“Why This Was the Best Investment I Have Ever Made on Myself”

by | Aug 22, 2021 | 9-Month | 14 comments

One of the most common questions I’m asked is, “How come other people don’t suffer in this way?” It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about relationship anxiety, friendship anxiety, intrusive thoughts, sexuality anxiety, social anxiety, shame, work struggles, insomnia, compulsions, or any other hook that anxiety hangs its hat on: when you’re the one suffering it feels like you’re the only one suffering.

One of the reasons why we struggle with so much shame around anxiety is because we’re disconnected from the real fabric of humanity, the village where friends meet at the well or in the field and talk about their places of struggle. Instead, we walk through the world with the glossy overlay of social media and mainstream media filtering our perceptions and expectations, leading us to believe that everyone else has it figured out and we’re the only ones suffering.

The short answer to the question “How come other people don’t suffer in this way?” is: everyone suffers, you’re just not seeing it. Because I’m in the position I’m in, I know firsthand how many people suffer, but all you have to do is look closely around you – not at the shiny social media and celebrity posts but at the hard facts and statistics – to see that suffering is universal.

To be human is to suffer.

But it’s not enough to hear it from me. In order to know that you’re not alone in your particular brand of suffering, and that there’s a world of exquisitely sensitive, deeply compassionate, highly moral people out there who struggle in very similar ways that you struggle, you need to hear it firsthand. You need to sit face-to-face with these beautiful humans and, in the container of a safe circle, learn about what it means to know and be known, to see and be seen.

You would think it’s our birthright to connect with other like-minded-and-hearted people, and it is. But because our world has become so large and disconnected, and because high sensitivity is a temperamental trait that only occurs in 15-20% of the population and is often met with shame and judgement from early caregivers, it’s not always easy to find your tribe.

This is one of the reasons why I created my 9-month course, Break Free From Anxiety. Through the nine-month format where we meet regularly in larger groups, and through being placed into small groups of people who are struggling in a similar way as you and are on a similar place on their healing path, layers and layers of healing occur.

As Bryn of the 2020-21 round shared about the women in her small group and other aspects of the course:

“It is hard to put into words the effect Sheryl’s work has had on my life. But to say it is life-changing is as accurate a description as any.

“Sheryl’s Break Free From Anxiety course is not the first course I have taken of hers, but I can say it is the course that allowed the work, for me, to go from words, thoughts, and ideas, to action. By the end of the course, I could feel the work become a part of me, and I think I can attribute that to a few things. I believe it was from learning in community through the connective group calls where Sheryl so graciously and lovingly guided us, to the individualized small group discussions where Sheryl partnered us based on our similar anxieties, to the length of the course that allowed for authentic growth and change to occur. Personally, I can say that after 9 months, I truly felt like I birthed a new version of myself. 

“I know one concern I had about the course was keeping up with the daily emails for 9 months, and sometimes I did get behind, but when I got to the point where I tried to make it a daily habit, I grew to love having the space to focus my energy each day on Sheryl’s work, to turn inward, and start my day off by checking in with my soul. I also grew to love the women in my small group. We continue to connect even after the course is over because we share a special bond. We commented early on in our calls how interesting it was that we were able to be so vulnerable with strangers essentially, but because Sheryl partnered us up based upon our similar desires and struggles, we got to a layer of truth and connection more quickly than we could have imagined. They are now treasured friends on the anxiety warrior journey and a gift that has come from Sheryl’s work. Another gift that came was the ability to be more forgiving of myself, forgiving of my humanness, and forgiving of my mistakes. I am also more curious about my thoughts, and my projections, my inner world, and getting to the truth. And thanks to Sheryl, I have the tools to get there. As you can see I’ve gained a lot!

“If you are wondering if you can handle 9 months of anxiety work, you can, you don’t have to do it perfectly, you just have to open your heart and let it bring the gifts that are waiting for you. Whatever you do will be enough, because if the desire is there this could be an amazing experience for you too. Because as Sheryl says, there is just learning and growing and healing waiting on the other side. And I am forever grateful to Sheryl for the labor of love that went into creating this course that made such a difference for me.”

And as Sabrina from Los Angeles shared about the course and her small group:

“As a professional real estate investor, I look at the return on investment of things in which I invest my time and capital. Here’s the ROI from Sheryl’s 9-month course:

“This course cured my lifelong insomnia. This in itself is worth millions in terms of my physical and mental health. On the rare occasion when I do have it, I’m not scared of it, I know why I’m having it and I know how to tend to my body, heart and soul so that I can gently and peacefully get back to sleep.

