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Sally Helped Me To Beat My Anxiety

Written by: Anthony Leake, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


And Sally may be able to help you too... This is not a top tips post. It's a simple idea that helped me hugely in my journey to overcome anxiety. Many of my clients find it useful too. I'd love to hear how you get on with it.

Difficult and impossible are not the same thing

Anyone who's struggling with anxiety can make progress in feeling better, and most people can get over it, full stop.

I also maintain that in most cases, overcoming anxiety isn't difficult. Let me clarify. By 'not being difficult' I mean it's not intellectually challenging, and it doesn't have to take a long time.

Once again, let me clarify. Overcoming anxiety is a process and that process can take a while, but it doesn't have to take a lot of time out of your day.

Difficult and hard are not the same thing

Going back to what I said a few seconds ago, overcoming anxiety is not difficult, but it can be hard. If I can be really honest with you, there may be days when it's really hard.

It can be hard because it takes effort.

Things that you need to do might include:

  • Relaxation exercises

  • Journaling to help you to understand your thinking

  • Questioning your own thinking

  • Creating new habits.

None of these things on their own are difficult.

But here is the trap. These things take commitment and above all, energy.

I'm sure that you already know that feeling anxious and having anxious thoughts can zap your energy. So, finding that little extra to do the things that you need to do can be difficult.

Time to get angry!

Here's one way to get more energy. Get angry. I mean that.

Anger is a very powerful energy. When it's misdirected it can be very destructive, but when you use it correctly it can become very powerful.

I'm not saying get angry with yourself. I'm not saying get angry with other people, or the world. Get angry about the way that you are feeling. Get angry at this stupid thing called anxiety that has been robbing you of your quality of life.

Get it out of your head

The first thing that you need to do is to get that anger out of your head.

A great way to do that is to get a piece of paper and draw how you're feeling. It doesn't matter if you're not an artist. It could just be a big scribble on the paper. If the best way to describe how you're feeling is 'AAARRGGGGG’ then draw that. You might draw the word. You may just draw a scribble, but at least it's out of your head.

I did this over and over when I was struggling with anxiety and each time, the thing that I was drawing took on a bit more form. After a while, I drew a creature that looked like some kind of alien.

I said to myself: "this thing that is living inside of me is what is making me feel this way. I'm not giving it home any longer"

It was at that point that I realised that I'd been angry at the world and decided that instead, I was going to redirect that anger towards the real cause.

Give it a name

I gave the creature a name. I called it Sally.

I apologise if you happen to be called Sally it was just a random name. You could call it Anxious. You could call it Depression. You could call it Anxi. You could call it stupid if you want to, it doesn't matter.

Then, I looked at the people around me and I imagined that they were all having a great life. As I did, I held the picture of Sally in my hand, and I said out loud:

“How dare you be making me feel this way?”

“How dare you be robbing me of my quality of life?”

And I probably said a few of the things that I'm not going to repeat in polite company.

I got angry at Sally. The more I got angry the more energy I had and the more I directed that energy.

I made a pledge to myself. I made a pledge that I was taking control. That I was not going to let Sally ruin my life anymore. I had to do that over and over again, but eventually, it became part of who I am.

Using that energy

I already had plenty of tools for dealing with anxiety. I'd been collecting them for a long time. In that moment of feeling angry and feeling energized, I'd ask myself, which one of those tools is the one that's most likely to help me right now? What do I need to do to get over this?

When you are that focused, it's easy to find that mental clarity that will help you to figure things out. You'll also have the energy to do something.

When that alien, or whatever it is for you, is living inside you it's zapping your energy. It's preventing you from thinking clearly and it's stopping you from having the energy to take action. Remember that if you do nothing then nothing will change.

Get angry. Create energy. Use that energy for change.

You can do this

But more than anything I hope that it has been C ‒ both interesting and useful. Feel free to drop me an email at I'd love to hear your experience with this.

Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Anthony Leake, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Tony Leake became an expert in overcoming anxiety after he had to give up a successful career due to severe anxiety and debilitating panic attacks. He has since spent the last decade helping others to overcome anxiety. While he is very well qualified (certified as a Clinical Hypnotherapist and a Master Practitioner of NLP amongst others) he doesn't believe that tools and techniques are the answer. He often says that "overcoming anxiety is as much of a mindset as a skillset," and that to overcome anxiety we need to change the way that we think about it. Working with individuals from every walk of life, teachers, doctors and multi-millionaires has taught him that anxiety doesn't discriminate and everybody is just as likely to be affected. He currently consults for some of the largest companies in the UK. His message: anxiety robs people of their quality of life and it's not necessary to live like that.



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