anxiety Archives - Meg Sylvester

Self-Doubt keeping you down? Try these 4 steps to get you back up.

Confession: I was addicted to Girl Scout Cookies.


OK, so not a life-long or even year long addiction. For three days I seriously had no self-control when I got around the cookies. Thin Mints – get in my belly.  Peanut Butter Patties – right now, give ‘em. Like, seriously No.Self.Control. WTF was happening?!?


This was my daughter’s first year of selling girl scout cookies. I’ve never had them in the house before. Never really appealed to me. But for some reason, those bright shiny boxes just hooked me in, and I was toast. Holy crap those things are good! Cookies aren’t usually my jam – I typically eat a very healthy diet, free of processed ingredients and refined carbs and sugar, but I just couldn’t resist. Again, I ask – WTF was happening?! I’m a person who coaches people on how to not do this exact thing. So what gave?


Well around this time, I was also struggling with some feelings of self-doubt. I was experiencing a little anxiety and had my wheels spinning, You know the feeling…hamster wheel. Going and going in circles. Feeling like you are doing the same thing over and over with no results. I got into the Facebook suck, the comparison game and started questioning what I was doing. I got this crazy notion into my head that I wasn’t doing enough. That I wasn’t hustling enough to produce results I wanted to see in my business.


And another thing…throughout the holidays I had totally fallen out of my self-care routine. I wasn’t waking up earlier to have my “me” time. I wasn’t doing the things that brought me joy, like going on walks in nature, or yoga, or dancing, or playing pretend with my kids.


Really the only thing I was doing was working on my business (but not the fun stuff – the stuff I thought I had to be doing in order to “be seen” aka the my own personal hamster wheel.)


And then my husband asked me something. He asked me if I was happy. Talking through a mouthful of Girl Scout cookies, I answered, Yes, of course! I mean, I am totally and  utterly so in love with the work I am doing and the clients I get to serve. Of course I’m happy. “Well then, act happy” he said.


But here’s the thing, sometimes acting happy is easier said than done right? Yes, happiness is a choice. We can always choose to see the lesson in a challenge. We can always choose to not sweat the small stuff and recognize fear when it bubbles up. But I’m a believer in tools. In fact, I’ve got a big old tool box of self-help tools. I even have a handy dandy section in my tool-box specifically for getting through self-doubt. So just how are girl scout cookies and self-doubt related?


After my husband told me to act happy, I snapped out of my cookie trance and reached into my tool-box. As a coach, I’m so used to helping others through their blocks, that sometimes I forget to help myself…it happens to all of us. We help, help, help…give, give, give…and forget about ourselves.

And that’s ok.


I didn’t beat myself up for it. But what I did do was applaud myself for recognizing that I had fallen off, and used my tools to get back on. I “shrunk that gap” between falling off and getting back on.


So just what are my 4 steps through moving through blocks like self-doubt? Keep reading to find out!


  1. Assess your physical self. – Take a beat to assess how  you’re nourishing your physical body. It’s not talked about in mainstream health care, but your gut health has a huuuuuuuge impact on your mental health. The majority of your hormones including those that makes us feel happy and sad are synthesized in your gut. So that means when you’re eating foods or food-like substances that aren’t good for you, you’re screwing with the gut-brain connection. Secondly, when we aren’t getting great sleep, that obviously impacts our mood a great deal. Third – when we’ve been sitting on the couch and not moving our bodies, our moods take a nosedive. So my first step in getting over negative emotions is simply to ask am I taking care of my physical self. Am I eating healthy foods, am I moving my body, and am I sleeping. If the answer is no, then I eat something a piece of fruit or a veggie, I drink some water and move my body. And yes, this means putting down the girl scout cookies.


           I had that ah-ha moment here. I realized how closely linked the cookies and the bad     mood were. I’m not used to eating like that. And when I did, I felt bad – this understanding serves as the building blocks to Mind / Body awareness.


  1. Move through the feelings.  Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, is a brain researcher who studied her own brain after having a stroke. She learned that emotions manifest as a physical surge of chemicals that move through your body for 90 seconds and then get flushed out. However, as a society we have been conditioned to numb. Be it with social media, drugs and/or alcohol, TV, food, sex… we numb. We’d rather numb and emotion than actually feel it. So my second step might be a little uncomfortable. Call upon the negative feeling you are experiencing and really feel it, Don’t just put words to it. Feel the physical body sensations of it surging through your body. What does it feel like – tension in your jaw, hands, or chest? Quesiness or dizziness? Sit with that feeling for 90 seconds. Breathe through it and allow it to pass.


