042: Dealing with Anxiety - Neil Hughes

042: Dealing with Anxiety – A Talk with Neil Hughes

“I think I’m dying.” –Anxiety

Tools and techniques for understanding and relieving anxiety.

Dealing with Anxiety - Neil Hughes
Neil Hughes getting into some stand-up comedy

Constant worry and fear about the possibility of something terrible happening make it really difficult to take action on the things which matter to us.

I’ve suffered from anxiety and many of my friends and family have as well, but what actually is it? Where does it come from? How can we find effective relief from it?

I needed some answers.

It just so happens, Neil Hughes knows a lot about anxiety. He’s the author of Walking On Custard: A Guide for Anxious Humans and regularly shares his experiences of managing anxiety on his blog, and more recently, his entertaining TED Talk: A New Plan for Anxious Feelings: Escape the Custard!

Neil used to think of himself as a worrier but it wasn’t until his late-twenties he realised he was dealing with anxiety.

In this talk, Neil shares how anxiety is different from genuine fear, why self-awareness is key in relieving anxiety, and the importance of talking with others and asking for help.

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041: Navigating the Waters of Self-Love – A Talk with Caira Lee (Caira Lee Self-Love)

041: Navigating the Waters of Self-Love – A Talk with Caira Lee

Caira Lee shares some powerful tools for handling strong anxiety and self-doubt.

Caira Lee Self-Love
Caira Lee

I’m really proud of this interview.

Yes, it’s packed with practical tools and inspiration for tackling deep self-doubt, but that’s not why I’m proud of it.

After watching Caira’s TEDx talk on the power of self-love, I felt compelled to contact her and invite her for a talk.

There was only one problem.

I highly doubted that she’d want to talk with me.

My podcast isn’t professional enough, I thought. It needs to be more exciting and better produced for her to be interested. With a TED talk like that, her life must be overflowing with interviews and speaking gigs. Why would she want to talk with me?

But there was something in me, telling me to write to her anyway.

So I began writing the email and felt really daring for doing so. It took me over 2 hours to write that thing; checking it and rewording it and checking it again.

But then I asked myself, what’s the worst that could happen? What’s the worst thing that will happen if I send this email to her?

She probably won’t reply, I thought.
Well, if that’s the worst that can happen I’m sending this email!

Then, with a sense of brazenness, I hovered over the ’SEND’ button. I could still feel a lingering sense of doubt inside me but I just clicked the button. The email was sent and I gave myself a giant high-five.

As it turned out, Caira replied the very next day and said she’d love to have a talk. I remember not being able to control the muscles in my face as they formed, what felt like, a permanent smile.

Caira Lee is a national award winning performance poet and author, originally from Maryland, USA, now living in Ghana, Africa.

She has worked her way through deep depression and anxiety and has a strong understanding of what it means to love yourself.

You don’t want to miss this episode.

Join us as we share the strongest fears and doubts that have prevented us from taking compassionate action for ourselves, and the things we did to come through them.

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040: Why We Don't Have to Feel Inadequate When We Get Rejected

040: Why We Don’t Have to Feel Inadequate When We Get Rejected

Being accepted or rejected isn’t actually connected to our sense of worth at all.

Applying for jobs has never been an enjoyable task for me. I spent almost 20hrs on a job application this week with 4 hours spent on just the cover letter alone.

I was overworking every aspect of the application because I knew that if it was rejected I would feel that I should have been better in some way, that the rejection was a reflection of me not trying hard enough and that I was inadequate.

But me receiving a rejection is not connected to my feelings of worth at all… Unless I feel it is.

I know I’m not alone on this.

The good news is we don’t have to feel inadequate at all.

Rejection is not a sign of inadequacy but simply another person’s interpretation of the small part of us we’ve presented to them.

In this episode, I uncover the reason why we feel inadequate following a rejection and how we can change our default reaction of inadequacy into, I’m good enough no matter what happens.

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Understanding strong emotional reactions

039: Understanding Our Unpleasant Emotions Instead of Blaming Others for How We Feel

A free tool which brings clarity and relief to strong negative emotions.

There are moments in life which cause some pretty unpleasant emotions.

You say hello to a friend on the street and they walk right by you without saying a thing. You get home from work and your partner gives you a funny look.

Fear, doubt, jealousy, anger, confusion –  no one wants to feel this way.

Without understanding what exactly has triggered these emotions it’s easy to blame the other person (directly or indirectly) for that we’re experiencing.

What we don’t know is that it’s not the entire person which has triggered these unpleasant feelings, it’s a specific aspect of something they’ve said or done which has triggered this response within us.

It’s very difficult to understand this if you’re already within a strong emotional reaction.

What we need is a more neutral view of what has occurred so we can see things more objectively.

Writing is an excellent tool for doing this and can be used to understand the roots of our strong emotional reactions enabling us to take positive action with people instead of blaming them for what we’re feeling.

In this episode, I take you through this technique and outline exactly what to write about and which questions to ask yourself.

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What is Ego? (Photo by Aftab Uzzaman. LIcensed under the Creative Commons (CC BY-NC 2.0))

038: What is Ego?

Everyone is talking about it but are we all talking about the same thing?

If we’re embarking on any sincere self-discovery work we have to know what the word Ego is actually referring to.

‘Ego’ comes up so frequently in self-help material and everyday conversation that its definition has begun to get more than a little fuzzy.

Without a clear understanding of what this word points to it can be difficult to understand our own thoughts, feelings and behaviors and why it is some of them keep returning.

In this episode, I take a step back from assuming I know what the word Ego means and attempt to piece together a collective understanding of what we’re actually talking about when use this tiny, but complex, three letter word.

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Different Parenting Styles and Their Effects on Self-Esteem

037: Different Parenting Styles and Their Effects on Self-Esteem – A Chat with Júlia

A casual, yet raw chat about childhood and the difference it makes to one’s self-esteem.


I was in a conversation with my girlfriend Júlia a couple of months ago and realised that she’s had a very different upbringing to me.

Julia’s childhood wasn’t perfect (and no one’s is) but when I learned that her parents were guiding her to realise the natural consequences of her actions, and that they would explain to her why she wasn’t the reason they got mad – I knew I wanted to know more about their approach to parenting.

As we know, it’s the experiences we have as kids which often significantly shape the way we think about ourselves, and as a result, our experience of life.

In this episode Júlia and myself share different childhood stories about our parents and the differing effects these experiences had on our self-esteem. Continue reading

036: “Stop Sharing Because It’s Making Me Cringe.”

The first episode of the year and already I’m feeling a bit strange.

There are so many people talking about self-love, acceptance, meditation, connection, consciousness, ego… and it all just feels a little bit fake.

It’s like everyone only partially understands what they’re talking about but shares it like they’re an enlightened master. It just makes me cringe!

What’s the point of even sharing if we’re all dismissed as ‘just another self-proclaimed spiritual master who doesn’t really know what they’re talking about’, resulting in no one taking anyone seriously!?

These feelings became so strong that I had no motivation to produce this week’s episode. So I decided to explore what was behind these feelings and share my findings with you.

In this episode I uncover the core belief which was behind my highly critical feelings for others and myself. Continue reading