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Alexandria Cooper of ‘Own Confidently’: “See and be thankful for all the beauty around you”

A good idea is to squeeze yoga in when you can completely focus on yourself. Mornings before anyone is awake are great. Next, if you decide to take a walk make sure you really look around and notice the beauty around you. I always say that there is beauty everywhere we just have to look […]

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A good idea is to squeeze yoga in when you can completely focus on yourself. Mornings before anyone is awake are great. Next, if you decide to take a walk make sure you really look around and notice the beauty around you. I always say that there is beauty everywhere we just have to look for it. Take a deep look at the clouds, the birds, the color of the leaves changing on the trees. See and be thankful for all the beauty around you. Live in the moment.


As a part of our series about “How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & Focus”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alexandria Cooper.

Alexandria Cooper is an Entrepreneur, Wife, self -help lover, certified life coach and the owner of Own Confidently Life coaching services. She specializes in stress management, relationships and health and wellness. What makes Alexandria different is that she uses a N.L.P. style approach. N.L.P or neurolinguistic programming is all about teaching her clients to dismantle negative habits and then retraining their brain to build up positive ones. You can check out her website at www.OwnConfidently.com


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Yes, Sure thing! Thank you so much for having me. I am so very excited to be here. As you know my name is Alexandria Cooper. I am the owner of Own Confidently Life coaching services. I got into to life coaching because I felt like I could relate to my clients on a deeper level. I believe that I’m able to have a deeper level of understanding, empathy and compassion for my clients because I’ve been through everything under the sun. When I was young my family was very poor. I was exposed to a lot of rough circumstances. My dad was in and out of rehab. My mother and I had a terrible relationship. I wasn’t close to any of my extended family and I remember growing up feeling alone most of the time. I felt like I was invisible as a child and because of this I dealt with tons of trustissues. This made me develop a fixed mindset. How I explain what a fixed mindset is, is allowing your circumstances to make you believe that you are only capable of achieving nothing more than what you’ve been through. To elaborate more on that, I remember thinking for a very long time that I would not be able to achieve my goals and dreams because I was put in circumstances as a child that made it so I was not given the tools to succeed. As I got older, I eventually got married and my husband introduced me to something called “reading” which I barely ever did. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I noticed I had a hobby for reading self-help and psychology books. I would read for hours on how the brain works, how to better myself, even how to be successful in life. Fast forward a few months later my husband and I had been struggling in our marriage and we decided to see a life coach. That is when it all clicked for me. Our life coach changed my life. She asked questions that made me think outside the box. She gave me a new outlook on our marriage and was able to relate to me on such a deep level. I felt like when I spoke, she not only listened but she fully understood my struggles. I just knew that I wanted to be a life coach from then on. Now we’re here. Yay!

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

The number one person who inspired me was a life coach! Like I said in my previous answer, she really asked questions that made me think. Honestly, before I even met her, I didn’t even know what a life coach was. I had heard of a therapist but not a life coach. My husband and I decided to book her instead of a therapist because she was a lot cheaper. I sincerely have no regrets. She made me realize how I could take my own scars and pain and in turn help others. I’ve been so blessed, in a way, to have been through so many triumphs and still be here today to help others and show them they can overcome anything. That is also why I’m proud of being such a young entrepreneur. For me to be so young and constantly seek knowledge to help others. I cannot take any of the glory really. It is God who has brought me here.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

I’m not sure if I can use God as an answer for this question but I’m going to go ahead and say it. In no way do I push my religious beliefs on anyone but for me personally I prayed and prayed about my business. I asked him if this was the right way for me? Is this something I should do? Eventually I feel like I got a yes. I remember praying on my knees asking him to bless my business in whatever way he sees fit. By the second week of launching my business I was already booking clients.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

Yes, so I think the most interesting thing that has happened in my career is marketing. For a long time, I was marketing to the wrong audience. Then, when I finally found who I should be marketing to and how much it made a difference with my business it was a lot easier for me to get clients.

