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How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence

Lesson 14 of 16

The Connection Between Anxiety and Self-Doubt

Mel Robbins

How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence

Mel Robbins

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Lesson Info

14. The Connection Between Anxiety and Self-Doubt
People who are plagued by anxiety and self-doubt often have a negative tape about themselves running through their mind. It’s liberating and empowering when you start taking action and building momentum so you can gain a little ground.

Lesson Info

The Connection Between Anxiety and Self-Doubt

Now I want to talk about the connection between doubt, worry, and anxiety. So, for those of you, you did great, for those of you that are struggling with anxiety, can I see a show of hands of people that are struggling with anxiety. Okay, terrific. Not terrific, I didn't mean to say that it's terrific. (audience laughing) I'm sorry. For those of you that have a mindset issue where you are thinking a, you have a tape that runs in your mind that is negative about you, okay? This next beat will change your life, okay? It is liberating when you learn how to push yourself to try. It really is. It is empowering when you start to see yourself taking action and momentum happening and, you know, that you're gaining a little ground. I mean it is just like amazing. It is magical when you realize, I'll start crying because it's like, that you don't have to listen to the shit that you think, you really don't. And, I for a long time, I mean God, I suffered from anxiety for like 20 years, it was just...

debilitating, totally debilitating. So, I get it and I can tell you because I'm on the other side of it, even though I was afraid I was having a panic attack last night in the middle of the night thinking about teaching you today, that you can stop yourself from worrying all the time and you can curb the anxiety. And when you learn how to do it, it is pure magic. So I want to show you what I've learned. There's a really close connection between doubt, worry, anxiety, and panic. You now understand the research around how confidence gets built, you understand how self-doubt gets you trapped, you see the four traps of doubt and kind of how the thoughts about doubt make you take actions that keep you stuck. I want to show you now how doubt spirals into worry and how that then becomes a situation that spirals into anxiety and if you're like me, it becomes panic attacks. So, self-doubt, we saw, triggers you to some form of action and for most of us the first thing that we do is we start to worry. So you feel insecure or you feel like a fraud or you feel worried about rejection or you feel overwhelmed. And, again, we've learned, you can't control those feelings. Life is gonna throw that at you. So stop trying to get rid of that feeling. The real power is in learning what to do when those feelings happen. For most of us, we default to worrying. There was a study done by Cornell University, it's called the Legacy Project. If you Google it you can find it all online, it was sort of like story core. They went and they interviewed almost 2,000 men and women in nursing homes and what they discovered is that, they discovered something kind of crazy. They wanted to know, okay, what can you and I learn from people near the end of their lives that will help us enjoy our lives more? And when they asked men and women of every single walk of life what it is that they would change if they could change something, if they could go back and do it all over that would have made them happier, one thing that startled the researchers is every single person had literally the same answer. If I could go back and change one thing, they all said I wouldn't have wasted so much of my lifetime worrying. I wish I hadn't done that. Worrying cost me so many opportunities, it cost me so many connections, it cost me so many experiences, I was worrying about things that never happened. And I wish I hadn't done that. And I'm telling you right now you don't have to because just like self-doubt, worrying is a habit. It's something that your mind defaults to when you're not even paying attention and the thing is is that if you worry enough, and you start building enough evidence upstairs, what happens is your body joins the party. That's anxiety. So anxiety is when your body state starts to get agitated to match the things that are going on in your head. That's all that it is. It's terrifying when it happens, but it's all that it is. Now, when that goes unchecked, that state of anxiousness, the armpit sweating, the pit in the stomach, the dryness in the throat, the sweaty hands, you know, shaking your leg, whatever it is that you do, when you get anxious, if that goes unchecked and you keep noodling what's going on, you're actually escalating the situation. And so when you have a panic attack, a panic attack, how many of you have ever had a panic attack, anybody in this room? Yeah, they're awful. A panic attack is when you worry so much and the anxiety goes unchecked that your brain starts to be concerned that's something bad's actually happening. Because it has no context, okay? So the way that I like to explain this is have you ever been in a situation where you almost get in a car accident? Right? And it's like boom! And you're like, ooh, oh my gosh! And the car comes through and nearly sideswipes you and what happens immediately, what happens to you when you're in the car, behind the wheel, and somebody almost hits you? What happens to your body? Body. Yeah. Like I come out of my body or something. Yes. And what about you, Maggie? I start to think about what could have happened. Yes, and anybody else? What else happens? Yeah, you cry, your heart races, (hyperventilating), you might have one of those things. But then something interesting happens, doesn't it? You actually calm down a little bit. Why? Because the car is gone and you're okay and so your mind now can look around and be like, okay, I got it, we almost were killed but we're fine now. (audience laughing) We can calm down, okay? What happens when you have a panic attack is that that whole body freak out thing happens at random. So you'll be standing in your kitchen and you'll be opening up the refrigerator and all of a sudden as you're looking at the orange juice, you have a ooh, oh my God! Like as if a car had come by. And here's the problem. As your brain looks around and says what the heck is going on, it can't see that anything's wrong. And so it gets really worried so it makes something up. And it's usually I'm about to die, I'm having a heart attack, something terrible's about to happen, it's those three