Alpha Female Friday – Sarah Williams

Every Friday I am going to feature a woman that I adore. They exude all the qualities of an Alpha Female and I want to dig into their lives to get some nuggets of knowledge to help us all live happier, healthier lives balancing life & work.

Definition of an Alpha Female

An Alpha Female is a powerful and assertive woman. Her confidence is due to being an intelligent and intellectual problem-solver. Being an Alpha Female is a State of Mind based on choosing ambition and being proud of it. She strives for a happy and healthy work/life harmony.

Type A Alpha Females often come across as strong willed and selfish. When we stay true to our authentic selves and stay true to our mission we shine. A true Alpha Female puts the needs of herself first without sacrificing her principles or dignity. She fills up her cup or gas tank first so that she has enough energy for her friends, family, and coworkers. A true Alpha Female strives for synergy with the world around her. She wants a perfect work/life balance but knows that it requires being true to your priorities and what makes you happy. She is never complacent about striving for better and nurtures relationships with the people in her life.

Meet Sarah Williams! 

Sarah Williams

Author, Blogger, Motivational Speaker, Marathon Runner, Kilimanjaro Climber & Tough Girl Podcaster! Panelist for 52% Bay TV, Liverpool. Training for #MDS2016! I had the pleasure of being interviewed on her podcast this week! Here is the link to check out her blog. Please listen on iTunes or Stitcher on Android!

How are you an Alpha Female?

I’m ambitious, I have a vision for my life and know want I want to achieve. When I was working in banking for over 8 years I was your typical Type A Alpha Female, I worked in a male dominated environment and I tried to change who I was to suit the environment. I was competitive, cut throat and you had to be ruthless to get ahead and that can change you as a person. After I left, I realized I’m always going to be ambitious, I’m always going to want to achieve, and I will always want to do the best that I can. But now I don’t need to compete to make that happen. For me it’s all about collaboration and working with other women to help support them in achieving their dreams.

I want to be happy and celebrate other women for their success as well. It’s taken me a while to reach this place, but it’s such a better place to be in than previously. My whole mission now is all about motivating and inspiring women and girls, I want women to be driven and ambitious and have goals and live full happy, balances lives and I want them to do that with the support of other women. This can only happen, if women stop turning on each other and focus instead on supporting other women around them and helping them to grow and develop.

Does work/life balance exist?

Not in the old traditional model of work, when you’re working for someone else. I don’t think that a work/life balance does exist. There will be one or two exceptions of women who have made it work for them, but these are few and far between and not a proper representation of women in the workforce.

For example, I was happy for women who worked for me to work from home, as long as they did their job I had no issues. The problem comes from senior management who want to see the workers working, they like seeing people sit at their desks at all hours of the day, even if they’re not working! But it’s the perception that comes across. If you’re a women with children, you can’t be at the office for hours on end. You want to do your job and go home to your family and when you are at home you want to have some energy left to spend time with your family.

I do believe more women are choosing to opt out of the typical 9 – 5 environment. They want to achieve work life balance and you can’t do that without flexibility.  When women start their own companies and become entrepreneurs they are now taking control of their working life. Companies are too slow to change, so women are leaving typical industries when they get into their thirties and start having children. The larger corporations will need to start changing how they do business if they want to keep women.

I personally would not go back into the corporate world as I know my life would not be my own. I gave up my life and time for 8 years. Now I have control over my time and my day. It I want to sleep till 10 every morning and work till 2 every night that’s my choice. If I want to take a day off on Wednesday and catch up on work on the Sunday, that’s my choice. I have control over my diary and my work life balance, but to be honest, I love what I do, so I want to be involved with it all the time. My life is my work and my work is my life, but I love it and I’m passionate about it so its not really work!!

What are you most passionate about?

I have so many passions and so many interests! I love trying new things, I love exploring and I love visiting new places and doing something different and exciting. I started Tough Girl Challenges as it’s a mixture of all my passions. I love supporting other women to achieve their goals. I love talking to people and hearing and sharing their story which I now get to do through my Tough Girl Podcast. I get to visit local schools to talk abut challenges and change and if just one girl decides to change her life or to do something different then I’m happy. I love travel and adventure and I’ve created my business so I will be able to run if from anyone in the world. I want to be a digital nomad, I want to travel the world, meet new people and spread the Tough Girl message at conferences around the world. I want more women to fully embrace living a full life and to not just grow up thinking they have to find a man, get married have children and work in a 9 – 5 job and have 2 weeks holiday a year. That’s not living – that’s existing!!

