809: Fear, Anxiety, and Imposter Syndrome

Listener-favorite, my husband Chris, is back for another podcast episode where we answer your questions (and announce the winner of the Saturday Giveaway!).

(03:35) How do I work through my fears and do the thought work to get beyond them?

Your fear is faith in the wrong ‘what if’. This idea comes from a Steven Furtick sermon; he says that ‘what if’ works both ways. If you’re afraid of the dentist, for example, and what-ifs are circling your mind, asking what if it hurts, what if I have a cavity, what if my dental work costs a lot of money? 

That fear can be very real to us but what we have to remember is that those what-if questions work both ways! There is a whole other side to explore. 

What if it doesn’t hurt? What if during your visit you meet someone and a conversation turns into a new opportunity? What if you feel great after your visit? Don’t put your faith in the wrong what-if.

I have a long time fear of needles. I despise needles but I decided to see an acupuncturist. How do I handle those fears about everything that can go wrong, with detailed thoughts of how painful and terrible the experience will be? 

I see fear as a doorway. I can stand on one side of it, telling the worst version of the story, or I can decide to live on the other side. I can agonize about the experience of being stuck with needles or I can ask different questions. What if acupuncture accelerates my healing? What if the experience cures my fear or needles?

Experiencing fear is different than experiencing danger. One is an innate, healthy response that helps us avoid harm. The other is a result of what we tell ourselves in our minds. I like to think about these thoughts as music tracks and I am the DJ. I can play myself a better song, a more helpful song.

(9:00) How do you curb Covid anxiety?

I am not an expert on Covid or virology or anything like that. My approach to dealing with Covid anxiety has been to focus on doing what is within my realm of control. I choose to focus on the brilliant machine that is my body to protect me. I choose to focus on improving my immune system.

There is no doubt that individuals with more robust immune systems are more protected against threats of illness, against viruses, the flu, bacteria. 

There is so much we can do to improve our immunity and get healthier. Quell the anxiety over the things you can’t control, like the existence of a global pandemic, with the things you believe will help you and that you can control, like wearing a mask, washing your hands, and improving your health.

From the very moment I realized that Covid was a thing, my family pivoted to limiting exposure and focusing on health, including things like sleeping, eating well, and supplementation. Those things go a long way. We don’t have to perseverate about the worst version of the story. Use your energy for what you can control.

This is just one woman’s opinion, but I aim to live fully and take care of my health, the rest is out of my control.

(14:30) How does one stop imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome comes from the notion that you don’t know enough or that you’re not smart or experienced enough to do what you’re doing, and you feel like a fake or a phony. This fear of not being good enough is rooted in comparison, fear, and insecurity, but it’s also rooted in the belief that having room to improve is a bad thing. This kind of thinking puts you at a deficit.

I could write a mile-long list of my competitors who have more clients, podcast downloads, and revenue than me, but I don’t because this kind of thinking is pointless. These comparisons have nothing to do with what I uniquely can do today. This doesn’t mean that I try to hide or ignore my weaknesses. My weaknesses are either opportunities to improve or they are simply facts that are reflective of where I am. I own them; I talk about them.

You will suffer from imposter syndrome if you are ashamed of your vulnerabilities, if you think they are somehow a liability. I don’t see my vulnerabilities as a liability I just see them as facts.

It’s cliche but true, comparison is the thief of joy—and it’s optional. We all have weaknesses, I don’t think we should hide them. My peers are where they are and that has nothing to do with where I am.

It really comes down to where your focus is. So get over feeling like an imposter by getting out of the realm of comparison.

(20:32) Why Can’t I be consistent?

You’re asking the wrong question. 

When we ask ourselves a rhetorical question, our brains automatically attempt to answer it, to give evidence and proof. Your brain is always on and working. So if you ask yourself a question like this, why can’t I be consistent, then your brain is going to give you a list all of the reasons, because you make excuses all the time, because you can’t say not to sugar. 

The problem is that this process reinforces the very thing you are trying to overcome. You’re asking the wrong question, solving for the wrong thing.

A more powerful question would be, what does it look like today to be consistent?

People tell me they want to be more consistent but when I push them to break that idea down and define it, they can’t. They tell me “I want to eat better” and “I want to work out more” but that is not specific. That tells me nothing about what consistency looks like for them.

When you say that nothing works (“what’s wrong with me?!”) you are focused purely on the problem, not the solution. Ask a different question. What does consistency looks like specifically and what you can do today?

I recently did a free training workshop on this, the replay of which is available on www.primalpotential.com/transform, where I talked about how people get stuck thinking that consistency is an aspiration. It’s not. For more specific examples, I go into a ton of detail in this workshop on the specific process for becoming consistent.

(23:13) Do you do a famous diet plan like Weight Watchers?

Short answer: No. I don’t like the notion of following someone else’s rules when it comes to food. I don’t believe in one-size-fits-all eating plans. 

Because of shifts and fluctuations, our bodies require different amounts of calories, day to day. The diet that serves me on a day where I got a lot of sleep may not be as effective on a day where I didn’t sleep well. And that’s is just one of many factors that can affect what food choices I make.

Beyond that, my goal right now is not about fat loss, but feeling amazing. To feel amazing, lately my food choices have been largely centered around whole foods, minimizing sugar, processed foods and starch, and eating veggies, plant-based fats, and proteins.

(25:35) When is the best time to eat carbs? Do I have to go 100% Keto?

My only answer I can give to this question is I don’t know. I can’t answer that question without knowing what your goals are, what your habits are, or what your exercise regimen is. It’s not fair to compare different people with varying extremes of lifestyles.

The best time to eat carbs is personal, it depends on an individual’s goals, their metabolism and body composition. For example, If you’re training for a marathon in the morning, then, yes, replacing glycogen stores around that time makes sense.

To the second question, what exactly is 80% Keto? In this episode, Chris and I joke that if you are 80% vegan then you are in fact 0% vegan. But seriously, like Chris says, you don’t have to do anything.

You can lose weight on any diet. You can lose weight as a vegan, pescatarian, vegetarian, on a keto diet, using Weight Watchers or the golden rules of carbs and fat loss, so no, you don’t have to go 100% Keto.

30:33: Announcing the Saturday Giveaway Winner

To win next Saturday’s giveaway, leave a review of the Primal Potential podcast on Apple Podcasts, review Chasing Cupcakes on Amazon, or share an episode or lesson that you’ve learned on Instagram or Facebook (be sure to tag me)!