I’m so excited to share with you an interview I did with Lucy Genin.
Lucy is an anxiety survivor turned Empowerment coach for driven women who want to conquer their fear. She believes you don’t have to settle for the anxious life you’ve fallen into.
1) Can you share a little about your experience with anxiety and how you came to do the work that you do now?
I started suffering from anxiety at 25. I had never experienced anxiety or anything like it and then out of the blue was hit with a huge panic attack. From that moment, my life changed course. Everything was about the anxiety as I battled to understand it. I lost my boyfriend of years along with my best friend. Doctors seemed unable to help or provide me with any suggestions other than anti-depressants.
I actually ended up self-diagnosing because I saw two doctors in the first six months of my journey, and not a single one could tell me I was suffering from an anxiety disorder. I spent seven and a half-ish years trying all kinds of different therapies, counselling, and treatments (I refused to go down the prescription medication route due to having spent two years on anti-depressants as a teenager for chronic fatigue. I just knew it wasn’t an option for me).
I found coaching roughly 18 months ago. I listened to a webinar lead by this incredible woman, and I couldn’t ignore the call inside me to take action. It was the first time I had been that excited about something in years. The webinar wasn’t even about anxiety but I thought that if I could become as confident as this woman (who became my coach and still is), then I might be able to control my anxiety.
I went on an incredible journey of self-discovery which I am still on (and always will be I might add!). Coaching taught me to look deeper inside myself than I’d ever been. In doing so I was able to work out what was going on and how I was causing my anxiety myself (unintentionally of course). When I was able to get my anxiety under control, I realized that if I could do it, others could too and I wanted to show them how! I’ve been an Empowerment coach for women ever since.
2) What was the biggest turning point for you in overcoming your anxiety?
My Dad passed away suddenly. It was completely out of the blue as he was totally healthy. In the day following his death I had the biggest panic attack I have ever had. It made me wake up. I just couldn’t live this way anymore because it was terrifying. Trying to do something about it was equally terrifying at the time but one direction had hope, the other none, and I just always had this feeling that I couldn’t shake that I was supposed to do something great with my life. This was not it!!
3) How did anxiety change you? Were there any gifts hidden inside the challenges?
If I had written this 18 months ago, it would have been a very sad tale of how anxiety destroyed my life. Coaching has made it possible for me to take strength from my anxiety.
Anxiety was my greatest gift. Eighteen months ago Lucy would likely have screamed in my face for daring to say such a thing but it truly has been. I feel so strongly about helping other women find their path through anxiety now. I am a living breathing example of what is possible.
Anxiety gave me direction. It gave me purpose. This journey has been so incredibly hard for me but I have gotten more out of the last year of my life than I have the previous thirty. I’ve grown and I’ve learnt so many things including how strong I am, how to love myself, how to let other people love me, how to be patient, how to be grateful. I have more compassion now, more understanding, more grace for situations, my own and other people’s. From all these benefits that anxiety gave me, my relationship with my husband grew. Our relationship is the most peaceful, grounding, incredible thing that I just could not have had before I went through all that growth.
Anxiety helped me to understand myself more. It has helped me realize I wasn’t living the way I should have been. I wasn’t fulfilling my destiny because I was afraid (even before the anxiety). Anxiety is the best thing that ever happened to me.
4) What does your day to day life look like now in terms of self-care, self-love, routines, etc.?
I have a great morning routine which is changing and growing all the time. I get up at 5.30 am to go to the gym where I do cardio and strength training Monday thru Friday. Then it’s home for breakfast and to walk my dogs. Then I will normally do yoga and meditate. Then I get to work! Throughout the day I will journal. A lot of the practice such as self-love and catching my negative thoughts come more naturally to me now so I don’t have to make as much time to sit down and practice them like I did in the beginning.
5) What piece of advice would you give to someone who is struggling intensely with anxiety right now?
Two things. Firstly, don’t ever give up. Don’t ever stop having hope that you can beat this, because you can. You always have been and you always will be more than your anxiety.
Secondly, if you are looking for an external reason as to why you are feeling the way you are I lovingly suggest you stop. Look inside. People do not like to hear this but we are often the creators of our own anxiety. Through no fault of our own, we have come to a thought process that is now anxious and you have to dig really deep to adjust that.
You’re anxiety doesn’t come from being in a small space or a large crowd of people (*insert anxious place here*). Those external factors will be triggers but you need to ask yourself why. We have these negative thought patterns and from a young age, we accept them as our way of life. No one tells you otherwise so why would you think any differently? Often, by looking inside yourself, you can fix the very things you fear around you the most.