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Anxiety is not an excuse

Anxiety is not an excuse

The prevalence of anxiety is on the rise. In the past two years, the prevalence has increased by 25% – mostly in women and youth.

Anxiety is not an excuse for staying stuck, procrastinating, or making bad choices, whether in life or business.

Let’s look at what anxiety is and is not.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is an abnormal sense of apprehension and fear that is often marked by physical signs and symptoms. When one is anxious, they have self-doubt that they will have the ability to cope with the situation or person making them anxious.

Being nervous is different than anxiety. When you are nervous, you may feel like being anxious, but the difference is that once the situation is past, you have done the thing, and you feel better. With anxiety, doubtful what-if thoughts continue to come into your brain and you don’t have a sense of peace.

Worry is more of a dwelling on negative thoughts, and I believe it’s a choice. It’s possible for worry to lead to anxiety, but the worry is not genetic and despite environmental triggers, worry is something you can choose to stop whereas anxiety may not be without help from a therapist or medication.

It is important to differentiate between the three – anxiety, nervousness, and worry. A pet peeve of mine is hearing people say they are behaving a certain way or making certain choices because they have anxiety. Anxiety is a clinical diagnosis but that doesn’t make it an excuse.

Who has anxiety?

Approximately 31% of adults in the US have anxiety. Women are twice as likely as men, 23% versus 14%.

Only 37 percent of people with anxiety seek treatment.

As I mentioned before, the prevalence of anxiety has increased by 25% over the past two years, most often in women and youth.

Anxiety is not an excuse for not taking action in life and business

Anxiety may increase your level of fear, or it may keep you stuck in a cycle of doubt, overthinking, and indecision. And, anxiety may cause you to think you want to give up.

But you have a choice. You can choose to let anxiety control your thoughts, emotions, choices, and behaviors, or you can choose to take action to navigate anxiety and take control of your thoughts.

How can you recognize anxiety?

Signs and symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Fatigue due to the inability to sleep
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Unexplained stomach aches
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath

To navigate anxiety, you must recognize the triggers.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, it is important to pause and evaluate what is going on in your life.

Did you have an argument with someone?

Do you have a presentation or speaking engagement on the horizon?

Are you preparing to travel?

Do you have guests coming to visit?

Maybe you have unexpected expenses piling up.

Or maybe your child is going through a difficult time.

Do you have a sales call or big meetings on the calendar?

What is making you anxious?

The emphasis here is on the mind-body connection.

Once you identify the symptom and what the trigger is, you can create a strategy to navigate the situation without letting anxiety hold you back.

The key is being aware.

Anxiety is not an excuse to stay stuck

There will always be an opportunity to be anxious. It’s part of life especially if you have a genetic predisposition.

There can be an alteration in your DNA and there is epigenetics. . . generational environmental influences such as trauma.

Life is full of experiences, good and bad, that will trigger anxious thoughts whether you have a clinical diagnosis or not.

But it is never an excuse to overthink and stay stuck. God made our brains in such a miraculous way that we can change the neuropathways – from thinking negative what-if thoughts to being grateful and thinking positive thoughts.

Fear accompanies anxiety. What-if thoughts will ebb and flow but with anxiety, they are more likely to overwhelm you and keep you from acting.

Instead of using anxiety as an excuse to not act or to sit in a place of indecision, adopt strategies and tools to navigate the anxiety.

If you have an idea or feel a pull toward something, that is God nudging you toward your calling. When you don’t take action, you are doing a disservice to the people He’s calling you to serve.

It’s a choice.

A reminder from scripture: Romans 12:2 – Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Anxiety is not an excuse for behavior choices

We know from science and scripture that our beliefs trigger our thoughts, and our thoughts influence our emotions and feelings. Emotions and feelings determine our choices and behaviors.

This cycle determines your outcomes because your thoughts produce your results.

Let’s say you are anxious about what steps to take to begin your business. As a result, you think you can’t do it, you don’t have the ability or resources, someone else is already doing it, etc. How do these thoughts make you feel? I’m going to go out on a limb and say that your emotions may be sadness, fear, doubt, helplessness, frustration, being overwhelmed, inadequacy, and maybe even resentment. These emotions make you feel less than motivated, unworthy, sluggish, confused, and hopeless, and you lack confidence.

As a result, you sit on the couch and watch Netflix instead of working on your action steps to start and grow your business. The outcome? You don’t have a solid foundation for your business, and you have minimal, if any, results. And the people God has called you to serve can’t find you and don’t get the help they need.


What if you change your beliefs and thoughts and avoid using anxiety as an excuse?

What you focus on is what you create.

Instead of doubting, now you believe that God is calling you and you have a purpose to fulfill. And you believe that if He’s calling you, he will equip you. He will put the right people and information in your path.