things. It's your minds' defense mechanism to try get you out of there because it doesn't know what's coming. And so, somebody that's having a panic attack typically starts to hyperventilate or they pace around, you know, how you pace around like a real weirdo, where you're like I've got to get out of here, I got to get out of here! And you don't even know why. It's your mind literally trying to back you away from where you were physically to remove you from the danger it perceives. Unlike the situation in the car, your brain has context. So it doesn't freak out on you. When it happens at work, your brain doesn't know why so it makes something up. That is the essence. So it starts with doubt, you start to worry, which is the cycling of the thoughts, anxiety is when your body state starts to match the thoughts, and then panic is when it just escalates. So, you know, when I tell you that I struggled from anxiety I really mean it. I mean, they started when I was 19 years old and escalated to the point when I was 21 in law school, that should have been the first sign that I knew I didn't want to be a lawyer, but they were so bad that I went to see a psychiatrist who then asked me to go on meds, I then lawyered with him for six months because I didn't want to go on meds. You know, that's the funny thing. You're a wreck from the mental health issue and yet you're worried that drugs might change you. (audience chuckling) Which I never understood, I mean, but I still did it. So I was so worried that I wouldn't be myself but I'm not myself because I have anxiety. So I finally take Zoloft. It was a miracle drug. If you suffer from anxiety and it is interfering with your life, you should go talk to a professional. The Zoloft was incredible. I took it for, boy, probably, I can't do the math but like seven or eight years and then our first daughter was born so I went off it and then, of course, had horrific post-partum depression, the really scary kind when they won't let you be alone with anybody or with a baby, and you've got to be supervised and be on meds and so as soon as that passed, I went right back on that Zoloft again. And then stayed like that. And about five years ago as The 5 Second Rule had really transformed my life, I made a, I started to ask myself, huh, you know, all these people are writing about how they're curing themselves of addiction and they're using this to address the triggers for PTSD and they are using this with anxiety, I wonder if I could cure myself of anxiety. If I were to study anxiety, if I were to truly understand what it is so it's not so scary. And the other thing is that we have two of our three children suffer from anxiety. And so I think as a mom and a parent, when you see that your kids are suffering, you want to go and help. And so I figured I can't sit here and be on these drugs and then walk my kids to their therapy sessions and tell them, oh, just change the channel on your head, it's no big, calm down, just calm down, breathe, breathe, here we go, here we go, and none of it's working, right? So I went off Zoloft, I started attacking the mindset, attacking it. Any time I would catch myself starting to drift to a worry, I would attack that thought. And I'm gonna teach you how to do it. I also studied what anxiety is and how it works in your body and so I married The 5 Second Rule and how you can change your thinking patterns with the latest research about anxiety and how to control it and curb it. So let me roll that out for you right now because it's really amazing stuff. So first of all, let's talk about the physical symptoms of anxiety. Physically you're aroused, your heart beats faster, cortisol, we mentioned cortisol earlier, that's the stress hormone that releases in your brain that makes the spotlight effect go bigger, your body is in a state where it's preparing for something to happen, it's just a state where it's getting ready. Here is something you need to understand, which explains why the techniques I'm about to give you work. These are the physical symptoms of anxiety. They are also, oops, that's not the thing I wanted, anyway. Typically, I'll show you in a second, typically they're also the same physical symptoms as excitement. So people who experience anxiety are typically told, calm down. Calm down, just calm down, just breathe. And the problem is if you're anxious, you're body's in a state where it's going 100 miles an hour and telling it to calm down is like throwing a boulder in front of a moving train. You're gonna jump the track, you can't slow down that fast. So the better thing is to hijack the train and push it on a different track. So this is what you're gonna do. Instead of trying to calm yourself down, you're gonna change that charged up feeling that you have of anxiety into charged up feelings that are positive. So we're going to trick your body and we're gonna give your mind something to do. Because physiologically, anxiety and excitement are the exact same thing. Let me show you. Here's the physical symptoms again of anxiety. State of arousal, your heart beats faster, you got cortisol running through your thing, your body gets in a prep mode. Physical symptoms of excitement. Chris and I got to go to the Joshua Tree tour, which for somebody who's, you know, 49, that was like amazing. Right before U2 came out and they blasted those videos from my high school years and they were about to, like, ah, I was in a physical state of arousal. Not because Chris was there but because, (audience chuckling) you know, U2 was coming. Heart was beating, cortisol, oh my God, body's like, wait, oh my God, U2's coming! I wasn't having a panic attack, I was excited. My brain had a positive, positive explanation for why my body was freaking out. So nothing escalated. