This episode is about taking action when faced with fear and anxiety. I coach today’s caller, Suzanne, through her pattern of catastrophic thinking, worry, and anxiety, to allow her to respond differently to her fear-based thoughts. If you can relate to feeling like fear and anxiety stops you, or if you are a bit of a worrywart, you will receive a lot of value out of this coaching session.
Worry is using our mind to come up with and visualize worst case scenarios, instead of using the power of our mind to visualize what we truly want to occur.
On some level, we think it’s protecting us or keeping us safe. But all it’s doing is creating more anxiety.
When we feel fear, it’s important that we first be with the part of us that feels scared and anxious. When we get scared as adults, we need to learn how to respond to it in a way that feels reassuring. A big part of this can be addressed by self-soothing. Most of the ways we attempt to soothe ourselves are not about soothing at all. We may be numbing or distracting ourselves. We run away from the fear by working, eating, sedating ourselves with drugs or alcohol, or using social media for hours.
But the more we ignore it, the bigger the monster becomes, so instead of running from your fear, face it head on. It doesn’t mean you have to conquer it, just be with it. What does it need from you? If the fear has a message for you, what’s the message? Can you trust yourself to sit with it rather than run? Tell yourself you are safe, and that everything is OK. Be a reassuring voice to yourself.
As you will hear in the call, Suzanne’s sense of self, and ability to feel safe regardless of external conditions, wasn’t developed, so she didn’t feel safe when she was outside of her home.
Like many of us, Suzanne said she understood my coaching intellectually but she still found it hard to shift in the moment. But, it’s the follow-through that matters.
That’s why I designed my Inner Circle membership community to focus on a certain quality every month. We focus on moving something from awareness into integration. So change actually happens. It’s more than learning concepts, you learn to integrate what you are learning into your life.
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- Do you worry a lot? Do you have a tendency to imagine worst-case scenarios, or have a habit of waiting for the other shoe to drop?
- Do you think that preparing for the worst protects you from being disappointed?
- Did something challenging, traumatic or catastrophic happen to you as a kid, so you live with nervous anticipation that something bad will happen again?
- How are you soothing yourself when you go into fear, anxiety, or panic? Are you able to calm yourself down? What are your coping mechanisms?
Suzanne wants to know how to take action when she feels crippled by anxiety.
Suzanne’s Key Insights and Ahas:
- She is a catastrophic thinker.
- She doesn’t deal with losses well.
- She didn’t feel emotionally safe as a child.
- She had an eating disorder in college.
- She surrounds herself with mentally stable people.
- She tries to put her emotional health first.
- She practices negative self-talk.
- She seeks reassurance from outside herself.
- She lets her mind run the show.
How to Get Over It and On With It:
- She should find a new way to relate to herself to get a consistent experience.
- She needs to acknowledge when she is in the midst of catastrophic thinking, and practice self-soothing techniques.
- She should do the Release Writing exercise from Expectation Hangover.
- She should practice Kundalini shaking to get rid her nervous energy.
- She should start owning who she is, what she feels and what she loves about herself.
- Find a way to self-soothe, read “My Best Tips for Reducing Anxiety” about calming yourself down and dealing with anxiety.
- Make sure your sense of self is not externally referenced. Look at where you are projecting a feeling of safety. Do you feel like you need to get it from an outside source?
- Imagine your best-case scenarios — instead of using your imagination to imagine things all the things you don’t want, imagine all the things you do want.
- The Future Forecasting exercise in Expectation Hangover is a great way to start visioning your best-case scenarios.
- Allow yourself to get excited about things!
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Expectation Hangover: Overcoming Disappointment in Work, Love, and Life,
by Christine Hassler