Guest Interview: The Holistic Approach With Amy Fiedler
What made you start your business?
I worked in fashion and wardrobe styling after college in NYC and eventually started a clothing company of my own years later, but it wasn't bringing me joy or fulfillment. I was naturally good at fashion, but ultimately wanted to be happy with the work I chose. I was always working on myself mentally, emotionally and spiritually, regardless of what type of 'work' I was getting paid to do. I made a decision one day to dissolve my clothing company after having been in business for 6 years and sat down to get honest about what I really wanted to do with my life.
Having struggled emotionally since I was a teen and having sought clinical mental health help, spiritual help, and taken many routes towards inner healing, I began to realize what also comes naturally, but provides me a deep sense of fulfillment and peace is helping people. I went back to school and got certified as a Holistic Life Coach and Reiki Master Practitioner and have not looked back since! I'm currently back in school working on new trauma certifications, as I do continuing education to stay knowledgeable in my fields of expertise.
What is the core of your philosophy and how did you narrow it down?
The "help" I tried to received as a teen did not help me. The clinical approach to mental health, which usually involves diagnoses and medication, only perpetuated the issues I was having and left me feeling worse after each therapy session. At the core of my philosophy in my work is approaching each client in a holistic way as I am certified to do. I do not look only at labels or symptoms they're having, I take a Salutogenic approach and consider the bigger picture of their childhood, traumas, experiences throughout their life, environments and belief system.
I maintain that there is no black or white approach to mental, emotional or behavioral health and that each individual needs to be handled differently. I extend to each client an approach to their total health and well-being that no professional had extended to me when I was in need which is the driving force behind my entire philosophy.
How do you handle pressure to fit into a specific business mold or societal definition of what you should do with your career and follow your own guidance?
When I started this business I felt some pressure to fit in and believed there must be a "right or wrong" way to do things as many will lead you to believe. I tried for the first year to operate my business 'their' way and it only brought me back to a place of feeling disconnected and extremely unhappy with myself. I had to remember why I started this and it was because I wanted to be myself and be happy doing what I love to do.
I've done a lot of work on myself and my mindset to be able to stand here today and confidently say that I feel no pressure to fit, blend or mold with the crowd. I am not a licensed conventional therapist nor am I your typical 'life coach'. I am Amy Fiedler who has carved out her own lane, which I refer to as 'Holistic Life Therapy', using a collaboration of certifications that align with my philosophy. Although none of this could have possibly happened overnight, each step to getting here makes sense and assisted me in building this confidence I now have with myself and my business.
What is a tool you recommend (be it a coach, meditation practice) to others who are juggling multiple priorities and struggling to find time to eat well and sleep?
I strongly believe everybody needs a solid support system and that includes not just a committed, loving self-care daily practice, but also time for self-reflection and a healthy professional or confidante who can offer you non-judgmental guidance for you to better understand and improve: you. If you're in the field of helping people in any capacity, I feel it to be a non-negotiable necessity to continue your personal growth towards always improving you.
What is your benchmark for keeping a balance, or do you go hard one season and take time off after?
My goal is always a daily balance, but I have struggled over the years to commit fully to a schedule while working for myself. I very easily fall into a pattern of putting others before me and sometimes the only schedule I keep is for the days I am seeing my clients. Everything else tends to flow organically and intuitively which worked, until it did not.
This year I've found a way to navigate my needs first while maintaining my same level of presence and energy with everyone and everything else but it took a lot of self-reflecting, reframing of belief systems and changing patterns ingrained in me for a long time to stop putting everybody before myself.
I know balance looks different for everybody and what works for one may not work for all so it's important to always reflect on our individual needs and what we know to be true about ourselves.
What is the biggest challenge you overcame in life or business?
Honestly that changes per season because there's layers to everything and I'm always working through my own personal stuff to advance in my life and in my business. I wouldn't be able to name just one. I will say that the entire way I approach life and my business is unconventional and a challenge in and of itself, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
What would you tell other aspiring coaches or business owners?
Educate yourselves and don't follow, listen to or take bad advice. This is something I'm extremely passionate about, as there are so many self-proclaimed experts on the internet misguiding individuals and creating more harm than good and using "personal experience" as their 'certification'. If you're truly aspiring to be a 'coach' of some sort, then get very clear on what you want to do and seek out proper education, even if it's unconventional, to better support you.
If you're aspiring to run a business in general, I would tell you to only commit to something you are extremely passionate about, otherwise when it gets tough (and it will always get tough), you will want to give up. Running a business takes strength and perseverance. Your successes are backed by 1000 failures. You've got to be capable of reframing those into lessons to keep you motivated to keep going!
How can we find out more about your business? Links?
You can find out more about me on my website: amyfiedler.com.
You can also find me very active on social media:
on Instagram: @amythelifecoach,
on Facebook: facebook.com/AmyLFiedler,
or on Twitter: @amythelifecoach.
If you are looking for more resources of mine to better support yourself mentally and emotionally, you can check out my online holistic resource center called the Inner Genius: amy-fiedler.teachable.com/p/inner-genius