Therabyte Presents Carlyn Neek: Building Confidence one small towards move at a time

Last February, we had the pleasure of hosting Carlyn Neek, Mindset Coach and OT. She has a mental health OT practice in Alberta, Canada, as well as working as a coach to share her knowledge around mindset and the implementation of ACT principles to support personal and business growth, (which is really one and the same) 😉 In the replay below, learn how to overcome getting stuck in your business. Thank you, Caryln for a very insightful webinar. Enjoy the 4 min replay below.

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Here are ways to connect with Carlyn:

In this article, we’ll explore the reasons of getting stuck and discuss ways to overcome these obstacles. We’ll talk about ways to cut our fear in half, gain the confidence we need to move forward, and use ideas from acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to get unstuck.


Identifying the reasons we are getting stuck

Now, let’s explore why we get stuck when starting a private practice or building a business. 

  • Fear of judgment, 
  • Fear of failure, 
  • Self-doubt, 
  • Imposter syndrome, and 
  • Perfectionism 


These can all contribute to feeling overwhelmed and hinder our progress. These feelings are common when starting a business, but they can be especially prevalent for therapists who have a generous way of being and give a lot of themselves to others.

Self-reflective moment – Which one of these do you identify with most?


What is ACT and how can it help us when we are getting stuck?

ACT stands for acceptance and commitment therapy. It is a therapy intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies along with commitment and behavior-change strategies to increase psychological flexibility. You can learn more about it here. 

Incorporating ACT concepts can help us move forward from getting stuck. ACT focuses on accepting difficult thoughts and feelings and committing to values-based action. By accepting our thoughts and feelings and taking action that aligns with our values, we can move forward despite our fears and doubts.

To cut our fear in half, we can try reframing our thoughts and practicing self-compassion. Instead of thinking, “What if I fail?” we can try thinking, “What if I succeed?” and focus on our goals and what we want to achieve. We can also practice self-compassion by being kind to ourselves and recognizing that it’s okay to make mistakes.

To find the confidence to move forward, we can set small, achievable goals and take action steps towards them. This can help build momentum and create a sense of accomplishment, which can boost our confidence. It’s also important to surround ourselves with supportive people who can provide encouragement and advice.

Remember to be kind to yourself and take it one step at a time.


How are fear and anxiety impacting your business progress?

It is essential to recognize that fear, anxiety, and self-doubt are normal emotions and are not necessarily a sign that one should avoid starting a business.

The nervous system responds to fear and anxiety by triggering the fight, flight, or freeze response. These responses were developed to help us survive in dangerous situations, and they are not always necessary in our current environment. The nervous system often perceives non-life-threatening situations as dangerous, and this can limit our ability to take risks and grow our businesses.

By acknowledging these emotions and learning to manage them, individuals can take the necessary steps to grow their businesses and achieve their goals. It is important to focus on the reasons why one wants to start a business and to use those reasons as motivation to getting unstuck — overcome fear, anxiety, and self-doubt.

Self-reflective moment – Why did you want to start your private practice/business?



Anxiety, fear, and self-doubt can be interchangeable concepts, and the same techniques can be used to address all of them. When individuals experience fear or anxiety, they often feel that their emotions are abnormal or that they should be able to control them. However, it is essential to recognize that it is normal to experience these emotions when starting a business. It is also important to avoid avoidance behaviors that prevent individuals from moving outside their comfort zone.


Behaviors are considered avoidance mechanisms when they prevent individuals from taking action and facing the anxiety and discomfort that come with doing new, challenging things. Pay attention to the avoidance behaviors, figure out if they work, and think about whether there are better ways to deal with their anxiety and move toward their goals. She also says that some ways to deal with stress, like getting distracted, using drugs, or acting aggressively, may help in the short term but hurt progress and well-being in the long run.


Common avoidance behaviors:

  • Positive thinking – One common avoidance behavior is positive thinking. Positive thinking is not always a bad thing, but it can be a way of avoiding difficult feelings by talking ourselves out of the experiences we’re having. This can prevent us from facing our fears, making progress and getting stuck.
  • Highly detailed planning is another behavior that can be used for crafty avoidance. Many people use planning as a way to avoid doing the thing they are afraid of. While planning can be helpful, the only thing that will make you more confident about doing something is doing it. This behavior is known as “productive procrastination.”
  • Another common behavior is the “I’m not good enough” attitude. We all experience this type of thinking, and it can lead to avoidance behaviors. We may think that we are not good enough to start a business or reach a goal, which can hold us back.



Another common response to fear and anxiety is to engage in numbing behavior, such as scrolling through social media or watching television. These behaviors are used to avoid the uncomfortable feelings associated with fear and anxiety. However, they do not address the underlying issue and can lead to additional problems, such as addiction.

