NK Podcast: Leading H.E.R. Way

27: Amanda Kucsera, LPC: Confronting Anxiety & Embracing the Unknown

October 17, 2023 Nikisha King | Certified Business & Life Coach Season 1 Episode 27
27: Amanda Kucsera, LPC: Confronting Anxiety & Embracing the Unknown
NK Podcast: Leading H.E.R. Way
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NK Podcast: Leading H.E.R. Way
27: Amanda Kucsera, LPC: Confronting Anxiety & Embracing the Unknown
Oct 17, 2023 Season 1 Episode 27
Nikisha King | Certified Business & Life Coach

In this transformative episode, we tackle the often overwhelming subject of anxiety.

Join me for a conversation with Amanda Kucsera, a licensed professional counselor and certified clinical anxiety treatment provider. If you've ever found yourself trapped in the throes of anxiety, seeking solace in avoidance and numbing, you're not alone.

Amanda shares tips on managing anxiety and imparts unique, effective techniques to break free from its grip.

In this conversation, Amanda and I discuss topics, such as:

1. Recognizing the Suppression of Discomfort: Amanda delves into the paralyzing fear of the unknown and the relentless "what ifs" that haunt those grappling with anxiety. She provides practical strategies to help us identify when we're suppressing our discomfort, a crucial step in the journey to managing anxiety effectively.

2. Breaking the Cycle of Avoidance and Numbing: We explore the insidious cycle of avoidance and numbing, which affects our mental well-being, relationships, and capacity to be present for loved ones. Amanda discusses how we can confront these behaviors and embark on a journey of self-love and self-discovery.

3. Personifying Anxiety as a Tool: Rather than allowing anxiety to hinder us, Amanda encourages us to consider it a tool. She reveals how infusing positivity into our conversations and anticipating the unknown can help loosen anxiety's grip on our lives.

Emphasizing the importance of reflection, awareness, and strong community support, Amanda guides us toward a future brimming with possibilities, liberated from the shackles of anxiety.

Follow Amanda:

Follow Amanda onLinkedIn

Work with Amanda > Sunflower Counseling Center.

Connect with me:

NK Focus Formula: focus.nikishaking.com

Instagram: https://pr.nikishaking.com/ig-nk-podcast

LinkedIn: https://pr.nikishaking.com/nk-linkedin

Facebook: https://pr.nikishaking.com/fb-nk-podcast

Ready to break free from the shackles of anxiety and embark on a transformative journey towards a brighter, anxiety-free future? Take these steps:

Subscribe: Hit that follow button to never miss an episode of Leading HER Way. We've got a wealth of wisdom waiting for you.

Share: If today's episode has inspired you, share it with your friends, family, and anyone else who could use a dose of positivity and personal growth.

Connect: Join our community and engage in meaningful discussions about mindset, self-discovery, personal growth, and abundance.

Reflect and Act: Implement the strategies discussed in this episode into your life. Start your journey toward anxiety relief and self-discovery today, and remember,

And for those navigating the maze of business ventures alone, I'm extending a personal and FREE invitation for one-on-one mentorship.

Today, choose to bring ONE challenge to our meeting, and let's pursue a brand of growth that satisfies you and brings you joy.

Schedule your Free Call Today by Clicking Here

Let's Connect - Follow Me:

Please Subscribe, and Rate ⭐️ the show to help us spread abundance in our small business world.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this transformative episode, we tackle the often overwhelming subject of anxiety.

Join me for a conversation with Amanda Kucsera, a licensed professional counselor and certified clinical anxiety treatment provider. If you've ever found yourself trapped in the throes of anxiety, seeking solace in avoidance and numbing, you're not alone.

Amanda shares tips on managing anxiety and imparts unique, effective techniques to break free from its grip.

In this conversation, Amanda and I discuss topics, such as:

1. Recognizing the Suppression of Discomfort: Amanda delves into the paralyzing fear of the unknown and the relentless "what ifs" that haunt those grappling with anxiety. She provides practical strategies to help us identify when we're suppressing our discomfort, a crucial step in the journey to managing anxiety effectively.

2. Breaking the Cycle of Avoidance and Numbing: We explore the insidious cycle of avoidance and numbing, which affects our mental well-being, relationships, and capacity to be present for loved ones. Amanda discusses how we can confront these behaviors and embark on a journey of self-love and self-discovery.

3. Personifying Anxiety as a Tool: Rather than allowing anxiety to hinder us, Amanda encourages us to consider it a tool. She reveals how infusing positivity into our conversations and anticipating the unknown can help loosen anxiety's grip on our lives.

