I have a very confident, successful client at the moment who is a complete joy to see. She has that wonderful mix of charm, self-depreciation and can laugh at herself when I gently pull her up on things she’s said or the way she’s said them. But what came as a surprise – and being trained ‘to see’ I saw it within the first session, is how crippled she is by anxiety; what she thinks about herself, what others think of her, her lack of confidence when it comes to her capabilities, her inability to trust herself when it comes to making decisions….it is an endless stream of anxieties that keep her up at night and have her trawling over each and every decision she has ever made, exhausting her with the possibilities she got it ‘wrong’.
Does this sound familiar? Certainly at Brixton Hypnotherapy, I have seen this over and over again. Sometimes, someone is so crippled by it it’s written all over their face but often – as is the case with this client – it is deeply hidden under a calm, joyful, quick to laugh exterior.
And, I really do believe it’s crippling especially for young women. Everyday sexism campaigns, the #metoo movement and a bunch of amazing books in recent years by powerful women (Mary Beard, Sandy Sandberg, Hilary Clinton) all show what it takes to be a successful woman – and when I write what it ‘takes’, I mean emotionally, physically and intellectually. In fact, to succeed in the workplace as a woman ‘takes’ a hell of a lot more than the hours one clocks up.
So, I’m putting together a workshop that will tackle anxiety head on. How to recognise it (in its many subtle and not so subtle forms) how to analyse it, how to re-frame it, and techniques to then deal with it.
Ultimately, beating oneself up all the time, holding a narrative of why we ‘can’t’ or ‘shouldn’t’ is completely debilitating. I’m always asking people ‘what’s the best version of yourself you can imagine’? Because this is what we have to keep in sight and striving for.