If there’s one thing that’s sure to motivate you and encourage you that you can overcome your anxiety, it’s anxiety success stories, from real people. These are stories I could never find when I used to search for an anxiety ‘cure’ for my GAD all those years ago. These days, there are plenty of people who share their stories of overcoming anxiety, usually these people are bloggers that enjoy sharing their experiences. (I’m kinda one of them…🙂 )
Anyway, I thought it was important that I put this guide together of the webs best anxiety success stories so you can see how every day people (not health gurus or ghost writers) have recovered from their own anxiety disorders.
Some have developed their own techniques and some have used proven methods to get out of their anxiety ruts.
Everyone’s at a different stage of their anxiety journey. If you’ve been suffering a long time, you might just get a golden nugget from one of the guys below. If you’ve recently just started suffering from anxiety, you can scan all of the individuals below to get a good idea of all of the approaches to overcoming anxiety disorders.
Whichever category you fall into, I’m sure you can take away some key information.
Please take full advantage of what these kind folks have learned so that you can speed up your own recovery. There is no fluff here, just real accounts of people just like you and me that decided to take action.
Please be aware that some of the individuals below now sell their techniques in programs, and if you go on to purchase one I will make a small commision at no extra cost to you.
So, let’s get down to business…
1. Sean Clarke
I thought that I would start with myself to kick things off. If you’ve ever read my story before, you’ll know how badly I used to suffer with crippling anxiety. My whole life up until my mid twenties was spent in a constant state of fear and self-doubt. I consider myself an ‘anxiety success story’ because I no longer feel of behave that way anymore, or at least not on that level.
If I told you that I don’t suffer with anxiety any longer, I would be lying. My recovery lead me to discover that I couldn’t ‘cure’ my anxiety like I was frantically trying to do. Instead I realised that the anxiety was there to stay with me, for the rest of my life. There is not one person in this world who can avoid anxiety for the duration of their lifetime. Based on this rude awakening, I started looking for ways to ‘re-energise’ my brain out of a continual state of anxiety. I was motivated by the thought of feeling high levels of anxiety for the rest of my life.
I didn’t want my life to be that way so I knew had to take action. My research lead me onto a path of personal development that extended far beyond anxiety. I discovered core healthy mental habits that I could practise daily like mindfulness when my mind started to wander off, gratitude when I felt like my life was pointless, and learnt about allowing myself a wider perspective on my life. With these habits I was onto something that would change the way I thought about anxiety and my life as a whole.
You could say I’m an ‘anxiety success story without medication’ because I’d already gone down that road and didn’t want to rely on medication for the rest of my life. I knew that there were people out there managing their anxiety on a daily basis, so all I had to do was find out what they were doing. Using the mental habits I had discovered, my thoughts and perspective on life started to change slowly.
I was no longer fighting against anxiety but instead letting it be. Seeing it for what it was, (a basic human emotion like the others) and trying to think rationally. It all came down to knowing that I was in control of my thoughts. When you realise that anxiety causes you to believe thoughts are real, it’s powerful. In that moment you can take back control of your reality.
Allowing myself to be in the present moment and enjoy it meant that there was no room for my mind to start worrying about tomorrow. I no longer had a sick feeling of fear in my stomach every single minute of every single day. I gave myself permission to just ‘be’. As simple as that sounds, when we start to step back and really think about our realities, we can see how we’ve allowed anxiety and worry to twist our thoughts around.
It’s important for me to note that although my story, and the others on the list are considered ‘anxiety success stories’, we all still feel anxiety and worry, but we know how to manage it, reduce it, and live calmer lives.
2. Barry Mcdonagh @ Panic Away
Barry Mcdonagh was one of the first anxiety sufferers turned teacher online. He has been providing the world with his Panic Away program for over 10 years!
Probably the furthest person away from ‘spammy internet guy’, Barry has helped thousands of people overcome their anxiety with his proven system.
Barry wanted a way out from his daily anxiety. He had enough after 20 years of trying techniques to manage his anxiety and wanted to put a stop to it once and for all. The main motivator for Barry was the fact that the techniques he’d been using didn’t have any lasting effects.
Sure, they worked, but his anxiety would soon come back. He realised that all he was doing was temporarily suppressing his anxiety disorder.
Barry describes his program as having helped over 150,000 people since 2001. He says that he won’t be satisfied until he helps 1,000,000 people by 2019!
Quite ambitious but I think he stands a chance! Barry wanted to learn why extreme anxiety occurs from a medical point of view. His approach to healing persistent anxiety is based on how we can disrupt our nervous system that’s wrongfully ‘engaged’ constantly. This in turn affects how the brain processes and therefore leads to constant fear and anxiety.
I like Barry’s story because it’s a story about someone who’d had enough of looking for the right answer and so just decided he would figure it out himself until he finally found something that worked for him (and now many others.)
