Hey all. Let’s have some real talk today.
On June 1st I’ll be embarking on the journey of a lifetime through Remote Year – a program where I’ll continue to work with all you incredible people, but remotely, and from a different country around the world every single month. (www.remoteyear.com)
I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how excited I am about all the incredible things I’ll learn and be able to translate into my career.
But I’ve never done anything like this before, ever. And if I’m honest, it scares me to death (which is another reason I am encouraged to do it! but the fear is still there). So to prepare, I’ve found myself a pretty great therapist (if you’re ever reading this Jon*: you’re great!) who has been helping me develop a pretty awesome “toolbox” of coping strategies to combat the anxiety and stress of such a life-changing event.
My favorite take-away from these sessions comes out of a CBT strategy (Cognitive Behavior Therapy), which teaches you to challenge your thoughts, identify what they trigger emotionally, and (eventually) separate the thought from the negative mental/emotional reactions.
I love this because A) it has steps/goals, and B) there are worksheets!
To start retraining my brain, Jon gave me a CBT worksheet that I was to use whenever I started to get anxious. For those reading this that are endeavoring to do something that scares the crap out of them (which you totally should), or anyone who just generally gets stressed by adulting, I am publicly sharing (…on the internet) an actual instance of my own CBT worksheet (because what could possibly go wrong with that?).
CBT Thought Record:
Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with?
I’m at home by myself.
Emotion or feeling. Rate 0-100%
Fear and anxiety. Shortness of breath, tightness in chest. 90%
Negative automatic thought: What thoughts were going through your mind?
I can’t do this. I will fail. I will run out of money on Remote Year. I will have to come home and somehow it will ruin my life.
Evidence that supports the thought. What facts support the truthfulness of this thought or image?
Different client scopes mean that my income is inconsistently scheduled, and I’m still building my bookkeeping/accounting skills. Also I have a HUGE amount of things to pay for/purchase before Remote Year.
Evidence that does not support the thought: What experiences indicate that this thought is not completely true all of the time? If my best friend has this thought, that would I tell them?
I am incredibly good at what I do, and my business is growing exponentially because of it. I have an incredible support system through my friends and family, and I’m prepping in every way I can. Also I have a launch plan in place to help market my business.
Alternative thought: Write a new thought which takes into account the evidence for and against the original thought.
Things are hard right now, but I am scrappy AF! This is my life that I built. It is mine. I’m about to do something hugely beneficial for myself *and* my clients.
Emotion or feeling. How do you feel about the situation now? Rate 0 – 100%.
Fearful still, but mostly exhausted. 40%
It’s a process.
I’m still 7ish weeks out from leaving for Remote Year. I still have moments of intense stress, but I’m noticing that they do not trigger the anxiety anymore (we did it Jon!).
Anyway, the point of this post is this: fear is surprisingly, actually fine. I can’t get rid of it, but I can cohabitate with it peacefully, and even become stronger in it’s presence.
Please, tell me what stresses you out. Let’s be vulnerable together on the interwebs (preferably in the comment section). I want to hear about your fears and how you’ve coped with them. TELL ME YOUR STORIES!