Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and welcome to another episode of MarieTV and The Marie Forleo Podcast. And this is a Q and A Tuesday. So I saw a comment on Instagram a little while ago, and I thought it was so lovely and it would be perfect for today’s show. So let me read you what Joanna said, “Marie, I have a question. How do you go about your daily life and be brave, when you feel depressed or unmotivated. Do you just push yourself and smile through the pain? I see all influencers like you or Tony Robbins or Oprah or celebrities on camera working and seeming great and happy. When I’m down I can’t always put a smile on my face for clients. Sometimes I’m stuck in bed for days because of a fight with a loved one has put me in a bad state. Please share your wisdom because of all of you well-known people seem to have a secret to functioning through hard times. Unless I’m missing something. Hope you see this. Big heart.”
So Joanna, the reason I wanted to tackle this question is because I don’t think we’ve ever talked about this before on the show. Now, I cannot speak for Tony or Oprah or anyone else. So everything I want to share in today’s episode is about my own personal experience and what I particularly do may or may not work for you. And the other thing I want to say about depression and anxiety, or any difficult times for everyone out there, you have to do what works for you, whether that includes therapy, medication, meditation, exercise, any combination of modalities that helps you heal and be the best person that you can be. There is no shame in any of that game.
So first and foremost, my goodness, do I have those really difficult times as well when it comes to depression and anxiety, especially I think in more recent years, I’ve experienced those really dark times to depths that I had never experienced before. And those times where you feel like you just can’t either get out of bed or things get so dark and murky and quite honestly, a bit scary. So I just want to encourage everyone if you’ve experienced that, please don’t think there’s anything wrong with you and always find a method of support and help that you feel is appropriate.
So let me tell you a story about, I found myself in a really challenging place and it was particularly around whether or not I would be able to show up and do what I needed to do, while in the throes of a lot of depression and anxiety. And it was actually towards the end of my Everything is Figureoutable book tour. So the previous few years were challenging. I’ve talked about this many times in the show. So I stressed myself out, actually writing that particular book and then the process of producing it, launching it, and then going on tour, my goodness, I was at the end of my energetic rope. And so it was towards the end of the tour, I was scheduled to go on a very big stage. I had given my word, I was in my hotel room and my goodness, I did not want to go on.
I was so filled with anxiety and this dark depression, quite honestly. It was like vacillating between panic attacks, I didn’t want to get out of bed. And I was honestly considering whether or not I needed to pull out of this thing. And so I remember going and looking at myself in the bathroom mirror and my heart was like, I don’t want to pull out of this thing, I gave my word, there’s folks counting on me to show up. But the honest truth was mentally and emotionally, I was in a really bad place. So here’s what I did in that moment, and here’s what I continue to do when I have those moments, because they do still happen.
So, I said to myself, “I surrender.” I use my faith and I reached out for a higher power and said, “I can’t do this on my own. I know in my heart, I want to go on the stage. I want to show up, I want to keep my word, but I can’t do it by myself. And I need help.”
And in that moment of surrender, in that moment of asking for guidance and for clarity and how to keep going, I will tell you it wasn’t like instant relief where I felt better and wanted to do cartwheels, but I did feel a weight lift off my shoulders. And I did feel a sense of clarity that not only would I be guided, but that I would be okay and that I had to breathe and be gentle with myself and simply show up not to perform, but to just be me and to be in my presence and to offer what was true and what was real for me in that moment.
And so I want to offer you a little phrase that I say that helps me. It’s like a mantra of surrender. “I give up to the divine that which I can no longer carry on my own.” I’ll say it again. “I give up to the divine that which I can no longer carry on my own.” That may or may not resonate for you. But I will tell you, there have been many, many dark nights of the soul for me in my life throughout many different life stages, where when I’ve reached out and offered up and surrendered, that which I can no longer carry, I have always felt guided to the next step. And so I offer that to you as something to experiment with. Again, to underscore whatever modalities, whatever practices, whatever support that you need to help you navigate the very real times of darkness, of depression, of anxiety, of grief, of sadness, of the whole range of human emotions. You need to take care of yourself, but it is something that continues to work for me. And I really appreciate you asking this question on Instagram. I didn’t feel like I could give a full enough answer typing away with my thumbs.
But I did want to let you know that you’re not alone. That all of us have difficult times. And after 20 years in this industry, I can tell you I’m going to have many, many more. And certainly so will you. Here’s one of the other things that I’ve actually discovered around my own depression, is that when I get into a state of a lot of anxiety or feeling really dark and depressed, it’s often triggered by the fact that I’m exhausted and burned out. And I was really surprised by this. After we did our Time Genius program in the fall, I discovered I’m actually not alone. There were so many students in the program who also shared about their own dark times. And when they finally addressed that overwhelm and that burnout, they discovered quite surprisingly and very quickly their anxiety and depression lifted. Now, I have some of their words here, and I want to read this to you because I have found it inspiring and something I really need to pay attention to. And so I want to give you some examples outside of myself.
Lisa said, “Time Genius gave me the courage and the language to have a long overdue conversation with my mental health provider. I’ve been struggling with what we thought was persistent depression and anxiety for nearly 16 years since the birth of my son. When we unpacked 47 years of patterns, my provider looked at me and said, “Has anyone ever talked to you about ADHD?” Time Genius has given me a ray of hope that I can thrive in this life instead of just surviving. And the best part is the Time Genius strategies align completely with the exercises my provider has given me. If I hadn’t learned these lessons, I likely would end up losing my job and watching my health continue to deteriorate and becoming the sad, tragic, bitter old woman I feared becoming my whole life.”
And then Jennifer said this, “The difference between today and a month ago is life-changing. My depression and inaction are totally gone. I’ve eliminated decision fatigue and emotional stress snacking. I’m still realistic, that shit will happen, but I have the tools in place to move through even the bad days and achieve my dreams.”
And then one more, Esther said, “Time Genius might have saved my life. Things were pretty dire in how low I was feeling. I’ve read self-help books and felt inspired to do better, but this course got down to actually feeling better. I’m actually excited about my life again. And my husband says, ‘You’ve rejuvenated my wife.’ It’s changed everything.” By the way, if you are interested in doing Time Genius, please come join us. It is open right now. You can learn more at jointimegenius.com.
But ultimately Joanna, I want to thank you so much for that question. I want to remind you and all of us, we human beings are designed to experience the full range of human emotions and not just the ones that we deem happy or bright or positive. So never feel bad for being in those dark times. Always reach out for the support that you need. And I hope my method of surrender and asking for some support from a higher power really does support you.
Now, I would love to hear from you. If you’re someone who’s ever had to navigate depression or anxiety or just hard times, and you had to show up professionally, I’m curious, what are the methods that have worked for you? Now, let’s be clear here, no methodology, no approach is going to work for every person. And the reason I want people to share is because oftentimes one person’s practice or a book or a recommendation can really spark a change for someone else.
So this is a no judgment zone, and we all know that there is a diverse need of ideas and methodologies that can help support us all in thriving, in our full humanity. As always the best conversations happen over at the magical land of marieforleo.com, so head on over there and leave a comment now. And while you’re there, if you’re not already, you need to become an MF Insider. Every single week, we send inspiring actionable emails that will support you in your dreams and beyond. Until next time, stay on your game and keep going for your big, beautiful dreams, because the world really does need that very special gift that only you have. Thank you so much for tuning in and I’ll catch you next time on MarieTV and The Marie Forleo Podcast.
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