Emphasizing the importance of reflection, awareness, and strong community support, Amanda guides us toward a future brimming with possibilities, liberated from the shackles of anxiety.

Follow Amanda:

Follow Amanda onLinkedIn

Work with Amanda > Sunflower Counseling Center.

Connect with me:

NK Focus Formula: focus.nikishaking.com

Instagram: https://pr.nikishaking.com/ig-nk-podcast

LinkedIn: https://pr.nikishaking.com/nk-linkedin

Facebook: https://pr.nikishaking.com/fb-nk-podcast

Ready to break free from the shackles of anxiety and embark on a transformative journey towards a brighter, anxiety-free future? Take these steps:

Subscribe: Hit that follow button to never miss an episode of Leading HER Way. We've got a wealth of wisdom waiting for you.

Share: If today's episode has inspired you, share it with your friends, family, and anyone else who could use a dose of positivity and personal growth.

Connect: Join our community and engage in meaningful discussions about mindset, self-discovery, personal growth, and abundance.

Reflect and Act: Implement the strategies discussed in this episode into your life. Start your journey toward anxiety relief and self-discovery today, and remember,

And for those navigating the maze of business ventures alone, I'm extending a personal and FREE invitation for one-on-one mentorship.

Today, choose to bring ONE challenge to our meeting, and let's pursue a brand of growth that satisfies you and brings you joy.

Schedule your Free Call Today by Clicking Here

Let's Connect - Follow Me:

Please Subscribe, and Rate ⭐️ the show to help us spread abundance in our small business world.

Nikisha King:

You're listening to Nikisha King Podcast leading her way, episode 27. Do you have a dream or a mission or a fire that has ignited inside of you to create an amazing business that can grow and scale, but, at the same time, you don't want to sacrifice your life, your family relationships or values in building this dream? If this is, you, welcome to the Nikisha King Podcast leading her way. Hello, gorgeous, and welcome to Leading Her Way Podcast.

Nikisha King:

My name is Nikisha, your host, and today we have a special guest, Amanda Kucsera. She's a licensed professional counselor and she is here today to talk about self-sabotage and staying with the beasts. That we all know. All right, that's just me being extra. We don't all know. I know for sure. I usually can stay with my beast, but I've worked so hard and not sticking with it. It's on for the journey, but letting it go, and we're going to talk about that today in this podcast, because I really believe that our mindset plays a big role in our success the way you define it in our lives, our personal lives, our business lives. So, Amanda, thank you for joining us today and, if you don't mind, can you please let everyone know a little more about you.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

Sure, thank you for having me, Nikisha. So, like Nikisha said, I'm a licensed professional counselor. I'm also a certified clinical anxiety treatment provider, so I specialize in treating all types of anxiety and panic disorders. I've been in the field for about five years now, and currently I work at the outpatient level of care where I treat children and adults with anxiety disorders. Prior to joining my colleagues practice, I was a clinical coordinator of adolescent psychiatric services for a higher level of care program and we treated children and adolescents with mental health and substance use disorders.

Nikisha King:

Got it. Thank you for sharing a little bit more of your background with us. And when you said that, I do have a question In most of your clients, do you call them clients or your patients Clients? Thank you, clients, because I feel like patients are in hospital or something of that nature. Clients is outbound anxiety. When you work with someone with anxiety, is it them always worrying about the future? The unknown Is that where they kind of are, that's their world. Is that what? Because there's something I heard the other day about anxiety and depression which was so good. Depression is when you worry about your past and you can't get over, cannot move forward. Anxieties when you're worrying about your future, so you're never in the present, you're in one or the other, and that's how we clinically define them.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

Yeah, exactly, Anxiety is very much a fear of the future. It's the fear of the what-ifs. What if I don't get this job? What if I don't succeed? What if this happens? Right so, and we get stuck in that what-if spiral and it just keeps building and building the anxiety.

Nikisha King:

Right, and that's the funny. And when I say funny people, what I mean by that is not the clinical side of it, because that's serious and people go through a process, but the interesting part about it is when you create one, what-if you go on a journey with that.

Nikisha King:

There was like when I started my process, I had to learn how to verbally and loudly say stop. So what that meant for me is I would be driving somewhere. I could see a whole accident. It would be like going, legs amputated, it's just go. I'm like stop. No, calm down, chill out brain. I'm like stop. And then I would envision where I'm going, my destination. I would envision me getting there, safely, walking out my car, perfectly fine, and that literally dissolved all anxiety. And it's a practice I have now.

