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Fiona Eckersley: “Don’t try to please everyone or have them like and agree with you”

Although my books are specifically written for women after divorce, they can apply in a variety of situations when people are feeling a loss of identity and don’t know where to go or what to do next. I want anyone who reads my books to understand that the things they might think about themselves, the […]

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Although my books are specifically written for women after divorce, they can apply in a variety of situations when people are feeling a loss of identity and don’t know where to go or what to do next. I want anyone who reads my books to understand that the things they might think about themselves, the idea of what life was supposed to be like, or the situation they find themselves in is not the way it has to be. By changing the perspective on what has happened, really eliminating the negative self-talk, making the shift to deciding how you want to live life and who you want to be now, you can change the course of your life for the better.


As part of my series about “authors who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Fiona Eckersley.

Fiona Eckersley, Confidence Coach, Divorce Recovery Expert, Motivational Speaker, and best-selling author of Fearful To Fabulous: Unlock Your Power, Move on and Thrive After Midlife Divorce And Too Scared To Love Again: The Divorced Woman’s Guide to Sidestep the Red Flags, Delight in Dating and Find the Love You Deserve.

Fiona is a certified coach who utilizes her own journey to help clients blast through their own fears and challenges in order to learn lessons from the past which carry them into a new life filled with joy, confidence, and control.


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?

I grew up in the North of England. I had 2 very much older sisters. I spent a great deal of my time reading anything and everything that I could get my hands on. Including, some very inappropriate books that I found in my sisters’ rooms. Looking back, I see that it was my way of escaping the rather chaotic family life that I had. My father was an abusive alcoholic and for a long time my mother tried to keep up with him…whether to keep him happy or cope with the way life was going, I don’t know. I was very much ashamed of this situation and definitely didn’t want my friends to know so my social and school life was very much separated from that of my family.

I was clear on the idea that I was getting out of that house and away from the industrial town I grew up in as soon as possible. I could only see two alternatives…Marriage, like my sisters, or go to college. The first was not an option that I had any desire to take. So, although no one else in my family had gone to school beyond age 16, I made sure that I passed enough exams to get into school to become a teacher.

When you were younger, was there a book that you read that inspired you to take action or changed your life? Can you share a story about that?

I can’t honestly say that I can put my finger on a specific title. However, I loved to read books where the girl was the adventurous hero. In the ’70s those were rather harder to find than now. Enid Blyton is a British Children’s Author who has now fallen into disfavor- quite rightly- because of her sexism, racism, snobbery and xenophobia. She did, however, have a character in her books who was a girl that took no nonsense from anyone, showed no fear of an adventure and who loved to solve mysteries. She also lived a mostly free to do as you please life. That was who I wanted to be.

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?

I think that my biggest mistake was in the very beginning when I decided what my clients would need help with the most. What I learned is that I needed to take the time to listen to many, many women because once I did that, it turned out that there was quite a difference between what I thought and what was the actual need. Shut up and listen is always the best advice you can give yourself!

Can you describe how you aim to make a significant social impact with your book?

Although my books are specifically written for women after divorce, they can apply in a variety of situations when people are feeling a loss of identity and don’t know where to go or what to do next. I want anyone who reads my books to understand that the things they might think about themselves, the idea of what life was supposed to be like, or the situation they find themselves in is not the way it has to be. By changing the perspective on what has happened, really eliminating the negative self-talk, making the shift to deciding how you want to live life and who you want to be now, you can change the course of your life for the better.

Can you share with us the most interesting story that you shared in your book?

The thread that runs throughout my book is my own story. Maybe not the most interesting, but certainly the reason that I came to do what I do and feel so strongly about the importance of the message that women deserve to believe in themselves.

What was the “aha moment” or series of events that made you decide to bring your message to the greater world? Can you share a story about that?

I was talking with friends and one of them was saying how she read a book that dealt with a particular challenge that she was going through and how it had changed her outlook. She said it made her realize she was not alone in her struggles and that there was a way to move past it. When I got home I continued to think about her and was glad that she was doing so much better. I thought about the women that I might never get a chance to talk to, or that were not in a position to work with a coach in any way and realized that if I could share what I had learned with them, that perhaps it would help them in a similar way to my friend.

Without sharing specific names, can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

An amazingly beautiful soul that I worked with was a woman who on the outside looked incredibly successful, but her inner dialogue told her she would be found out for what a fraud she was any minute and disgraced. That pressure that she felt every day was taking a toll on every aspect of her- emotional, physical, spiritual and financial. She was thinking of not taking a promotion she had been offered.

After working together, she was able to shed the limiting beliefs that had been plaguing her since childhood, showing her how truly capable she is. She could understand that the negative inner voice she heard everyday didn’t even come from her and didn’t match her real achievements and the obstacles she had overcome. Not only did she go on to take the promotion, stand up to her parents, finally rid herself of the specter of her ex-husband and find a social life, but she also went to speak at women’s conferences to share what she had learned with others.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

Things are definitely changing, but schools, parents, society needs to continue to allow girls to express themselves freely and encourage them to speak up and be opinionated.

Women need to understand that you are allowed to put yourself first sometimes and it doesn’t make you selfish or unloving.

Forgiveness needs to become more of a trend. Of others and of yourself.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

I would say that leadership is helping others to see their strengths and facilitating or pointing out ways in which they can use them. Yes, you can “Lead by example”, but unless people believe that they can do something too, it won’t really get done.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

That is ok not to be perfect. Sometimes the desire to get things exactly right means that it never gets done at all. When I was writing my first book, I could barely get past the first chapter, because I wrote it over and over to get it perfect. I was worried about missing something vital out. Then I realized that the book would never be written, and, in the end, an imperfect book was more helpful than no book at all.

Don’t try to please everyone or have them like and agree with you. Your people -who need to hear what you have to say -will find you and the others will move on.

Don’t feel guilty for doing something you are passionate about. I quit my job as a teacher to focus on coaching and writing. It meant a loss of certain securities which we have been taught are very important and mean that we are successful in life. Success is whatever you define it to be.

There will be days when you think that you will just want to give up, but if you can push through you can come back with a renewed sense of purpose. Especially after the year, we have had. Whether you need to spend the day curled up on the couch watching mindless TV with your dogs, or you watch a weepy movie and eat ice-cream, allow yourself a mental break. Then reset the next day. List all the reasons why you started, why it is important to keep going, and a couple of steps to move you forward.

Stay true to your gut. Sometimes we can listen to too many experts and get pulled in so many directions that the confusion means nothing good gets done. Everyone has an opinion about how you should be living your life or marketing your business. Follow what you love and that is the right way for you.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite quote at the moment is “I decided that I can’t pay a person to rewind time, so I may as well get over it”- Serena Williams

I truly do believe that everything we go through is meant to help us learn a lesson to move on stronger and in a more positive way to a better life.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Jen Sincero because her’s was the first “self-help’ book I read. It was funny, informative, really helpful and it changed my mind about what I had imagined that genre to be. I might never have written my own books had I not understood that.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

They can go to my website, https://fionaeckersleycoaching.com/, to find out more about me, my books and how to chat to me for free.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!


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