Throwbacks: a panic attack, revisited.

**Here’s a throwback of a different kind. Most of these have been recaps of stories I’ve shared on my old blog, about my divorce, or things I haven’t shared here, that are part of my story that some of you may not have read. This story and journey I have recapped here. The story of the first year of my new job and all the ups, downs and in-betweens…**

It was this day, a year ago, that my boss went on maternity leave 10 days early. And a day that I had my very first panic attack. Something I’d never experienced before. Suddenly, a wave of nausea, fear and well, panic washed over me. I was scared. I wasn’t ready (or so I felt). And to top it off, I was going to Jamaica in two days (given my boss did not think she was going to go early as it was her first child, my scheduling a trip right before she left didn’t seem to be a big deal…at the time!).

The perfect storm to cultivate a panic attack, no?

I remember sitting at my desk, in my old apartment, texting M frantically, IMing my sister Jess, and tweeting out my feelings to anyone and no one at the same time…scared and worried and wondering how the hell I was going to make it through three months without my boss, my safety blanket and security net, still very new to my job and to working for a global company (speaking of, I had my first call with our China PR team that night, a call I rarely joined, let alone had to lead!) and many names, faces and personalities to cope with. I had a list a mile long of notes, reminders, who to send what and when, yet I was still scared and feeling very unprepared.

And it was then that M said to me: “remember, it’s okay to lose to your opponent, but you shouldn’t lose to fear.”

And that statement, as simple as it sounds, was exactly what I needed to face the next 12 weeks. It was probably the hardest 12 weeks of my career. There were a lot of tears. There was a lot of unknowns I had to just face, and do. There was a lot of faking it, and a lot of questions I hated asking for fear of ‘sounding stupid’ (one of my biggest fears). There was a LOT of travel. There was a shitton of discomfort.

But most of all?

There was a shitton of growth too. I took this job in January 2011 with a hunger to grow, to be pushed, to learn what it is that I want out of this career move, what I want my job to look like. And looking back at the last almost year and a half? I have come incredibly far. I won’t mince words or half-say it. I conquered it. And I am damn proud of that.


There is still so much I need and want to learn. So much more growth. More discomfort (it IS the year of getting out of the ‘zone after all) and reaching the next level. I’ve sensed that change starting. The ‘what am I waiting for’ feeling…just start doing it. Don’t wait for permission. Don’t even ask for it. Just DO it. That’s why I was hired. And that’s why I took it upon myself to request attending two social media events coming up (which I cannot wait to go to!) and why I am trying to approach my day-to-day with more confidence and direction. Not waiting for permission or for the answer to be given to me.

And I think this idea – the premise of unseating comfort zones and *not* waiting for permission can be applied to so much in life. What, precisely, *are* we waiting for? And why are we waiting? Think about it. There is always something ‘on our bucket lists’ or something we want to do ‘when we have time’ but why wait? Why not make it a priority and just for it. Empower yourself. Don’t wait to be empowered.

And that is exactly what I plan to do. No more panic attacks. Just do it. 

12 thoughts on “Throwbacks: a panic attack, revisited.

  1. “remember, it’s okay to lose to your opponent, but you shouldn’t lose to fear.”

    Umm, I love that! Putting it on a sticky note and slapping on my mirror as a reminder!

    Great advice and powerful! I want to dive in deeper to things that I am afraid of. I have begun doing this, but I still have along way to go. At the end of the day, when I face fear and challenges, that is where I grow and become the best version of me.

    Great post!

    1. I love that too, and it’s definitely one I try to remember when I am wanting to run away from fear. When you face challenges, that is growth. It’s a huge catalyst for it, and the more we do it, the better we feel. Thanks!

  2. I wish I had known you then just so I could see how far you’ve come. But I believe it’s far because I do know you now, and you’re a strong determined woman.

    Good for you for reflecting on this and totally realizing how much booty you have kicked! Keep it up!

  3. I LOVE the phrase “unseating comfort zones” — what a visual way of putting it, and a powerful one at that. I feel like I’m constantly drawing from your experiences during that crazy time in your career to make sure that I’m constantly staying empowered, unseating comfort and going for it. I look up to you for that, in a HUGE way, I don’t know if you realize it, but I do. When there are times in my new job where I find myself wanting to sit back and let someone else drive? I think of you and how far you’ve come and how “in the driver seat” you are and I want to always be that way too. So I think of that and I pull from your energy to give myself the mojo I need to stay uncomfortable, to stay empowered, to prove my worth in this new gig. So I owe you a lot in that regard (plus the job itself which you helped me land!). Dude, I owe you big time, huh?? xoxox so proud of you. always.

    1. Dude, you owe me,like whoa. Just kidding. Not at all 😉 But it’s true, we need to harness this and stay empowered, not let the discomfort unseat US. I think we are still so used to our past job that we felt we always needed permission, that having more freedom feels…wrong. In some way. you got this sis! So proud of you!

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