You’ve lived a journey with many experiences that have led you right to where you are today, and you now have the insight that others need.

Positive thoughts that you can do the work, that God is equipping you, and that you’ve already got all you need inside of you lead you to joyful, hopeful, inspired emotions.

As a result, you feel excited and confident.

Now you are motivated to accomplish the right tasks in the right order to bring your business to life and attract your soulmate clients.

You are eager to accept the abundance God has in store for you when you pursue your purpose.

The outcome? You start and grow a business to have a meaningful impact in the world while making money to support your family, live in abundance and joy and give more through charitable giving.

It’s not easy to navigate anxiety.

I just gave an example of how your beliefs and thoughts influence your outcomes. It may seem easy, but it’s not. You must take daily action to navigate anxiety.

I suggest journaling. Write the negative beliefs and thoughts. Document the emotions and feelings they trigger. Then write out the action or lack thereof, that you will take because of those emotions and feelings. What outcomes will follow?

Then, on the same page, write the opposite. Write positive beliefs and thoughts. Document the emotions and feelings they trigger. Then write out the action that you will take. Lastly, document the outcomes you will achieve by taking that action.

The more you catch those negative beliefs and what-if thoughts and challenge them, the faster you will be able to change them. If the what-if thoughts aren’t rational or realistic, if someone you love and respect wouldn’t be thinking them too, then change them. The more you practice this mind modeling method, the more control you’ll have (with God’s help of course) over your thoughts and the more confident you will be to make decisions.

You will alleviate overthinking.

What-if thoughts will dissipate.

You will become more confident and make decisions that move you to the next level of impact and success.

Another tip to help you navigate anxiety

Stay aligned with your core values. When you align with your core values in every decision that you make, you will overthink less and be able to feel less anxious. If you haven’t already identified your core values, listen to episode 213.

And of course, you can always use Scripture as a resource to navigate anxiety. A couple of go-to verses for me are:

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you

Anxiety is a reason to avoid social media when you start your business

The reason I feel so strongly about avoiding social media when you start a business is because of the negative beliefs and thoughts it can trigger.

The distractions of what you “should” be doing, the advice from others who may not be aligned with your values, the pressure to be present and create content that could disappear tomorrow, the comparison, and the doubt. All these things result in more anxiety and worry about your business.

In addition, you might see things on social media that will tempt you to believe things that are not scriptural, like manifesting clients and money, or that the Universe will guide you. Listen, God created the universe, and all good and perfect gifts come from him. If you are confused about manifestation or its legitimacy from a scripture perspective, listen to episode 167.

The best way to start a business

The best way to start your business is to focus on your personal brand, a brand marketing strategy, and systems, tools, and processes to build a solid foundation. Stay aligned with your values.

Purpose to Results™ combines mindset, strategy, and action. You need all three but without distractions to build the foundation first. Using the Purpose to Results™ Method will help alleviate anxiety and overthinking when starting a business.

Once you have built the foundation and your content is on a platform you own and control, you can use social media to build relationships and have fun. But do not attempt to build your business on social media. It will delay your ability to have a meaningful impact and make money.

I want to leave you with this. It is possible to start and grow a business with simplicity, ease, and grace. To follow your God-led calling and purpose to have a meaningful impact and make money – without added anxiety and stress.

More information on anxiety and entrepreneurship can be found by listening to episode 161.

Free Resource for Navigating Anxiety

I encourage you to download my free eBook – Alleviate anxiety by developing healthy habits for a healthy mind. You’ll enjoy the exercises and having a guide to journaling using the 5C’s journaling method.

To learn even more about navigating anxiety including my journey with anxiety, check out my book, “You, Me, and Anxiety: take action over anxiety to enjoy being you”.

Attend the Elevate Your Lifestyle Summit, Saturday, February 18th from 12:00 PM EST to 6:30 PM EST on Zoom. 


How the food you eat influences how you think

How the food you eat influences how you think

Food is a huge part of most cultures. Yet, most people don’t realize how the food you eat influences how you think, feel, and behave.

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is dedicated to getting to the root of the problem. Traditional medicine focuses on diagnosis and treatment, usually with pharmaceuticals.  Functional medicine focuses on supporting the body more naturally in order to reestablish balance. If you aren’t feeling well, lack energy, etc., functional medicine can be used to dive deeper into the root cause of the imbalance in your body. This is a scientific but more natural approach. Both gut health and hormones are critical for our overall health, including our mental health.

Gut health in relation to how the food you eat influences how you think

The enteric nervous system is housed in our gut, which means the gut is home to a large portion of our nervous system. In addition,  the vagus nerve runs from the gut to the brain. This is how our body communicates either the flight or fight mechanism or rest and digestion. The gut is regulated by the microbiome, bacteria in our gut, when the balance is off, the communication to our brain is skewed. And, when the microbiome is off, there is inflammation in the gut as well as in other areas of the body.