Nikisha King:

When I go flying, I don't even care because I went to Dallas. I was never there, I didn't care about that. I cared just the fact the plane's on the ground and I'm off-boarding, because that's how far I could get. I never seen that airport before. I didn't know where I was going and I'm in front of a hotel. I just imagine a big building with doors that automatically open. That is it. So it's so interesting that and I wanted to share that because I know that feeling, I know the feeling where the what-if pops up I create this one little story and it's just like off, we go to the horses and just keep building and you're like what is this? Where am I going with this, so I'm so happy we're talking about this. Now, in having anxiety and what-ifs, what are some of the things that you? I know you're a business owner, correct, am I right? I'm making that assumption?

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

No, I work with my colleague. She owns the practice.

Nikisha King:

She owns the practice and you work with her. And I always think, yes, you work with her, but is it a small practice or is it a practice over over a hundred employees? Oh no, it's a small practice In that world for me. I translate business owner you don't own it, but you work with it, so you contribute the same way you would contribute if it was yours. Is that a right assumption to make.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

Yeah, I feel like we work really well in terms of giving ideas, bouncing things off each other, kind of sharing our vision for what we see moving forward Right, and there's a lot of autonomy in it as well, which I can appreciate.

Nikisha King:

Right, and just for you guys out there, I'm not trying to make her a business owner, but just in case you have that same position, I want you to realize you're more like a partner in this journey with her on her business, and I usually like that because I have team members. I never want them to feel like they're employees. But I want their input their vision.

Nikisha King:

You know what I mean. So, other than that, can you share with us? Like, when you have clients and they have their what ifs, what are some tactics you give them to help them through their journey?

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

Yeah. So the first thing, kind of going back to what you talked about, the what ifs file right, it never ends. The first thing I try to help people realize is just that if we, when we have a thought, we have a what if thought. If we follow that what if thought, it usually leads to another, and another, and another. We never find you know the grand what if thought. We never get to the end of that line.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

And so I always tell my clients that we may not be able to control the thoughts that are entering our minds, but we can control what we do with them and how we respond to them, so we can choose which ones we listen to and which ones we choose not to engage with. Just like you mentioned telling yourself stop right, so that thought stopping, stopping the thought in its tracks and really taking a look at it and seeing. Is this a thought that I want to invest this emotional energy into, that I want to believe, or is this a thought that I can just dismiss? That I can recognize? This is my anxiety, speaking and not me speaking.

Nikisha King:

Right, such a good point and it's disturbing it. It is stopping it and it's stopping it. However, it's stopping it. There's some tactics I use when I use verbally stop.

Nikisha King:

And the second tactic is I name the things around me to bring me back to my present, and I also feel so. If I'm at my desk, I'm sitting, I could feel the seat under me, the hardness I could feel my desk, I could feel my keyboards and what that does. It allows me to return to my present moment, because the what if? Is not even real. It's not happening. And that's the fascinating part. It's like you're creating this illusion. That's not even going to happen. Hello.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

Exactly Anxiety. Anxiety is basically trying to get you to solve a problem that doesn't exist yet, and unfortunately we can't solve a problem that hasn't happened. So we can have all the what if? Thoughts and we could prepare for a million scenarios. The reality is the second you walk out the door. That million and one scenario that you didn't think about could be the one that actually happens.

Nikisha King:

Exactly, exactly. There's so many different possibilities and somehow the possibilities we choose are always negative. That is the other side of it. They're not positive. They're not something where you think you go outside and you're going to meet the wonderful man of your life, like if you're going dating or like a dating speed dating. You're not thinking that, you're thinking, oh my God, he's going to be horrible, like it's always a negative. What, if like, why, why, why and why.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

There's a reason for that too. It's how our brain is wired. It's survival. You know, our brain isn't worried about going on that date and meeting the man of our dreams. Our brain is worried. Well, what if this person, like you know, kidnaps me or something? What if they're terrible? Right, our brain is thinking about all the negative possibilities because it's trying to keep us safe, and that's a really good takeaway for people to understand, because I know that dealing with anxiety can be very frustrating, but when we acknowledge this is our brain's way of keeping us safe, this is how we've made it this far as human beings, right, avoiding threats and being able to navigate threats to keep ourselves safe. That's what our brain is designed to do. The problem is when that system gets hijacked and turns into anxiety about things that aren't really scary or dangerous. That's when we start to have trouble.

Nikisha King:

Right, and that's also something else I learned about fear. There's a true fear and there's a not true fear. So anxiety results into fear. There's a deep down, there's a fear you have and I wonder if the fear equals the anxiety, the thoughts, the what ifs, right. So when I say true fear, not true fear, what I mean by that? If I, where I live we live in Jersey and I'm walking past the forest and I hear some rumbling in the trees and this is a beer season, my first true fear is Nikisha. You need to be alert because you don't know if it's a beer and if it's a black beer or brown beer, what beer? Because all of that are things I have to prepare for flight and I'm not trying to fight, so I'm just running, that's it, that's it.