Self-reflective questions –  What “positive behaviors” are you using as avoidance or numbing?


It is crucial to recognize these behaviors and find ways to overcome them. Do not let fear and anxiety hold you back from reaching your goals.

Remember, progress comes from facing uncomfortable feelings head-on, not avoiding them.


It all starts with AWARENESS

The key is to notice these behaviors and find ways to move forward, even if it means feeling uncomfortable or anxious. The only way to gain confidence and overcome fear is by facing it head-on. It is okay to feel uncomfortable, anxious and then getting stuck, but do not let those feelings hold you back from making progress.

Noticing how fear might be impacting your business is an important step. It is essential to recognize if these behaviors are workable for you or not. Some behaviors may be helpful if used moderately, but over-relying on them can cost you in terms of health, money, wasted time, relationships, missed opportunities, or emotional pain.

Self-reflective moment – What do you notice for yourself, how is fear impacting your business?


NEXT – Adopting a Growth Mindset

There is a powerful video by Carol Dweck on growth mindset – you can access that here. 

A growth mindset is a belief that one’s abilities and skills can be developed through dedication and hard work. It is the opposite of a fixed mindset, which believes that our abilities are predetermined and cannot be changed.


Here are some examples of how a fixed mindset and a growth mindset view different situations:

  • Failure: A fixed mindset views failure as proof of one’s lack of ability, while a growth mindset sees it as an opportunity to learn and improve.
  • Challenges: A fixed mindset avoids challenges, while a growth mindset sees them as an opportunity to grow and develop.
  • Feedback: A fixed mindset ignores or rejects feedback, while a growth mindset sees it as an opportunity to learn and improve.
  • Effort: A fixed mindset believes that talent is the only factor that determines success, while a growth mindset believes that effort and hard work are just as important.


Making Towards moves to build confidence

We have discussed how, running a business can be challenging, and even the most successful entrepreneurs experience self-doubt and fear. The key is to understand that self-doubt is a natural response to growth and change, and it does not have to hinder your progress. 

Self-doubt is a normal feeling that keeps us in check and helps us maintain quality control. However, when we are getting stuck in a loop of perfectionism, it becomes counterproductive. This is where a growth mindset comes in – it encourages us to focus on growth and improvement rather than perfection.


Here are 6 Towards moves you can make to build confidence:

  • Understand the Role of Self-Doubt
    • Our minds are protective and get creative when it comes to keeping us safe in our comfort zone. Self-doubt is a natural response to stretching beyond our comfort zone. Understanding this can help you reframe self-doubt as a sign of growth and progress.
  • Embrace Self-Compassion
    • Don’t beat yourself up for experiencing self-doubt. Validate your feelings and be kind to yourself. Self-compassion is essential to help you move forward, stay flexible, and avoid burnout.
  • Lean into New Experiences
    • Embrace a growth mindset, and lean into new experiences. Consider why you are doing this, what’s the big power in this for you? Identify what this change can do for your lifestyle, stress levels, energy, and clients. Take action and have confidence that confidence comes after doing, not before.
  • Turn toward Difficult Experiences
    • Notice yourself wanting to avoid things and turn towards difficult experiences. Observe them curiously and make room for them. Don’t fight against them; instead, defuse them, observe them, and lead into them a little bit.
  • Observe Yourself Objectively
    • Observe yourself from a third-person perspective. This technique can help you observe situations, observe how you are driving your business, and get hooked or unhooked from difficult experiences.
  • Gratitude and Growth Mindset
    • Gratitude and a growth mindset are powerful tools that can help you manage self-doubt. Building routines and habits can help you focus on the actions that help you manage difficult experiences.


Fear, self-doubt, and anxiety lose their power when we continue to move forward toward our goals, even when these feelings arise. We do that by creating awareness and adopting a growth mindset. Confidence never precedes action, and we should not wait until we feel confident before we take action. Confidence is built by doing something repeatedly and improving with time, even as we make mistakes along the way.

Fear of judgment, fear of failure, and self-doubt are all natural responses to growth, change, getting stuck, and they do not have to hinder your progress. Embrace self-compassion, lean into new experiences, especially difficult ones, observe yourself objectively, and cultivate gratitude and a growth mindset. These tools can help you manage self-doubt and thrive in your business.

Remember, the actions that help us manage difficult experiences are what will ultimately lead to success.


To support therapists in adopting ACT principles for themselves, she has created a program called Activate Vitality: Live and Rise Fully. 


To learn more about Carlyn and her work, check her out at Activate Vitality. For a limited time, until March 31, 2023, you can join the program with a special discount when you reach out to Carlyn and mention watching this presentation with Therabyte.


You can connect with Carlyn via email at
Check out her website:

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