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna take that fact and that science and we're gonna teach you how to use it for your, to your advantage. So, what you do, as crazy as it sounds, we're gonna teach you how to switch gears when you start worrying. So we teach you to stop worrying and to choose what you think about. We're going to teach you how to use this excitement mantra to trick your mind about your nerves so that your brain doesn't find a reason to freak out. This is super powerful stuff for pitching your business. It is really powerful stuff for presenting, for speaking, for videotaping yourself, for selling, because we all get performance anxiety. And so performance anxiety, if you let the cortisol take over your brain, it's gonna hijack your ability to focus on performing well. So we're gonna cut that off. So people often ask me because, you know, I did 121 speeches last year, and a crowd like this but usually five, 10, 20, 2,000 people, biggest crowd in a huge stadium last year. And so when I'm backstage, I'm like freaking out, okay? My body, the pits are sweating, okay? I've got like the thing here and so I use this strategy that I'm gonna, I'm gonna bring you backstage, we're about to go outside, is this the American Airlines Center, Mandy? So we're about to go outside into the American Airlines Center, there's 8,000 people behind that screen. And they're running the preview video so let me show you, do we have volume on this, we do, right? We should, yeah. Okay. Alright, I'm about to go onstage. There are 7,000 people out there! And it's so exciting because what they don't know is they're about to learn The 5 Second Rule and their lives will never be the same again. Now, I've got to tell you, my heart is racing, my armpits are sweating, I have the exact same physiological feeling as when I'm afraid, but I'm not afraid, I'm excited. Excitement and fear is the exact same thing in your body. It's just what your brain calls it. Here's a trick that's proven by science that I use every time I speak. When I start to sweat, when I start to have butterflies, when I start to have my heart race, I say, I'm excited, I'm excited to get out there, I'm excited to talk to these people, I'm excited to share The 5 Second Rule, and what that does is it sends a message to my brain that tells my brain why my body's all agitated and excited. And that way, I don't feel afraid. Remember, excitement and fear, exact same thing in your body. The only difference is what your brain calls it. Go get 'em! So, what's cool about that, so what's cool about this is that the technical term, so there was a study done at Harvard Medical School just a matter of months ago, if you want to read up on this, it's called reframing performance anxiety. And they studied performance anxiety before presentations, before academic, like tests, and before physical races and the people that used the strategy of reframing normal, because remember, feelings are normal, right? Feeling anxious is normal. Letting it hijack you is a choice. When you reframe it as excitement, in every single test the people that used this strategy performed better. And the reason why is because if you let the normal nerves, because when I'm about to go out there and do something kind of cool and kind of fun, so I'm getting ready and that's the body state. If you let that spiral into worry and the cortisol hits, you're not gonna be able to focus on what you need to do. You've just let all of that hijack you. Now it not just works for me, you know, here's Chris, he used The 5 Second Rule before a presentation, used the nervous energy to be excited, it worked! Really, you can even read the surprise in that, can't you? It's like, oh my God! That stupid thing worked, Mel! Here's another one. You know, for those of you that hide, change is gonna always be terrifying. I'm up on stage so outside my comfort zone. I keep telling myself I'm excited, not nervous and, of course, 5-4-3-2-1, just go up, I went up times. She went up and chaired the meeting. And she even got a compliment for how natural she is. Now, I'll tell you from experience that there are times that I've been on set at CNN where I will get that wave of nerves and I am convinced that my face is as bright as a tomato. And I just sit there like I'm so excited for this thing to end, I'm so excited for this thing to end. And when I race to the mirror, which I do, it might be the pancake makeup that's on my face but I'm always shocked because I'm not actually blushing and on fire like I think I am. So, you know, let's talk about how you're gonna use this. So the key with worry and anxiety are what we call anchor thoughts. So, remember in the example with the car, and your brain had an explanation that anchored the experience in the body, and had everything lower? The key to you curbing anxiety is for you to have predetermined anchor thoughts for any situation that trigger your nerves, okay? Because again, the feelings that you feel are natural. If you don't get control of the body sensations and what your mind is thinking about, it will escalate. So we're gonna cut it off at the pass. So anchor thoughts, it got to be, because remember, we learned that anxiety is agitated. It's not a calm state, so don't think of zen. Think of like what excites you, what excites you? It's something that you're excited to do in the very near future. So, for pitching your business, think about how you're gonna feel and how you're gonna celebrate when you actually land funding. And when you're about to walk into a meeting, you have a super specific vision of what that is. Where are you gonna be doing, what are you gonna be drinking, whether its' seltzer or alcohol, who are you gonna be with, and as you feel that anxiousness rise up and you go I'm so excited to get in there and pitch, and then you think about that thing you're excited to do, your brain goes, oh, he's not nervous to go be told no, he's excited to celebrate when they finally land this. So you have cut off the brain escalating things. So it's basically when you feel your body gear up, catch it, take control: 5-4-3-2-1, because we want to cut off all the habits that are embedded right here, we're gonna awaken your prefrontal cortex so you can take control, you're gonna picture an anchor thought with your mind, super specific, you're gonna focus on it, I'm about to give you some examples. And then just quietly tell yourself, I'm so excited, I'm so excited to do this thing. Now, let me give you a specific example of how you can use this and how I used it. So, in addition to suffering from anxiety, I used to be a really nervous flyer. I would be the kind of nutcase that would get to the, you know, the boarding area and I'd be looking around and I'd be looking for, okay, is there anybody old or in a wheelchair, do we have any service men and women, any babies, okay, great! The plane's not going down because God wouldn't let it crash with these people on it, right? (audience chuckling) And I would be coaxing myself onto the plane. And then as soon as I got to the plane I would then click the buckle and I would start to get nervous and the plane would take off and as the plane would be taking off, you know when the plane does that thing where it goes up and then all of a sudden it sounds like it slowing down? I would have a full blown panic attack at that point and I would start freaking out and thinking I am about to die in a plane crash and I would pull out my phone and I would start texting the children, Mommy loves you! Because if I'm about to die I want them to know that the last act as a human being on the planet was to be the best mother I could. And then that way they've got the text so they can put it in the PowerPoint