Time To Simplify | How Startup Christian Entrepreneurs Manage Time + Leverage Podcast Visibility in 90-Day Sprints

From Strung Out to Steady: Navigating Stepmom Stress For You And Your Teens | Featuring Dr. Robyn Graham #222

April 18, 2024 Episode 222
From Strung Out to Steady: Navigating Stepmom Stress For You And Your Teens | Featuring Dr. Robyn Graham #222
Time To Simplify | How Startup Christian Entrepreneurs Manage Time + Leverage Podcast Visibility in 90-Day Sprints
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Time To Simplify | How Startup Christian Entrepreneurs Manage Time + Leverage Podcast Visibility in 90-Day Sprints
From Strung Out to Steady: Navigating Stepmom Stress For You And Your Teens | Featuring Dr. Robyn Graham #222
Apr 18, 2024 Episode 222

What do you love most about podcasts?

🤔Are you or someone you know struggling with anxiety?

🤔Do you wish you or someone you love could just be happy and enjoy life?

 What if there was something you could do to navigate anxiety with grace, wisdom, and patience?

Well, Stepmama! There is! Earbuds in for today's episode with my special guest and coach, Dr. Robyn Graham, who has not only experienced anxiety, she's learned how to thrive despite it!

Get the book, You, Me, & Anxiety here!

Are you a fellow entrepreneur? Learn About Robyn's style of coaching here. So many good freebies!

Need help, ASAP?  Let's Work Together!
https://www.stepfamilypodcast.com/WorkWithJen

Take Your Power Back & Reclaim Your Joy, FAST! www.stepfamilypodcast.com/WorkWithJen
📞Get Featured on the show! Ask Jen Anything

Next steps:
Step 1: Join the Empowered Community bit.ly/joyfulwithjen
Step 2:
BUILD BETTER BOUNDARIES! Powerful Free Handbook + Bonuses!
Step 3:
De-Stress Planning - Celebrations Guide! bit.ly/CelebrateWithJen
Step 4:
Top 10 tips to Regain Your Power & Prevent Burnout Free Download!
Step 5:
Peaceful Co-Parenting Strategies that Work-Mini Workshop $97

Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord.
Psalm 31:24

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What do you love most about podcasts?

🤔Are you or someone you know struggling with anxiety?

🤔Do you wish you or someone you love could just be happy and enjoy life?

 What if there was something you could do to navigate anxiety with grace, wisdom, and patience?

Well, Stepmama! There is! Earbuds in for today's episode with my special guest and coach, Dr. Robyn Graham, who has not only experienced anxiety, she's learned how to thrive despite it!

Get the book, You, Me, & Anxiety here!

Are you a fellow entrepreneur? Learn About Robyn's style of coaching here. So many good freebies!

Need help, ASAP?  Let's Work Together!
https://www.stepfamilypodcast.com/WorkWithJen

Take Your Power Back & Reclaim Your Joy, FAST! www.stepfamilypodcast.com/WorkWithJen
📞Get Featured on the show! Ask Jen Anything

Next steps:
Step 1: Join the Empowered Community bit.ly/joyfulwithjen
Step 2:
BUILD BETTER BOUNDARIES! Powerful Free Handbook + Bonuses!
Step 3:
De-Stress Planning - Celebrations Guide! bit.ly/CelebrateWithJen
Step 4:
Top 10 tips to Regain Your Power & Prevent Burnout Free Download!
Step 5:
Peaceful Co-Parenting Strategies that Work-Mini Workshop $97

Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord.
Psalm 31:24

Jen Rogers : 0:00

My oldest biological daughters are well beyond their teen years now and the mom scars have healed. Talk about hard, hard, hard After blending. I can only imagine how much harder it is if you're at your wits end when it comes to relating and raising your teen stepdaughter. Are you struggling with connecting with your teen? Maybe you're wondering if something is a little off with them, as in more so than the normal teen challenges.

