I know it’s a big promise – how to end anxiety. But here’s how it happened for me. And I think this can work for you too.
On all counts, I was doing great.
I had a “full practice” of Diamond business coaching clients. My clients were growing and getting great results. I was making a good income. Enjoying the success I’d dreamed of.
But I wasn’t enjoying it. Instead of feeling happy, I was feeling SLEEPY – except when coaching. After ruling out illness, I realized a part of me was BORED.
The Explorer in me needed more adventure, more risk, more fun.
So I decided to launch a 6 week course. This required hiring my first assistant, making a video, planning and doing 3 live webinars and more. I gave myself barely enough time to pull it all off before the holiday season.
I was certainly no longer sleepy – I was excited. Having fun.
Then on Sunday morning, 6 days before my first webinar, Anxiety hit.
The Anxiety was so overpowering, so all-consuming, I HAD to look at it, deal with it, respond creatively.
I simply could NOT have gone forward in that state.
I couldn’t think, to plan the webinars or conduct them would have exhausted all my energy in a few hours. I wouldn’t have slept – the anxiety would have wiped me out.
So I used the skills of Internal Family Systems (IFS) I’ve been studying and using myself and with my Diamond Clients.
In bed the first morning the anxiety/terror hit, I grabbed a pad of paper and in a combo of written and internal dialogue, had a conversation with my Anxious One.
Here’s what I did
Tuning in, I let that part know I wanted to get to know it, understand it.
In my mind’s eye, I saw a frantic young woman, arms flailing, in her panic proclaiming all I had to do to prepare.
Impressive – and scary – sight.
I asked her to step away from me so I wouldn’t be flooded with her emotion.
I asked her, “What are you concerned will happen to me if you don’t flood me with your anxiety?”
She said she was afraid I’d do such a poor job I’d make a fool of myself for all to see. Be publicly humiliated.
I agreed, I didn’t want that to happen. I told her I appreciated her concern.
Then I told her what the anxiety she floods me with, does to me.
Turns off digestion. Disturbs my sleep. Blocks creativity. Ages me faster. Exhausts me.
I told her I was much more likely to make a fool of myself when I felt anxious.
I witnessed her slump over, mumble in shame, “Well, I don’t know how else to help you.”
Next I updated her – told her about my teaching skills and experience. Assuming she hadn’t witnessed me growing up, I told her I’d taught school for 20 years. Had just recently taught 2 successful local workshops.
Had taught a couple dozen teleclasses and webinars. Was being paid well as a business coach. Heard clients brag about their success. Had gained expertise in dealing with disturbing emotions.
Summing up – I wanted her to know I had the skill and experience to DO A GOOD JOB in the webinars - if I wasn’t flooded with anxiety!
I asked if I could enroll her help and she agreed.
I asked her to give me only 5 – 10% anxiety – just enough for motivation, alertness and focused energy.
I said if it got higher and I heard her frantic thoughts, I’d ask her to “STEP BACK. Do not flood me with your anxiety.”
She agreed. I ask her if, calm now, she had any advice for me.
Oh yeah. She gave me a specific, step by step To Do list that I used to plan my time for the next week.
I discovered that when my anxious one is not frantic, she can be a helpful advisor!
As the weeks progressed, through the 3 webinars, planning and teaching the course (which I am now half-way through), now and then my inner Anxious One has risen up.
I’ve felt that surge of anxiety, and the fear I’d add to it, afraid it would sap my strength and dumb me down.
When I felt that anxiety, I’d do one of two things.
Sometimes, I’d take a few minute time out, tune in and ask the Anxious One what was up, give her a mini-update and ask her what help she could offer, ask her to turn down the anxiety, and carry on, calm and focused.
Other times I’d just command firmly, “Step back. Do NOT flood me with your anxiety. I can handle this. I want you to let me be in charge.” That brought about a dramatic and immediate drop in emotion.
Here’s what I’ve also found, as I merge my tapping roots with IFS. It’s a powerful way to connect with the inner parts, release painful emotional states and create greater inner harmony.
I’ve created a tapping script for you – for creating a more enlightened relationship with your Inner Anxious One.
New to tapping, get the scoop here.
Speaking FROM the Anxious Part
It’s too much!
You can’t do all this!
Your dream is way too big.
You’re not strong enough.
Not smart enough.
Not experienced enough.
You’re gonna fall flat on your face.
Make a public fool of yourself.
Be humiliated in front of people you respect.
It will be a disaster.
You’ll be a disaster.
Don’t do it!
You’re reaching too far.
It’s too much of a stretch.
Let’s take 3 Oxytocin breaths
Inhale into a relaxed belly
Exhale, with an audible sigh. Haaaaaaaaah
For these last 2 sets of tapping phrases, sit up straight or stand. Put your shoulders back and open your chest.
Either put your hands on your hips or behind your head, elbows spread wide. (These power postures will release an increase in testosterone while decreasing cortisol, making you feel calm and confident.)
(Speaking from your Essential Self)
What if I’m more capable than you know?
What if I’m pretty dang smart?
What if I actually can pull this off?
And furthermore, what if I’d rather keep stretching than go back to being sleepy and bored?
What if there’s another part of me who wants to be seen for my gifts?
Another part, a courageous part, who wants to take the risk?
I want to encourage that part.
What if I’m ready to step out of the scared little me,
And step into the brave, confident me?
And the calm, creative me?
And what if, at my core, THAT’S who I really am? Confident, courageous, calm and creative?
What if it’s worth the risk?
Thank you, Anxious One.
I appreciate your concern.
Your intention to help.
To protect me.
I honor the role you’ve played to keep me safe all these years.
I appreciate all your hard work on my behalf.
3 Oxy Breaths
And now, I ask you to STEP BACK.
I ask you to give me the chance to live in a new empowered way.
To express my strengths.
I can handle this.
I want you to help me in a new way.
A way that does not include a flood of Anxiety.
A way that helps me succeed in my Bold Stretch.
I am a confident woman.
I am a courageous woman.
I am a creative woman.
Yes! Yes! Yes!