How to Reclaim Your Moxie

I am so incredibly delighted to have Sandi Amorim of Deva Coaching with us again! You may remember her marvelous take on passion, so I was simply thrilled when she said she wanted to tackle moxie. What I didn’t know however, was how much I needed to hear what she has to say.

I have been personally struggling with this habit, unable to put together my own post. I’ve become nearly mute on the topic and really wanted this to be the week I broke through. Unable to do it on my own, Sandi shows up with just the perfect wisdom to nudge me, and I hope you into reclaiming our Moxie!


"Shine" by Catherine Denton (click image for details)
I hope Shine will give you the courage to share your beautiful soul.


Alrighty then, let’s start this post with a small admission! As I sat down to share my thoughts on moxie, I
was suddenly attacked by a flurry of doubt.

What the heck do I know about moxie? What does it even mean anyway?

So I did what I always do when I question a word’s meaning; I look it up!


noun – courage, determination, energy, know-how, spunk

Those are all good, but I like Kathy’s definition best – not taking any crap from anybody.

I’d just change up the last two words to make it even better – not taking any crap from

Because isn’t it true that you stop you more than anyone?

We beat ourselves up, make ourselves wrong, flail about in the waters of “I’m not good enough” and so on. Oy vay, the drama that keeps us from our moxie.

But here’s the thing I know about moxie…

We’re not taught to celebrate it.

No, no, no, instead, we’re told to:

  • suppress it
  • keep the lid on
  • and never rock the boat!

Exhibit A:

I was 7 years old, singing and dancing at a family party. Suddenly out of the blue a family member pulled
me aside and said, “Stop showing off!”

Exhibit B:

I was 14 years old, running for class president. I came in second. Feedback was “You’re too

Now, you might be thinking but Sandi, that wasn’t you, that was other people shutting you down, but
you’d only be partially right.

They said what they said, then you decided something about yourself in those moments and SNAP…

No more moxie for you!

The first instance left me feeling that it wasn’t ok to be myself. I had to “tone it down” and “be a good
girl” and so I tried, I really tried. I became a keener, good girl, straight A student (moxie buried deep, like
lava flowing beneath a volcano’s crust!)

And in the second scenario…well, I tried there too. I decided people don’t like girls who go after what
they want and so I hammered another nail into moxie’s coffin. Funny thing is, looking back I still went
after what I wanted, but I never quite gave it my 100% because that was too intense.

It was a sad, sad state of affairs.

Can you relate? Stupid question. I know you can. I know because I’ve had this conversation
with hundreds of clients over the years. And that’s why I say generally speaking, moxie is not
encouraged or celebrated.

Parents, teachers, society – all encourage playing it safe in a moxie-free life. Doesn’t that break your

Truth is, it’s impossible to express your moxie if you have a negative self-image (created by multiple
experiences like Exhibits A & B). These experiences stack up over time and you actually begin to
forget all the great moments of your life and even some of your greatest successes . You forget about
them and they disappear from your consciousness.

Poof. Like they never happened.

And then you say, “See? I’ve never had moxie.” One more made up decision about you. Not
the truth though; definitely not the truth as you will soon discover!

As if we could play back a film reel, the highlights of your life (instead of the bloopers you’ve probably
been watching over and over!) settle in with pen and paper, and grab some popcorn because this is
going to be good.

You ready?

Reclaiming Your Moxie

1) Divide a piece of paper into 5 sections with the following headlines.

  • Most Successful Times of My Life
  • Proudest Moments of My Life
  • Most Exciting Times of My Life
  • The Funniest Times of My Life
  • My Greatest Moments of Contribution (when I’ve made a difference)

2) Leave enough space between those headings to write 5 life experiences that fit each category.

3) There are only 2 rules for this exercise:

  • Do NOT edit your thoughts for any experience. If you think of it, it counts, so write it down.
  • Do not use any experience more than once and duplicate categories.

You might find this challenging at first. After all, your moxie’s been suppressed for a very long time and
you’ve put up with a lot of crap, from yourself and others. It’s all good though; notice the discomfort if it
shows up and keep writing.

Keep writing. Keep writing. Keep writing.

And as you keep writing notice the energy shifting in your body.

Notice the smile you can’t hold back.

Notice the feel-good energy beginning to flow.

Notice how many times moxie has shown up.

Notice that moxie has been with you all along.

And say a little prayer of thanks.