Jen Rogers : 0:30

I remember interviewing a therapist on the podcast shortly after the world shifted in 2020. During that interview, we talked about how the whole world has now experienced trauma as the elites attempted to shut us up while shutting the world down. Unfortunately, their efforts continue and, unfortunately, their evil efforts continue. Yet, no matter what's happening in the world, we have a responsibility to get equipped and to stay equipped, with the armor of God, to know how to navigate these challenges and to work to heal through the trauma and equip our kids. Have you noticed an uptick in anxiety levels in your kids? How about you? Are you more anxious? What if there was something you could do to navigate anxiety with grace? What if there was something you could do to navigate anxiety with grace? What if there was something you could do to navigate anxiety with grace, wisdom and patience. Here's straight talk from my next guest.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 1:33

It's not something to take lightly. It's something that you hold them up in prayer, stand by them and encourage them to do the work every day so they can move past it. Otherwise, it's going to be with them for the rest of their life, and if they learn the tools to navigate it now, they'll be able to have a more peaceful, purposeful life later. I'm not saying anxiety goes away completely, but if you can learn the tools to navigate it, you're going to be much better off than if you just stay in the trenches of it every single day. It can destroy you.

Jen Rogers : 2:04

Meet Dr. Robyn Graham, a woman who works with clients to grow their businesses without the anxiety-inducing pressure of showing up nonstop on socials. She's my kind of coach. Robyn's also a fellow podcast hostess of the Robyn Graham Show and author of you, me and Anxiety. I can't wait for you to meet her. On the other side of the intro, hey. The mission of the Empowered Stepmom podcast is to help you create a significantly less anxious home as you blend your families together, whether or not you have teens in the home. Hey there, I'm Jen Rogers, keynote speaker, workshop facilitator and an entrepreneur who absolutely wants to avoid the anxiety-inducing social media scene to grow my business. I love connecting with smart women like Robyn and I love connecting with you. I'm on a mission to guide you over your complex challenges of your Stepmama calling. I want to be the feminine voice of blending beautifully together, because I want you to avoid the hard and the hurt I experienced when I first blended. You can do this if you're willing to do the work. Hey there, listen. If you are struggling with an excessive amount of anxiety, you don't know what to do with all of the challenges you are facing in your Stepmama role. Here's the one thing you don't need to do. You don't need to stay stuck. You do not need to stay mired in the anxiousness of wondering how do I connect with my stepkids. Let me show you how. Let me save you a lot of years of anxiety. Let me show you what you can avoid doing so you can create a peaceful, harmonious home. You can do this. Stepmama, listen, you do not serve a God who is stuck. He is the ultimate unstuckness, and you can be too. You do not need to stay stuck. Head on over to stepfamilypodcastcom. Forward slash, work with Jen and take the empowerment quiz so we can get started working together ASAP.

Jen Rogers : 4:07

All right, let's get started with this episode number 222 of the Empowered Stepmom podcast, because we are not going to stay anxious. All right, let's hit it. You know how you wish. Sometimes somebody would just cut to the chase and just give it to you straight up. Hey, that is exactly what I'm going to do. First, I've asked Robyn to share her five C's when dealing with anxiety. I'm going to let her give you an overview and then we're going to jump into the full interview. Are you ready? Let's do it. Can we talk about the five C's briefly, catch?

Dr. Robyn Graham : 4:49

challenge, change, control and confidence. So catching those negative thoughts, challenging them Are these realistic? Could they be proven in a court of law? Would someone that I know, love and trust be thinking the same thing that I'm thinking and then change, change those thoughts? And this is the best way to change those thoughts is not saying okay, stop thinking that, think this. It's actually writing down the negative and then writing down the positive. So if you think about write down the negative, scratch it out and then write down the positive. So your brain registered that this is what we're supposed to think and then the more you do these exercises, the more control you're going to have over your thoughts. Then the more confident you will be in making decisions and navigating your anxiety.

Jen Rogers : 5:33

To recap, catch, challenge, change, control and confidence. In this episode, we're going to throw in a bonus. Let's get downright curious. Now that we've started with the end in mind, let's go to the beginning. Robyn, when we first got together, I had no idea that you were Dr Robyn, and as I have been looking at all of your amazing resources online and the work that you have already done before we've come together to record today, I thought this is the woman I want to know more about. So what is the doctor part.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 6:10

Do tell. Okay. So I will tell Jen. I have a doctorate in pharmacy by degree and for many years I used that degree. I did a lot of research and wrote a lot of papers in the area of psychology. Lot of research and wrote a lot of papers in the area of psychology. I myself have had a journey with anxiety my entire life and between the two. That's lent me some expertise in the area of anxiety. Not saying I know everything, not saying I treat it, but I have certainly learned enough to know how to identify it, navigate it and help others recognize it so that they can live a joyful, purposeful, happy peaceful life.