After you’ve checked in with your physical body…move onto your mind / soul connection with steps three and four.


  1. Express Gratitude. Our minds are incapable of suffering and being grateful at the exact same time. That being said, whenever I’m feeling down…I give thanks to relieve suffering. Think of emotions like a ladder with hatred and anger as the very bottom step and love as the very top step. Expressing gratitude gives you the power to climb the ladder. With each moment you spend in gratitude you are allowing yourself to climb higher and higher. Use gratitude to raise your vibrational state. I do believe there is magic in putting pen to paper, so if you are able to, write down your gratitude list. And you don’t need to get carried away and crazy idealistic with your gratitude. Sure you can be thankful for big grand things like the potential of world peace, but you can also be just as thankful for your pillow, your clean water, and the fact that you have food in your pantry. So when in doubt, give thanks.


  1. Nourish your relationship to Self & Source. The final step in getting over self-doubt asks you to give yourself some love. How can you nourish your relationship to self? Through ritual, self-care and routine. One of the reasons I had fallen off the wagon and into the self-doubt abyss was that I had totally slipped on my morning routine. If you don’t have a morning routine, try one out. I treat my morning routine as the foundation for which I grow attributes like motivation, focus, and clarity. It gives me a springboard for my day and anchors me to my goals. Morning routines don’t have to be  a million steps and methodical. It can be as simple as waking up a little early and sitting in candlelight with a glass of water. It can be a mediation or simply paying attention to your breath. If you’re interested in learning about a great morning routine, join my 21 Day Challenge to create a morning routine (click here to learn more). Or check out my handy steps on how to become a morning person (click here). 


When experiencing self-doubt I nourish my relationship to Source (God, Universe, Love) through prayer. I find this prayer, as taught in the metaphysical text, A Course In Miracles, incredibly comforting “Tell me what to do, where to go, what to say, and to whom”. Call upon whatever it is you believe in to guide you. Trust in that guidance. Know you are being supported, and that you can call on this source of love and support whenever you need it.


When we open ourselves up to love and drop the hustle, miracles happen.


So next time you’re feeling like you’re in a hamster wheel and there’s no end in sight, use these four steps to shift your mindset. Use these steps like a checklist. You don’t have to go in order. Check in and see which one feels like it needs your attention the most then move through all 4.


To recap:

Assess your physical self

Move through the feelings

Express Gratitude

Nourish relationship to Self & Source


And it just so happens that the steps create the beautiful acronym of AMEN 🙂


4 Steps to Processing Negative Emotions so You Can Get On With Your Life

In such a fast paced world, numbing our feelings has gotten to be so easy. What with social media, fast food, netflix, and a bar around every corner, it’s gotten so easy for us to numb whatever we are feeling. This isn’t healthy. Numbing our emotions only brings them back to us. If we keep numbing, we can’t get to the root of why we are feeling a certain way…which is a sure fire sign that the emotion or the situation that causes the emotion will just keep coming back. Rather than numb, we can process. Click the link below to check out my 4 steps to processing and getting over negative emotions. 

  1. Feel the Feelings: This can be the hardest part, because this is where the numbing usually wants to come and have it’s fun. When you feel an emotion coming on, sit with it. Don’t intellectualize it by trying to put a name to it. Just feel it. Where do you feel it in your body? What does it feel like? Sit with this feeling for about 2 minutes. Take a deep breath, then…
  2.  Write it Out: Grab a pen and paper, or flip your journal open to a fresh page and just write it out. When you are writing really try to get at the root of the emotion. With every statement you declare, follow it with a why? Write out your answer to WHY you feel that way. Keep going down, down, down until you feel you’ve reached the root. And don’t worry, this takes practice. You may not reach the root the first few times. But honor yourself by allowing for this practice to grow.
  3. Read and Process: Give yourself some time to read through what you wrote. Go back through, read slowly and then surrender it. Ask yourself: Am I willing to see this in a different way? You don’t have to find that different way right now…just commit to being willing. The new way to perceive may come to you in a few minutes, an hour, or a few days. But just know that you have committed to a willingness to see whatever has set you off in a new light.
  4. Say Goodbye: Take the piece of paper and dispose of it safely in one of two ways. Either burn it or flush it. There’s something very cathartic about watching a piece of paper with what were once such strong emotions just burn away. ( for safety: Do this over the kitchen or bathroom sink please!!) Once you’ve disposed of the writing, take a few deep breaths, smile, and get on with your day.

I’d love to hear from you. Have you tried this? Let me know what you think and what shifts you’ve experienced since trying it out!