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Panic is Part of the Process


Panic is part of the process

Are you an entrepreneur? An artist? A writer? No matter what your job, your career, your role … you are a creator.

When you initiate the process of change, whether it’s a new diet, spiritual path, career or business, the creation process triggers things in your internal and external world. The external changes are more rational, easier to explain and understand. Even those who don’t agree with you or support you fully, can see the changes you are making. However, the internal shift that is unfolding will be more difficult for others to recognize

Once you’ve made a decision to make that shift, that change, that move, the resistance begins to arise. Resistance can show up in so many ways. For some, it is a drive to be distracted, a drive to wash the dishes, a drive to second-guess, and you will doubt your initial passion.

For others, the resistance can arise as an argument for something minor, or catching a cold, or staying up too late and becoming exhausted the next morning. For others, the resistance is Facebook and surfing the web. 

Once you learn to identify and move through the resistance (which is a constant battle for any creator, although you will get more skilled at recognizing it faster), and into the creation phase, the actual roll-up-your-sleeves-and build it phase, there is yet one more phase to pass through. This is the one where self-sabotage is most likely to happen. And to the outside world, it would seem most understandable. This phase is called panic.

So what’s up with the panic? Why is it that when you are on the cusp of something amazing, something that will take you to the next level, why does the panic bubble up?

It bubbles up precisely BECAUSE you are on the verge of a breakthrough.

According to Stephen Pressfield, author of Do The Work, “creative panic is good” and here’s why:

“When we are succeeding- that is when we have begun to overcome our self-doubt and self-sabotage, when we are advancing in our craft and evolving to a higher level – that’s when panic strikes.”

Can you imagine changing your lens on panic? Imagine using this uncomfortable notion as an internal guide post, a GPS system telling you that you are on track and about to leap into the next gorgeous phase of your path.

According to Pressfield, “When we experience panic, it means that we are about to cross the threshold. We’re poised on the doorstep of a higher plane.”

As I experienced my own panic recently, (and this was not the first time) I was able to see and experience it differently. Even as my amazing husband held me through my sobbing, I could feel that this was not a panic that would hold me back. I could feel something sloughing off, like a snakeskin that was no longer needed. I felt a release. I walked into and through the panic, I faced it and walked out of the other side with a new resolve to make my dreams a reality. I walked out with a new resolve to go step-by-step, knowing that the next phase would bring new resistance and new panic.

This is what I have learned. As I support my own clients through their transitions, I expect the panic and the doubt. It’s ok. It’s part of the process. I can sit with it and not be scared off by it. That is a powerful space to hold. And I am up for the challenge, tears and all.

How about you? What’s your relationship to panic and resistance? Do you notice it come up as you step out in new ways? I’d love to hear from you with your answer to the following question in the comments below.

What’s the # 1 way that resistance shows up for you?

And how do you move through it?

p.s. Here’s the book referenced above:

Do The Work, by Stephen Pressfield, it’s one of those books you’ll go back to over and over again.


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Daily Spark Self-Care Strategies

  • Erin-Ashley November 14, 2013, 5:50 pm

    Oh yes! I am going through this right now. 🙂 I get anxiety and a HUGE craving for salt and/or TV. That’s how I know I need to give myself space to FEEL the feelings and that limiting beliefs are ready to come up and be released. It takes courage but it always pays off! Thanks for this!


  • admin November 14, 2013, 6:09 pm

    Erin-Ashely…yes!!! I love that you know exactly what your cues to resistance are.

    How do you give yourself that space? We have so much to learn from each other by sharing our own journey.
    Courage, commitment and self-worth are the prizes for taking the hero’s journey.


  • James Paulson November 15, 2013, 7:33 pm

    Awesome post and very inspiring! When I need to buckle down and get tons of stuff done, I shut off my phone (and leave it in another room altogether) and crank some Queen!

  • Michele Santo November 15, 2013, 10:31 pm

    Great post – thank you! It really hit home. When I try something new in my business, resistance pops up. For example, when I schedule time for certain tasks (ew, how grown up!) I get all fidgety. Instead of breathing through the new behavior, I free fall down the rabbit hole of Facebook – ugh! The insta-connection with friends is like comfort food. It takes me a day or two to realize my antics and own that crap. Then I’ll pick up the phone and set a real date with a real person in real time. It gives me something to look forward to, so I can hop back to income generating stuff. Wow – saying that aloud helps!

  • admin November 16, 2013, 1:48 am


    Thank you SO much for commenting. YES…I love to unplug and have days (OK…more like hours) where I don’t even bring my computer. I find so much power in focusing without distraction.

    Rock on and make sure to visit again soon.


  • admin November 16, 2013, 1:50 am


    YES!! I So feel you. Planning and scheduling does seem so grown up. It’s so profound to being recognizing our patterns and instead of falling for their tricks, to say…”ok, I hear you and I know what I need to do instead – buckle down and DO THE WORK!!!”

    There really is magic in scheduling something and keeping the promise to yourself. It’s how we build the courage and commitment to make our dreams a reality. One appointment with yourself at a time.


  • Scarlet Wylde November 17, 2013, 12:28 pm

    Elena, bless you for writing this & posting it! It is right on time & helps explain my mysterious sleepiness & Netflix obsession when I’m actually wanting to grow my biz and/or write. And thanks to those who commented for the insights & strategies, too. Great stuff!

  • admin November 17, 2013, 7:39 pm

    Scarlet!!! So funny…I find that Netflix is one of my cues as well. I’ve also learned so much about the chakra system in our body. When one is being drained and not in balance, we begin to feel sleepy. I get really deeply into this in my 8 week course.


    Thank you SO much for commenting and I hope you visit again.


My gift to you… 3 Step Magic Morning Practice