Jen Rogers : 6:49

You're a mama of three, two of whom have already flown the coop, and a teen daughter at home, so how often do you have to take your own advice?

Dr. Robyn Graham : 6:59

A whole lot and I'm a work in progress. And let me tell you, as a mom of three, my two older ones are boys and the teen is a girl you talk about a night and day and, as I've been raising them, the two boys that are older are separate conversations than the daughter who's younger, and I would often have to remind myself wait, I can't say that I'm talking to this one. Or oh, no, I can't say that I'm talking to this one. Yeah, You've got to be game on as a parent always game on.

Jen Rogers : 7:32

Yes, game on. You are a self-declared introvert, yet here you are out facing the public in a multitude of ways, so I would imagine you experience some anxiety going against the grain.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 7:48

Yes, sometimes I wonder is it the chicken or the egg which came first, right? Was it the anxiety that came first, or is it my introverted personality that came first and caused me to experience so much social anxiety? But the reality is I have generalized anxiety, not just social anxiety. So it's a little bit different. But I think, being an introvert, what that means is that I don't pull my energy from necessarily other people or being around other people. I need rest, I need time away from life in general to recharge and going into situations. As an introvert, I do have to prepare myself because I'm fatigued after. So after a day of being on, whether it's coaching calls, whether it's a speaking engagement, whether it's being on the fields for a tournament all day I'm wiped out.

Jen Rogers : 8:39

at the end of the day, as they would say, the polar opposite. I'm an extrovert, so I get my energy from this. This excites me to be in the room and connect with people, and I just want more of it. So thanks so much for playing with me today.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 8:52

Yeah, absolutely and honestly. I love being around people and I love one of my favorite things is getting to know people. I'm very curious and I think curiosity is a value that especially younger people can really grab hold of and entertain, because the more curious we are, I think, the better we will be at building relationships and the more confident we'll be as we navigate life, and we can stay away from judging ourselves and judging others if we just get curious as to okay. So why am I feeling this way? What just happened to make me experience what I felt and really tapping into that curiosity? So I love the fact that you have all that energy and you bring it to the table, because I can feed off of that energy, but at the same time, I do like to be in the presence of other people. It's the after effect right, like I can come full on and be present and be energetic, but then at the end is when I'm just like, well, I got to kick back for a minute and recover.

Jen Rogers : 9:52

And how does that work in your family dynamics? How do you let your family know hey, I need my space right now, at this point?

Dr. Robyn Graham : 9:59

they know, two of us are introverts and three of us are extroverts. So the two introverts my oldest son and I, we can just be completely by ourselves and content, we don't need a lot of fanfare. But the other three are very social. On all the time Laughter, you know, like crazy, go, go, go. So it is interesting and I will say that as a mom my middle one and my younger one are the two that are extroverted and they're the two that I have to take a step back and not be like why are you going again? Why are you leaving again? Why are you always going out? Can't we just sit and watch a movie? I have to give them that grace to just be who they are, because I would rather them just stay home with me and curl up on the couch, like my brain has to say no, they're not like you, they want to go, they want to be around people.

Jen Rogers : 10:51

Yeah, yeah, as I think about families integrating together. When families are blending together, they don't have all of that inside intel to know oh, this is the norm. Everything just looks and feels oh, what are they doing? So there are some challenges there in getting in a rhythm and understanding and appreciating how somebody else functions. So I appreciate that. You say curiosity. That was my word for 2023, and I'm still holding on to it. That is such a powerful word.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 11:22

You know it's a really good one, and I think as we navigate life in general, whether with anxiety or without anxiety, I think the more curious we are. The more curious we are to learn about our identity in Christ, the more curious we are to learn about other people and what makes them tick, that we can use to understand them and then have better relationships. I think we're just, we can just keep more peace instead of and I think we live in a world right now where the climate is so volatile and it's important to be able to be oh, why do you think that? But ask the questions in a gracious way, a kind way, from a humility perspective. Versus that you don't believe what I believe, then you're scum.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 12:07

It just seems like there's so much animosity and volatility, and I think we can look at things from a place of curiosity, and the more curious we are, the more hopeful we can be that resolution is possible.