Now get out there and strut your stuff!

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do
it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

p.s. Howard’s talking about moxie 😉


Want some help reclaiming YOUR moxie? Sandi has generously offered the following:

Share a challenge you’ve had with moxie (here in the comments ), and you are entered for a chance to win a 45 minute Unleash Your Moxie session with Sandi!

( Or if you don’t want to wait head on over to Deva Coaching to book a session immediately. Winner will be selected Sunday April 15th and announced here.)


Sandi Amorim is a passionate coach and instigator on a mission to wake people up from their ‘someday’ thinking. She shares her slightly mad twist on personal development at





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40 thoughts on “How to Reclaim Your Moxie

  1. Sandi, you’ve knocked it out of the park! Well done and thank you!

    Great exercise! I can think of lots of answers to those questions because of the situation I grew up in and my absolute stubbornness to do my own thing once I grew up…and I just keep stretching into it more and more.

    Once the flurry of Gratitude Tarot activity settles a bit I have a few ideas of what to do next….I may need someone to help me sort through it all and figure out what to really focus on – and there are at least 2 of the thoughts that scare the wahooos right out of me, so a bit o’ Moxie moving might be just what I need!

    Big hugs and butterflies, my friend, you ROCK!

    • Oh yeah, let’s scare those wahoos out of you together, shall we? Hehehe, so much fun we would have! And you my friend, are up to big, beautiful things in the world and need all your moxie at hand!


  2. Lori Ann Clark says:

    I can actually relate well to this, esp during the teenage years. I was having a fabulous junior year being involved in 4-H, FHA, and other clubs on state and national levels and having a blast. My summer between my junior and senior year was full of trips, trainings and gatherings and I would be talking about it constantly with my mother and younger sister. Well, that turned out to be a little challenging for my sibling so my mother actually asked me to stop talking about my stuff in front of my sister. It really took the wind out of my sails and here I am, 20+ years later and I remember that feeling like it was yesterday. It’s amazing how a small thing like that resonates over and over again throughout one’s life.

    • And in the blink of an eye your poor moxie was deflated! I am shedding tears over here for your moxie! I hope you’ve been lovin’ it up now that you’re all grown up 😉

    • Catherine…I LOVE that painting! I don’t know if Kathy chose it because of this but my passion in life is to have people shine, so it’s a perfect fit for me personally! Moxie and shining do go hand in hand, don’t they?

      If you’re kids are old enough do the exercise with them too! I’ve done it with my niece and nephew and we were all beaming like the sun by the time we were done 🙂

  3. Too intense? UGH. I’ve heard that one a time or five thousand! Yup, “stop showing off” was in there too.

    I can’t wait to do this exercise. I love how you’re not letting us double up on the lists, LOL. I’m looking forward to feeling totally moxilicious when I’m finished!

  4. Sandi, you hit the nail on the head as usual – the choice is ours. Sure it helps when circumstances are not stacked up against us, but at the end of the day, even in the most dire of circumstances, the choice is ours.

    I’m currently dealing with a challenge to my moxie as I launch my holistic life coaching business. I’ve always come from a place of being over prepared, so diving right into this endeavor has unearthed a whole host of fears…but I keep going and reminding myself that everyone started somewhere. And as you always say Sandi, there is no someday – so if not now, then when?

    • We so often put the emphasis on the circumstances, which is such a waste of time and energy. S**T happens and it’s always going to keep happening. There’s no power in pinning the blame there. As you so wisely stated, the power is always in the choices we make. Always.

      And it’s the choices we make during the challenges that make us extraordinary. It’s like I say in my spotlight interviews, ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

      p.s. I <3 you!

  5. Kathy says:

    Sandi, thank you again for an awesome post!

    I thought you would LOVE to hear this: When I was talking to my Mom about the arrangements for our upcoming trip to Hawaii I could hear that she was excited but also a little bit nervous. It is a very long trip from Upstate New York where she lives and she has never flown alone. I told her that I was very proud of her Moxie to accept our offer of this adventure. She replied, “If not now, then when?”

    Ha! She is a moxie natural!!!

    • Kathy,
      Tell your mom from me she ROCKS! What a great response 🙂

      And thanks for asking me about moxie. I had no idea I felt so strongly about it, but once I started writing my own moxie started flowing and I got kind of riled up (in a good way!)