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

I think I can definitely relate to this question because I am a young entrepreneur myself and I’ve had other aspiring entrepreneurs ask me something similar to this. My advice would be two things. Number one would be to remember that every setback that happens is never a failure, only feedback. Use that as your fuel to learn and keep going. Don’t let that setback stop you from achieving your dreams. The next one would be for them to remember to always keep in mind how they can add value to their clients lives. People are attracted to things that can add value in their life. An example would be a car. A car’s value is that it helps people to get to different locations faster. Another example would be a dog. A dog usually brings happiness and even fulfillment into people’s life. So, I would tell them to keep in mind how they can bring value into their client’s life. When they find out the answer to that question, I would say put that on your website, blog, etc. Advertise your value. My value is “empowering people to transform their lives”. I put that on my website, business cards, etc.

Is there a particular book that made an impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Yes, so one of my favorite books is “Becoming a life coach by Tom Chiarella”. This book resonated with me so much because I believe it was the steppingstone for me to fully understand what it takes to be a life coach. In this book Tom Chiarella is a journalist who interviewed about four or five other life coaches. They were all different. They all specialized in different things. Some life coaches were older, and some were younger. This made me look within myself and prepared me for the realization of what being a life coach really is.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

One of my favorite life lessons quotes is “communication is not what you say, but the answer that you get”. This quote is important to me because everybody sees the world differently. I believe we can’t expect others to understand the same exact way we understand things when we’ve all been through different experiences and situations that have made us who we are today. I try to explain this to my clients: that speaking is one thing and communicating is another. If someone takes something that you say the wrong way, then re-say it a different way so that they can better understand.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

Something I’m working on now is creating an online course for people who are struggling in their marital relationships. They will learn how to better communicate, listen and have patience for one another. This course is targeted toward married couples, but it’s not directed to just married couples. All couples could learn something from the course to strengthen their relationships.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core of our interview. This will be intuitive to you, but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give some examples?

Sure thing, so it is important to create good habits because creating good habits is part of being successful in life. I always tell my clients that our brain is a goal seeking mechanism. It can either work for you or against you. With that being said if you negatively talk to yourself and constantly put yourself down your brain will believe you. It will multiply your negative thought pattern and shut down any idea of you ever achieving your goals. This will then lead to you putting your own self in a negative attitude. But the reverse will happen if you believe every setback is feedback not failure and continue to work your way up little by little, your brain will believe you. You will feel positive, happy and ready to take on anything that comes your way.

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

Habits have played a big role in my success. Some success habits that have helped me are reading. Studies show reading reduces stress. It’s also a very satisfying feeling when I’m able to learn something new. I feel as if I’m bettering myself. Another habit I like to share with clients is a technique called “Fly on the wall”. A fly on the wall is a technique that helps others tap into their empathetic side. I really enjoy this technique because I believe it’s good to create a habit of being empathetic and having compassion for others. The technique is done by imagining yourself as a fly on the wall looking at someone else. What do they look like? What do you see? What are they doing? This technique is supposed to be an out of body experience. It is supposed to give you a perspective that is different than your own. It helps clients to tap into what someone else may be feeling, but from a different perspective.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

A good way to develop positive habits is to surround yourself with people who are go getters or who themselves have habits that you want to develop. I recommend finding someone that you look up to. Surround yourself around those types of people. Another way to develop good habits is self-talk. Self-talk is so important because you predict your outcome by the things you say to yourself. I tell my clients it goes like this, first it’s self-talk then your thoughts get effected, then attitude, then actions. So, just by talking negatively you can set yourself up for failure. Talk positively. Another habit for success is to tell people what you’re planning on doing. A good rule of thumb is the more people you tell, the better. To tell people what habits you’re going to start doing is a great idea because you will want to achieve your habits. You will feel the pressure of people knowing and asking you about it. This will hold you accountable!

Let’s talk about creating good habits in three areas, Wellness, Performance, and Focus. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum wellness. Please share a story or example for each.

