Welcome to Growth Spurts

Here’s the truth: personal growth is messy. On the path to becoming you, people make mistakes. They mess up. They even change their minds about who it is they want to become. And that’s okay. In fact, that’s what is called growth.

But here’s the problem. Modern society doesn’t allow for people to f**k up anymore. Said the wrong thing by mistake? CANCELLED! Brave enough to admit to not entirely loving yourself? RED FLAG! Not sure how to ‘feel' your feelings? EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE!

This Substack aims to change that.

I’ve been on the frontline of the personal growth movement for almost a decade and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s this: complex questions deserve nuanced answers. Not everything is simple. Not everything can be solved with a quick fix. Huge shifts don’t happen overnight, but over a life time, with a little patience, small improvements happen along the way. This is where Growth Spurts comes in…

I’ll be honest, I miss the days of long captions. In my heart, I am a writer and have been craving a space where I can think deeply and talk about the issues that everyone faces (without having to make it into an attention-grabbing 60 second reel!) for a while now. Toni Morrison said: “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” I believe the internet is no different. So here I am, creating the content that I would love to read and most importantly write for you.

This Substack will essentially be a place where we can come together to discuss the things that matter, without the judgment on social media. I want this to become a community that grows and learns together.

With your help and support, I reckon we can do this.

So who am I?

My name is Michelle Elman and you might know me from other places on the internet like my Instagram or my podcast, In All Honesty. I’m a five-board accredited life coach and have been doing this for nearly 10 years now. At some point in the middle, my career took a little detour as I went viral for my campaign Scarred Not Scared, sharing my personal story of having 15 surgeries before the age of 19 and the body image issues I struggled with as a result of the surgery scars I was left with but after five years flying that body image flag, I got frustrated that all anyone wanted to talk about was my body. I was saying “you are more than a body” everyday online and yet that was all I was ever asked for. It made me want to scream “YOU KNOW I HAVE A BRAIN TOO?”. So that’s when I took a U-turn and wanted to return to my world of life coaching where we are so much more than what we look like.

As a qualified life coach my approach to life is direct; my advice is practical, straight to the point, and (hopefully) realistic.

I’m also a TedX speaker and the author of three books, The Selfish Romantic, The Joy of Being Selfish and Am I Ugly? But all that’s really important to know is that I love anything to do with personal growth. Oh, and I’m obsessed with Grey’s Anatomy.

About Growth Spurts

Just like literal growth spurts, personal growth can bring with it aches and pains. When you are in the midst of it, the discomfort can feel like a lot but there is always an end in sight. Personal growth is no different.

As a life coach, I believe you don’t need to be perfect to work in personal development but you do always have to be five steps ahead of your clients. Whether it’s reading a book on personal development or asking the right questions to the people around you, there is always something new to learn so a big part of this newsletter will be sharing the stuff I’m learning as I go.  Sometimes we get the illusion that the psychologists, therapists and life coaches of the world are out there living exemplary lives but actually, what I believe is more powerful is the reality that we fuck up just like you do. The key is seeing every mistake as an opportunity to learn and do better.

What Do You Get If You Subscribe?

You get a free letter every other week from me straight into your inbox every Wednesday! You also get to benefit from us all as a community because as a free subscriber, you can start your own threads in my Chat. See it as a fun, friendly group chat that cares about personal development too! We also just talk about random things like Love Is Blind!

And Why Should I Pay?

First of all, because you will be supporting me!

Second of all, you get DOUBLE the stuff! You get me every week!

After 10 years of creating content on the internet for free, I’m finding myself craving a little more privacy around the things that I share so that’s where the paid feature will come in!

For £5 a month or £60 a year, paid subscribers will get:

  • First to know about secret announcements like my next book

  • Private posts about unannounced projects and more intimate parts of my life like my relationship

  • Access to my ‘Dear Michelle’ feature where you get your life coaching questions answered personally by me

It’s the price of getting me a drink at the bar so if you want to sponsor my fun and relaxation, that’s one way to do it - you can sign up for the yearly subscription and it’s even cheaper! Imagine it like my virtual tip jar.

Or why not become a founding member?

For those of you who want to support the creation of this little community, I am offering a limited number of founding memberships. This is for people who would really like to support getting Growth Spurts off the ground and it costs £150. This will create space for me to give free memberships to those who need it and as well as my endless gratitude, you get one of my books signed with a personalised card and a comprehensive video message from me answering any life coaching question you would like thoroughly!

Where Else Can I Find You?

You can watch my TedX talk “Have You Hated Yourself Enough Today?” here.

My first book Am I Ugly? was a memoir all about how I had 15 surgeries before the age of 19 and dealing with the surgery scars. It is an honest look at childhood illness and the resulting body image issues that occur when you look a little different from your peers.

My second book The Joy of Being Selfish is all about boundaries, why you need them and how to set them. Boundaries are how we teach the world to treat us, they are the line between who you are and who the world wants you to be and they are the greatest tool I use as a life coach and personally in my own life.

My third book The Selfish Romantic is all about how to date without feeling bad about yourself. In the eight years of being single, I loved dating yet the world kept trying to tell me that I shouldn’t - that if you look like me, your love life will be rubbish and that’s just not true! This book is a new kind of dating book! You don’t need to change yourself to be loved - you need to be more of yourself to turn the wrong people off!

My fourth book How To Say No is my first children’s book aimed at kids 11 years and older and is your complete guide on how to set boundaries. See it as the children’s version of The Joy of Being Selfish. It covers boundaries around your family, body, friends, online and so much more!

If you want to see more of my life, I’m on Instagram and TikTok and I have a podcast called In All Honesty for more of my life coaching  up-to-date

You won’t have to worry about missing anything. Every new edition of the newsletter goes directly to your inbox or you can check it out on the Substack app.

Subscribe to Growth Spurts with Michelle Elman

All things personal growth delivered by Michelle Elman, a best-selling author and five board accredited TV life coach who has messed up more times than you have


TV Life Coach. TedX speaker. Author of The Selfish Romantic, The Joy of Being Selfish, Am I Ugly? and How To Say No