solved the problem, but actually it’s just, there’s another layer deeper to dig and that those problems that you face when your business is just brand new, they’re not gone. There’s just another layer of digging that you need to do to be able to reach that next space. I’d love to know for you, I’m also a highly practical person. And when you mentioned the more practical meditation, I was like, yeah, I can really resonate with that because I’m just a, I’m very practical in the way that I approach things. So on a level of practicality, what did that look like for you when you’re at the 700k, you hadn’t reached your goal, but you had reached a pretty amazing accomplishment in your business.

Stacy: What was it that you actually had to do to unearth that core wound within yourself and then solve for that so that you could move beyond where you were? Amira:
Such a good question. So, point of clarification. Crossed was a multi million dollar company. Before I hit that next place of like, this is not sustainable, I need to look at this.

Stacy: So, so can you take us back then? Because I’m sure there was another piece of that you had to approach and kind of excavate at the other.

Amira: Yeah, 700 to multi million was actually, I would do daily work on myself, like I would do my own sort of awareness work, but I was really functioning at more or less the same, in the same way I needed to. Well, let me. It’s a good question, take me back. So I have to go back a little bit and put myself there. I had to really work on some self worth issues around money, right? I needed to look at what I was willing to charge people as an investment and to work with me. And in order to do that, I had to become a bigger version of myself and to step into more on that front. So that was some big work to do. You do that numerous times and you get better at it, just as an FYI.

Amira: And then one of the things that I did was I scaled the business in terms of numbers. There’s three ways to make more money in business. One, you raise your prices. Two, you sell to more people, and three, you add a new channel of income. So business, if you break it down to that very basic side of things, top line revenue here, we’re not talking about operational costs or anything like that, but top line revenue, there’s only really three ways to make more money and everything. If you start looking at businesses, you realize they’re all doing some version of this. Okay? And so I had raised my investment level and then I had to learn how to sell to more people. And I realized that I had a cap to that, you know, that was part of the next level of adjustment.

Amira: So that worked to get me to a certain place and was great. But then that next phase after the multimillion dollar business, but I’m not living the exquisite life that I want to part of it was really looking at the business model and how I had what I had created, which had worked for a period, but I had evolved. That’s a big thing. We evolve as humans, and a lot of people will sell the business to someone else and start another business because they’ve evolved. Their entrepreneurial spirit, wants to grow in it, wants to keep growing, and they figure out how to do it in a way. Or some people are less entrepreneurial and they just want to work the system right, or have someone else work the system and not do that right. So there’s a lot of different ways for me.

Amira: I really, I love the entrepreneurial side where I conceive of the business, but I also love the work that I do in the business and that if the model doesn’t work for me, the main contributor, the mentor, the coach, the trusted advisor to my clients, then it’s not going to sell at the level that I need it to sell at. It’s not going to have an energetic match to that. So I did about two years of coming to terms with letting go of the IP that I had created over ten years, and feeling that grief, feeling a little lost, feeling the commitment to the people who were already in my community and needing to process and figure out how to do that in a way that felt authentic, ethical, good, and to make this switch.

Amira: And that was part of the deep dive that I did to shift my business model. And part of that is working with fewer people. Like, we’re doing a trip to Europe. That’s, yes, about the trip, but also about this embodied experience of being like, a strong, feminine leader in your business. And that’s for six people. Like, that’s tiny. And that’s the kind of shift that I made because that’s how I want to work. And that’s what’s lit up for me. That’s what creates something exquisite for me, is that depth of connection, that depth of intimacy with people. And so making those changes and feeling like you can lean into the risk involved in making those changes is a big deal and something that I love to teach people now that I’ve gone through it and figured out some things.

Stacy: As I did it, that change of business model and building new revenue streams while you’re still trying to, I mean, you still have to maintain the business, is so tricky. And I really can resonate with that because that’s a journey that I’ve been on as well. You know, several years back, I really sought to build beyond myself. You know, I’ve been in business for 14 years, be 15 and just a few months. And there was a point about probably four and a half years ago where I really was looking. I mean, always the business has evolved over time with me, and I’ve very much kind of shifted the model and what I’m doing with kind of where I feel I want to be working.