Nikisha King:

That's the only one for me in that situation. And not true fear is when I'm sitting at my desk in a safe space, working on a funnel, working on my website. And then this anxiety what if they don't like it?

Nikisha King:

What if it's not good enough. Right. And now I get scared about that, and sometimes when I'm scared, I will try to avoid. So let's talk about that, because I want people who are listening to recognize that sometimes, when you have an anxiety, it can lead to avoiding. And what does that even look like? So share your take on what that looks like when we're avoiding something.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

Sure, so I always say avoidance is anxiety's favorite food. It loves it. It wants more of it. So what's happening is that when we start to feel really anxious, our mind starts to look for ways to get rid of that anxiety, to quell it a little bit. And if we avoid whatever the situation is, let's say it's a job interview and we say let's just reschedule it, push it back a week, right? So we push it back a week and instantly we feel calmer, we feel better because now we don't have to worry about that anxiety-provoking situation for another week. It's in the distant future, right.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

But what happens is that as soon as we feel that relief, more anxiety will eventually come in and the anxiety will typically be stronger than the first time we felt it and the urge to avoid will typically be stronger than the first time that we avoided. And so it creates this cycle of anxiety building. We seek avoidance, we feel relief, we're okay for a little bit, and then the anxiety comes back and that cycle continues. So the avoidance is really a temporary bandaid. It doesn't actually fix the problem so good.

Nikisha King:

So good, and the fact that you said it comes back stronger, that is a really good point because, I've never paid attention to the strength. It comes back in the force. I've always just seen it, but I didn't know it had a different way. And for anyone listening, avoidance in my world, because I'm a little bit more of a avoidance in my world because I'm a certified coach we call it numbing. It's a numbing mechanism.

Nikisha King:

So, what that looks like when you have anxiety or any type of fear of anything. For some of us, it's food. There's moments I'm working on something and I'm doing well, but something says get up and go get a snack. And I'm like, why? Because you don't want to really do this. And I'm like, okay, let's go. And I have my podcast about that uncomfortable Betty and that's how it works. Uncomfortable Harry's.

Nikisha King:

When I start eating, uncomfortable Betty puts me in front of Netflix and I binge watch and I eat my snack and I'm in just happyville, right, because I don't have to do the thing I'm fearful of. Other people use alcohol when we're not feeling a certain. We don't want to feel the feelings. Let's suppress them. We avoid them by suppressing them or by numbing them, so we use alcohol. Some people use drugs. They use opioids, marijuana, different calibers of drugs that's available to them. Sometimes we use sex, sexual addictions, things that make us feel comfortable. That is how we avoid a KA. Numb, mm-hmm Feelings is something that is not taught.

Nikisha King:

We as children are not put to feel because we got to be hard, we got to have grit. There's nothing wrong with having grit. We do need it to survive. But there is a side of feelings that if we knew how to actually feel process, we could do things a little bit better. We could be better for the people we actually love and care about. Oh, I'm happy you shared a little bit of avoidance, the cycle, what it looks like now when someone have avoidance and they're numbing. What are your tactics or steps to help them Recognize it? Because I don't. I believe change comes from within.

Nikisha King:

But, the power is the awareness that it's happening. That is, I think that's gold, because now, when I'm aware of it, when someone calls it out for me, now I could really look at it and be like, oh, I see what's happening here, now I have power. So what are some of the ways Individuals can recognize it on their own, if there are any ways?

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

Yeah. So something I teach my clients is to start questioning the motive right behind the behavior, if we have. I'll use the example again of the job interview. We have a job interview coming up, one. We're taking note of how we're feeling, feeling a little nervous, I have the butterflies, maybe I'm a little shaky, can't really eat that morning right, or maybe the night before thinking about it, and so we come to the conclusion.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

You know what? This really isn't a good time. This week is really busy. I'm just gonna put it off for a few days or I'm gonna put it off until next week, and that's where I would ask them to question the motive behind the behavior. Am I putting this off Because I genuinely don't have the time to commit to this? Or am I putting this off because that's gonna make me feel less anxious? And they can also ask themselves if I wasn't feeling the butterflies, the nervousness, the shakiness, would I still be wanting to delay this interview? Or would I go ahead and do it right, so kind of checking yourself a little bit and Seeing what's the motive behind why I'm doing what I'm doing?