for the eulogy, because they better do one! No, I'm just kidding. And it was miserable, absolutely miserable. So what I do now is all of those things still trigger me. Mandy will tell you, we fly, prob-, some weeks we fly 14 different flights a week, seriously, for the amount of traveling we do for this business. And when something sounds weird or there's turbulence, I get triggered. The feelings are natural. Now I know how to stabilize it though. When I start to feel my thoughts drift, because they drift don't they? They just go right there. I just go 5-4-3-2-1, which brings it right here. It's literally like giving yourself a mental bitch slap. Like, whish, nope. (audience chuckling) And so for those of you that think very disempowering things about yourself, that's what you're going to do when those thoughts drift. You do not have to think that. You don't, 5-4-3-2-1, interrupt that pattern, awaken this, then insert an anchor thought. For me, I am flying home on a red-eye tonight so that I can see my daughter's field hockey game. When I get on that plane, I will already have an anchor thought. That anchor thought is walking up to the turf field at the high school and actually being there and feeling so excited that I made her first game for the varsity season. So when the turbulence hits, which it will, because we're flying back over the Rockies and my brain goes, uh oh, I'll go 5-4-3-2-1, I'm so excited to see that field hockey game, I'm so excited I'm actually making it home, and my mind goes, oh, Mel's not worried about the turbulence, she's actually just excited to get to get to field hockey, move on. So that's how you're going to use it. And you know what happens is every time I share this, we hear almost immediately that somebody has used this. You know, this woman, she used to be so upset, she was so upset on planes that she got on other people's nerves, she learned the thing, it's made a world of difference flying home. Every time I felt the panic I used 5-4-3-2-1. Halfway through the flight, I was looking out the window and taking pictures. I can't believe how much I was missing by being afraid. We all do. We all miss out on way too much and for this next chapter what I wish for all of you is that you go to war against the thoughts that aren't serving you. And if you need help with an anchor thought, the people that you love are always really good ones. Isn't that cute? So, let's start with, is it Sam? Max. Sorry, Max, come on up, give me a hand held. (audience applauding) Give Max, okay. Why are you doing this to me, Mel? Alright, so sit down real quick, let's talk a little bit because I understand that you've changed jobs or something and that you've been dealing with a little bit of anxiety? Yep, that is accurate. Okay, so describe what's happening, when are you getting the anxiety? Sure. So for context, I used to work at a consulting firm. Okay. For two years out of school. And then back in March, I decided to leave. Okay. Without anything lined up. Okay. And at first I think I just needed a break from work and so I didn't even start looking for jobs or anything for a few months after that. Then now, I'm starting to look for jobs and the money is trickling towards zero. I'm like really anxious so I know I need to like get, you know, move forward with like looking for a job and doing things like that. Are you not looking for a job? Are you like also procrastinating on the job search? Yeah. See this is an interesting thing about, about procrastination. So, in researching The 5 Second Rule, I came across this guy in Canada, this professor, who has been researching procrastination for 19 years. (audience chuckling) Just let that sink in for a minute. (audience laughing loudly) And the interesting thing about procrastination is that it has nothing to do with the work you need to do. Procrastination, the reason why we procrastinate is we do it because it's a stress reliever. So, you've got a guy like Max who's under stress because he's got bigger issues of what am I gonna do with my life and my money's running out and my parents are gonna kill me, and I, you know, did I make a mistake, and so he's got these much bigger stressors, and then he has all this stuff that he knows he needs to do and he's capable of doing it but the second you go to sit down this stress weighs you down so you blow off that as a way to give yourself a break from this. And what happens for all of us is that if it becomes chronic the procrastination becomes a form of stress and you start to beat yourself up. Spot on. Wow! Okay, so, I'm so glad, because I can explain this to you. And I think it will really help you. So, you're probably a very successful guy. You know, you did really well in school and you got a great job that you just didn't really like, it depleted you. And so this is probably the first time in your life that you're feeling stuck and like you don't know what to do. Yep. And the anxiety is extremely debilitating when that hits. Because it's scary. And so let's talk about the procrastination first, okay? Let's break that down. So, the only way to break the habit of procrastinating, and it's good news because it's super simple, is first of all, you're way too hard on yourself. So the first thing that you have to do, most procrastinators are really, really hard on themselves and that adds to the stress. And so not only are you in this situation where it feels like you're in quicksand, but you're also beating yourself up because you're in it. So the first thing you have to do is, as dumb as this sounds, is you've got to forgive yourself. So when you catch yourself procrastinating, you got to go, you know what, Sam, you made some choices, you've stressed out, you've blown this off, I totally get it, totally forgive you, now we're just gonna deal with it. Then you need to have a starting ritual. A starting ritual that triggers you to get going, 5-4-3-2-1. After you hit one, you're gonna work for five minutes. That's it! Five minutes. Because it's easier to start and just do a chunk. And then what we know is the numbers are kind of crazy, more than 80% of you will keep going. Because it's the getting started that's harder, getting over that emotional hurdle with beating yourself up, triggering yourself to sit down and get out of the cycle of spinning, and actually push a little forward. So that's what you're gonna do with procrastination. You know, what you could do is you can make a list of all the things that you need to do. So let's come up with five things right now. What do you need to do to really get on this job search? So, I made some good progress this week already. Awesome! I'm reaching out to. Yes!! (audience applauding) So I've been reaching out to various people, Great. who might