When you are stressed, your gut health is not prioritized by the body. The gut suffers. Acid levels are altered and nutrients aren’t absorbed properly. As a result, you can experience hormonal imbalances, inflammation, and a host of other things. This is why our gut health is so important.

If you are struggling with mental health challenges, anxiety, brain fog, depression, or lack of focus, start with nutrition. What are you eating to nourish your body?

What foods to avoid to lessen the impact on brain function

Gluten – whether you have Celiac disease or not, you can have gluten sensitivity because gluten causes inflammation in the gut lining which can cause inflammation in other areas of the brain, like brain fog. Gluten and other foods that cause inflammation in the gut affect the mucosa lining the gut. If it becomes too thin, things that are supposed to stay in the cut can cross over and get into the body. This creates an immune response because the body sees these things as foreign objects and thinks it needs to attack them to get rid of them. As a result, the inflammatory by-products of the immune response target other tissues like joints or skin, and you may experience reactions like pain or acne. Likewise, this reaction can result in inflammation in the brain and therefore you may experience brain fog.

Corn and soy products are highly inflammatory and are often sprayed heavily with pesticides. In addition, there may be a cross-sensitivity with gluten. You won’t necessarily have to avoid them forever, but eliminate them from your diet and reintroduce them when you are asymptomatic.

Canola and vegetable oils

Artificial colors and sweeteners


Refined carbohydrates like pasta, bread, pastries, and sugary foods can also cause inflammation. In addition, they may cause a glucose spike which will cause inflammation and affect mental health.

Alcohol can mess with your neurotransmitters.

Caffeine may not be metabolized as well in certain people.

Think about eliminating these items 90% of the time and maybe allow yourself a treat 10% of the time.

Where do you start to change your nutrition habits is concerned with how the food you eat influences how you think?

Changing nutrition habits is very specific to each individual and their unique symptoms. If you have a lot of gut symptoms, it may be best to do a more comprehensive removal of food. However, if struggling with mental health challenges, but your gut seems okay, eliminate foods based on what’s attainable to you. Throwing everything away or eliminating everything at once may not be feasible.

If you are going to remove one item at a time, start with gluten. If you can’t fully eliminate items, at least reduce them.

Listen to episode 169 with Karolina Rzadkowolska.

How to alter your alcohol consumption if you are concerned with how the food you eat influences how you think.

If you drink every day, cut back to fewer days a week. If drinking multiple drinks every day, cut back to one drink per day. One glass of wine is not going to be the most terrible thing you do for yourself. However, it is important to consider when you drink. If you drink later in the evening, alcohol can influence your sleep because of an imbalance in GABA-glutamate and you’ll wake up at around 2 AM and may experience hot flashes, and be thirsty. If you are drinking and you aren’t sleeping, think about drinking earlier so that the alcohol metabolizes before you go to bed. Likewise, if you drink a lot, it will alter the food you crave and you’ll lean towards less nutritious food in addition to increasing anxiety.

One drink per night is probably fine for most people, but observe how it affects you.

Let’s talk about coffee

Caffeine may increase anxiety. It is very specific to how you metabolize caffeine. Matcha green tea is a good alternative because it has caffeine but the caffeine is released steadily so you don’t experience the peak and crash like with coffee. It also has L-Thiamine, which is a calming component. Therefore it can help you focus, and you can avoid the jitters or rise in anxiety.

If you tolerate coffee, that’s great. However, if you think caffeine might be a trigger for you, consider decreasing the intake or changing to Matcha tea.

Another tip about coffee is to drink organic because it is often heavily sprayed with pesticides.

Decaf coffee may be okay, but because of contamination with mold, Layne highly recommends going with an organic Matcha or green tea.

Back to corn and its role in how the food you eat influences the way you think.

In general, corn isn’t the enemy, it’s the processing. However, if you are gluten intolerant, you may cross-react to corn. If this is the case, eliminate it for a while until the gut heals and the mucosa lining builds back up, and then reintroduce it.

Layne recommends Siete chips and tortillas because they are made with whole grains versus corn.

Soy and its role in how the food you eat influences the way you think.

The problem with soy is how it is sprayed and processed. Fermented organic soy is better for you. Do not eat inorganic soy. Tempe is an alternate form of soy, as well as tofu.

The Dutch test is a comprehensive test for measuring hormones and determining your digestive pathways. Some people do really well with soy products but for other people, it may put them at higher risk for cancer.

Are carbohydrates really the bad guy?