Nikisha King:

right now. In your Statement you mentioned check in to see if it's the butterflies, like you're really nervous and scared, or If you really have time to do it. That's why you're thinking of putting it off. But when you said that to me, my brain went well, why did you do the Process to be interviewed, right? Like if you got that far and doing it, then it's not about I don't have time, because it's something you need.

Nikisha King:

That job might be the thing you need or you want to move to the next level. You don't have a current job and when I think about that, that example and other ways business owners, parents when they have the anxiety, sometimes we think it's the outcome. I'm worried about what others will think, and it is, but it's also about how you think about yourself. Mm-hmm that interview. I'm not gonna get it, cuz I'm not good enough.

Nikisha King:

Mm-hmm right that voice inside I'm not gonna get it cuz I suck. I don't have any of the skills that they need. Why did I even do this?

Nikisha King:

Yeah right that? That right. There is the thing the I'm not sure if I'm good, mm-hmm, I'm not sure my purpose, I'm not in love with me. So therefore, no one's gonna love me, no one's gonna appreciate me, no one's gonna see me. And that, for me, when I hear my clients, that's where the work is really Needed. You know, it's so deep and it's our life experiences, right? We? We're in a world or a country where we have to survive, we have to work, we have to gain revenue to survive, like this is our survival bit. So we're not taught how to fall in love with us. We thought we're taught how to Do things for others to judge us. Others Opinions of us matter more, because that person has to say something about me in order for me to get a job. Right, that's the approval. I have to go to school. I have to get an aid. The teacher has to give me an aid. That's how I know I'm good, right? No one tells us no, it starts with you.

Nikisha King:

You got to actually study every week. You got to do the work. You got to love you. You got to know why you're even doing it. Why are you studying? Why do you want an aid? What is it you're trying to accomplish? Do you know where you're going with this? No, all they told me is I had to go to school and get an aid, that's all everyone told me I don't know about everyone else.

Nikisha King:

Yeah but I had to go to school, get an aid, because that's what's required of me to get a Good job. But what is that good job? How do you know I'm a good match for that good job? I Don't even know what the good job is like. What is this good job? The good job is you need to make money so you could eat. You could eat, but that doesn't need. I don't need six figures for that. If I, if I'm taught how to live on five figures, you understand. So when I think about anxiety and I think about avoidance and I think about fear, it all stems from us. It stems from us not having a Respect for ourselves, the love for ourselves, the understanding of self, and it shows up and it's okay. No one's asking you to flip the script right now while you're listening, but the awareness of it is where my purposes, and the awareness is not to Take away from you but to give you power over self.

Nikisha King:

The awareness allows you to see that. Question it just like you would question any what-if scenarios. And then, like you said well, why am I avoiding this? I'm scared. I'm nervous, I'm nervous I might not be the right person.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

Yeah.

Nikisha King:

Then I want you to question why do you think you're not the right person? Is that really true? Because if it was, why did they call you to come in for the interview? Yeah Right, they see some potential. You think they have time to waste? I mean, really, Come on 100, 200 candidates, but they called you right. So that's also where I want you to question Like go deep, Because that scenario is not usually true either.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

Yeah.

Nikisha King:

Right, yeah, that's very true.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

Most of our thoughts are not truthful or accurate. Anxiety likes to tell us a lot of lies and for some reason, it's very easy for us to believe those lies rather than what we know to be true about ourselves. And capability is such a big piece of it, and I'm glad that you touched on that, because anxiety is not just telling us, hey, this worst case scenario is going to happen. What it's really telling us is this worst case scenario is going to happen and you're not going to be able to handle it.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

And the reality is that more often than not we have all the tools that we need to handle whatever. That worst case scenario is that we're fearing so capability and that fear of not being capable really plays into that cycle of anxiety.

Nikisha King:

Right, exactly, and that's where the sabotage come up that self-sabotaging, because when you have the capability and it's being questioned, I don't know, I call it subconsciously sabotaging. You don't even realize it, because that person in the interview pushed it off and we'll push it off again and we'll lose the opportunity. They've just sabotaged your opportunity and the fact that they were called meant they were a candidate that was worthy Right Now. There's a moment we were speaking and we were talking about taking the beast with you. Elaborate more on what that even looks like. Like. What is it when you have anxiety in the what-ifs and all of the things, all of the feelings? Tell us how we could take this wonderful, beautiful beast with us. I like to dress it up. I've been working on the name. I think mine is called B, but I'm working on it. Go ahead, tell us about that.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

