A little over a year ago, I left my business - one that defined me for the better part of fifteen years. At first I was exhilarated by all the possibilities that lay ahead - and then, oh so inevitably, the fear set in.
If you were watching on social media over the last year, you would have seen me volunteering in orphanages in Peru and hiking in the Andes, watching the sunrise over Angor Wat in Cambodia, driving through the Canadian Rockies and even breaking a board with my bare hand in Vegas.
What most people don’t know, what you wouldn’t have seen, is that I did all of that while dealing with massive and often debilitating anxiety - especially in the middle of the night. Falling asleep has always been a struggle but staying asleep never used to be. I’ve even slept through an earthquake once.
All of a sudden there were countless night where I’d wake up at 2 or 3am and stare at the ceiling for hours at a time, each time worrying about anything and everything.
I spent a lot of time watching Netflix in the middle of the night, taking bubble baths and hoping I’d fall back asleep before my alarm went off.
I now know that each time it happened it was because I was avoiding dealing with something - a fear I wasn’t willing to face, an action I was too afraid to take, belief that was stopping me before I could even get started.
Today, it’s a bit better. It doesn’t happen nearly as often and when it does, I find myself asking these questions:
1. What am I feeling now?
2. What am I avoiding?
3. What must I do but don’t want to?
I keep a journal on my nightstand. Writing has always helped me work out whatever it is that I need to. Often, when I have the courage to admit the answers - even if it's just to myself and my journal, I almost always find falling back to sleep easy and effortless. When that doesn't work, I use a gentle hypnosis to help me drift back into restful sleep.
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