Episode 125 Overcoming anxiety to perform at a high level

The latest episode of Her Empire Builder podcast has just dropped, and it’s all about my personal journey with anxiety, and how I’ve learnt to overcome the overwhelm when it all gets too much.

Being business owners, anxiety is inevitable. It’s also something you shouldn’t run away from. I want you to remember that you are not alone and I want you to remind yourself that you are capable of being exceptional and stepping outside of your comfort zone. You have the power to see that anxiety, recognise it and work through it so that you can perform at a high level consistently and go and get your dreams.


In this episode, you will learn: 

  • How I recognise my anxiety 
  • How I create a plan to work through
  • How I don't let it stop me in my tracks from chasing my dreams, and how I want the exact same for you!


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Show Notes:


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Show Transcription: 

As business owners, having that feeling of anxiety isn't something that we should feel and run from. It's something that will occur. And give us that moment of pause so that we can ask ourselves, is this something that is pushing ourselves too far out of our comfort zone and we should pull back? Or, is it something that we need to go inward and discover that next level within ourselves, so that we can conquer that fear and rise above and go to that next level. And in this episode, that's what I'm going to be exploring.


Hello, I'm Tina Tower, and you're listening to her Empire Builder. For my first decade of business, I thought grinding and hustling and working harder than everyone else was my path to success. It was pretty successful by a lot of measures, but it led to burnout and adrenal fatigue. Then, when I travelled around the world, on my family gap year, I discovered the simplicity and the reach of online business, and I completely fell in love. You have so much knowledge and expertise that's within, and I want to help you to package that. So you can also help to lift others up. So how do you build a thriving million dollar business based on everything that's in your mind, this is her Empire Builder, the podcast.


Overcoming anxiety, I think, is one of the most important skills as a business owner. And it's something that people have all different views on. And depending on what sort of background you come from, or whether you are a psychologist or not, I will preface this by saying I am not a psychologist.


I am intrigued by neuroscience and psychology, especially the psychology of performance. And I have had to work on overcoming anxiety a lot through my life. And this week, it reared its head in a massive, massive way. That it's been a couple of years. And since since I've kind of been been thrust into that massive onset of anxiety, and I thought it would be really helpful to share how I work my way through that because I know that through my business years, I have seen a lot of people that I have looked up to as being further along in their business journey than I am and doing the things that I wish I could do. And one of the best things that I learnt as I've progressed through my business journey and gotten to know a lot of my idols, and a lot of my mentors is everyone goes through it. And we kind of have this thing in our head in going we can't let other people see our insecurities and see our anxieties, because they may not respect us as much, or they may not think that we then have the ability to serve them the way that we're saying we are. But the one thing that I really think is that the more acceptable it can become, the more we're actually empowered to go after our our dreams and try big things. Because often we can get in the state of anxiety, and feel like it is wrong, like feel like you know what, I'm going through this thing that nobody else goes through. And so I have to turn back, go the other way, like that stop sign wrong way, go back. And it's just, it's not the case. And I think if people were more open about that, then we would be able to see that hang on a minute. Anxiety is this thing that we go through. That's just a feedback mechanism in our brains. And it's totally fine, and totally inevitable. And so I want to be able to tell you today about my own journey with anxiety, and how I get through it when it comes up because I look at my life now. And I look at the things that I deal with now. And it's been 17 years since I started my own business and my son started his business a couple of weeks ago. And it was this really beautiful thing and seeing how raw you are and how you know beginner you are when you first start and going oh my gosh, like I remember the day that I started my first business I remember how nervous I was how Oh how I knew nothing. All the things that I know now. I only know them because I've been through them. I only know them through experience through trial and error through making so many mistakes through putting myself through so many situations that I've been so incredibly uncomfortable in, so that I can prove to myself that I can do hard things. And it means that each time I push through that level of anxiety to go to the other side that I can know, unequivocally inside of my mind and inside of my body that I can do the things that I want to do. Because so much of business success is this mind battle, right? It's this, this battle between the two sides of our brain in one part of us going, I have this dream. And I know I can do it, I can see it, I can do this, I can do that. I have all of these ideas. And I know this is what I want in my heart of hearts. I know my why I know the impact I want to make. I know the people I want to serve, I can do this. It's that side battling with the other side that says, I don't think I can. I'm frightened of doing that. What if I stuffed up? What if I make a fool of myself? What if I don't recover from this? What if I'm not okay, I haven't done this before all of the other things. And it's this constant balance between those two sides. And it's which side of that wins will determine how well you perform and how proud of yourself, you feel.