Demonizing and avoiding carbs completely is not the best option because you need the micronutrients from fruits. It is the processed carbs that you want to be mindful of. Eat as many fruits and sweet potatoes as you want. To have a really well-balanced nutritious diet you need fruits and vegetables. Avoid white, wheat, and processed bread products. Bread products made from seeds and whole grains are better. But your body sees pasta and bread as sugars. But keep the fruits, potatoes, and vegetables.

If going to have carbohydrates, eat the vegetables/fruits first, then the protein, and then the carbohydrates to avoid spikes in blood sugar.

It is more about balance and moderation than eliminating completely.

Will a gluten-free diet help you lose weight?

A gluten-free diet may help you lose weight simply because you are eliminating foods that have been causing inflammation. It does eliminate a lot of carbohydrates, so there may be weight loss but the goal of a gluten-free diet is to decrease inflammation, not necessarily to lose weight.

What should you eat if concerned about how the food you eat influences how you think and you want to ensure a healthy body and brain?

Whole foods are important as your main nutrition source. Eat as little processed food as possible. It is best to eat an array of colorful fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants to decrease inflammation and micronutrients your body needs to detox, balance hormones, and feed the good gut bacteria. Good gut bacteria are critical for how our nervous system communicates with our brain. Wild blueberries are one of the top fruits for antioxidant benefits. Try to have 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Healthy fats are also important for every cell in our body to have good integrity and for brain function. Salmon is Layne’s favorite healthy fat but she suggested wild-caught salmon because it is the best form. You can also incorporate nuts and seeds, or even drizzle olive oil over your food. Aim for 5 servings of healthy fats a day. Avocados are also a healthy fat.

Protein is also very important for brain health. Protein is made up of amino acids and they help our neurotransmitters work properly. Try to eat 30 grams of protein in every meal. Eating 30 grams of protein for breakfast sets you up for success throughout the day and helps prevent the sugary cravings later in the day. Salmon is also a great source of protein, as well as chicken thighs. It is better to have bone-in chicken because of the nutrients and flavor. Eat a variety of meats, and red meat once or twice a week. A good healthy protein powder is also nice to have on hand because it is hard to get 30 grams of protein in every meal without a little bit of supplement. Nuzest is a clean lean protein powder option.

Stress resiliency

Stress never really goes away so we need to know how to handle it. Self-care is important for stress resilience. Eating healthy and stepping back from electronics and allowing yourself rest time.

Magnesium is an important supplement for neurologic help. Layne recommends the glycinate and L Threonate forms of magnesium. These salts cross the blood-brain barrier. B Vitamins are also important for energy production and nervous system function. Nutrition is important and getting plenty of water is important. Our cells need water to function and energy is needed for our cells.

Our parasympathetic nervous system is where we rest and digest. We want this to be our dominant nervous system. Ways to activate it include deep cleansing breaths, getting fresh air, and nature will help lower stress hormones, and focus on movement, exercise will help boost endorphins and help you feel better. In addition, if you have a caffeine intolerance, switch to Matcha or green tea to help you focus. The L Thianine will also help calm you. With anything that you are doing to make big changes, start small. Pick one thing that resonates most and be consistent with that.

Set short attainable goals.

The top 2 things to keep your mind and body healthy

Nutrition – improve your nutrition, whole foods and fruits, and vegetables

Regulate your nervous system – take 5 minutes twice a day for breathing, deep cleansing breaths.

About Layne VanLieshout

Layne is a board-certified Nurse Practitioner and founder of LV Wellness.  During her years in practice, she met many people who are not thriving or feeling well. This inspired her to become passionate about Functional Medicine.

Layne trained at the School of Applied Functional Medicine, which equipped her to help others with their health on a much deeper level. She now creates a custom approach to address health struggles and wellness goals for her patients.

As a Functional Medicine provider, she now helps people get to the REAL root cause of health issues and understand what needs to be done to prevent or mitigate dis-ease. She believes that’s how she can truly help others heal.

 Learn more about and connect with Layne:

Layen’s Vanlieshout’s website 

Download the free eBook on Alleviating Anxiety by Developing Health Habits for a Healthy Mind.

Do you want to know my secret journey with anxiety and how I became the published author of “You, Me, and Anxiety”?

Do you want to know my secret journey with anxiety and how I became the published author of “You, Me, and Anxiety”?

In the book, You, Me, and Anxiety, I am sharing my lifelong journey with anxiety so that I can help young women and their families navigate life with anxiety and discover hope.

Life with anxiety can be better

Life with anxiety is going to get easier to navigate. Why? Because You, Me, and Anxiety is available to help teens and their parents navigate anxiety.

In the book, I share my life-long journey with anxiety and offer the tools and tips that I wish I’d known earlier in my life.

I get real, and raw, and tell the not-so-pretty experiences of my life with anxiety while helping you understand anxiety, recognize triggers for anxiety, and the steps you can take to navigate your life with anxiety.