work at companies Great. that I'm interested in, that have roles that I'm, that I would like, you know, would like to learn more about potentially so. Awesome, fantastic! That's what I'm focusing on right now. Are you also reaching out to your network? Yeah. So I'm reaching out to people like in my network. Okay, okay. And then like, Great! trying to get connected to, so I have like a list of companies Terrific! And types of roles that I am looking for so. Awesome! So every single day, I want you to do that. I also want you once a week to go to an event. And when you feel yourself backing away from it, 5-4-3-2-1, work for five minutes. Okay? Because we've got to start building that habit of actually moving forward, moving forward, moving forward. Now let's talk about anxiety. So for you, it's, you probably when you're in a situation where you have a lot of evidence built up that things are bad, and you know, you said the thing about the money dwindling? You can find yourself escalating the worries and so what you've got to do, let's come up with an anchor thought. When you land a job, how are you gonna celebrate? I might go out to a nice dinner with my girlfriend. Okay, where's your, what's the restaurant, like what's your favorite restaurant? I don't know, I'm gonna say Central Kitchen. Okay, Central Kitchen. Where do you live, in New York? I live here. Oh, is there a Central Kitchen in New York? Oh, I don't know, whatever. Sorry, ADD is kicking in. I may be thinking of the wrong one. So you are, so you're gonna go out and you're gonna have this great dinner. And what's your girlfriend's name? Brooke. Brooke, okay. And then you and Brooke are gonna walk back home, it's like gonna be amazing. And you're gonna be so proud of yourself. So every time that you catch yourself go uh-oh, 5-4-3-2-1, I'm really excited that I was brave enough to quit that job and that I'm about to get something really cool. And then think about like the toast or like whatever, okay? Okay. And you might have to do it 57 times everyday. Because what we're doing is we're retraining a habit. We're retraining automatic behavior. Remember that stupid example I gave earlier about trying to teach myself how to put my leg in with my left leg into my jeans first? You're doing that with your thoughts. So instead of letting your thoughts go down the mode of uh-oh, which then creates the anxiety, because you have a lot of evidence, which is why your heart races and all that stuff, we're gonna cut it off, 5-4-3-2-1, and you're going to give your mind something that stabilizes your thoughts and then you're gonna get back to work. Okay. Yes. And the other thing that you could do is if that's not visual enough, think about the worst day at your job. (audience chuckling) Okay. Okay, just so you got that, he got that one fast. He's like, oh, I know that day. And then your anchor thought could be 5-4-3-2-1, I am so excited I am not at that hell hole anymore. You know what I'm saying? Like you could do that one too. Because your mind will go, and it's got like just really specific image, because then your mind buys it. Okay. Okay? Yep. Does that help? Yeah, that makes sense. You feel a little bit better? Yeah. Okay, good, awesome. Awesome. Let me know how it goes. Yeah, I'll definitely let you know. Okay, alright. Thank you. (audience applauding) Alright, I want to do one more. What do you mean no? Yes. That's not an option. Come on. Come on, darling. Come on, Maggie. Come on. My clothes don't match. Your clothes don't match? No. What does that mean? I shouldn't be up here. You shouldn't be up here because your clothes don't match? Okay, what else? What else are you worried about? Well. Let me see where I am in my presentation here. (audience chuckling) Okay good! What? We're gonna end on a high note with you. Okay, cool. Okay, good. So. So I'm having an anxiety attack right now. Awesome! Okay, awesome. What's happening in your body? I can't breathe. Okay, that's not good but. I can't swallow. Okay, what else? Teary. Great, what else? My heart's racing. Okay, what else? I have to shoot 1,500 kids. Oh, you mean photograph, she doesn't mean, okay, let's, let's, let's. (audience laughing) She is a photographer that has been taking photographs of kids for 30+ years. And you also have anxiety? Correct. Okay. And how is anxiety, other than the fact that it is really uncomfortable and scary to feel, how is it impacting your day-to-day life? I, like I said, I have 1,500 kids to shoot in the next, to photograph in the next couple of months. Yeah. And I can't even like move, like I'm just gonna do it all on the whim, which is how I always do it, but I'm never like happy at the end of it. Gotcha. Because I like photographing the kids but then everything else is like I just procrastinate, don't do it, and then up doing it that night and it's just crazy. Gotcha. So what did you get out of the conversation that we just had about the procrastination? Did you see the connection between the stress that you feel and the reason why you procrastinate? For sure, yeah. Okay. And so does the coaching around the starting ritual and getting started help? Yes. What are three things that you're gonna do tomorrow that you would normally procrastinate on that actually will set you up. Make the posters. Okay. Call the schools. Yeah. And. That sounds like a lot. Can you actually get that many posters done in one day? I need to get one. See, good! And then I just disperse them throughout the schools. Oh, you just need to do one. Okay, great, great. Okay. So let's just do the poster tomorrow. Okay, cool. That's it. Alright. And when you catch yourself hiding, hesitating, being hypercritical, or feeling helpless about the whole thing, uh, it's not gonna matter, mah muh ugh mah uh, 5-4-3-2-1, get started, okay? Okay, cool. Now, what typically triggers your anxiety because you seem better. Yeah. So it was just a wave? So do you experience just these waves that kind of debilitate you or is it anxiety that stays with you throughout the day? No, it's waves. Waves? Definitely. Okay, cool. Well, not cool, but it's, the reason why I say cool is because all we need to teach you to do is to not be afraid of them when they come. Okay. So, if you could, when a wave of anxiety comes up, because honestly for somebody that doesn't like to be in front of people, it is normal to feel how you feel. Okay. And so if you don't take that wave and turn it into something scary, you can say it's normal and you don't have a choice because your body's doing what it does and then you can choose what you think and how you act. You're sitting here talking. Yeah. You are certainly stabilizing a little bit and so to me it's about you developing this ability to have your body do what it does and