I love that idea. I always encourage my clients to personify their anxiety, separate the anxiety from you, because you are not anxiety, you are, you right, and you just happen to have these moments where you struggle with anxiety. But anxiety is not who you are. So I tell them label it, name it, describe it, have a visual picture of it. What does it look like, what does it sound like? And then take it with you. Don't let it stand in your way. It's not a bouncer at the door refusing to let you pass. It can walk with us. So I always encourage my clients to take the anxiety with them. If I have this anxiety about a job interview, that's great. I'm getting ready for the job interview and this anxiety monster showed up this morning. Well, I guess it's coming with me. I'm going to put it in my briefcase, I'm going to stick it in my purse and it's going to go to the job interview with me.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

We can take the anxiety with us. The feeling does not have to dictate the behavior, so it doesn't have to stand in our way. We can bring it along for the ride. You mentioned flying before, right. So if anxiety shows up that morning of the flight, ok, anxiety, I guess you're getting in my suitcase then. I hope you brought enough clothes for the trip. Let's go. We're going for a ride today. You kind of play with it and you bring it with you. You let it just exist. We don't fight it. We don't have to be anxiety free in order to go on this job interview or to take that flight. We can feel anxious and yet we can still do these things. That's scary. We can bring it with us.

Nikisha King:

That's such a good point. I like that you're putting it in a compartment. I usually just hold its hand and be like let's go together, let's just do it. That works. I love that. I'm like no, the whole hand claps together. Come on, baby, we got this. Like oh, I was blessed not to, not not to, but to find tactics to help me not live in anxiety.

Nikisha King:

I had my happy pocket full of money. Everyone will know this is a book I read. I read it religiously and it has helped me transform my life from this scarcity mindset. Limiting mindset I still do avoid, but I usually have people in place to help me because, I know how much that matters now to me.

Nikisha King:

But there's a phrase that I have. It's called partying in the unknown and even me saying it, I get excited and what it means to me and I want to share this with anyone. And you can take anything I give you. I don't have a patent on anything. I don't want a patent on anything. That's not why I'm here. But the reason I get excited is because behind that door it's an unknown. That threshold, that door. When I open it, there's just darkness. There is nothing I cannot see beyond the threshold. When I walk through the door, the possibilities are amazing and how that translates into my life.

Nikisha King:

I am a social butterfly. I enjoy talking to people. Amanda's one of those people I enjoy meeting. For the first time, we connected and this is how we are here today and that's my point. I never know where it's going to take us. Every connection I create has something way beyond me. That I know. But going into it excited and happy, I know that energy is going to give an exciting and amazing experience. In my past, if I was always bringing negative energy, I promise you I created negative experiences. I can promise you I've said things to people that literally put them in defense was off putting because I came into that negatively. But now, with my love of humans, with the abilities and the things I see, omg, I connect like there's no tomorrow and I'm like I can't wait to see where this is going. Oh my god, this is going to be so much fun. That is my anxiety. My anxiety don't exist because my what if is so different.

Nikisha King:

I literally can build things, I can see things, I can see my own future without anxiety. I can actually dream. I didn't have that before. All I saw was I'm not going to make it, I'm going to fail, this is not going to work, and that was so depleting. It's like carrying so much weight. But now I go, oh my goodness, and even when I have my full bags, because I do one thing I learned people matter. My network of people are small, very small, and I'm learning how to expand that a little bit more and I can lean on them. And when I share something, the people I choose to be in my network they can hear something I'm not saying and then they can challenge me. But they're my people, so they could challenge me without me feeling uncomfortable. So, amanda, I want to talk about that.

Nikisha King:

When you're counseling, I feel like you're that for your clients, you're the soundboard that they need to help them understand. And this is what I think people don't realize. They can't rely on self because self is sabotaging you. I don't trust self. Like self would survive, like survival, like you said, it's going to play the undercover game. You can't see me. Your subconscious is real people. You can't see it. Tell us more about that. Tell us more about the support that we should have or need in our journey.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

So we call it holding up the mirror. You're bringing everything into this session. I only know what my client shares with me. I don't walk through their life with them, right? So I'm not an expert on their life. They are. They know their experiences and what's going on and it's not my job to tell them do this, do that. It's my job to reflect. I'm a mirror for them so that they can build that insight and build that awareness to recognize these patterns. What are my patterns when I'm feeling anxious? What are the things that I'm avoiding? How am I self-sabotaging? Where are these fears showing up that maybe I haven't recognized before? Maybe I'm recognizing a fear that I didn't even know I had. So we're just there as the mirror to reflect everything that the client's bringing into the session, to help them build that insight so that they can make that meaningful change for themselves.