Today is a new day in my life with anxiety

On March 3rd, 2021 I signed a contract with Highlander Press. I knew I was being called to write a book and share my life-long journey with anxiety, but I had been dragging my feet. I wasn’t sure where to begin, other than to write, and I was afraid.

By chance, I met Debby Kevin, owner of Highlander Press, a hybrid publishing company. She thought we were having a coffee chat to get to know each other. I was having a coffee chat to seek information about her publishing company.

When I told Debby about my book idea, she loved it, as she too has had family experience with anxiety and immediately recognized the value my book could provide.

Soon after our conversation, I signed the contract, and intentional work began.

The story became more

Shortly after signing the contract, Debby read the first draft of the book. This was in April of 2021.

When I submitted the first draft I was scared and felt very vulnerable. When I received the first round of edits, I was pleased that Debby, as the editor and publisher, liked my writing but then panic set in. She requested that I expand on my story, share more details, and shares more stories about my journey.

If I thought I was being vulnerable in the first draft, I was kidding myself. The real vulnerability came when I had to dig deep into my past to give specific examples of how anxiety influenced my life, my decisions, my behaviors, and my family.

It was really hard. There were many tears. I had to face memories that I’d tried to forget and desperately wanted to leave in the past, not bring to the surface, let alone tell the world about.

Living with anxiety involved secrets

The reality is, no one really knew all of my past. No one knew how dark my life had been at times because living with anxiety can be all-consuming and result in fear, shame, and self-loathing. Anxiety held me back from experiencing true joy. It prevented me from developing meaningful and deep relationships. I didn’t trust people, I lived in a constant state of fear and what-ifs. I often sought approval from the wrong sources and people.

What people actually saw of me was a young woman who went through all of the motions. Studied hard, worked hard, laughed, partied, shopped, and showed up. But who I showed up as wasn’t who I was inside. There was a facade.

Telling stories of how anxiety filled me with fear, anger, and shame was hard. Sharing my eating disorder, self-injurious behaviors, an abusive relationship, and how my family growing up was far from perfect was difficult.

Even today, as the book launches and is available for the world to read, I am shaking, my stomach is in knots, and I’m afraid of the feedback.

Anxiety doesn’t just go away

The fact is, that even though I’ve learned tools to recognize triggers and navigate my anxiety, it has never gone away. It is part of my DNA. I could succumb to it and just use it as an excuse, but I refuse to do that and I don’t want young women of today to either.

No one with clinical anxiety can just get over it. Living with anxiety is tricky. The mind is incredibly complex. And when you add the complexity of the brain, genetics, and environmental factors all together, it is simply impossible to completely overcome and have zero symptoms of anxiety. Our society is so fast-paced and we are so inundated with temptations of comparison, and to be better, work harder, and do more that there is no way to completely ignore or just get over anxiety. Not to mention the ever-changing state of our world.

But what we can do, is identify triggers and retrain our brains to handle anxiety in a positive way instead of letting anxiety control us.

Anxiety is not an excuse! 

My hope is to make living with anxiety easier for others

By telling my story and sharing the tools that I’ve learned over the years as a person with life-long anxiety, and as a parent of children with anxiety, I hope to help families navigate anxiety. Anxiety doesn’t have to control the outcomes of your life.

As a teen, living with anxiety doesn’t have to hold you back or prevent you from experiencing life like your peers are experiencing it.

And as parents, anxiety doesn’t have to ruin every dinner, and vacation plan, or fill your days with stress, sadness, shame, and fear.

Life with anxiety can be hopeful, joyful, and purposeful if you choose to take action over anxiety and work as a team with your family, and permit yourselves to accept the help you need to navigate it effectively.

Action over anxiety is imperative to find joy

The key to being able to experience hope, joy, and purpose as you live with anxiety, is to take action. In You, Me, and Anxiety I map out my 5 Cs Journaling Method. There are activities for you to do to recognize triggers, identify your fears, overcome shame, identify who you trust, tips on communication and relationships, the importance of forgiveness, why it is important to be curious instead of judgmental, how to give yourself grace, and how to use faith as a means of navigating anxiety.

My story, my gift

You, Me, and Anxiety is more than just my story. It is my gift to the world to hopefully create a ripple effect, a movement, for taking action over anxiety, to decrease the incidence of addiction, decrease the ever-increasing prevalence of deaths by suicide, help families build stronger relationships, and live more joyful, purposeful lives.

You, Me, and Anxiety is now available on Amazon. When I originally sat down to write, I thought I was writing a book for teen girls. But I quickly realized that in order to truly make an impact I also needed to provide information and a tool for parents whose teens have anxiety. And of course, since journaling has been my main tool for navigating anxiety, I created a journal so that readers can take immediate action while reading the book.