Jen Rogers : 12:20

When I think about how you must be challenged with anxiety from being a multi-passionate preneur I don't know if I'm making that word up or not, but you are definitely multi-passionate, so you've had this experience and study in pharmacy. You're a photographer, you love adventure. You coach entrepreneurs. You do all of these things. When you think about your roles, including being a mom and a wife, where, would you say, you experience the biggest challenge? In feeling anxious?

Dr. Robyn Graham : 12:51

Hands down. Of all the things I do, speaking gives me the most anxiety, always has Like I know you love to speak For me the thought of speaking. I really have to prepare myself and before we started and you said the prayer and you said you've already paved the way for us. Lord, you know the path that we're on and I have to constantly remind myself of that and navigate the anxiety and shut down the what-ifs, because if I don't, those what-ifs will hold me back from sharing the message that I've been called to share.

Jen Rogers : 13:20

That sounds like a hot tip that you ask what would happen if you didn't do what God called you to do. So when you're thinking, when you're making recommendations about navigating anxiety and moving beyond it, what kind of strategies do you have that you would recommend for women to use Our brain?

Dr. Robyn Graham : 13:40

is wired to think negatively, believe it or not. So there's this thing called negativity bias that we're all born with, and this goes back all the way to our ancestors, who were cave people and they were constantly on high alert, right. So it's there in our brain to protect us. Now we don't need it as much because we have tools and things to protect us and ways to know if something dangerous is coming at us. So it's really owning the fact that your brain is going to work a certain way. And if somebody has anxiety, there's multiple things that are happening. And I'm going to be talking about clinical anxieties, like a true diagnosis, medical diagnosis of anxiety, not a I feel jittery and I'm nervous about this situation, but true anxiety. Your brain is going to be on a cycle of what if? Thoughts. And on the cover of my book I have a Ferris wheel, and the reason there is a Ferris wheel there is because when you think of going to a carnival, getting on a Ferris wheel, you stand in line. The Ferris wheel is going to slow down, it's going to let people off and it's going to let people on. Well, our brain is like that Ferris wheel, except when we have anxiety. All those negative thoughts are just spinning in our brain and our brain isn't slowing down to let those negative thoughts out and positive thoughts in. If you can identify what your thoughts are, if you can catch negative thoughts, negative anxious thoughts, those what-if thoughts or negative self-talk or trying to convince yourself that I'm not worthy of that or I don't have the knowledge for that or I don't have the skills for that, or something really bad could happen. Catch those thoughts and you're going to start now that you've heard us talk about this you're going to start to catch those faster because you're going to be more aware of them. As you catch those thoughts, challenge them. Would someone you know, love and respect be thinking the same thing about you or the situation at hand or the decision you have to make? And if the answer is no, then take that thought and change it.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 15:38

Journaling is extremely powerful because, scientifically, journaling can change the neural pathways in your brain, just like meditation can. So if you can write down those negative thoughts and then write the positive alternative next to it, your brain's going to see and you're going to take the connection from the brain to the hand. It's very powerful and you can write the positive alternative and then the brain's going to start to see oh okay, I don't have to think negative, I can think positive. The more you do this exercise, the more control you'll have over your thoughts, and then the more confidence you'll have to do things that maybe you haven't been able to do in the past, or to make decisions without so much fear and doubt and anxiety rising up and bubbling up in your body.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 16:22

One of the things we have to do, though, is also recognize what is triggering these negative thoughts, and sometimes, before we can even identify the trigger, we've got to recognize the symptoms. Symptoms of anxiety could be stomach pain. For me, my anxiety manifests in the top of my belly, and it's the same feeling, and it's just, I know it like clockwork now, but I didn't when I was younger, so that took really recognizing. Okay, what is this and what is happening at the time that's triggering this, and we can come back to that, but stomach pains, racing heartbeat, maybe just shaking, not sleeping, inability to make decisions. If you're like, say, it's a teen involved maybe socially, they're all of a sudden no longer able to go and do something with their friends that they were able to do before, or maybe they can't do what other kids are doing, period. Maybe it's a fall in grades, maybe it's things falling through the cracks at work. You'll start to notice some things. Things are just falling through the cracks, things are not working the way they used to work or they're worse than they used to be.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 17:34