Nikisha King:

That's such a valid point. I love that because that aligns so much with what we do as coaches. And it's so good that you said that because the best part about that we're not responsible for our clients' response or their outcome. We're not here to tell you you're right. We're not here to tell you you're wrong.

Nikisha King:

We're just here to listen and to reflect, so you can hear it and that's where the gift comes in. That is it, because sometimes, as self, we don't hear anything when you're avoiding and you're snacking and it feels so good.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

Yeah.

Nikisha King:

Nothing. I don't hear anything about. I'm avoiding. I just know I'm eating and binging and I'm like this feels so good, that is all I know.

Nikisha King:

But when you have someone who can reflect, and from a place of neutral space not criticism, not positive or negative criticism no one needs to tell you something is good or bad, but if they can listen to you and be like I noticed when you get angry you get up and you go get something to eat. Or I noticed when you're angry, your feet start to twitch, like what is that? What does that mean? What's happening?

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

there.

Nikisha King:

Right? Is your anger resulting when your feet or your legs are twitching or you're about to get up? Are you about to explode? What's going to happen? Tell? Me more about that. That's where people become aware, because now, when I see that, I can know oh, I'm angry. Give me a break, give me a second, because something's coming. But let me process this.

Nikisha King:

Let me see what this is. Let me question it. I think it's so good to have that. I have noticed in meeting people we use these labels introvert, extrovert and I know some people use it as energy. When I'm around, a lot of people introverts feel like their energy is being taken and they need a recharge.

Nikisha King:

Extroverts feel like they're gaining energy, and that's how I usually define it, but some people think it's a result of why they're isolated. I'm an introvert, so I'm isolated. I like to stay home by myself and not talk to anyone, and I think to myself I don't know if that's the right word because I feel like these words are used differently. And knowing that these words are used differently, I don't use them. I choose not to label myself that way and I'm okay. There are moments I want to sit on my couch, watch TV four hours, and I'm not avoiding, I've scheduled that.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

That's happening.

Nikisha King:

That's intentional. I'm going to sit on the couch on a Sunday and watch four hours of TV and get up, stretch and be like that was so good. There is no guilt to my stuff because I'm scheduling it.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

When.

Nikisha King:

I usually have gills when it's not scheduled, I'm supposed to be doing something else, that's when I'm avoiding. But I usually don't give words introvert and extrovert to myself, because I just don't want to add one more thing that my anxiety can take with it and make an excuse aka my subconscious, aka my B. We don't need any more excuses, and that's something I chose, I'm choosing for myself. So when people say it, they ask you what it is. I don't know any of those. I go to events and I have a whole bunch of energy and I love it. I go to some events and I'm drained and it's just the interactions I'm having. That's all it is for me.

Nikisha King:

There are moments I'm home watching TV. There's moments I'm out and about saying hi to all my neighbors, talking up a storm. That is just me. That is just me showing up as me. That's it, because these labels are so heavy in themselves. Only if we could pay attention to what's behind the label, that's where the power lies. Let's look behind the label. I know you use the label. I feel like the label is like a shield, it's your first defense. And then, when we go, let's move the label behind. Now, what's this, what's that what's happening. Tell me your take on labels. Tell me how you feel about it. What's your opinion on them.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

Yeah, I agree, in my field I see it a lot with diagnosis. A lot of people are like well, do you think I'm depressed? Do you think I'm anxious? What do I have? And they're entitled to know what their diagnosis is. So I'll share it in a way that's helpful for them.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

But the thing that I always stress is that this label is just that. It's just a label that describes a set of symptoms which may or may not match your experience, and you happen to have some of these things, but it doesn't mean that it's going to completely define your experience. For me, I don't know, looking at that label, what your experience with depression has been or what your experience with anxiety has been, and it shows up so differently for so many people. So that's more of I feel like in my field. That's more of a behind the scenes thing. That's for me to worry about what that looks like.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

But when I'm in the session with a client, it doesn't matter what label they've given themselves. I'm looking at what is their experience? What are you sharing with me? What has been your experience with these different things that have been challenging to you? What feelings are coming up for you? What's standing in your way of reaching your goals. In that sense, the label is kind of irrelevant, because your goals are your goals and I'm going to help you reach them, regardless of what label we put on it.

Nikisha King:

So yeah, so good, that's so good, like that is. I'm happy you shared that because you're right, people do seek labels. I feel like they're shields and they're clothing that keeps you protected.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

It brings If I have a label. Oh, I was going to say it brings comfort it does.