And, to try to inspire more people to take action over anxiety, I created merchandise with the action over anxiety logo. We have t-shirts, hoodies, bookmarks, stickers, and coffee mugs to start with.

I’d love for you to head over to Amazon and buy the book and then leave a review. That will, of course, help with creating the ripple effect of more people taking action over anxiety to put more joy in the world.

Links to purchase the books:

Teen Edition You, Me, and Anxiety 

Parent Edition You, Me, and Anxiety 

Journal You, Me, and Anxiety 

And don’t forget, you can also download the free eBook on alleviating anxiety by developing healthy habits for a healthy mind.

Do you want to overcome fear for massive growth in your business?

Do you want to overcome fear for massive growth in your business?

Fear and anxiety can hold you back from building the business of your dreams. If you want massive growth in your business, you need to overcome fear and invest in yourself.

Want to see massive growth in your business? We all do! But first, we have to overcome the fear that is holding us back. The keys to doing so are surrounding yourself with supportive like-minded people and investing in yourself by hiring a coach.

About Suzanne T. Moore, MBA

Suzanne T. Moore knows all too well how living the entrepreneurial roller coaster feels. She’s committed to stopping women from playing Whack-a-Mole with To-Do lists. Instead, she helps them focus on bringing revenue into their businesses using strategy, marketing, technology, delegation, and mindset. Suzanne is the author of Hang On Tight: Learn To Love the Roller Coaster of Entrepreneurship.

Fear of Entrepreneurship will hold you back from massive growth in your business 

Fear can literally make us or break us. It can lead to procrastination, which can lead to paralysis. Fear is not something we experience only in our business, but also in life, in so many ways. Suzanne uses the analogy of a roller coaster as an analogy for fear.

Often as entrepreneurs, we forget how far we’ve come, especially, after fear has held us back along our journey.

Actions to take to overcome fear to achieve massive growth in your business

For Suzanne, the first step in overcoming fear meant connecting with others who are on a similar journey and are as focused on helping her as she is on helping them. To provide a mirror for each other to see how great you are doing because you don’t see it yourself.

Sometimes, we have someone else to remind us that we have accomplished so much. When we support ourselves with others who will remind us of the things we needed to be reminded of.

Second, Suzanne connected her procrastination and concerns with imperfection with depression and anxiety along her journey. Once she saw the connection and was able to name what she was experiencing, she realized she had to get help to overcome the underlying problems, depression, and anxiety feelings. It is so important to recognize our emotions.

Robyn emphasized that as women and entrepreneurs we lose sight of what we have accomplished because we are so focused on what we still must do.

An exercise that can help you recognize all that you have accomplished when feeling down about your business

An exercise to do when you feel like you haven’t meant your goals is to make a list of all the things that you have done. Start with 25 things that you have done well and that has helped your business. Include all the things you’ve done effectively and well, that have made an impact, including the distractions.

Discovering when help is needed to overcome the fear so that you can achieve massive growth in your business

Suzanne shared her experience with a panic attack that landed her in the hospital. It is important to note that there is never shame in seeking help, in fact, it can be freeing. When you have mental health challenges, you and your significant others can’t navigate them alone, and you can’t just “get over it”. Robyn emphasized that she has a chapter in You, Me, and Anxiety that addresses the concept of “get over it”.

When things happen to wake us up

Sometimes, things happen as a wake-up call to slow down and address the underlying issues that are going on in our lives. Suzanne now takes medication, it may not be right for anyone, but it makes her a better person, mother, wife, and entrepreneur. Some people can holistically manage anxiety, but for others, medication may be needed because of chemical imbalances in the brain.

Stop being fearful of investing in yourself so that you can have massive growth in your business 

If we invest in ourselves, there is always a return on investment (ROI). The ROI may be emotional and developmental at first, but then the financial ROI becomes evident.

Even though Suzanne was scared to invest in herself, it paid off every time. Suzanne shared the example of thinking her husband wouldn’t approve of her investing in herself or her business for a more expensive coach, it was really her own fear, and she was using her husband’s perspective as an excuse. Not knowing the ROI is intimidating, but what you learn in the process, is incredible. Confidence, being able to do things you weren’t able to do before, relationships, business-building opportunities, collaborations, and more come out of investing in your business.

Robyn emphasized that we don’t know what we don’t know. Having someone to work with you to discover those things and take action on them is empowering. Accountability is key. If you don’t know what you don’t know, how will you be able to build the foundation for your business? No matter what your definition of success is, if you invest in yourself, you are going to be able to achieve that faster and it will be sustainable.

Download Robyn’s free eBook on Building a Strong Foundation for Business Success.