not go scary on it. So what do you normally say to yourself when the anxiety wave comes? I'm gonna pass out. Okay. So let's come up with something different. Okay? Okay. What if we called it something funny? Okay. Because, you know, the advice gets so heavy, let's call it something really funny. How about, oh my God, I can't believe I just thought of this. Okay. (audience chuckling) What about you go oh, my worries are just farting. You know, like you just come up with, see, she's laughing. It's a kid thing. Right, it's such a kid thing. That's what I would say to a kid. Yes. So it's because we've handed you the science so it's not a dumb thing to day. Your body is doing something automatic. You're about to experience something new. You feel a little bit of stress. You do, like, it's, your body has been hard-wired to fart on you like that. (audience chuckling) And so if you were to have a little bit of levity about it. Yeah. Luckily it doesn't smell when you have anxiety, right? So it's like a silent but deadly. Right. So we're gonna like just laugh at it. So what I want you to do is really try and be like, oh, okay, I'm farting again, here we go. It's not a stretch. Yeah, it's not a stretch she says. It's a, I think that it will take that grip that it has on you away. There are a couple of other things that help. I'll talk about this in just a minute but when the alarm rings, get up. Don't lie in bed. If you're somebody with anxiety, lying in bed, terrible thing to do. The second thing is you should 100% try to do some sort of physical activity everyday. Yeah, I do. Oh, you do, okay, good. But the thing is that I had shoulder surgery so my physical activity went down and the doctor basically told me when you shoot these kids, you're gonna. Photograph these kids. Photograph these kids. You're gonna be in pain and you just have to accept that because you're just re-injuring what I did to you. Yes, yes. So, like, I'm getting anxious like I'm gonna be in pain everyday and I'm gonna. And so like I just have to like, oh, here, I'm talking to you. Yes. Right? Yes. Stay there. You could also do this. You could also since we know that the pain thing is triggering anxiety, so when you identify the triggers, now we're gonna match an anchor thought to it. Okay. So when you feel yourself go, oh, uh-oh, I'm gonna be in pain, 5-4-3-2-1, and think about like what's a kid, like, is there like a funny kid or some memory that you have that just makes you laugh? Yeah. That one. Okay. And be like, I'm so excited to get back in there. The other thing that you can do is you can actually just start carrying your camera around your house as a way to engage with the PT now. Right. And so that's another thing that you can do. Okay. Is there anything else that's triggering your anxiety? Yeah, I don't like to be around people. None of us? (audience chuckling) Did anyone eat lunch with her? Yes. Was it painful? Yes. Why? I just always just think people are gonna find me out. What are we gonna find out about you? That I'm. But yeah, seriously, what are you? Not really a photographer. You're not really a photographer but you've been shooting kids for 30 years. Okay, what else? (audience chuckling) That I have a lot of anxiety. Welcome to the club. What else are we gonna find out about you? Just, I mean, not good things. Like what? Are you for real? Absolutely! (audience laughing) Absolutely! If you have the guts to say this garbage to yourself in your head, at least say it out loud to us. Okay, so one thing that causes me anxiety and I get it when I'm around people is that I don't have children. Okay. And so it seems to me like in life, like I'm around people all the time and they say, oh, do you have kids? Yeah. And I always get this like, no. Okay. Like in this hurtful thing inside me. Because you're disappointed and sad about it? Correct. Okay. That's alright. It's okay. Thanks. No, I mean, I'm serious. Like, if that's something that if, if you always wanted to have children and you didn't or couldn't or whatever it is that happened, then that is, there's two things about that. One is to have a level of self-acceptance for yourself and to come up with a mantra for when that happens so that you automate the response so you don't get triggered. The second thing you can do, and I know this is gonna sound really out there, is that if it's really that incomplete for you, investigate, and maybe you already have, other options to being a parent. Well, I think I do that, like, within my work and my coaching and stuff that I do. Right, but, maybe there's a level to which you could do it in a way that heals that for you. Whether it's fostering kids or it's adopting children, because there's so many kids that need a home. For sure. And there's no, and if that's something that actually helps you, then I just have this instinct that that's something that you should explore. And see, again, this is like one of those things where if there's something about your life that depletes you, and clearly this really does deplete you, that move toward things that energize you, which are ways to really engage with kids. And you do that in your coaching and in your photography but if you allowed yourself the courage to try and investigate what would it look like if I fostered kids? What would it look like if I adopted kids? Or siblings that were a little older? Like, what does that look like and does that in some way help heal me? Okay. The other thing is that I worry about, is because I do have PTSD, and so going through like the anxiety and not being able to breathe, and then I just start thinking of all the things that created that to begin with. So I'd like to just like. Anchor thoughts are critical for you. And also, PTSD are all about the triggers. For sure. So identifying what you probably have in therapy, what are the triggers that trigger this. Yeah. And then coming up with anchor thoughts. They call this AB planning in research where if you have, if X happens, then Y. People that set that up for dieting and for other goals, I can't remember what the statistic is but it increases the likelihood of being successful in remarkable ways. So part of what happens for anxiety and PTSD is that you're caught flat-footed because you don't have a plan for when it hits you. And so for you, if you take all your triggers and you come up with what you're gonna do with anchor thoughts and the fart that happens. Uh huh. When it gets triggered, seriously. No, I know what you're saying. Like I'm saying that like. For real. You'll be ready to roll. Okay, cool. Okay? Yeah. You look great. Thanks. Like, do you see how she's shifted? Okay, awesome! Thank you for coming. Give me a hug, get over here. You're not running away from me. (audience