Stacy: But I had to come to this place where I had to really question myself as the service provider and whether that, to your point earlier, was going to help me really reach where I wanted to go. The answer was absolutely no. I could not. You know, with the model that I had before, it wasn’t scalable. It wasn’t even offering a service that I could price to a level that I needed to price it. And so it was really scary for me, stepping into like, one. I’m still needing to maintain the business so I can pay the team and I can feed my family as the sole earner for my family and do all of that, but also build this other thing. And there’s so much fear connected to that, too.

Stacy: At least it was for me in, you know, building this thing while needing to maintain this thing and then, like, letting this go a little bit at a time while this other thing built up. It’s complex. And probably I didn’t move through that as quickly as I could have if I had done more inner work around it, around the fear attached to those changes. So I think this is such an important conversation. I’m sure somebody or many somebody is listening to this are like, oh, wow, that’s exactly what I’m going through right now. You mentioned earlier a core wound that you uncovered. And I know that another thing that you talk about a lot in your work is shadows. I think for a lot of people, they maybe have heard a whisper of this term, but it’s not a very commonly known concept.

Stacy: So I would love for you to talk about some of those hidden shadows of success and how they show up for people in their lives.

Amira: Yeah, so, shadow. There’s a term out there called shadow work, and it’s based in part on deep psychological work, jungian work, that talks about your shadows being the thing that you need to call forward, and it’s actually where your power lies. And when I talk about the seven shadows of success, I don’t dismiss that. It’s not that. But I’m talking about some very specific things that hold. Hold people who are highly successful back, and they’re really worth looking at so that you can make a change instead of just being defensive. What happens most of the time is like, oh, I don’t want to look at that. And we push against it and we resist it, and it becomes a bigger problem in our life.

Amira: We think we’re avoiding it, navigating past it, whatever, but we’re actually becoming more and more entrenched, and you end up quite unhappy and then activating again the same patterns to make yourself feel better and you do for a period. So a common one. Let me just finish that loop of a thought, and then I’ll talk about what the seven shadows that I’ve articulated around success are so, like, for instance, people who, like I mentioned for myself, I know how to execute. I’m extremely competent. I know how to be task oriented, get things done. I might have the entrepreneurial mind of, like, liking a lot of creativity around where I focus and freedom there, but I know when push comes to shove, I know how to get things done. And so when I would get close to my shadow, I would.

Amira: Instead of going into it, I would just get myself busy, because that gave me an instant dopamine hit. It would make me feel instantly better. Competent. Oh, yeah. Everything’s right in the world. Yes. What was I thinking? That this needed to be looked at. This. Oh, I feel so good. Let’s just keep going, right? Until that project or goal was achieved, and then I would be faced again with the same shadows and not have dealt with them, and. And then I would try and solve it in the same way. And this can go on for years, and. And, you know, I just went to a mastermind with some. Some colleagues, and they’re all brilliant women, and yet I could see this happening from many of them. Not all of them, but, like, pushing away exactly what they desire because they’re trapped in this loop.

Stacy: So has to be kind of interesting with your friends. And you’re like, okay, I gotta put aside my. My business lens here and the work that I do, but probably can’t ever separate yourself from those experiences.

Amira: You can separate yourself. You can’t separate yourself, but you keep. You can keep your mouth shut. Okay. Yes, that’s true.

Stacy: Okay.

Amira: Like, permission to coach? No. Okay. Hands off. Right? Yeah. And sometimes you don’t even ask. Right. You just keep your mouth shut because it’s not the right time.

Stacy: I would love to hear about those shadows. Cause I think they’re. You know, I’m sure there will be people that this will be very revealing for.

Amira: Yeah. So there’s seven of them, and I outlined them all on our website homepage, and you can read more about them there. You can find that at the So, has all these shadows outlined for you to read about, and then I do. There’s a little private podcast that you can opt into on my story around this, how I impact it, core wounds, loyalty packs, things like that, so it’s well worth checking that out. Okay. The seven shadows, there’s the four out of five problem, which is your. Your life on paper looks great in four out of five areas, right? Maybe you’re killing it at work. You. You have a great relationship. Your kids are thriving. And you’re. You’re making as much money as you want, but your health has gone to hell in a handbasket or. Or some other version of this.

Amira: Right? Maybe everything’s great, but your relationships always fall apart.

Stacy: Right?

