FIERCE Breathing – Your Best Friend Forever

Featured guest author, Carolyn Colleen, explains Breathe, Focus, FIERCE Action, part of the F.I.E.R.C.E process from her book, F.I.E.R.C.E.: Transform Your Life in the Face of Adversity, 5 Minutes at a Time! This method can be used to overcome adversity and anxiety in many situations, whether moving through an anxiety attack or moving forward through painful and tiring chemotherapy on a larger journey of beating cancer. I am a huge advocate of using breath to recenter ourselves, which is a large part of the process she shares.

She is an amazing human being, doing great and impacting work, which I am honored to share with you!

FIERCE Breathing – Your Best Friend Forever

By Featured Guest: Carolyn Colleen

When I wrote my book, F.I.E.R.C.E.: Transform Your Life in the Face of Adversity, 5 Minutes at a Time!, it was aimed at helping people escape the clutches of abuse and live the lives they deserved. While I knew that the Breathe, Focus, FIERCE Action component of the FIERCE process, further explained in the book, could help anyone dealing with anxiety, I never envisaged that it would help cancer patients navigate their treatments. That's why I was extremely humbled to receive this note from a breast cancer patient:

"Sometimes all you need is a reminder to breathe - not only breathe, but also move forward. Moving forward starting with one small goal, helped me get through the rest of my treatments. Practicing these FIERCE steps gave me permission to think about what was in front of me in smaller, more manageable pieces with the reminder to be courageous and take action for myself." - Laura*

Since the launch of my book, I have had the privilege to work with many cancer patients through my PhD research, and many of them have testified to the fact that the process has helped them acquire coping skills. By using the Breathe, Focus, FIERCE Action element during times when they have been overwhelmed by their situations, they were able to summon the grit to push forward with incredible courage. I'm so honored to have been invited to share this process with you here, and hopefully it will help you find the FIERCE warrior inside of you no matter what you are going through.

FIERCE: F for Focused Breath

The F in FIERCE stands for focused breath and the process involves:

Taking a deep breath
Facing fear
Finding the fire and
Focusing on the way forward.

Make Breathing Your Best Friend, Always


Breathe in for a slow count of 7
Breathe out for a slow count of 11

Deep breathing aids relaxation and blood pressure reduction. With stress reduction, your mind is cleared to reallocate your energy for positive action such as clearly focusing on the goal at hand.

Set small, simple, achievable goals, even if it's just to get through your next step.

Step #2:  Focus

After you take a few slow, mindful breaths. Think, what is your immediate goal?

Focus on your next immediate goal so as to avoid being overwhelmed by the road ahead. What is the first next step you need to take?

Step #3:  FIERCE Action

What are the steps you need to take to achieve your goal? Indeed, your immediate goal might be a small stepping stone in a much larger path like beating cancer. That's alright, too!

Choose an action you can take right now that will propel you in the right direction. The direction you want to go.

This is the tool Laura used to combat debilitating fatigue from chemotherapy and mustering up the courage - although exhausted - to push forward through the next steps of surgery and radiation therapy.

This also works in any situation causing anxiety or stress. I encourage you, when you are feeling anxious, to take a moment to stop and breathe. For just five minutes, stop thinking about the what ifs and the maybes, and just take some time for focused and mindful breathing. Practice it daily for best results.

Featured Author: Carolyn Colleen


Carolyn inspires people to face their fears through a powerful system called FIERCE that can be practiced in less than 5 minutes to help her audience move from fear into focus to ultimately reclaim their life, so they can experience more of what they want and less of what they don't.


  • Carolyn’s life story is one of personal and professional transformation and has been featured in various publications and TV programs.
  • From standing in a food line at the Salvation Army, to PhD, Carolyn’s life purpose is to give others the hope, along with the resources to do the same.
  • Today, she’s passionate about being a great mom, and building sustainable programs for quality cancer care as the program manager of a Midwest Cancer Center.

Check out her amazing story and book at