applauding) Thank you. And I know you don't like hugging people because, was that, she kind of gave me the, but you did it anyway. I love you for that. It was the shoulder. Oh, the shoulder! Did I hurt you? I didn't hurt you? Okay, okay, thank you. Okay, awesome, you're a great sport. Okay, so any questions? Anybody want to share what their next chapter is? Yes? Rockstar! Thank you. I decided that if I don't confess my next chapter I'm not gonna do it so. Ohhh! And I decided that my next chapter will have CreativeLive in it. I didn't know about this center and I'm an attorney and I just love you so I came here following you but my next chapter was about writing a book and I was like, it's interesting what this creative center what would it be like? And as I'm sitting here I believe that my next chapter should be the book and to present it at CreativeLive. Fantastic! Wow! That's awesome, well done! Now I'm committed to it. (audience applauding) Okay, awesome. Danny, what about you? What's your next chapter? Get up, yes! I got this little mic on. Here come on up. Is this thing on? Yes, come on up. Alright. Hi. Hi. Oh, where to begin? Are you ready for this? Yes, I am ready for this. Are you guys ready for this? Well, I don't know how far back you want me to go but this year has been big. Okay. It's been big. Had I, a lot of things have changed since a little less than a year ago. I was engaged to be married and that did not happen. Obviously, very painfully. She decided to go, yeah, she decided to go a different direction about a month before the wedding. Okay. That obviously just as it for anybody that would just shake things up a bit. Very public. Turned my life upside down. In what way? Just emotionally and it made me reassess everything that I was doing. I was with the California Dental Association, worked there for 11 years, great job. Was it a passion of mine? No. I didn't have a passion for dentistry but my position was event planning. Okay. Doing meetings and conventions, things like that. So, but again, it wasn't, I wasn't, I didn't wake up energized. Right, right. I was more or less depleted. Okay. Living by somebody else's rules of how I should, how I should be living my life or the limit to which I could live my life. You know, I want to say something here. Isn't it interesting how something really painful like when the rug gets ripped out from under you, how it can actually upset your life in a really good way? And that's exactly what has happened. Awesome! I often tell people now that, the worst, literally the worst experience of my life has somewhat become one of the best experiences of my life. Me too! Isn't that how it works? Yeah, it's pretty amazing because if that didn't happen, this whole year has just been about personal growth, mindset, like, eating it up. I'm just soaking it up and that's how I found you, I mean. And if that didn't happen, I was living just in a comfort zone for years and years and years and just trying to keep the relationship together. Which, it was a great relationship, so I thought. Maybe not. Maybe not. But who knows where I would have been if would have stayed in that relationship. I was living just in that comfort zone, I did not strive to be anything more than I was at that time. So what's the next chapter? So what are you getting out of, what did you, why did you come here today? Like what did you want to get out of today? I think just my own habits and me getting out of my own way. Okay. To succeed in the business that I've transitioned to so. Great. Because of all this and because of this reassessment of life, at the beginning of the year I quit my full-time job. Again, just because I was re-evaluating everything and I was no longer, the decisions I was making now didn't affect anybody else, it was all me. Right, okay. Worst case scenario, I go back to doing the same thing that I was doing. Yes. Nothing lost, everything to gain. Yes. So some of you are at that kind of fork in the road where you can have the chance to go for your dream life or wake up in, you know, stay, stay where you're at right now and wake up 20 years from now in that same exact position. Think about the possibilities there. Yeah. I think about where do you really want to go and that's what I did so I shook things up, I did do that. I had enough money saved up to be able to take a year off and really focus on myself. So what's still holding you back? What have you learned today? What have I learned today? Yeah, like what is the thing that you are? I hesitate. You hesitate? I hesitate. Okay. And then I will get in my own head, I over, you know, maybe over-analyze some things. Yeah. And think that it has to be perfect before you really are successful or go. And my goal is to just influence others. I now work for myself. I'm building my own business. Awesome. Through, it's a network marketing business but it's health and wellness and it's really changing lives and I'm changing lives and I just want to be that, I just want to be on a level that's so far up there. My goals are set so high. And I just want to help as many people as I can. Terrific! Through these, through these amazing products and whatnot. Awesome! Because it helped me, I lost 35 pounds. You did? On this stuff. Wow! And it was also, you know, and that was 2 1/2 years ago I had been on the products but that changed my life and now I was able to just make that transition. So what does it mean to go to the next level? So it's one thing to, and this is what I want you all to think about, because when we come back we have a very short amount of stuff to cover and I want to end on a high note and I want to give you guys five practices that build confidence. And I also want to show you a journaling thing that I do that's really changed some things for me. So that you leave here, oh, with more tools. But really, what does the next level look like? For me, it means doing my own events. It means actually having a talk show. It means doing more projects, getting off the road, like there's all this stuff that scares me to death that I know I want to be doing. What is it for you if you think past what this level is and what's to the next one so that you can declare it and we'll go to break. Having the strong confidence in building other leaders within my field and a team, an amazing team of people. Gotcha. That will help other people. So for you, and this may be go for some of you, and Val talked about this earlier, it's actually, he's come a long way in the individual game. Now it's about how does he show up even bigger as a leader that inspires other people? And this goes to the coaching that you got, which is, it's not about training, it's about demonstrating. Always. Awesome! Alright, back to you. (audience applauding)