Barry now sells the techniques he used to overcome his generalised anxiety in his flagship product ‘Panic Away’.
It consists of a book, CD’s and a DVD, but it’s also available as a digital product where you get an ebook, videos and audio files. It’s probably the most comprehensive anxiety self help system designed by someone who’s actually had an anxiety disorder and overcome it using techniques he’s put together himself.
His system is largely based on proven CBT methods. You can check out my full review here.
3. Sean Cooper
Our next anxiety success story focuses on how a young guy’s fear of always being socially anxious lead him to creating his own techniques for overcoming his shyness and anxiety.
Sean Cooper admits himself that he used to be the world’s biggest shyness guy. He also used to be crippled by social anxiety and generally just talking to anyone new.
Sean’s shyness and fear started when he was around the age of 5 (like me, and he has the same name as me, weird right?) he spent his entire childhood away from others and especially new people because he just didn’t know how to act around them.
Sadly, he spent his young life this way right up to when he started university. He had next to no friends and no girlfriend. He was essentially alone at university and much like Barry Mcdonagh, was sick and tired of always feeling the way he did.
Sean started doing his own research into the different areas of his life he felt like he was failing at. These were; talking to people, dating and self image.
So, he started reading and reading until he’d crammed so much information into his mind he had to start pulling out all the best bits into an easy to follow formula.
By doing his research, he quickly learned that most of the information out there was just plain wrong compared to what he’d found that worked for him personally. Websites and articles were all talking about the same old things that get rehashed over and over again.
Sean’s research lead him to start studying some of the biggest names in psychology and their teachings. Again, his approach was to pull out all the best bits he had learned about dating, anxiety and self improvement so he could mold them into a plan that would work for him.
After years of research into how the mind works and all the different techniques of becoming more confident and talking to girls, Sean was confident enough to get to a place where he felt comfortable enough to get out of his comfort zone.
The important thing was that he actually took action on what he learned.
Since this time in his life, Sean has gone on to travel the world, meet new people with confidence and put himself out there online on his blog for the whole world to see.
These days Sean hops the globe whilst he sells his program ‘The Shyness and Anxiety System’ which has already helped thousands of people overcome their own social anxiety and general fear.
4. Kel @ Anxious Lass
Kel, over at anxiouslass.com is another great example of someone who wanted to find a real way to end her chronic social anxiety. Like the rest of our anxiety success stories folks, she searched high and low for ways to ‘cure’ her anxiety on the world wide web.
Kel’s anxiety took the form of social anxiety, the kind that makes you scared to your core of communicating with others around you. She had the kind of anxiety that made her conscious of people looking at her on the street and being judgmental of her. The same kind of anxiety I used to suffer with myself.
Kel was anxious, even from when she was just a toddler. She remembers doing things that she thought were acceptable, but in reality were not. She found it hard to communicate with her peers and spent months at a time staying indoors with her windows drawn to shield herself from the outside world.
Kel took a more traditional approach to healing her anxiety which took the form of CBT. These days, Kel continues therapy but now it’s in the form of blogging and self improvement. She writes about her journey to leading a calmer life, self improvement and staying ahead of anxiety.
What I like about Kel is her authentic voice. Like others on this anxiety success stories list, she’s not a fan of generic health articles pumped out by big sites, she prefers to read and learn from every day people who have had anxiety disorders and have recovered or who have learned control techniques.
Kel admits that she still gets anxious sometimes but it’s having the knowledge she learned from CBT and continued blogging that stabilizes her.
Kel is a very genuine woman and an approachable person – you can see that in her writing! If you’re looking for a friendly face to guide you through ongoing coping methods, check out Kel’s site and take advantage of her recently published book; Social Anxiety To Social Success packed with no-fluff information on how you can overcome your social anxiety with added printable worksheets to monitor your progress.
5. Chris Bayliss
Chris Bayliss was also sick and tired of feeling anxious all the time. After 14 years or anxiety and panic attacks, he started doing his own research into why he was having these experiences.
Chris’ life was dominated by social anxiety which damaged his career, panic attacks which lead to him staying indoors and losing jobs, and general anxiety which took away his confidence. Like a lot of people who suffer with social anxiety, Chris’ illness started when he was young. He found himself feeling sick to his stomach one day whilst at the local mall with his friends.
Surrounded by hundreds of people, he quickly became overly conscious of himself and started panicking. Chris had rapid heart palpitations, sweating, and came over in a hot flush. He didn’t know it at the time but he had just had first first of many panic attacks.
Chris went home after this incident but thought nothing of it the next day. That was until he was with his friends again at the mall. He soon had the same sensations rushing over him. Chris realised he had associated being with his friends at the mall to panic. It was this association that lead to him becoming anxious and panicking everytime he was out in public around lots of people.