When these types of things are happening, evaluate what's going on in your life. Do you have a presentation coming up? Do you have plans of travel coming up? Do you have family coming in to visit? Did you have a conversation with someone that upset you and left you feeling less than, or overwhelmed, or frustrated or hurt? What is happening in your life? Maybe someone is ill, maybe you were diagnosed with life. Maybe someone is ill, maybe you were diagnosed with something. Maybe your child is struggling with something.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 18:07

So, when you start to experience symptoms of anxiety, ask yourself, okay, what's going on in my world that could be causing these symptoms? And then you can start addressing that by okay, here's what I'm thinking about, this situation so you can use, if you're, say, going to a networking event and all of these anxious feelings are coming up, and the what ifs. What if I don't know anybody? What if nobody likes me? What if I look ridiculous. Will I have nothing to wear? What if my clothes aren't appropriate? All of these thoughts that could go through your mind.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 18:34

Create a strategy. Okay, or maybe it's that your in-laws are coming to visit and you're not sure how it's going to go and they make you really anxious. How can you prepare, how can you create a strategy for these situations so that you're prepared in advance and the anxiety doesn't have to escalate once in the situation, circumstance or experience? So, like the networking example, situation, circumstance or experience. So, like the networking example, go on Pinterest and look for outfits for networking events. Ask a friend to go with you. If you don't think you're going to know anyone, contact the host of the event. Ask for a list of attendees.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 19:11

There are so many different things that you can do to prepare yourself mentally to be able to do experiences that maybe in the past you haven't been able to do. Experiences that maybe in the past you haven't been able to do or that are causing you to physically feel debilitated when you think about having to do these things. Another one around the networking or any situation that you could potentially be in, is you know what? I'm going to give myself the grace to say I'm going to go and if I'm uncomfortable I'll excuse myself. You don't owe anybody an excuse as to why you have to leave. You showed up. That's step number one. Pat yourself on the back and then, if it's not feeling good, you feel overwhelmed or too anxious to stay, you can leave.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 19:54

But what I would encourage anyone to do is if you're navigating anxiety, but what I would encourage anyone to do is, if you're navigating anxiety, make sure that anytime you are in a situation, you document what you were feeling at the time and what you were feeling after and evaluate whether or not those thoughts are accurate and what you would change the next time to make it a better experience. Because the more you do that, the more your brain will see that, yeah, I really didn't need to have those negative thoughts. I really didn't have to be so afraid. I didn't have to doubt that I was capable. I didn't have to worry to the extent that I was worrying.

Jen Rogers : 20:31

Just like we were talking earlier about we have to have this polar position in order to relate to something, versus it being okay to have a middle ground conversation. It's a lot like this in our relationship with anxiety. We believe that we should have zero anxiety, that if I'm put together, if I know what I'm about, then I shouldn't experience a lot of anxiety and I'm not going to go on my soapbox issue of should here, but it's there and we know that's not a great word. So can we normalize? How do we normalize anxiety?

Dr. Robyn Graham : 21:04

Every single human out there is going to experience times in their life when they have anxiety. I think we need to disassociate anxiety with something's wrong with the person. We don't look at a person that has cardiovascular disease and say, oh, they're really weird because they have cardiovascular disease. We don't look at someone who has diabetes and shun them because their brain's not working properly or their pancreas isn't working properly to navigate the internal levels of insulin in their body. But why do we do that? For people who have mental illness and it's just like everything else, there shouldn't be shame attached to it. We should all give each other the grace that we would want someone to give us in any situation, and if someone has cancer, we all feel really bad for them. But if they have anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or any other mental health challenge, it's like, well, they should be committed.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 22:01

