Patty Chang Anker is a nationally recognized fear facing expert who empowers people to live their biggest, bravest lives. She the author of the memoir Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave (Riverhead Books, “Downright inspiring” –Oprah.com) about pushing through her fears and finding unexpected joy that is a Parents Magazine “Mom Must-Read,” a “lesson plan in courage 101” according to Better Homes & Gardens, and a Books for a Better Life Award finalist. She is an Anxiety Expert at PsychologyToday.com and her writing has appeared in many publications including Dr. Oz The Good Life Magazine, O Magazine, the WallStreetJournal.com, NationalPublicRadio.org, iVillage, The Huffington Post and her own award-winning blog Facing Forty Upside Down. Her essay “The Cookie Jar” is included in the Listen to Your Mother Anthology (Putnam). She has been named a Good Housekeeping “Blogger We Love” and a “Top 25 Funny Mom” on Circle of Moms.
Patty delivers life-changing keynotes and workshops packed with practical information, humor, and heart. Her speaking credits include TEDxHunterCCS, World Aquatic Health Conference, LiveStrong at the Rye Y Day, Conference for Women, Women’s Media Group, Long Island University Brooklyn, Women at Woodstock Retreat, Asian Women in Business, and more, before audiences as intimate as 10 and as large as 1500. Past clients have called her “a change agent in this world,” “inspiring on a mass scale,” “warm, funny,” “moving,” and “exceptional.” More information at her Speakers Page.
Patty is also a courage coach to private clients who want to get unstuck, make changes, and approach life with more confidence and less dread. Specializing in moms seeking to re-enter the workforce or re-invent their lives, she draws upon the best practices from psychology and teachings gleaned from the extensive research she did for Some Nerve as well as her own experience as a veteran publicist who understands corporate life and as a mother who knows the challenge of figuring out one’s mission while balancing the needs of others.
Patty is not adventurous by nature. While other kids were out climbing trees and skinning knees, she was inside reading books about people climbing trees and skinning knees. (“I guess I was more of an armchair kid.”) That, plus an ingrained Chinese-American fear of failure and losing face is how she grew up never really learning how to ride a bike, do a handstand, or dive into a swimming pool. And why she started blogging Facing Forty Upside Down three days after turning 39. The mother of two and a yoga teacher, Patty realized she couldn’t expect her children and students to go outside their comfort zone if she wasn’t willing to do it herself.
“We don’t let our kids ‘opt out’ of trying new things and we don’t let them give up if it doesn’t come to them easily. I realized I was giving myself a free pass to say ‘I’m too busy or tired to do that’ when what I really was, was scared.” Patty started doing, writing, and talking about the things that frighten her, and Facing Forty Upside Down was born.
Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave is an inspiring look at how ordinary people face their fears. Some Nerve draws on Patty’s interviews with teachers, therapists, coaches, and clergy to impart both practical advice and profound wisdom. Through her own journey and the stories of dozens of others (many of whom she helped to triumph over common fears), she conveys the most vital lesson of all: Fear isn’t an end point, but the point of entry to life itself.
Patty is a former Director of Media Relations for The New York Times and book publicist for W.W. Norton, Taunton Press and Basic Books.
She is also a certified yoga teacher and Thai Yoga Bodyworker. And after recently facing her fears of open water swimming, fast biking, and profuse sweating, she is also now proud to be a triathlete. When she’s not writing, speaking or facing fears, she can be found chasing her two kids or biking with her husband across Westchester County, NY.