“The group calls and the small group calls were priceless in teaching me that I’m not alone, I have never been alone, and I am never alone even when I do feel like that. These calls were worth more than any therapy I have ever done in my entire life.

“I finally understand that there is nothing wrong with me. From the time I was a child, for as long as I can remember, I have always felt that there was something deeply and inherently wrong with me. This is the farthest from the truth. I’m now loving and gentle with myself yet I also know when I need to push past resistance for my own growth and for my own good. I know better how to tell when I don’t want to do something due to resistance/fear or when I don’t want to do something because I truly need rest.

“Without any doubt or hesitation, I can say this was the best investment I have ever made on myself.

“Thank you, Sheryl, from the bottom of my heart.”

Your tribe is waiting for you. As I’m watching the early signups come in, I’m heartened to see the global population that will be gathering for this third round. From the UK to Sweden, from Canada to Hawaii, from Belgium to Germany, from across the United States to India, anxiety and shame are the great equalizers. It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you live, or any other category by which we identify and classify ourselves: the way anxiety shows up for the highly sensitive person crosses all boundaries and is one of our most profound messengers to say, “The time to heal is now. It’s time to wake up. It’s time to claim the truth of who you are and step more fully into your light. And in order to do that, you have to soften and release layers of shame and receive the roadmap you should have received in early years for how to navigate your inner world more effectively so that you can bring the fullness of who you are to an outer world that desperately needs you.”

The third round begins on Saturday, September 19th, 2021, and I very much look forward to seeing you there. Learn more and sign up here. 

Note: Even if you choose not to participate in the small groups you’ll still benefit from the group aspects, including the coaching calls which I lead approximately every two weeks throughout the duration of the course. 



  1. This will be my first time doing this course. I’m a little nervous, but I really hope it can help. It’s also well timed. I feel like my anxiety has increased a lot in the last little while.

    • Welcome and I’m so glad it’s well timed.

  2. My anxiety has started to become debilitating again and there is a lot of negative thinking going on in my mind and I’m trying my best to be loving, but just struggling a lot. Will this course really help me?

    • The course offers a roadmap and support system to work with anxiety at the root, but of course it’s up to each person to implement the tools and practices that I teach.

      • Yeah, I would most likely implement the tools and practices and I have in the past definitely done so, I guess I’m just prone to intrusive thoughts and negative thinking and that’s why I’m highly anxious again. I signed up because it seems like an amazing course, I just feel like when anxiety is huge so is resistance and I know the course touches on that, as well.

        • Yes, learning to work with resistance is a significant part of the course. You’re in the right place 😉.

  3. Hi Sheryl, thank you so much for this posts and all of the others! They have been really really helpful during the past 2 months. I had a panic attack that led me deep into relationship anxiety and since then everything in my head has been a mess. The only reason why I haven’t gone crazy is the fact that I have this blog on hand. Thank you.

    Sheryl, I wanted to ask you a couple of things. I feel like I haven’t been managing my anxiety in the best way. My partner was really supportive for the first month and a half but later on he became exhausted of me crying and talking about it daily. He asked me to not talk to him about it for a while. Yesterday, we did have a long conversation about it where he tried to comfort me giving me tips about how he thought I could start moving past it. He doesn’t understand much about me being highly sensitive and gets desperate at times as well. He knows anxiety himself, he gets health anxiety when he feels sick in any way. But he hasn’t gotten caught in a spiral similar to mine, he doesn’t understand much (a month and a half after everything started, after he himself was “I don’t see why you would leave”, got to the point of telling me “well maybe it’s true and it’s telling you to leave…” because my thoughts didn’t go away).

    I haven’t been able to work during this time (can’t produce creative ideas or focus at all). My head is going back and forth with tons of thoughts. I have been reading and overthinking every action, voice tone, word or anything my partner says/does or doesn’t do/say. I have been left with a mix of things: intrusive thoughts about how I should leave, am not attracted enough, how irritated I am by some things, etc + moments of the opposite, with me being of losing him for whatever reason + moments of being numb/indifferent + lately, I have been getting obsessive thoughts about him being a narcissist and me living in a lie (which is confusing me even more because i know he has had behaviors that I don’t feel okay with but he has been one of my biggest supporters for the last 2 years and have felt his empathy many times).