Nikisha King:

It is like a nice warm blanket to wrap yourself in, and when you have that nice warm blanket, it keeps you toasty and protected and it makes you feel like you're seeing where it's really not. You can't see what's under the blanket, and what's under the blanket is what matters and it is your experience. We are all connected but we all have different experiences. That brings us to different points in our life and some of our experience are similar and some of them are different and it's so generational. Every generation has different. If we all sat down in a circle and spoke, I know for me, a lot of my people, my generation millennials they can all say, yeah, we were disciplined physically.

Nikisha King:

We all had that where my Gen Zs and X might be like, no, nobody was touching us. You know what I mean? Yeah, and these experiences that shift us. This discipline we received is what allows us to question our value, our worth. You know our history, our press history, value worth. And if we don't work on it, we just pass it. We just pass it Because, guess what? I'm going to do the same thing with my kids because it worked for me.

Nikisha King:

Oh that idea. I'm like I usually hear that and I'm just like, ooh, you think it worked for you, but you don't realize how much avoidance, how much all these wonderful labels you're carrying around and I'm like, how did that work for you? You know, but you can't see it. And that's okay, you can't see it. But we hope that you seek someone that can help you see it. That can be the mirror that can reflect and guide you, because once you do, the power you have that is priceless. That's where the shift happens. So I want to thank you, amanda, for just taking time to share this. I would love to have you again because we want to talk about the other side, the power that comes when your clients do have their aha moments and they get to see. I want to know about any of your clients who actually were with you and they got over to the other side.

Nikisha King:

And what did that look like for them? Right, like, what was that outcome? Because there is an outcome and doing the work equals the outcome, and if you avoid the work, then you're going to live with that label. You could die with that label too. It doesn't go away until you choose for it to go away. Yeah, right.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

Yeah.

Nikisha King:

So that's going to be an interesting take to hear, because I truly want to hear that. And it is a work. Nothing in life. Well, I lie when I say that everything is easy. I usually go with that wording and then the reason it gets hard is because I'm making it hard. I heard I had a pleasure of meeting someone who said everything in life is hard and for her, if everything is hard it's equal. So, whatever she does, it's really not hard or easy, it's just hard. And I just yeah, it just is.

Nikisha King:

There you go, amanda, it just is, and it was so interesting to me. And it's only interesting because I'm like what? You chose that word. It's only like that because I try to remove negative words from my lingo. But it's her experience which is different and it's okay. She's not right or wrong. She is just what she is for her and I love that. I love that. I was so excited to know that she could use the opposite word and have the same outcome. I was like, yes, but for me, I usually go life is easy and anytime you get challenged and I'm like why are you making it hard, nakesha? This is just you making it too hard. Take all this away and just let's get back to easy.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

Yeah.

Nikisha King:

So thank you for that. Is there anything else you would like to share with our audience before we leave?

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

Yeah, I guess, just like a kind of a thought to leave everyone with going back to. You know where we started, with that feeling of being stuck. I always encourage people to think about when they think about their anxiety and it's so paralyzing and it's just kind of holding them there where they are instead of letting them go where they want to go. To ask themselves what is anxiety taking from me? What am I losing by feeding into this anxiety right now? And that may be enjoyment, it might be an opportunity for growth, it might be this new job experience, it might be a lot of things right. But asking ourselves what is anxiety taking from me? And using that to kind of be the motivator to start pushing back against anxiety, to start taking that first step to move us from where we're currently stuck.

Nikisha King:

So good. I usually ask what's the cost yeah.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

What is the cost?

Nikisha King:

Because you are. You're trading, yeah, you're trading joy. You're trading a life full of great moments. You're giving it up for that. Yeah, you're choosing that, and that doesn't mean nothing negative or bad, but you're just choosing the opposite and the experience will be different. Yeah, yeah. Thank you, amanda.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

You're very welcome.

Nikisha King:

Thank you for joining me, thank you for being here, thank you for sharing. We truly appreciate it. And, guys, I will have Amanda's information in the show notes. So please you know you can follow her Tell us where you can be found on social media so people can get more empowering information.

Amanda Kucsera, LPC:

So we have a website for our practice. It's sunflower-counseling-centercom, and I am working on putting up some newsletters in the future with some helpful tips and information for people. So that'll hopefully be coming up soon.

Nikisha King:

So good, thank you. Thanks, guys, for joining us on Leading Her Way podcast today. I look forward to speaking to you next Tuesday and have an amazing day and weekend. Thanks for spending time with me today and if you received an aha moment in today's episode, hit the follow button and share a review. But, more importantly, if you have a friend who will truly benefit from today's episode, click the three dots and share this link via text. You never know how this small action can help someone tremendously. See you next Tuesday and have an amazing day.

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Overcoming Anxiety and Taking It Along
The Power of Reflection and Awareness

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