Ansuz Action

Ansuz Action provides coaching, training and development to individuals, organisations and communities to:

  • Make ultra-inclusive engagement the norm
  • Enable individuals and teams to grow their self-belief and flourish

Our work is rooted in our community organising ethos and methodology, and our conviction that healthy self-belief is at the heart of everything people create (and don’t create) in life, both work and play. Helen and Ruth are certified self-belief life coaches and facilitators. We support individuals, organisations and communities to tame their self-doubt and harness their self-belief to:

  • enable people to access the power within themselves to live their best lives both personally and politically (the personal is political!)
  • make working life more aligned, fulfilling and effective, and enable organisations to make greater impact
  • build confident, engaged communities driven by collective agency and ambition

Self-belief is fundamental to individual, organisational and societal flourishing, in fact it’s life changing.

Find out more…

Community organising is a highly skilled approach to social change, requiring advanced expertise in listening, questioning, collaborating, leadership and problem-solving.  Community organisers also need deep reserves of resilience, self-belief and confidence.  And as any organisation that does community organising will tell you, it’s an approach that requires a change of mindset, resolve, patience and a willingness to disrupt the status quo.

Community organising is powerful and progressive and the rewards are tremendous and far-reaching:

  • High levels of public participation
  • Practical solutions to local issues by the people for the people
  • Co-operation and solidarity around important issues
  • Locally-grown leaders of active campaigns and communities
  • Greater accountability of people in positions of responsibility and influence
  • Equal participation in local power structures and decision-making processes.
  • Assertive and proactive local communities, who can take what is rightfully theirs.

Self-doubt has nothing to do with our capability or destiny and everything to do with the ways we have learned to preserve our sense of safety and belonging.

Self-doubt is our in-built protection mechanism – the purpose of self-doubt is to warn us of the implications of perceived psychological risk, in order to keep us safe. This is a profoundly important role, inherent to our experience of being human.

Because we see self-doubt as ultimately a protective mechanism – we reframe self-sabotage as self-protection, and the inner-critic as the inner-protector. This reframing is important as it believes people are not broken and in need of fixing, they are whole, thriving humans.

As self-belief coaches and facilitators work is to help our clients – individuals. Teams, organisations, communities – to offer themselves compassion and understanding about the completely understandable reasons for their self-doubt, while helping them to activate and develop internal resources of self-belief, self-acceptance, self-worth and self-trust so they can create a life of courage, joy, meaning and action.

For more background on the self-belief approach to human flourishing see:

Our approach

As Ansuz we focus on self-belief at work and self-belief in communities, working with teams, groups and organisations. We believe that by supporting people to address the root causes of their self-doubt, they can own their strengths and gifts. We believe this can be scaled up at a team, organisation and community level, and that organisations and communities with high self-belief are more fulfilled and get things right more often.

Find out more…

Research shows that across the workforce in general, self-doubt has a significant impact on the mindset, aspiration and performance of workers.

‘Two thirds of women and half of men do not believe they are intelligent or confident in their ability to do their job’
Confidence Statistics, Censuswide and McNaught Digital, 2021

73% of women state they lacked the confidence to pursue a job opportunity beyond their experience, ask for a promotion, or request a raise.
KPMG women’s leadership summit, 2020

And at a personal level self-doubt can show up at work in lots of ways:

  • going for promotion/moving jobs – feeling stuck or overwhelmed
  • managing staff – pleasing/placating people, avoiding conflict
  • work:life balance – overworking to prove yourself
  • delivering on projects – plagued by perfectionism and worry
  • imposter syndrome – not seeing yourself as everyone else sees you

Why is self-belief important to organisations?

The patterns of self-doubt in an organisation can have wide-ranging impacts on strategic choices, decision making, organisational culture, emotional intelligence, recruitment and retention, reputation and – most importantly – happiness and fulfilment at work.

Having understanding and insight into patterns of self-doubt and self-belief helps organisations to:

  • choose more relevant and effective professional development opportunities for staff
  • design systems and processes with self-doubt and self-belief in mind
  • improve communications, understanding and support between colleagues
  • operate with high levels of emotional intelligence and maturity

‘Community Organising awakens power within, undermines power over and creates power with, through collective action for social and environmental justice’.
Whelan and MacLeod (2019)

Assertive, proactive local communities don’t happen by chance. They evolve when the individuals making up those communities are themselves assertive and proactive, with a well-stocked inner self-belief toolkit with which to navigate life.

Communities where self-belief is thin can be held back by the stories of failure, conflict and lack of worth that have become their norm – hence they expect nothing more. Equally if self-belief resides only with the few within a community then many people can feel excluded and sidelined.

Widespread and shared self-belief enables the sum of the community to be greater than its parts. It builds a shared sense of ‘can-do’ and helps people to recognise and challenge the underlying structural barriers that stand in the way of equality of human flourishing. Most importantly it helps them organise for action to make positive changes.

Contact us about your needs and our community self-belief work.

What our clients say

About Ansuz

Ansuz Action is Helen Wallis-Dowling and Ruth Parkinson. Helen and Ruth are long time colleagues and friends.  We each have over 25 years experience of working with people, teams, communities and organisations.  We enjoy working together and we’re an effective, creative and knowledgeable team. 
And fun to work with!

About us

Helen Wallis-Dowling
Helen Wallis-Dowling
Ruth Parkinson
Ruth Parkinson

ansuz runeYou might be wondering what on earth ‘Ansuz’ (pronounced ann-suhz) is all about.  Well, we were casting around for a name and at a risk of being a bit up ourselves, decided to go with an Icelandic rune.  Runes are an early simple writing and meaning system and, it is said, also act as magic charms. The rune Ansuz is associated with ‘reason, analysis and advice, connecting and networking, inspiration and listening to oneself and one’s own particular inner voice’.  So there we are. 

For more see

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Do email us if you’d like to explore how we can support you and your programme or organisation. We’d love to hear from you.
Also please connect if you are doing similar or complementary work – let’s share ideas and action.