Suzanne emphasized how much more she knows, how much more confident she is, and how much more she can help her clients through her experience with coaches and investing in herself.

Our beliefs about ourselves are so fundamental to what we can accomplish

Robyn mentioned that with clarity comes confidence. And when you have confidence in yourself, your clients are going to have more confidence in you. Likewise, when you have confidence in yourself you will trust yourself more. When you trust yourself, your audience and clients will trust you.

Confidence is something that when in a place of fear, you think confidence isn’t achievable, but when you get the help you need, you can become confident and convert your audience into clients.

Don’t let fear and imposter syndrome hold you back!

Suzanne’s best marketing tip to achieve massive growth in your business

The most valuable thing that you have as a marketer is your community. And the best way to keep track of your community is to entice them to be on your email list.

There is nothing more valuable to you as a marketer than your email list. Focus on the email list because a warm audience is always where you’ll make the most sales.

Are you ready to change your mindset, navigate the fear and anxiety associated with entrepreneurship and build a strong foundation for success? Let’s chat!

Learn more about and connect with Suzanne:


Book: Hang on Tight


Are you an entrepreneur with anxiety?

Are you an entrepreneur with anxiety?

Let’s talk about navigating entrepreneurial anxiety.

If you are an entrepreneur with anxiety, you may be struggling in many facets of your business, the first, creating a personal brand. Other areas anxiety may be holding you back include being present on social media, creating videos, writing blogs, scheduling sales calls, and building relationships.

It’s also possible that fear resulting from anxiety is keeping you in a cycle of procrastination.

As an entrepreneur with anxiety, I can relate

Talk about the fear of building a personal brand, I can relate! I started my entrepreneurial journey as a photographer and I hid behind my camera. I posted a lot of pretty photos, but they weren’t of me. People that didn’t already know me didn’t get the opportunity to see who I am. This means they didn’t have the opportunity to get to know me, build a relationship with me, or trust me.

This delayed me building a solid foundation for my business, which involves being present, being the face of your brand, differentiating yourself – talking about yourself, and building relationships.

Fear of judgment and people not liking you holds you back. Entrepreneurs have a lot of what-ifs moving around in their brains and it’s hard to break the cycle. It takes intentional action, which we’ll get to in a bit.

The problem with letting these thoughts control us is that we create a negative cycle. We procrastinate, and our business stays small, which can be okay if that is your goal, but staying small is a disservice to those who need your expertise.

Listen to the podcast episode here:

As an entrepreneur with anxiety, you must realize your thoughts will create your results.

This is true. If you are sitting in a cycle of negative thoughts, you will feel down, fear will arise, and other negative emotions. When we have negative emotions, we don’t take action. Procrastination leads to paralysis.

Think of a circle – in my book, You, Me, and Anxiety, I use the example of a Ferris Wheel. Negative thoughts come into our brains and they just keep coming in faster and faster. What if I fail, what if no one likes me, what if no one hires me, what if I make a fool of myself, what if they talk about me, what if they don’t hire me?

We must catch these thoughts as they come in so that we can challenge them. Most of the negative thoughts are irrational. They are unrealistic. If you get into a pattern of changing the negative thoughts, letting them escape from your mind, and letting positive thoughts take over, you will begin to be able to control the thoughts you have. Little by little, gradually, you will have more control over the way you think. Then you will become more confident. As you become more confident, you will have more positive thoughts, less imposter syndrome, more positive, happy, motivating emotions, and will take more action. Collectively, positive thoughts, positive emotions, and actions will produce more results.

How to change your thoughts as an entrepreneur with anxiety

I just provided a summary of my 5 Cs of journaling method for navigating anxiety. To learn more you can read, You, Me, and Anxiety. But something important to note is that if we want it to, our faith can come before our thoughts. We can look to faith to influence our thoughts.

The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:7 to “cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” We can certainly pray and give our anxiety to God. He can help us navigate anxiety if we trust Him and allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts, guide us, and give us patience and wisdom.

In Philippians 4:8 Paul writes “Finally, brothers, [sisters], whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

If we follow Paul’s advice, we will think more positively and hopefully have fewer negative thoughts that result in limiting beliefs, deflated emotions, and inaction.

Yes, anxiety will cause negative, fearful thoughts to creep into the minds of anxious entrepreneurs, but if you are an entrepreneur with anxiety, you can take action to start controlling your thoughts.

It isn’t easy and it takes time. You have to make this a daily practice. Using the 5 C’s journaling method alongside prayer is empowering along with the other strategies I’ll mention shortly.

Start flipping the script in your mind. When a negative what if pops up, change it to a positive what if. I think you’ll see a change in your anxiety levels and you’ll definitely see a change in your productivity and results.