And so it comes up. And it's absolutely inevitable. And this is what I want you to know that when we do get this onset of anxiety, it's not something that we should be scared of. It's not something that we should be disappointed by. And I know that's what I can get to sometimes is, is when I get in these states of anxiety and overwhelm, I can get really disappointed in myself, I can get into this state where I'm like, you know what, Tina, you're better than this, you've been through this before, I thought we've dealt with this, you should just be able to go Yes, recognise it move on. And I can get really disappointed in myself that I will lose productive time by sitting in these feelings. I know, when I say that out loud, it's like but like, of course, we have to go through that. But I can get really disappointed in myself when I do get stuck in that funk. And so one thing that's really helped me is just going you know what it's expected. I know it's coming. I know, when I try new things, or things that I haven't done for a while, or things that I'm not comfortable with that it's going to come in, it's totally fine. I welcome it, I go, hello, my little friend. This is how we're going to walk through it. Because one of the things that is really important, if you want to run an absolutely kickass business that makes a significant difference in the world. And a significant difference in your life is finding this beautiful balance between being kind to yourself, and not letting yourself off the hook.


And I really want to sit on that for a moment. Because, you know, mental health is so important. Without good mental health, nothing else matters.

And so you need to protect that. And you need to look after yourself mentally so that we're okay. But also know where your line is, in going. I'm not going to let myself off the hook because it gets hard.

And this is where I think it's one of the hardest parts for all of us. And I know it's been the most hardest part for myself is after I had adrenal fatigue. And you know, I had myself in that fight or flight response so often. And one of the biggest things that I learnt from both a wellness coach and my psychologist was that I have to be kinder to myself, I have to know when I've reached my own limitations, and pull back. But then also, I'm not one to let myself off the hook. And I don't want to be, I don't want that part of my brain that tells me I'm going too far past my comfort zone to be able to pull me back.


I want to go past my comfort zone. And so one of the things that I tell myself in those moments is that I can do hard things. I am capable of being exceptional. And I want to be able to say that to you too. You can do hard things and you are capable of being exceptional, whilst still maintaining really good mental health.


There's one of my sayings that I say to myself a lot that I actually don't know who it's attributed to. It's something that's been on my wall for decades, is live a few years of your life like most people won't, so that you can live the rest of your life like most people can't. And I love that. Because I think that a lot of people see successful businesses and see people doing really well and go, I want that I want, I want that situation, I want to work less, I want to earn more, I want to make a significant difference in people's lives, I want to make an impact, I want all those things. But on the path to getting those things, oh my gosh, the things we have to overcome.

The things we have to go through are significant. And most people aren't willing to do them. And this is where I got myself in the last couple of weeks. And yesterday, my husband actually said to me, Tina, what you're doing right now, most people aren't willing to do. And that's why you're going to have the results that most people will never have, you can do this. And that Ladies and gentlemen, is why I frickin love that man.


But it also reminded me back of that saying and going Yes, like I've lost track of that I got stuck in this cycle of anxiety without actually going, you know what, I can do hard things, and I'm willing to do them. And I'm willing to push through them, because I do think we're in seasons. And I think we have seasons where it's time for recovery and resting and filling up our bucket. And then I have think we have times for seasons where it's like get shit done, now is the time to rise to the occasion, take the opportunity, and just go full out, put in everything that you've got, and where I'm at at the moment. So over the next few months, for those of you who tune in every week one, thank you.


But it's also there's a lot happening. So the last few months have been real planning time. So it's been a lot of behind the scenes very little out in the front. It's all for preparing for what's to come over the next few months, which is June, July, and August is going to be like the three biggest months I think I have ever had in business. W have, so like next week, I'm going away for five days. And it's the first time on a plane since COVID hit and I'm a bit anxious about that going. I know there's a lot of people that have been out flying again. But I used to be on a plane every week or two and love it. And I'm unsure of what to expect. And that kind of puts me out of a funk. Because as much as I love, you know, uncertainty and always kind of pushing it, I am a weird creature of habit, I park at the same spot at the airport, I go through the same place I have the same food I sit in the same spot, I go to the same bathroom stall I get on the plane sit in the same seat.

