A Few of the Many FAST Pathways Successes
I've built a successful business. I'm driven and ambitious, and I thrive on pressure. But my increasing stress was causing tunnel vision – I was always looking for the next problem, glossing over good feedback; and I was letting down my staff as a leader.
I was drinking more and over eating, and I'd often get dizziness and tingling fingers. At its worst, I’d have to cancel all my appointments and go home to lie down, so it was directly impacting my work. Then when my vision distorted so badly that I had to pull over my car, it was off to hospital. The medical staff put it down to an early warning.
I thought feeling both poorly, and frantic all the time was just par for the course, and I worried that trying to lessen it would also reduce my drive and focus – which I wasn’t prepared to consider. After a few hours exploring FAST Pathways, I felt cleansed and clarified. I stopped looking for the next big problem, stopped being snappy with my staff, and my ambition and drive are still as strong. I still use stress to perform, without it flooring me.
Stress had been a big issue for me in the past – I’d had to walk away from a successful career as a Management Consultant, suffering from burn-out. I've started a new career, training as a teacher; and although I was really enjoying it, stress and anxiety were still a big part of life.
It came to a head when I got so anxious that I got no sleep at all, and had to call in sick. Lurking at the back of my mind, there was always the possibility of history repeating itself.
My GP introduced me to FAST Pathways. After my first session exploring the skills, my sleep started to improve, and I was more comfortable facing the daily challenges. I also cleared away the guilt I’d been carrying about long-past decisions, which was contributing to the anxiety. After a few hours learning the skills, life’s stayed anxiety-free, and I'm loving it.
I've always prided myself at toughing my way through life’s many challenges. Since finding my Dad dead, I’d been having multiple flash backs and panic attacks every day, I'd often burst into tears, and I'd had to avoid all the places which I associated with him. I’d taken quite a bit of time off work, and felt I’d lost all the hopefulness which used to keep me going.
In a single session, I fully resolved that trauma of finding Dad - within a few minutes, I could think about what had happened, and feel OK. The flashbacks stopped, I was able to go to the places I’d been avoiding, and I came off my sleeping tablets. I went back work, able to deal with the grieving and still carry on, and returned to feeling hopeful instead of helpless.
I also wanted to overcome a lifelong tendency to binge eat to cope with stress. By supplementing the FAST Pathways skills with some new food habits which Sue taught me, I lost over a stone within a couple of months, despite the stresses I was still working my way through.
There are a lot of egos in our team. When I felt that wrong decisions were being made, or felt put down by colleagues, I didn’t seem to be able to speak out. It was really upsetting , especially when I’m not like that out of work.
It had been building up for quite a while, and I was getting more stressed out and anxious in general. My GP highly recommended Sue and FAST Pathways. Sue taught me how to feel shielded, protected… able to speak my mind when I need to. Even after one session, I was comfortable, standing my ground with senior colleagues.
I’ve learned a number of ways to quickly clear away any discomfort , so that it doesn’t have to build up and get in the way of me working at my best; and I’m feeling so much better.
Megan - Wirral (anxiety had prevented her from attending school for most of the last few years)
The sessions you gave me have done wonders I'm back in school every day now! Because there's no longer a sickness feeling every time I arrive or think about school. I can finally enjoy spending time with my friends without feeling isolated from everybody else in the room.
and your technique in dealing with annoying people has come in handy at school for sure! I sleep very well now too, and people have even noticed the difference within me. Your techniques have changed so many aspects of my life and I couldn't thank you enough!
I’d always been very negative – I could find a downside to anything, and my anxiety was always there, especially in social situations. But when my wife said she’d had enough and we were over, it blew me apart. I had to do something.
Things started to change a lot, after less than an hour working with FAST Pathways. When I started to feel anxious, this dial would pop into my head to turn it right back down. I even tried to make myself feel the old anxiety, imagining myself in big social situations – and I couldn’t. It just didn’t phase me. It’s fantastic! Even colours seem brighter – weird… I even feel taller and straighter.
I don’t know how things will work out at home, but I know I’m never going back to being the negative person I was. I can cope with whatever life throws at me, and still stay positive.
I was having a really tough time – anything and everything seemed to make me anxious. I’d had a horrendous time when I’d had my son, and I didn’t feel like I’d ever really got over the trauma. My confidence was rock bottom, and I’d feel put down by the way people spoke to me, especially my super-controlling in-laws. I was pretty good at putting myself down too.
I’d no idea what to expect from working with Sue, but she made it so easy. She’s taught me some amazing skills, and giving me recordings which I like to refer back to when I feel like a top up. The in-Laws don’t intimidate me like they used to, now that I’m comfortable to stand up for what I want. I can be me, be natural, without always putting on a brave face. I’m getting back to the person I used to be, and it’s still evolving a good few weeks after we worked together.