What are your daily health habits that keep your immune system boosted?

After suffering with adrenal fatigue and being severely anaemic last Christmas. I was at the point where I could not get out of bed most days and I had no energy. I had to take a long hard look at my heath and what I need to do to improve it and maintain it.

I made a massive change to my lifestyle; I cut out diary, processed sugar, and carbohydrates (especially white bread, potato and pasta). I started seeing a naturopath and now take regular supplements, I start my day with lemon water and try to do the basics, such as exercising and getting enough sleep at night. I am also very careful of who I spend my time with. I choose, to only engage with positive individuals and have cut out the negativity from my life with has made a huge difference. So I eat healthy every day, drinks lots of lemon water and take supplements to keep my immune system boosted.

What is your weekly fitness routine like?

I am currently in training for the Marathon des Sables – 6 marathons in 6 days across the sahara desert. In order to ensure I do the best training possible. I’ve started working with a personal Trainer – Jack Clover, and we are working on a phased fitness program to get me back up to full fitness.

I have just completed phase 1 and am now onto phase two. In phase 1, I had one strength and conditioning session with Jack and did one weights session on my own. In phase two I will continue to have one session with Jack and will now do two sessions on my own. I’m also slowly starting to bring running back into the equation as well.  So at the moment it’s very specific weight training in relation to running. But I will start to build in endurance training in as well.

How do you challenge yourself fitness wise?

My issue is not really about challenging myself fitness wise, my challenge is insuring I get enough rest and recovery time. That’s what I’m really bad at. I destroyed myself last year by over training and that massively impacted on my health and my body. So for me, because I’m an all or nothing person, I have to reign myself in and stop myself from going hell to leather every time I do something fitness related. So my challenge is making sure I rest and recover and keep the balance.

What are your daily habits for winding down at night and reducing stress?

I have a beautiful pink himalayan salt lamp by my bed, which has a gorgeous pink glow. I have kept my bedroom clutter free and have got rid of all the junk and all the crap. Its clean, its simple and its my sanctuary. I use to have a massive wall planner which had details of everything I wanted to achieve, but I found myself looking at it all the time and it was stressing me out when I wasn’t doing things as quickly as I expected them to done. So I’ve removed that and I try not to let work interfere with my sleep. I know I should also remove all my tech gadgets out my room, but to be honest I am struggling to take that final step! I’m to addicted to my twitter account!! I’m also trying to use a golf ball to roll out my feet to help with the lymphatic draining system.

What are you daily/weekly nutrition habits that keep you well nourished?

I have a lot of protein shakes! I try to be good and I very rarely eat processed foods. I cut out bread, pasta, white potatoes, and alcohol out of my diet a while ago. But my main struggle with nutrition is making sure that I am eating enough food and on a regular basis. If I’m hungry and there is nothing to eat, I will grab a protein bar, or have rice cakes etc  which is probably not the best. I want to get better at my nutrition, and this is an area, where I have reached a plateau and I need support!

I have support for my fitness with my personal trainer Jack and, I have support for my health with my naturopath, and I have support for my business with my life coach. But I don’t have the support in place for my nutrition, which I do need to change as nutrition is so important. I need to learn to eat enough to sustain my training.

What is your definition of happiness?

This is a fantastic question, and everyone should take the time to think about their own personal answers. For me, happiness is freedom. Its doing what I want to do and being comfortable doing that.

For many years, I was constraining myself as I was trying to be perfect to everyone who met me, the perfect daughter, sister, friends, colleague, etc. But now I think happiness is being comfortable in your own skin and being comfortable with who you really are and showing that person to the world and knowing not everyone is going to like you and knowing that that’s ok, because you know what – I’ve now reached the stage where I like me, and I like what I do and I know what my message is and what I’m trying to accomplish so that makes me very happy!

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