You know, there may be something neurological going on there. But I like that sort of routine going in. And so I'm a little bit anxious about what to expect in these weird and wonderful times. So we've got that. Then next month, I have my retreat for her Empire Builder for my mastermind and we've got 55 women coming to Noosa, which I can't wait for. And there's just so much preparation that goes into it so many, like organising with with all of the little tiny things like it doesn't see much when you look at it with the with the speakers and the gift bags and the logistics and the decorations and the food and the sessions and the workbooks and all of the little tiny things, I'm actually going to do a whole episode on how to plan an event. Because there are so many little bits and pieces. But we have that and there's always a bit of anxiety around that and going like it's a big deal. It's one big thing a year where all of our members can come together and I want to give like a life changing experience. I want it to be the most incredible three days. And so there's a lot of pressure on myself for that. But so that's coming and then two weeks after that my second book comes out Million Dollar Micro Business, how to turn your expertise into a digital online course. And it's a book that you know, I've been working on for a long time, and I have high hopes with it. Don't laugh at me when you're listening at this, but my like favourite book is four hour work week by Tim Ferris and I feel like million dollar micro business could be the next four hour workweek.


I laugh but you guys, I totally think it's possible. So we put a lot of work into giving it every opportunity that it can to make it fly and there's different things where I go you know, you can

And you can go to 50%. So there's many different ways to release a book, you know, you can release a book, go on a couple of podcasts, get a couple of pieces of media show up in a bookstore or two. And you've done a good job kind of thing. No, not me.

I literally have been googling for months, all the different ways that people launch books, what they do for book promotion, and marketing, and how they get it out there. And I am doing every one of them, there is no stone left unturned. And there's been many times where I've gone, oh my gosh, like, nobody cares. Nobody knows whether you're doing this or not doing this. But it's always been so important to me to go 100%, to take every opportunity that I am lucky enough to have, and to take it as far as it can go. So no matter what the performance of the book, if it flops, or if it succeeds, I know, I've done everything on my side that I possibly could. And that means that I'm okay with the result. And so that comes out on the first of July. And then I've committed to a book tour. So talking about, you know, doing everything that we possibly can do. I've booked a book tour. And this is what really set the anxiety of this week is that there was a bit of a resurgence of COVID. Again, a couple of the borders were closed. And I have booked to go to 11 cities around Australia and to New Zealand, and just the flights and accommodation accommodation alone a $15,000. And there's so much money that goes out in promoting a book, doing the book to doing retreats doing all of this different stuff that I'm going, Oh my god, what if I've paid all this money and I lose it all.


It's the time and the money that just goes, and so I had this real panic attack and going not only what if COVID comes in, it all gets shut down. But also, there's a lot of cities where I am having like a book launch party that I actually don't know anybody in, I might know one or two people in each of the book launch locations for 30 to 50 people. And so as a non famous person that's going, will I be able to get people there? Or will I just be like this total loser that's running these book launch tours, and nobody come. Oh, my goodness, you know, we're really harsh on ourselves. Hey, if you want to come, Tina tower.com/tour, you can book now and give me a little bit of that relief. Because you guys I would love to see you there. they’re going to be great. So we've planned, you know, not just like crappy events, there's beautiful drinks and canapes and all of the decorations and gift bags and and all of the things to make it a beautiful experience. And I think, you know, if we get to pull it off, if COVID does not come back, and we get to go to 11 cities, and have these parties and meet people all around the country and help them to build their online courses, then oh my gosh, it's going to be the greatest month ever. But there's so much between now and then that I'm crapping my pants about. So there is that, then I have my short course being launched called limited launch formula that I've been working on for over a year. And you know, when I first started in the online course world, I you know, I had no one really watching, there wasn't that many people that were doing my courses. And so you could grow with it, and kind of ebb and flow and do that. Whereas now, my course has to be amazing. Like, there's no, there's no kind of patience for people, if I stuffed something on people, like Hang on a minute, I need the online course best and like this has to be better. And so a lot has gone into making this programme, like so good. And so I'm really excited to bring that out. But then also, like, there's so many things involved. And I know, for you, you you've launched online courses, and you know how much preparation there is in doing that. So doing that in conjunction with all of these other things. It's just been, oh, the recording and the notes and the PDFs, and not to mention the sales page and the email sequences and the pipelines and the funnels and, and all of the things. So, you know, we have systems for everything, which is great, but it's still how many hours are there in a day, like how can we get all of this done in the right amount of time. And having one thing to do at a time is always a lot having many high stakes things to do at a time how low anxiety and so you have that and then I have in August, I'm running a one day women online conference, which oh my gosh, I'm so excited for it.