  6. Hi Sandi,

    A moxy challenge? I was in 4th grade and we were practicing for the Christmas play. The kids who didn’t have a part in the play were put in the choir. My teacher nudged me and told me I couldn’t sing so she ordered me to just move your lips. I don’t remember feeling deflated or anything. I still can’t sing but I sing anyway! I love your exercise!

  7. I’m going to do this. Thank you for this post and for the exercise. I think it’s hilarious that I read this today, my first day on this blog. I have a business license in the name of A Novice With Moxie. I’m feeling my way through the business world (Novice) and thanks to this post I won’t take crap from myself (Moxie).

    I’m so excited about my business name; I was considering changing it.

    Thank you!

  8. I’ve gotta do this exercise. I got shut down more times than I can count, and I know it will take some digging to come up with 5 examples of each of these. But I’m so ready to reclaim that moxie I had at 5! Thanks Sandi! You’ve rocked it once again!

    • When I think of children being shut down and suppressed it makes my moxie boil! But I also know that sometimes it’s done unintentionally; a thoughtless comment by a family member which the child gives a whole other meaning. All those moments stacking one upon the other. And then we reach adulthood and wonder why we’re so confused!

      Can’t wait to hear how the exercise went for you!

  9. WOW… this was hugely inspiring, as moxie has been one of my sticking points too and keeping moving into it with grace and guts. Sometimes we just stand in our own sunshine… and we’re meant to shine!

  10. I loved both this post and the artwork. I just did a blogpost recently that I titled, “Shine!” It seems to be the “norm” in our society to play it safe by doing what we are told and not necessarily what our inner guidance tells us to do.

    Parenting has been my biggest “Moxie Upper”. I am consistently challenged by my kids to tune into what’s right for us above any other messages.

    One question I have – what are thoughts about individual (maybe genetic?) differences in our moxie levels? It would seem that some people naturally “have more” than others… or maybe it is just more easily squashed in some than others?

    Thanks for the great post!


    • That’s a great question Susan! From my perspective, I think it’s the classic nature vs. nurture. Sure, we’re born with some level of moxie, but I also think it can be nurtured and developed – just as it can be squashed and suppressed!

      I’m not a parent but I say this as someone who loves kids (I’m the world’s greatest aunty you know!), that the best gift we can give them is to nurture their moxie. That may require guiding them now and then because let’s face it, sometimes moxie can get a bit rambunctious 😉

      Imagine a world where moxie was nurtured and celebrated? I think back to my 7 year old self singing and dancing at that party and I KNOW that would have made her very happy!

  11. Hey Sandi – I just love this post – my moxie has been squashed countless times throughout my life. I too have been called too intense as well as too exuberant. Well, here’s to embracing my intensity and exuberance wholeheardtedly because it is those qualities that make me WHO I AM! It is a conscious choice each and every day to quiet the voice that tells me to tone down the intensity and exuberance and it gets easier each time I make the choice.

    Thanks again for the reminder!

    • Here’s to a world where intensity and exhuberance can never be called too much!

      It is an ongoing practice, as you say Randi, to quiet the voice that we’ve been conditioned by and made our own. I can’t tell you how often I hear that voice. It tries so hard to stop me from doing what I want in my life, and has succeeded many times. Fortunately, as I near 50 that happens a lot less, but the challenge is still there.

      Thank you for owning WHO YOU ARE and celebrating. The world most definitely needs more of that!

  12. Efsun Alper says:

    Thanks for the lovely conversation Sandi! I am an actor by trade and never really lacking in moxie, I’d always put myself out there (successfully or not, didn’t matter); whether it was people opposing my profession (mainly my parents or the social circle I grew up in), or going from audition to audition only to be rejected more times than not, or when I did get the job, on the stage I put myself out there for all the world to see. Did I mention I didn’t even grow up here! Now I’m a mother of 2 wonderful little girls and I haven’t acted in about 5 years. I have dreams of going back to acting, but I feel like all my previous moxie has disappeared on me. Now I have doubts and worries instead. Maybe I got a little too tame or lame!

    • Oh my, we need a moxie intervention! You need to reclaim it so your girls can see it in action and let that nurture their own!

      And remember, if you’ve had it before it’s still there…maybe a bit buried, but you can unearth it one again.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh dear Efsun, you have called me out for not sharing my moxie… I promise to do the same for you! Let’s put our heads together and see how we can support each other in this!!!

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