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers. 


  • Use Mel Robbins’ five-second rule to stop negative thoughts and change your life for the better.
  • De-escalate anxiety and agitation.
  • Create mental scripts that help you overcome typical situations that get you into trouble and prevent you from acting.
  • Overcome your mental blocks and change the way you think about things.


Are you plagued by the imposter syndrome—thinking that your accomplishments aren’t real and that you’re secretly a fraud and a failure? Do you have crippling anxiety and bad habits that are ruining your chances of achieving your goals? Does your low self-esteem and negative past experience influence your thought patterns? Do you fall into the trap of self-pity that keeps you from seeing positive outcomes? If so, you’re definitely not alone.

If you want to get over these persistent, sometimes agonizing problems so you can gain a new perspective and make real, positive changes in your life, this course can help you do it. Mel Robbins is one of the most sought-after motivational instructors in the world. She’s been trusted by global brands to design and deliver life-changing, interactive experiences that inspire change, challenge thinking, encourage self-love, and accelerate personal and professional growth.

This class will help you:

  • Understand the science behind how self-doubt effects you.
  • Learn and discover ways to overcome self-doubt and have fewer negative emotions.
  • Build your self-esteem and competency skills.
  • Shed your irrational fears, stop undervaluing yourself, and quiet the inner critic.
  • Get out of your comfort zone, quiet the negative voices, and stop practicing habits of hesitation.
  • Stop hiding, being hypercritical, and feeling helpless so you can move forward and discover the path to achieve your creative endeavors.

Mel will give you concrete, actionable advice and steps you can practice to help you stop living with the constant worry that plagues and cripples your daily life. By showing you how to overcome self-doubt and build self-confidence, Mel will help you build the confidence you need to realize your dreams, whether it’s starting your own business, losing those 15 pounds that are weighing you down, or finding true love from a partner. After this class, you’ll better understand your patterns, what to do to break unhealthy habits, act with courage, self-compassion, and overcome self-doubt so you can get what you want out of life.


  • People from all walks of life, even successful people, who want to overcome the self-doubt and the fear of failure that is holding them back and preventing them from accomplishing their dreams.
  • Those who want to gain more self-confidence so they can go after what they’re worth in their career.
  • People who want to develop stronger, deeper and more meaningful relationships and be their best self.


Michal Levi

Let me start by saying I bought a book of hers and could not get through it. I just tuned in live today out of curiosity.. with low expectations. BUT WOW. THIS WAS FANTASTIC! As someone who teaches professionally (and has won teaching awards), I have to say I was in AWE of what a great teacher she was. Also, while she is not a licensed therapist, which some have complained about, she is so gifted in this area. WOW she has a talent! Watching her with individuals from the audience was moving, informative and inspirational! UTTERLY AWESOME! Truly glad I took the time just in case there was any value to it. THERE WAS IN FACT A LOT OF VALUE! Thanks Mel! Hey, I may even try to pick up that book of yours again. BRAVO!

Go2 Norway

Wow! The science-behind-typical-human-behaviors that fuel self-doubt AND clear ways to understand how to acknowledge those, and move into confidence-through-action. Easy and interesting ways to remember the points! Marvelous presenter skills -- a real model, and inspiration. Actual coaching sessions within the class to make it real. Mel is totally herself, and vulnerabilities become her strength in real-time, which class participants also lived out in real-time as well. Very memorable. And, the explanation of anxiety as a high energy state matching excitement more than calm was significant, as well as the myths about confidence (such as confidence is not about a personality; rather, action). Well organized, made sense, and I will integrate multiple parts daily! THANKS, MEL!!!

Wild Flower Murals

I'm training to be a life coach and have been a public muralist for years. I've been researching creativity, self initiated empowerment and positive psychology from various angles for many years- in hopes to make it accessible to many. I initially came across Mel's book and was wholly impressed by how effective yet simple the 5-4-3-2-1 book was. I am so glad I took this course, it is the best of the best of the best!!!