Because when I was putting my book together Million Dollar Micro Business, I was doing some research into how many women run seven figure online course businesses. And it is a small percentage. And that got me ticked off. And then I got to talk into a whole lot of ladies in going, Hey, why do you think this is, and for a lot of women, what I find is that they say, they don't want to go big, they're happy with kind of $250,000 a year, because they don't want to sacrifice life. And a lot of the examples that we see of people that are running a seven figure a year businesses are men kind of in that bro-marketing space that are really like salesy, and really like hustle and grind, and all of that sort of thing. And I'm like, you know, you can't be what you can't see. And so my idea was to get together, all of the women in Australia who run seven figure a year, online businesses, have a day and just share exactly what got you there. And so that's happening in August, and trying to get these superstar women all together all on board with this, and then another location. So it's like 13 events, that we're organising concurrently, right now. And then I got a call from my real estate agent last week in going, Hey, so that apartment that is really old. So I bought my first property when I was 18. Don't get too impressed. It was a $70,000 unit just outside of Canberra all I could afford to get into the property market. And I'm very sentimental girl. So I still own that now. And it's been How old am I now 37. So it's nearly like 20 years. And it is in dire straits. It needs some work, needs a new kitchen, new bathroom painting carpet, the whole thing. And so she's like, well, your tenants moving out in August. And so that's the perfect time to do the renovation. And so the week after I finish my 12, City, five week long book to her,

I'll be renovating my apartment, and I go Okay, so I've got to get all of the trades lined up before that, and all of the different fixtures and fittings and those things are like, it’s all starting to get a bit much by this moment. And that's as well as you know, like everyday life, like just being a good wife and looking after your kids. And not to mention health, eating right exercising, paying the bills, like all the normal life stuff. And we all go through this. And so the reason I share my personal story with you is to really go it's a lot, always. And I know that sometimes from the outside, I wanted to share this because I didn't want the next few months to happen. And for you to see all of the beautiful social media posts and see all the goals being kicked and see all of the things and go far out Tina does this easily. How am I ever going to be able to do that? Because there is so much that goes on behind the scenes, both in preparation and planning, but also in the mental battle in levelling up, and putting yourself in the position where good things can happen.


And so I wanted to go over a few things of what happens when I get myself into a full blown panic attack a couple of days ago where I was, you know, like hyperventilating and feeling like I was just going to throw up and going, I just can't do this. I've got myself in too deep, it's too many things at once. There's not enough time in the day, logistically, logically, I just can't. It's just too much. And then I had too much anxiety from it, that I couldn't get the stuff done. And you know, when we're in the right frame of mind, when we're in the right mindset, we can go, alright, this is what I got to do. Let's do this, a bump, bump, bump, and everything gets done. But when you're in the wrong mindset, nothing gets done. Everything is so hard. And so how I got myself out of that was the first one is don't hide from it. So it's really easy to hide from our problems. And just pretend like nothing's wrong, and just keep pushing on. And that is not what I'm a fan of. I’m I'm a fan of pushing ourselves, but not pushing on without acknowledging what's actually happening. And so I had to really sit down and go, okay, where is this coming from? And how can I work through it? And so one of those first things that I do is look at what if everything that I'm scared of comes true? How will I overcome that? And will I be able to overcome that? So I do like a whole brain dump of everything that I'm worried about everything. So with each of those different things, I look at it and go Okay, what's the worst that can happen? What am I really worried about here? And is it just a time thing and for me often it's just my dreams are bigger than my reality in terms of I have so many ideas and want to set the world on fire all day every day. And I am but one woman.

And I have amazing support around me, I have Jarrah, who's my EA who's just fabulous. I have an amazing husband who takes care of home and supports me so much. But it's still there's so much that waits on me. There's so much that rests on my shoulders and responsibility. And sometimes that gets really heavy. And sometimes I have to go, you know what, I've bitten off more than I can chew here. And so when that happens, I do a massive brain dump what everything I'm dealing with right now, what's every worry, and both. So like every mental thing that I'm dealing with right now, as well as every tangible thing that I'm dealing with right now, in terms of everything practically that I have to get done, then I get really frickin organised. So I sit there and I look at everything I go, Okay, what is most important and what is not. And I look at the things that are urgent, because when we get in that state of anxiety, everything can feel urgent and important. So you can look at everything go, Well, I have to do that I have to do that. But when you look at it pragmatically, you're actually I can scrap that or I can give that to someone else. It's not actually that important. It's not. So I like all all green light, yellow light, red light in going if it is a red light, and it's causing me massive anxiety, but it's not going to have that much of a result, I'll just get rid of it. yellow light, like I will give it to somebody else. Green light, it's mine, just get on with it, go Just do it. So I get organised with that, then I make a plan, when and how am I going to get these things done. And then once I get that plan all into place, oh my gosh, I instantly feel better. There is so much to be said for a well laid plan. I mean, planning means jack all if you don't take massive action to go with it. But if you've got a plan of action, and you can follow through with that you will win every single time. So I make that beautiful plan, and then I get help. So I find who can help me with these different things, who can help me at home who can help me with work, who can help me with all of the different things, and then I let people help me.