We're hearing more and more about anxiety, right. However, what is also happening is people are using it as an excuse. So maybe they haven't been diagnosed with clinical anxiety, but because they chose a behavior around, an interaction, a circumstance, a conversation, relationship, whatever they're like oh, I was anxious. Or you'll hear a lot of people saying, oh, I'm so anxious, don't do that, because you're downplaying what other people are actually struggling with every single day of their life. It is no joke.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 22:36

Like people who have especially younger generations who have anxiety, they are struggling internally every single day. And then if they are presented with the fact that, oh, you go to therapy, that must mean you're weird or something's wrong with you. No, not at all. You go to a doctor for a broken bone. Why would you not go and get the help you need? And we're not meant to do any of this alone. And faith can be such a huge proponent for navigating anxiety. The Bible very clearly tells us to not be anxious about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition, give thanksgiving. And the more gratitude we have, the more faith we have, the more readily we're going to be able to navigate anxiety, because we have that basis of hope, we have that foundation that anything is possible and our brain can heal. We can change the neural pathways in our brain.

Jen Rogers : 23:33

Definitely we have to do the work, and one of the ways that we do that you and I talked a little bit about Romans 12, that we are called to offer ourselves up as a living sacrifice, that we are holy and we are pleasing to God, because that's a proper and true form of worship. So we're not conforming to what's happening in the world, but we are being transformed by the renewing of our minds, and there's a lot of ways to interpret this verse as far as the transformation goes. Is it my work? Is it God's work? I think of it as God's work in response to our obedience that we are in His Word, studying, meditating, learning, because when we learn how God thinks, he definitely is going to transform how we think, and that will give us that discernment to better understand his will, what he's doing where he is at work, so we can join him there.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 24:30

We have to do the work. We can't just sit back or we can't say just get over it. Especially as parents, you cannot just say get over it and expect your child to pick themselves up and navigate anxiety. It's not possible. It takes a team and it takes daily work and that work is that mindset work. It's not something to take lightly. It's something that you hold them up in prayer, stand by them and encourage them to do the work every day so they can move past it. Otherwise it's going to be with them for the rest of their life and if they learn the tools to navigate it now, they'll be able to have a more peaceful, purposeful life later. I'm not saying anxiety goes away completely, but if you can learn the tool to navigate it, you're going to be much better off than if you just stay in the trenches of it every single day. It can destroy you.

Jen Rogers : 25:21

You mentioned some really important aspects of it, that it takes time. You talked about journaling and thinking about okay, what were the triggers, what happened before, what was I feeling, what was I expecting, what happened afterwards? And it's really important to emphasize that because we do need to do the work, we do need to take time for reflection and it's so easy to get caught up in distractions that take away time for reflection and meditation and prayer. So I appreciate you mentioning those and I want to emphasize those again that you do need to take time for you. Thinking about what you're thinking about is really important so that you know that you are aligned with what God says about who you are and whose you are. As I think about your book, I was looking and your book is you, me and Anxiety I noticed there's a teen version and there's a parent version. So can you share what had you saying? I need to sit down and write this book. What happened?

Dr. Robyn Graham : 26:23

I really felt a call from the Holy Spirit to be perfectly honest, and I think he was holding my hand as I was writing. For sure, sometimes I look at things and I'm like, wow, I wrote that, but that's neither here nor there. But what really happened, I think, is that as the older my children got, the more we were seeing anxiety in our communities and the prevalence of suicide was increasing rapidly. The incidence and prevalence of drug addiction and overdose was increasing rapidly and a lot of these children have anxiety but it is going undiagnosed because parents are saying get over it, just get over it, just go do the thing.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 27:05

And I watched my own son navigate anxiety and I thought there's no reason that these children have to suffer. And I suffered too long. It held me back in a lot of ways and it also made me make really dumb decisions because I was wanting to please other people, because I felt so off inside. I don't want other people to have to go through life that way, and so I thought if I write this book for teen girls, I can give them insight and inspiration and hope that if they're willing to take action. But the other thing I wanted to do was I wanted to help youth understand anxiety so, even if they don't have anxiety but their friend does, they can be a support system for that friend instead of turning their back on them. Because a lot of times kids with anxiety simply don't have the social bandwidth that a kid who doesn't have anxiety has, and so they're shunned. And then what happens? They're seeking friendships and they end up in the groups. Maybe that really aren't where they belong at all and they get into making bad decisions and there's a lot of insecurities and there's poor choices being made, and then they support each other in those decisions versus guiding each other to a more positive approach to life. I really wanted to give them a tool and I thought, if I can help one teen girl not want to die by suicide, then I will have done my job. And what has happened is that when I wrote the book, I realized teens can't do this by themselves first and foremost, and so their parents have to understand it too.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 28:50