I found my first year at Uni really tough. My girlfriend and I had gone there together, so I didn’t really make new friends and settle in at the start of the year. When we split up, I felt completely isolated – which on top of the pressures of the course, was horrible. I didn’t feel comfortable going out, even though I used to be really confident with new people and places. I just wanted to get that back, and make a fresh start, instead of feeling anxious all the time. Even when I was on my own, my head was full of irrational thoughts which I couldn’t control.
Through what I’ve learned with Sue, I’ve been able to let go and ease away the anxiety. I had some big decisions to make about my future, and it’s helped hugely, being able to make them calmly. I’m really looking forward to a full-on fresh start, back to being the me I used to be.
Luigi’s big fear was presenting. As a manager, it’s something he has to do fairly often, and he knew it could be holding back his career. For several weeks leading up to a presentation, he’d get increasingly nervous. He’d become snappy, and although his wife had learned well when to avoid him, it was impacting home life. He’d put in every last scrap of his energy to the preparation – even if it wasn’t an important presentation; and play through all sorts of things going wrong, worrying about how people would perceive him.
From the very first FAST Pathways exercise, Luigi started to notice changes. He found the very first recording helps him to sleep better, and he was already going home in a really good mood. By section 2, he surprised himself by inviting a group to an ad hoc presentation without a second thought. It was only afterwards that he realised he never been able to do that before….
As his workload ramped up, he took it on stress-free; finding himself much better able to maintain the boundaries of what he can control, leaving everything outside to other people. He now even looks forward to presentations, finding himself able to talk with people without anxiety; and he’s gone on to find more innovative ways to apply his new skills – even improving his football.
Belinda had become increasingly anxious about life in general, and she’d experience it throughout the day. Her sleep was often disturbed, and she had to force herself to get up in a morning – her anxiety felt like a big fist, knotted in her stomach. Her throat always felt tight, often making it sore, and affecting her voice. If she had to go out, even to meet friends, she’d run through multiple ‘what if’ scenarios – working herself up and up, having to know every last detail; and sometimes not going at all.
After a few hours of FAST Pathways practice, she describes life as AMAZING (she insisted on the capitals…). She feels calm and light, she’s sleeping much better, and has no problems getting up and going. She’s going out without giving it a second thought, enjoying herself when she gets there; and the knotted fist feeling is completely gone.
It wasn’t the being in the air which bothered me - it was more about not being able to control it, and not being able to return home to 'safety' should I feel like I needed to. Feeling trapped….. It was affecting my life, as in every job, I’ve been asked to travel to Hong Kong/ Paris/ China/ Bangladesh/ Berlin ... I’ve always either managed to avoid going; or have gone, but had a horrendous time with panic and anxiety, in the airport and during the trip. It’s became the deciding factor for handing in my notice before now.
I haven’t had a personal holiday abroad in over 5 years: I have booked holidays with friends, and once in the airport check-in I couldn’t handle it – I went home and lost all of money I’d paid for the holiday.
I’ve just returned from a trip to Lithuania - I didn't freak out in the airport at any point! I was still a little nervous before hand about the unknown but I did it comfortably once in the airport! Thank you so much – the simple techniques in FAST Pathways have enabled me to travel comfortably
Gill had a habit of letting everything bother her. Whether or not it was her fault, she was really good at making herself feel guilty – anything which she’d left unfinished was always a reliable source of guilt, even if the thing was only for herself.
When she learned to take that feeling a spin it the opposite way, she got a really big shift - it got rid of the guilt, and she’s now much happier. Even better, she also found that people who used to wind her up don’t any more. Every now and again, if she notices a feeling start to race, she’ll take a few seconds to spin it away, getting rid of all the discomfort (and her friends have noticed she’s much more relaxed about things too).
Gill's daughter, Amy was 13 when she started to change her thinking. She’d always been afraid of animals – rabbits, guinea pigs, dogs.... Like many people with similar fears, she was hyper-vigilant, always scanning around her for danger, and she’d notice them everywhere. When she did, her heart would race, she’d cling to the hand of whoever she was with (putting them between herself and the animal), and try to get away as quickly as possible.
After less than an hour exploring FAST Pathways, Amy was proudly photographed, holding her friend’s rabbit. She’s now comfortably able to get out more, and doesn’t even notice dogs. She’s visited a number of farms and zoos, which she’d previously have done anything to avoid. Even better, she’s become more generally outgoing and talkative, her interest in school’s increased, and she’s getting more involved in family activities.
Being a very literal person who likes to understand why things are said and done, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to open my mind to this. But, I can truthfully say that the techniques are already working and the ability to turn down the internal chat, is like a Eureka moment. It is ok to let it babble on, but I don’t have to listen and try and solve the problem.