All of us have our comfort zones. Stay within them and all feels right. Move out of them and experience a variety of emotions: anxiety, lack of confidence, uneasiness, shyness, etc.
Recently, I was asked to participate in an Amazon Prime reality show / docu-series called The Social Movement. The concept is amazing, but I said “no” to the producer for many months. Building a new company is tough but being in front of a camera during the shoot, while living with people I didn’t know, was not what I call a typical “comfort zone” of mine. Easier to delay answering or say “no.”
Finally, I said “yes” and I have zero regrets! Here is a little bit about my internal journey and what I did to help with being incredibly uncomfortable.
The show is centered around the concept of bringing 40 CEOs from around the world to compete on four teams, for four days to solve four global, social issues. WOW! Love the concept. Think of it as The Apprentice meets Shark Tank, but working on social causes.
The shoot took place in Montreal, Canada during the first week of July 2019. I was assigned to Team Vamos Mexico – an actual nonprofit in Mexico aligned with the previous first family of Mexico (President Vicente Fox). What an incredible organization and we were blessed to have Teresita Robledo on our team – the Executive Director of Vamos Mexico.
Our team’s mission was to define a business plan on how to solve global literacy. Ambitious, but that is what The Social Movement is all about. Creative, innovative thinking by bringing smart, talented, diverse people together for a challenge.
Our team worked long hours, conducted research, jumped on conference calls, developed strong friendships and created a fantastic business plan we are all very proud to stand behind. Now, Teresita and the Vamos Mexico team is preparing to pilot our strategies. Super exciting and super proud of our accomplishments.
We came together as perfect strangers. We left as teammates and with full hearts.
As mentioned, I was very uncomfortable committing to the show. I had many excuses, which I’ve done at different points in my life. It’s easier to come up with an excuse not to do something versus pushing yourself through the challenge. But no one grows in complacency.
I was on the edge for many months. Wanting to take part in the experience, but fearful of my internal demons. How cool would it be to network with some of the smartest people around the world to solve a massive social issue? How cool would it be to show your kids that you could do amazing things, under pressure, on camera, with strangers? There were so many “how cool” statements, but there was always a pit in my stomach when I thought about the show.
See, I deal with social anxiety (and have for decades). Most people say they don’t believe me; however, I’ve learned to cope with situations and put on a smile. I’ve learned to pre-load my environment while managing the “flight” of the “fight or flight” emotions. I’ve learned to get out of the major situations before they occurred using excuses. But I was not happy with myself for doing that…I was frustrated for being controlled by fear. I put myself into a victim mentality of “why me” or “I wish I was like <name>” who always seems so comfortable in their skin.
Saying “yes” to being on the show meant going for it. It meant, no turning back. It meant, facing my fears and pushing through them. When cameras are in your face, there is no place to hide. They are documenting all of your moves, all of your words, all of your actions. There is no “flight” in a reality series. You either do it, or you don’t show up.
A few years ago, I was introduced to an amazing framework called NET (Neuro Emotional Technique). Dr. Howard Cohn of the Cohn Health Institute is a true healer. He’s been working on my anxieties and fears for a few years. He had his hands full when I mentioned the emotions being caused by the anticipation of this experience. Looking at the presentation deck caused emotions of anxiety and fear.
Since I already committed to being on the show, and already bought my flights, it was time to clear some of these emotions.
Dr. Cohn performed his magic before I left for Montreal and I was ready for the shoot. I was ready to live in a foreign country, meet and work with strangers, pitch to a panel of judges and be in front of a live audience for the reveal of the winners.
I honestly can’t thank Dr. Cohn enough for what he does for me. I’m able to mentally prepare for situations like this ahead of time. By going into an experience knowing I’ve done a bunch of NET work, it provides some needed relief and grounding.
There are several key things I focus on in situations like this:
2) Drink water
3) Get enough sleep
4) Use CBD
Prior to departing, I did as much pre-loading as possible. This helps me prepare myself for the experiences. I used Google Maps to get an idea about each location for the shoot and where I’d be living. I looked at as many pictures as were available online. Pre-loading helps me get comfortable with a situation before being there.
Whenever I travel, I load up on water. I drink tons and tons of water on the road. Staying hydrated while flying or putting yourself in stressful situations is critical. Say “yes” to water and “no” to alcohol.
Sleep is essential. Being in a different place, sleeping in a different bed, dealing with stress and anxiety, etc. These external factors can weigh heavily on your body, mind and soul. Getting the right amount of sleep makes a massive difference in your ability to adapt, your ability to execute and your ability to stay healthy.
I’ve also learned how and when to use CBD+ oils to take the edge off. I'm a huge fan of the Signature 600 and Signature AB900 oils. During the shoot, I used A LOT of CBD+ oil each day. I managed my emotions and practiced what I preach at Vitalibis. I firmly believe that full spectrum, terpene rich oils are very beneficial to daily wellness – for keeping the body in homeostasis. Keeping your body hydrated, rested and in balance will set you up for success.
Finally, meditation is my go-to when feeling a bit out of alignment. Through an amazing group of people in my Power of 8 Group (lead by Amy and Amanda), I’ve learned how to quickly reset my body, mind and soul. During the shoot, I stepped away for a 10-minute meditation session a few times per day. By the afternoon on the second day, my team gave me the space to recharge each time I needed a break. I’d find a quiet place in the office, put in my headphones, play Deeply Theta and check out for a bit. This resets my body and frame of mind, while reducing my stress and anxiousness.
This experience proved to me that I can do whatever I put my mind to. That fear is not real. That I can accomplish great things under challenging circumstances. That stepping away for a little selfcare is a good thing, in any situation. I encourage everyone to find their framework, their approaches, their techniques, their team to help them through any mental challenges they might have. I share this post in a vulnerable way, but in a way to potentially help others.