Amira: There’s. There’s. There’s. Maybe everything’s great. But you don’t feel supported in your life. Like, you’re able to be. To do everything, but you don’t feel supported in your life. That’s the four out of five problem. Like, it’s pretty good. It looks good, right? Let’s not. Let’s not cut ourselves down and say that we’re failures. But there’s one area in your life that if you solve for that, and it’s usually a core wound, okay, that if you solve for that, everything else would be amplified and drop into place more. Okay? It just unleashes the next level of success for you. For you. When you unlock that one thing, that’s usually a core wound.

Stacy: Amira, before you share the rest of them, I just want to, like, just for a point of clarity. So me and our listeners are really understanding when we think about a shadow. And I know you talked about this earlier, but I want to just articulate it very simply and make sure that we’re on the same page. When you talk about a shadow, the idea here is that you’ve reached this level of success, but there’s all these other things that are kind of happening under the surface. Under the surface. Okay. That makes sense. And the idea is that you bring those into the light and you solve for those so they’re no longer in the shadows. They’re now brought to our weirdest and dealt with. Okay?

Amira: Okay? Correct. And so when things are in the shadow, there’s two things that happen there. One, they drive you unconsciously. They drive your actions, your decisions, your way of being, how you’re showing up in those world, your results that you’re getting, but you don’t know that they’re driving that, okay? It’s in the shadow. It’s in the unconscious. Okay. So using myself as an example so I felt unlovable, even though I had been married. All of those things, right? Like, I had a deep core wound of not ever feeling lovable. And that drove me to fill my life with busyness, to keep that wound from hurting me. Okay? Okay. So it’s what’s driving all my decisions, of what I choose, how I choose to spend my time, what I think is important, what I think is required.

Amira: It’s like it cuts off your awareness of anything else and any other way of being or operating in the world, okay? It’s the lens through which you see the world, but you’re unconscious. That this lens is the filter through which you interpret everything.

Stacy: Okay, that’s great. Thank you for that clarity, because I think that’ll help us really understand the rest of the shadows that you talked through.

Amira: Okay, great. Thank you for asking that question. Okay, the next shadow is the superwoman shadow, which is, you’re so good at everything that you are the one that ends up supporting everyone in your life. Okay? You’re ultra competent. You can do things faster than everyone else. Your brain thinks really fast, and you hold everything. So your team that’s supposed to be there to support you is actually looking at you like superwoman. Like you don’t have feelings, you don’t have needs. And you don’t feel like you can show up in your authenticity and your vulnerability, because God forbid anyone see that you are not superwoman. That you have needs, that you have feelings, that you have the need for support. So it has two things.

Amira: One, it keeps your authentic self limited, which then disallows the ability to connect and have deep friendships, deep connections, and be fully seen and recognized in this world. And it also limits your ability to feel supported. And this is where the sort of being in your masculine essence or your feminine essence comes in. The feminine really wants to be supported. And when we’re all in our masculine get done mode, then we don’t allow ourselves to be supported, and that part of us feels neglected and denied.

Stacy: Yeah, that’s really interesting. And I mean, isn’t that what I think is interesting about that? Is that a lot of times, success, the way that we kind of traditionally look at it as a society, is really about stepping into that more masculine energy and space. I think that’s also true for men as well, right? Like that there are these other sides that they can tap into, just like we can.

Amira: Absolutely. So when all of us, male, female, the whole spectrum have inside, and a masculine essence and a feminine essence, and they both need attending to when they come together, this is where your life force, your power comes from. And I call this your captivating power. It’s this life force that, like, just drives your creativity. And if you think about, like, the sperm and the egg coming together and creating life, like, when the essence of male and the essence of female come together, they create. In the entrepreneurial world or the business world, you create ideas, offers, products, services, things like that. And it’s where your power comes from. It’s also what makes you magnetic. It’s what calls clients to you. It’s it when you have that power, that life force really dialed in, it’s this captivating power, right? It captivates you.

Amira: You fall in love with yourself, captivates the other person captivates your team. Right. It’s this power that’s magnetic. So, yeah, that’s a. That’s a. That’s a big topic. And if people are interested in that topic, I have a bunch of short ten minute videos on that they can download if they go to the cp for captivating power cp. So backslash cp.

Stacy: And we will absolutely be sure to include those links in the show notes so that anybody can access the resources that you mentioned. Amir, I’d love to get an overview of those remaining shadows. We heard about two of them in detail. What are the other five that people should be aware of?