And that has been something that I have worked on greatly. Because I am a soloist I love being by myself, I love doing things by myself. I love relying on no one but me because then you know, you're never disappointed. You've only got yourself to blame all of that sort of thing. But there's only so far that you can get by yourself. And so I get help from other people. The other big thing that I remember is why I'm doing it. So with all of these things that I said before that we're working on at the moment. They're all my idea.

Like, I'm the one that decided to do them, or nobody's making me do it. Nobody else wants to do it. But I wanted to do it. Why? Why do I want to do so many different things. And for me, it's a double edged sword. So I want to be hugely financially successful myself, I love the freedom and security that finances bring. And I'm still so far from where I want to be in my life. So I am very motivated by getting that safety in place so that I can live the rest of my life like most people can't, that's one of them. The second one is I know what a lucky privileged position that I am in to even be able to have that dream in the first place. And I want to help everybody else be able to do it as well. I do think that there is no point in doing it by yourself. And the places are not limited. And I love that together, we can all rise. And I want other women to feel just as empowered and just as successful and doing just as incredible things. And then the third one is helping people that don't have the ability to even have that opportunity on the table of which there is still way too many people in the world that are in that situation. And so having those three things can motivate me to do almost anything that I don't want to do. It's enough. And so when I really focus on that end result and why I want to do these things in the first place, it's worth it. It's worth pushing through. So I remember that life is short, and for you when you're in that situation, I want you to remember life's short and what's yours all about, like we are finite our time and we can forget that really easily that you know all too soon. It just will end one day and what was it all for? And for me I really want to leave a hole I want to be able to go You know what, there's a bit of a void where she was because so much was happening there and so much positive impact was taking place. And so to me that's really worth having a go. And then the final one is to just remember to not take it all too seriously. So I can get in the state of mind. And this is when I get like in that peak anxiety state, where it's also high stakes to me. It's all so serious. And I feel so much pressure. Whereas I know and travelling taught me this beautifully. One of the biggest things when we took a year off and travelled around the world was, I thought that when we disappeared and did that, I was like, how am I ever going to come back? How am I just going to disappear, and, you know, I had all of these concerns. And then I came back, no one even realised I was gone.

I wasn't that important. And we had the best time. And so it really solidified for me that it's all actually the things we worry about are not that serious. And we're here for a short time. And we're here to have a good time and do good work. And so sometimes I need to get out of my head and out of that fear space, and take that helicopter view and come back up and go hang on a minute, why are you doing this? And aren't you just really having fun and helping other people to do that as well. And that I find, almost instantly can dissipate that anxiety so that I can focus on the next thing? And going all right, what is the next thing that I need to do, and it actually isn't all that serious, we're just playing the game here. And this game of life is such a lucky game to be able to play. And we have to remember that.


So that's it. That's what I wanted to share with you today. And I know that anxiety is something that we all deal with on very different levels. And so you know, that's my personal journey with it. And I get myself in the state where I have shaky hands where I feel nauseous, where I give myself a headache, where I've got all of that going on and the other things that really helped me to pull out of it. And so I want you to take stock of the big things you're working on. And know that you can do hard things that you are capable of being exceptional. And you can decide to see that anxiety, recognise it and walk through it so that you can perform at a high level consistently. And go and get your dreams.


I will see you at my book to for Million Dollar Micro Business tina tower.com/tour.


Thanks so much. Thank you for listening to this episode of her Empire Builder. If you loved it, please share it on Instagram and Facebook for your friends. And if you really want to deliver me smile, you can pop a review on iTunes. I'd love to hear from you. So if you have any questions, email me at podcast at Tina tower.com. And if you want to know more about what we do, head over to Tina tower.com. Now I truly hope this podcast gives you so much value and you can use it to dream big, plan well and take massive action in building your very own Empire. That's perfect. Just for you.




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