Each chapter is the same in both books, but the parent book has a little bit more depth of my journey, things that I experienced throughout my life, so they can be more aware of what to look for in their child and then different ways of parenting so that they can maintain that foundation of their family and not let anxiety navigate or determine their family dynamics for them. Because what happens a lot of times in families with children with anxiety is you've got one kid with anxiety and they don't like change. They get something where they have to do certain things in certain orders and certain times and all of this and then that can damage vacation opportunities. It can damage the opportunity to go out to dinner. There's a lot of things that can happen.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 29:42

It's really being aware for the parent too of oh, my child is behaving this way and this is new. So maybe we need to monitor this, check into this and then getting the help proactively versus waiting until things have spiraled out of control. So that's why there's two books and the journal accompanies books and the journal accompanies them and the journal is based on. There's different activities in the book so that the teen, the parent, can do the activities, but there's a journal to practice the five C's.

Jen Rogers : 30:12

Can we revisit those? Can we talk about the five C's briefly Catch challenge, change, control and confidence.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 30:20

So catching those negative thoughts, challenging them, are these realistic? Could they be proven in a court of law with someone that I know love and trust? Be thinking the same thing that I'm thinking and then change, change those thoughts. And this is the best way to change those thoughts is not saying okay, stop thinking that, think this. It's actually writing down the negative and then writing down the positive. So if you think about write down the negative, scratch it out and then write down the positive. So your brain registered that this is what we're supposed to think and then the more you do these exercises, the more control you're going to have over your thoughts. Then the more confident you will be in making decisions and navigating your anxiety and life in general.

Jen Rogers : 31:07

That's so good. Thank you for sharing those. So you and I are both entrepreneurs. There's a lot of anxiety opportunities in your work with entrepreneurs. What stresses them out the most?

Dr. Robyn Graham : 31:14

Wow, that's a good question and I think it's really different for everyone. Some of my clients have significant past money trauma, so money mindset is a major crux, so we have to do a lot of work navigating that. Others, it's sometimes making decisions on their offers and their pricing is very overwhelming, I think a lot of times being present, they don't like social media and anybody who has anxiety is more prone to having their anxiety escalate or, if they don't have anxiety, to have anxiety triggered because of social media. My clients don't like to be on social media so my entire program is mapped around not being on social media. So more sustainable marketing strategies. Creating video is another thing that gives people anxiety and even going to networking network thing that gives people anxiety and even going to networking network engagements can give people anxiety. So there's a lot of different triggers depending on the people and sometimes it's making big decisions in their business, like laying someone off or having to let somebody go and hire someone else, and there's a lot of big, heavy decisions that people have to make during their entrepreneurial journey. But again, if you can map out pen and paper, use that mind-body-soul connection and pray and write out all of the possible outcomes I like to use the example of your beliefs are going to influence your thoughts. Your thoughts are going to influence your emotions and your feelings. Your emotions and your feelings are going to influence the choices you make, the behaviors you choose, and then those are going to determine what your outcomes are, whether you succeed, don't succeed.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 32:55

And I like to use the example of that as someone who say they're going to start a diet right, they want to lose 10 pounds. At first they're like, oh, I believe I can lose 10 pounds. And then it's great, I'm going to do this. And they go out, they get the clothes, they get the healthy food, they do all the things. And the first day they do great. First couple of days, they lose a pound. By day three they they're like I don't want to do this anymore. This isn't any fun. I just want a candy bar, I just want to watch Netflix. And then they stop believing that this is possible. Then they start telling themselves that's really not possible. Life would be so much more fun if I just did this. I really don't have time to work out, I don't have time to go back to the grocery store to get more healthy food. I'm just going to watch Netflix tonight, and then I get back into the rut that they were already in and what happens? They end up gaining weight instead of losing weight.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 33:53