    I have been journaling (guess I’ve been doing it wrong, because I have been journaling about my thoughts and what’s behind them), meditating when I wake up, I’m currently on day 4 of your free 7 days course, exercising (with his help), reading your blog posts and that’s about it. I do admit that I’ve been looking for a lot of reassurance on Google and people, and social media sometimes triggers me as well. I couldn’t be around him or talk to him much at first, I’ve managed to reach a point where I can be around him and talk to him without feeling that much anxiety. But the feeling of always being on edge and with different symptoms of anxiety is always there. I’m still getting anxiety attacks as well when I feel overwhelmed by my thoughts and feelings (I feel like I’m thinking about 3-4 things related to this at once many times). I have always had anxiety about my relationship, but this is the first time I’m in the middle of a situation like this.

    Also, I’ll be starting therapy in a week. He’s gonna come with me and he’s willing to do couples therapy as well. I want to do you Break Free course but right now I’m not able to afford it.

    So, a couple of questions: How can I manage this in a better way?
    Can you get false thoughts about your partner being a narcissist? Is it normal to get contrary thoughts and feelings like the ones I’m describing? How can I deal with the confusion this is causing in me? How can I focus on work at least a little?

    Also, would the 9-month Anxiety course be good for me? I might be able to afford this one if I talk to some people. I have had anxiety from a really young age. I became more aware of it when I was 12 or 13 years old and since then it has been a daily battle. Normally, it is focused on relationships but by reading your blog I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten many types of anxiety. Friendship/relationship/social anxiety, panic attacks, intrusive thoughts of many kinds (not only with RA but also about stabbing myself if I see knives sometimes…), etc. I’m really tired of this situation and would like to address it and work with it to manage it for good. I just want to be able to enjoy life normally, and not get stopped by anxiety every time I try to live.

    • Hi Jaz: Thank you for your comment and I’m so glad you found your way to my work. Unfortunately I’m not able to offer advice through this platform, but to answer your question: yes, based on what you shared, the course would be ideal for you. I hope to connect with you there.

  4. This my first time doing something like this, I usually never seek help but the pain/anxiety/fear/but also numbness i’ve been experiencing the last couple of months has been unbearable but especially so in this last month. Lots of irrational anxiety, crazy, terrifying, utterly disturbing intrusive thoughts/feelings, convincing me i’m capable and would do horrible things and that I am horrible and what if I don’t really want the help I’m just trying to hide the fact that i’m a horrible person. i’m not sure if anyone else has experienced this, but i’ve also been going through a state of derealization/depersonalization that has been excruciating as well. it all makes me feel so broken, alone, ashamed, horrible, and numb. I feel almost completely numb, and my intrusive thoughts have convinced me that means i would do horrible things because i’m not having a strong emotional reaction to my thoughts right now. i don’t have the energy to care. i don’t know, it’s just a lot, but i’m very emotionally confused and I feel like I’m no longer sure who or what I am. It’s painful. But I’m hoping that I will find some relief and healing from this course maybe? Being able to meet others and to have 9 months of nourishing material to set new foundations of being. Whoever is taking this course, I look forward to seeing you there!

    • I look forward to seeing you there, Hayley, and please know that every single thought/feeling you’re going through, including the depersonalization and shame, are completely normal and common.

      • Thank you for the reassurance! I’ve experienced derealization/depersonalization on and off for a few years now after a highly traumatic acid trip experience. I’m unsure why it’s coming up so strongly again, but i’m guessing it’s because my anxiety has been so high.

  5. Hi Sheryl!

    Thank you for this post. I’ve been following your blog for over a year. In my previous relationship that ended a couple months ago, I was struggling with intense RA. If I saw this post then, it most definitely would’ve pushed me towards help!

    Now I’m back in a relationship, with my RA flaring up once again and I have a question:

    My partner is very sweet, kind, funny but the way we connect is different. She likes to sit on the phone and just do other stuff because my presence is comforting, while I’m the opposite and like to have long conversations. I get nervous and feel a real disconnect from my partner, i get annoyed at times that there’s just stagnation when we talk. Can we still make it work with this way of connection?

  6. Hi Sheryl. I have taken all of your courses (except for new brides) as well and am currently hooked into the sexual orientation spike. My OCD has started using my spiritual practices against me and want to use it as a way to keep me out of doing the work. The thinking goes something like “if I meditate, tap into the feminine, journal, do yoga (you name is)- I will discover my fears are true.” Of course, the anxious mind wants to know if this would be a good fit for me. Thank you for everything you do.

    • Knowing what I know about you, Abby, I think this course would be an excellent fit for you. And yes: that’s a #1 way that fear/resistance hijacks doings inner work.


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