Develop healthy habits to decrease anxiety on your entrepreneurial journey

Everyone, but especially if you are an entrepreneur with anxiety, needs as many tools in their toolbox as possible to navigate the entrepreneurship journey. It is hard. To say entrepreneurship is challenging is an understatement.

But if you are an anxious entrepreneur like me, I think you have additional challenges. It’s harder to navigate the thoughts and control them when you have anxiety. But taking action to change your thoughts and thus your behaviors and actions is key.

Here are a few things you can do to help you navigate your anxiety on your journey of entrepreneurship.

  1. Stop mindless scrolling

One of the best things you can do to decrease anxiety as an entrepreneur is to stop comparing yourself to others who are steps ahead of you. In fact, stop comparing yourself to anyone. You are on a journey of one, a journey of you. God has placed this calling, your purpose, on your heart. He knows that you have the talents, gifts, and abilities to accomplish what he’s called you for.

Be compassionate with yourself, the way you would be compassionate with your best friend. Set realistic expectations, not expectations based on what you see people doing online.

  1. Implement the 5 C’s journaling method for anxiety

    1. Catch
    2. Challenge
    3. Change
    4. Control
    5. Confidence
  1. Step away

    1. When you are feeling anxious, step away from your work. Give yourself time to reset. Go for a walk, read a book, listen to music, get creative, pray, meditate, call a friend whom you know will be a positive light in your day.
  1. Set manageable goals

    1. Be realistic and compassionate when you set your goals. Start with 90-day goals, not annual goals. Break your 90-day goals down into three parts, one per month, and then break those down into three big tasks per month. Doing this will help you stay focused on smaller tasks, get to scratch them off your to-do list, and not become overwhelmed by increased anxiety, which may result in more procrastination.
  1. Create healthy habits

The healthier your lifestyle, the healthier your mind will be.

  1. Eat a healthy well-balanced diet
  2. Exercise
  3. Drink plenty of water
  4. Get 8 hours of sleep each night
  5. Journal
  6. Meditate
  7. Do daily devotions

Download my free guild to alleviate anxiety by creating healthy habits for a healthy mind.

  1. Practice Gratitude

Creating a gratitude practice will help you navigate anxiety. How? Because you will begin to see all of the blessings you have, all of the things you’ve done right, the people who are supporting you or hiring you, and how brave and talented you truly are.

The more you practice gratitude, the more your brain will begin to see the positives around you and in your business and life and you won’t go to that negative place of what-ifs as quickly. This takes time and practice, but it really does help you see the positives even in the worst scenarios in your business.

Case in point. I have recently been on a PR frenzy because my book, You, Me, and Anxiety is publishing on March 15th. A local paper picked up my story. The article went out and there were errors. I could have focused on the errors and been extremely disappointed that the article wasn’t perfect. But I chose to be grateful that the article was published, and more people are going to learn about me and the book, which means more people will have help with navigating their anxiety. And, I took that moment to thank the writer and asked if she could change the digital article. She did. Sometimes, if we can just stay calm and be grateful for the moment everyone wins.

  1. Ditch perfectionism

Perfectionism is going to lead you to procrastination, which will lead you to paralysis. Sometimes, perfectionism begins with comparison, but often, it starts with anxiety and the innate need to do everything perfectly to avoid negative consequences.

Realize that as entrepreneurs, we all do things wrong. And that is the beauty of entrepreneurship. We make mistakes and learn from them. We fail and must pick ourselves up. But if we never make mistakes or fail, we aren’t learning, we aren’t growing, and we’ll never fully know what it’s like to succeed. No one expects you to be perfect. Courteous, yes. Professional, yes. Authentic, yes. But perfect, no!

You aren’t alone as an entrepreneur with anxiety

Anxiety in entrepreneurship is something that people have been talking about for years. When I was preparing to write this article and record it for the podcast I did a little bit of research to see how prevalent the topic was.

The search result produced over 61 million listings on Google. But one stood out. It was from 2017 in Psychology Today written by Chloe Brotheridge. In the article she listed 5 things to help entrepreneurs manage anxiety: self-compassion, taking breaks, meditation, phone boundaries, and procrastination. She doesn’t recommend procrastination but breaking tasks down into manageable items so as not to get so overwhelmed.

Hiring a coach to help you navigate the business decisions and mindset is empowering for an entrepreneur with anxiety

Lastly, I want to leave you with the concept of hiring a coach if you are an entrepreneur with anxiety. Making business decisions is challenging enough, but when you add anxiety to the mix, it can be even more overwhelming.

Instead of trying to navigate your anxiety and your entrepreneurial journey alone, consider investing in someone who can help you with both business and mindset strategies for success.

If you are curious about how I work with my clients and help them navigate anxiety and build a solid foundation for brand and business success, schedule a call with me to see how we can work together to ensure your success.