So it's really how, what your beliefs are, and I believe that if you're a person of faith, that faith is the foundation for that belief system, that you know that God's going to equip you if he's called you, and that anything is possible with him, so you can keep that foundation of your belief and from there, your thoughts are going to be positive. Right, you're going to. You're going to trust that you're going to be able to do this and you can tell yourself you know what he's got me, so I've got this. And then you're going to feel more confident, you're going to feel more secure, you're going to be able to walk into whatever it is you have to do on that to-do list and you're going to have it mapped out in a way that it's feasible. You can take the right steps to achieve the right outcomes.

Jen Rogers : 34:37

What do you wish someone would have said to you when you were, you know about 15, to acknowledge that you may have been struggling with anxiety. What do you wish?

Dr. Robyn Graham : 34:46

somebody would have said, I guess the biggest thing would have been if someone had explained to me and this may sound crazy, but if someone had explained to me that the Holy Spirit was inside me, that Jesus was inside me and that anything is possible as long as I believe in him, I think that would have transformed my life, because it wasn't until I realized the power from within, when we believe, of what's capable, what's truly capable, and I think if I'd had that security, that would have been a game changer for me.

Jen Rogers : 35:20

And how does your experience with anxiety influence your relationship with your daughter, who's at home right now?

Dr. Robyn Graham : 35:26

In some ways it makes me more aware of what she's experiencing socially and just with the stress and pressure and everything. And on the other side I want to be so protective but I've learned that I can't project my anxiety, my fear, my insecurities on her, that she's a unique person, a unique personality and she approaches life with so much vigor and excitement and just that sense of adventure that I can't hold her back. So I think that's a huge part of our dynamic is, if I say something, I have to then retract and, yes, I'm going to guide her and make good decisions and she's not, doesn't have life as a free for all, obviously. But it's that giving her the space to be who she is and not projecting my personality traits onto her.

Jen Rogers : 36:26

Yeah, and she's an extrovert. You said you're an introvert, so there's that also.

Dr. Robyn Graham : 36:30

There's that challenge there too. Yeah, and I'm anxious and she's not. Yes.

Jen Rogers : 36:38

You are also a podcaster. What's your favorite thing about?

Dr. Robyn Graham : 36:41

podcasting oh, hands down, the people that I get to meet, as it's the best gig in the world because you get to meet such amazing people and I become friends with so many and it just the relationship building opportunities is so cool. And then, second to that would be just knowing that I'm positively impacting someone else's life, whether they ever tell me or not. Just knowing that someone has heard my voice and feels better today makes me so happy.

Jen Rogers : 37:14

That's awesome. I have heard your voice. I've listened to several episodes, so I highly recommend it. You not only have a podcast, but you have a ton of other resources too, so where can people find all this good stuff that you have for?

Dr. Robyn Graham : 37:22

them. The best place, jen, is my website, theRobyngrahamcom. It's Robyn with a Y and Graham just like the cracker. So theRobyngrahamcom forward slash resources. At the resource page you'll find access to the podcast. You can access free resources to download so that page is hands down like where you're going to find the gold. And then, of course, you can explore every other page on the website as well.

Jen Rogers : 37:49

That's awesome. Gold is going up in price, so go get the resources. Love it, love it. Thanks so much for joining me on the show today. I really appreciate it. Thanks, jen, it was an honor.

 

Hey, there Stepmama, thank you so much for listening in today. Again, if you would like some help on your Stepmama journey, you do not need to do this alone. Head on over to stepfamilypodcast.com/WorkWithJen . And if today's episode helped you, bless you, encouraged you. The number one thing you can do is share it with a friend, get other women attuned to the resources that are available for them so they too can blend beautifully together. All right. Head on over to stepfamilypodcast.com/WorkWithJento get started, to reduce your anxiety. I will catch you in the next episode.

The 5 C's of Navigating Anxiety
Introverts and Extroverts
Recognizing Triggers & Preparing for Them
Create A Strategy To Manage Anxiety
We're Not Meant To Do This Alone
Teen and Parent Anxiety Book Options by Dr. Graham