Amira: Sure, there’s solo and successful, which I’ve sort of talked a little bit about, but you’re, like, super successful, but you’re all alone in some fashion. You might have people around you, team around you, but you feel alone. Okay. Not understood, not really seen. There is the sensual flat line that means that you have lost the connection to sensuality and delight and joy and that exquisite feeling of feeling lit up in life as you’re going about your day. Because we’re not about putting it off until some later time. We want that during our life, during our work, there’s trauma chasing, so there’s doing things to keep the fear of the trauma relapsing again. So a lot of people have trauma with a comma, capital t, and then some people have trauma with a lowercase t. Small little injustices that have built up over time.

Amira: There’s then the wholeness whole, which would be number seven. And that. That one is probably my favorite, even though it’s less, for me, it was less of a pain initially. Only after I really connected with spirit or source did it come to me as like, oh, not having. This is so painful. So the wholeness whole is not feeling whole. Not feeling connected to life force, not feeling connected to spirit source. All the energy that is on a daily moment to moment basis, and feeling, like, limited in life. You know something’s missing. You know there’s something more, but you can’t quite tap into it, so you just get yourself busy again.

Stacy: It’s that, like, distraction, right? That keeps you from really fully unearthing and feeling these things. I I’m sure that our listeners are. There’s something that they’ve heard that’s, like, maybe niggling at them a little, like, oh, that’s interesting. Maybe I can resonate with. With that piece of it. And certainly, you know, when I heard you talking about this idea, that there’s something more, and it’s hard to kind of define that or clarify that or really understand what that next thing is that you should do. I hear this so much from a lot of the people that I work with on their books. And I think part of the book journey that I think is. Is so amazing and actually aligns a lot with what we’re talking about, is that it is such an introspective journey.

Stacy: Like, it forces this level of introspection that is really probably the most thought that people will go through in their entire lives. That’s why I think it’s so powerful. What I’d love to know is, just as we kind of close up this conversation, if a woman comes to you or to your work and is in that space of that questioning, what’s a first step that she can take to be able to begin to step into that exquisiteness that’s available to her?

Amira: Yeah. So, I mean, I think there’s a couple of different places to work here. One is, I’m going to call it the meta level. This is like the knowledge level or the. The model, right? Oh, you’re. You have this new awareness. You need to build a model that is bigger than the model that you already have. And so that’s listening to podcasts like your own. You could listen to our podcast, you need to. And that podcast is the We’re everywhere. But you need to understand this new model of success that is different than how you’ve been doing things already. And this includes understanding your subconscious, understanding the shadows, understanding the tools and techniques to apply this new knowledge would be the next step. You have to then learn the tools.

Amira: Some of that goes under the meta knowledge piece, and some of it is a lived experience kind of tool. But let me. Let me unpack this slightly differently. I’m going to say meta knowledge. And then you need to embody it, okay? You need to feel it in your body, know it in your body, and you do that by a level of awareness in your body, but also having a lived experience of doing it differently. Okay? And then it’s really facing the. The fears, the risks, the trust issues that come up and staying the course so that you can actually have the outcome that you desire and the tools are used. In the knowledge phase, you’ll learn tools. In the embodiment phase, you’ll learn tools. The lived experience phase, you’ll learn tools. All of that. Yeah.

Stacy: Thank you for that, Amira. And we’ll be sure, of course, to link to all the things that you mentioned. Of course, check out your podcast, the unstoppable woman, which I know I will be joining you on soon. I can’t wait for that conversation. I so appreciate your time today and just digging into this piece that we don’t often talk about when it comes to success. I mean, we tend to go so quickly to the skills that we need to gain or the strategies or the metrics, but we don’t often talk about our inner world. So I really appreciate your time and sharing with us today.

Amira: Thank you, Stacy. I really appreciate the great questions. I love the format of this podcast and the great questions. And thank you for having me. Really appreciate it.

Stacy: Thank you. Thank you so much, Amira. And thank you to you, our viewer, our listener, for being with us today. I hope this was insightful for you and exposed you to something that I wish I had really looked at much earlier in my own entrepreneurial journey. Rather than just looking for information, also looking within and exploring how I am often my, actually my biggest roadblock to my own success. So I hope this was really helpful for you. And thank you as always to Rita Domingues, who produces this fine podcast. I am so grateful for all of her work. She makes this show possible. If this was impactful for you, I’d be so grateful if you would take a moment to rate and review this podcast. I ideally five stars.

Stacy: It makes a huge difference in me being able to reach more listeners with the message of living a life and running a business that is beyond better. And I will be back with you before you know it.



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