Yes, so let’s start with Wellness. So, the first good habit for wellness would be stress breaks. Stress breaks are when you take two to three minutes, about three times a day to do some breathing exercises, go for a simple walk, stretch, etc. I recommend doing these at work too. The main goal for this is to allow yourself to recharge and re-focus. The second one is making sure you get enough sleep. Our physical body needs 3–4 hours of sleep while the remainder of the time that we sleep is needed to process the information and memories of the day. So, getting a good amount of sleep is key to wellness. Lastly, would be picking a time to worry. If you’re thinking about something all day and its causing you stress, there is no way you can be your best self and focus like you need to. I recommend setting a time to come back and think about the situation. Then just focus on your current tasks at hand. Setting a time aside to worry about bills, debt, etc. can really help you achieve wellness and not stress yourself out.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Yes, so let’s start with developing a habit of taking stress breaks. Every few hours take some time to complete a stress break. You can stretch your muscles, go to the bathroom and while your there practice some breathing exercises or even just take a little stroll around your office. Next, for developing a habit of getting more sleep you can try drinking a calming herbal tea before bed to help you settle down. My favorite is chamomile. Herbal teas are great because they help to reduce stress. If you’re having trouble actually falling asleep, then trying melatonin is a great idea. If you don’t know what melatonin is, it is a hormone our body naturally produces. To be more specific, Melatonin is a hormone that our brain produces to help us regulate our sleep cycle. You can buy it in a capsule form. I just saw some at Walmart the other day in the vitamin area. Lastly for setting a time to worry about your problems, if you are having trouble figuring out what time would be a good time to think about your problems, I would say the best times are when your off work, the kids are sleep and you can give it your full attention. Set a reminder in your phone if you have to.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal performance at work or sport? Please share a story or example for each.

The first good habit for creating optimal performance is trying not to multitask. I tell my clients that they can really only do one thing effectively at a time. Having too many things to do at once will always end in them feeling overwhelmed. Do one thing at a time. Another tip for performance would be to ask for help. For some people asking for help can be hard to do. If they are anything like me, they probably would prefer to do everything by themselves. This idea is good sometimes but other times it just doesn’t work out well. So, ask for help. Lastly, learn the “go first” technique. The go first technique is as exactly as it sounds. Sometimes we can work with people who are not the nicest. Even though we can’t change others, we can change ourselves. I tell my clients “be the change you want to see.”

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Yes, it can help to set a morning reminder to remind you to not multitask. In that reminder you can also remind yourself to ask for help. Lastly, remember to be the change you want to see.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal focus? Please share a story or example for each.

For creating good habits for focus the first I would recommend is meditation or yoga. Yoga has been a life saver for me. I would wake up before doing anything else and I would practice my breathing and tell myself positive affirmations. I would also follow along to a yoga video. I looked forward to doing this every morning because it relaxed me and got my brain focused on the duties ahead. Another thing I recommend for focus is spending time outdoors. Sometimes we can lose track of all the beauty around us. I think it’s important that we recognize all the blessings that we have every day. This will help us be more focused. Lastly, is journaling. Sometimes our thoughts can be all jumbled up. Writing it down can not only help us reflect but it can help us to clear our mind.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

A good idea is to squeeze yoga in when you can completely focus on yourself. Mornings before anyone is awake are great. Next, if you decide to take a walk make sure you really look around and notice the beauty around you. I always say that there is beauty everywhere we just have to look for it. Take a deep look at the clouds, the birds, the color of the leaves changing on the trees. See and be thankful for all the beauty around you. Live in the moment.

Lastly, as it relates to journaling, any journal, paper or even writing it down in your phone will work. There are also some gratitude apps that will remind you to journal and be thankful.

As a leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?

From my experience meditating works great. Whenever I meditate, I find the end result to be very pleasurable. I feel calm and ready to start my day. Sometimes I do find it challenging because there is always so much for me to do I have trouble with turning myself off and to stop thinking about everything.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. Thank you! I think I would say do something nice for someone today. It could be paying for someone’s meal. Or just holding a door open. Be kind to one another. You never know what someone is going through.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

Honestly there is no one I can think of. I am very close with my friends and certain members of my family so I would probably spend it with them.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

To keep up with me you can check out my website. There you can find blogs, new projects I’m working on, more social media links and much more. That is www.OwnConfidently.com . Thank you!

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.


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