Like many who first start suffering with panic attacks, he thought he was dying everytime, and that fear increased his anxiety. Before long, he had got himself into a vicious cycle of panic and fear.
So, of course he went to his doctors for help. Like many on our anxiety success stories list, nothing seemed to help. No tests revealed anything medically wrong with Chris and he spiralled into a life of fear quickly.
Let’s just say, Chris started to experience 15+ panic attacks a day that left him in a sobbing mess…
It was at this stage that Chris decided enough was enough. There had to be an answer to his questions.
14 years of doctors and medication passed. Chris was still suffering and about to accept that this was going to be his life.
That was until he met a holistic doctor who referred him to a book which actually had nothing to do with anxiety and panic attacks. With this new piece of information and the knowledge he’d gained from 14 years of testing different coping methods, Chris finally felt like he had a working model to recover from his panic attacks.
What’s amazing for Chris is that he describes his panic attacks and anxiety as being totally gone after using the methods he pieced together.
Since publishing his findings, Chris has gone on to help over 378,000 people across the globe. I’d say that’s rather impressive, and, it all came from a guy who was ready to give up on having a normal functioning life. You can view Chris’ program here which targets general anxiety sufferers, panic attack sufferers and social anxiety sufferers.
6. Paul Dooley @ Anxietyguru.net
Paul Dooley is a pretty cool dude. I like Paul because he’s the only anxiety sufferer who’s gone on to not only create a website around his recovery and help others, but also started a podcast dedicated to anxiety and overcoming it.
One of the longest self-helpers in the anxiety space, Paul’s site has been live since 2008 which has gone on to help many others.
Pauls anxiety was shorter than some of our other anxiety success stories folks, but still very long at 10 years. His anxiety started in his teens when he became overly anxious, had panic attacks and was left feeling confused about how he could get better.
It was the fear of of being anxious for the rest of his life that pushed him to find a way out. He visited his doctors, reached out for reassurance from those around him, but he wanted to tackle his anxiety face on himself.
Like many others, Paul took from his years of finding different answers and pieced together techniques that actually helped him overcome his anxiety.
He now lays everything out in his book; ‘The Big Idea’ which is super affordable at only $10. Paul is one of a few anxiety sufferers turned teacher that believes in giving his products away affordably and I truly respect him for that.
The book is a blend of how you can balance your thoughts and feelings, how to rely on yourself for reassurance and how to let go of your fear.
Paul now blogs over at anxietyguru.net and shares all the knowledge that has personally helped him, not only in actionable articles, but in his podcast; The Anxiety Guru Show.
7. AnnaLisa Scott @ TheWorryGames
AnnaLisa Scott has been battling anxiety since her mid twenties. Her first panic attack happened soon after her husband suffered a heart attack. After this first experience of a panic attack, AnnaLisa also started a long battle with generalised anxiety disorder.
She spent the rest of her twenties fighting the symptoms of GAD and would get one symptom under control before another popped up.
Like many who are dealing with an anxiety disorder for the first time, she thought she was going crazy. Her symptoms were intrusive thoughts, depersonalisation, social anxiety, fear of her loved ones getting hurt, agoraphobia and obsessive checking.
Since she developed anxiety, AnnaLisa has also developed OCD which of course the two go hand in hand. Her obsessive checking created an even more heightened sense of anxiety and she soon ended up in a cycle of irrational behaviour.
Although AnnaLisa still suffers with OCD on a daily basis, she now has her GAD under control and blogs about her recovery.
Like many on our anxiety success stories list, AnnaLisa has a deep passion for sharing with others how they too can overcome their anxiety disorders.
Her website tagline ‘helping you solve the anxiety puzzle‘ is very appropriate as she fills in all the day to day gaps of living with and overcoming anxiety.
AnnaLisa is a very genuine, down to earth woman who contributes to anxiety sufferers with her in-depth blog posts over at www.theworrygames.com
Anxiety Success Stories – Over To You
I hope you took some value away from these folks who overcame their anxiety disorders, and those who are still maintaining them. The point of this post was to give you some motivation. Yes, Some of these guys now sell their knowledge in the form of programs. However, if you take anything away I hope it’s their journeys from start, to coping, to finishing with anxiety.
It’s important to remember that everyone is at a different stage of their disorder and I truly believe that seeing how those before you recovered from what was holding them back, you can speed up your own recovery or at least change the way you think and approach anxiety, especially if you’ve been suffering for a long time. So, I encourage you to read their full stories on their sites, gain some knowledge and take advantage of the wealth of knowledge they provide.
If you know of any other ex-anxiety sufferers that you think would be a good fit for the anxiety success stories list, please leave a comment, or, if you have a story of how you personally overcame your anxiety and think it can help others, please leave a comment below so we can all bounce off one another.
Here’s to your success – Sean
This post was previously published on ProjectEnergise.com and is republished here with permission from the author.
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