January 8, 2019
Note From Rochelle
So it’s a brand new year with shiny new goals, but it may feel a little bit like nothing has changed. We may have new dreams and new projects to complete, but unless we change our habits, nothing in our life changes.
But when we do change our habits—when we break our goal into small steps, create a plan, and open up time to write—ta-da! We get stuff done!
If you’re dreaming about writing something this year, but worry about getting it done, think about joining my class, Core Practices for Completing Writing Projects. During this class, I will teach you the 15 practices that have helped me write 11 books and hundreds of articles. I will also give you action steps you can take right now to overcome schedule challenges, procrastination, and writer’s block so that you can finish the writing you start. The class will be held January 22 at 4:00 PM (CT). Sign up at the class workshop page.
Today, I’m delighted to welcome my colleague and friend Dr. Kate Dow to the blog to talk about her brand new book, Fear-Less: The Art of Using Anxiety to Your Advantage.
Writers@Work: An Interview with Dr. Kate Dow
Kate, welcome to the blog! I am so excited about your new book, Fear-Less. Can you talk about the book?
My book Fear-Less: The Art of Using Anxiety to Your Advantage is all about women breaking free from fear and feeling more empowered. It is filled with real stories including mine, about women who have struggled with anxiety and transformed their lives with these teaching and tools I share.
What got your curious about anxiety and helping people use it to their advantage? How have you done this in your own life?
Over 30 years as a psychologist, I saw many kinds of ways anxiety showed up for my clients. However, I became an expert after my own anxiety hit, and I started treating mothers with Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder (PMAD). It was heart wrenching to see them suffer the way I had and blame themselves.
I never understood that I suffered from chronic anxiety, until I birthed my children and had horrible PMAD or postpartum depression, PTSD, and anxiety. Then it was so extreme it was obvious what it was. I began my work to heal and recognize how I had suffered all along with a measure of anxiety.
As I continued to address my own mental and emotional health and wellbeing and drew deeper into the mind-body psychology and science, as well as the eastern arts of yoga and meditation, I became more adamant about the bridges of the mind and body that I always knew was there.
I learned how to see my own struggles as messengers from my mind, body, and spirit, showing me what I was avoiding, missing, and running from. I learned how to be more present, accepting and open to making changes that I needed instead of taking care of everyone else. I saw how essential it is for women to put themselves first and learn to do this inner work to process fears, worries, and anxieties.
My desire to help others has been there since I was born. So, becoming a counselor was second nature. The impact of anxiety became really apparent with my PMAD experience and seeing it in other moms. The perfectionism, the control issues, the hidden fear underneath of doing things wrong, the people pleasing… I saw the beliefs that upended women.
Organically that has shifted to working with women entrepreneurs who suffer with similar fears, anxieties, and perfectionism. I feel compelled to support women in leadership roles to see the importance of the inner work, spiritual development and personal growth not only in business but in life.
Many of the writers I coach deal with a lot of anxiety when they write. Did you cope with this? If so, how did you cope with it? If not, how do you recommend people cope with it?
I was quite lucky with this book. I felt like it came clear to me what I wanted and needed to say and the way it would make sense. It felt like a download.
I also had learned with writing my Ph.D. dissertation, that when things get unclear or stuck to take a break and rest and even sleep on it and things will move again.
Keeping a clear schedule for my self-care was essential for me and probably derailed a lot of anxiety. And listening to what I needed to stay focused and confident inside myself helped.
I think the hardest thing is when we make a story about the meaning of the fear. In my book I talk about staying out of the stories and in the now. Riding it and watching it and feeling it without the judgment or unhelpful meaning we make up about the fear or ourselves. When the anxiety pops up face it, name it, address it, and move on.
You are a busy woman—coaching and teaching and writing. How did you juggle it all to find the time and focus to write?
I am quite busy. I made the time on weekends for writing and was devoted. I had to focus since my office was in the middle of the kitchen with teenagers all about!
I also kept up my self-care, workouts, and spiritual practice and ate well. My self-care is self-love. And I think this was the major foundation that allowed me to keep on track writing. A program I was in also gave a great structure for outlines and checks-ins that supported me as well.
In the end, I look back and think I was Divinely supported in the writing of this book
What book has transformed your life?
One of my old favorites is Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart. That book changed my life. She was the first person to express the human condition in the in way that experienced it. I felt so seen and so validated. And her way of articulating Buddhist teachings into American framework made it so accessible and powerful.
About the author: Dr. Kate Dow is 23+ year successful entrepreneur, psychologist and Self Mastery Business Coach for women. Dr. Kate helps women in business, develop their own self mastery to clear through blocks and challenges and up-level their success. She sees women entrepreneurs as the dynamic pioneers for positive change for our world, both locally and globally. Her mission is helping leaders and entrepreneurs continue evolving their own voice, vision and impact in the world. Get your copy of her new book here: www.katedow.com/get-your-copy-of-fear-less