Dying for business? Lessons from my trip to A & E

What happens when mental fitness hits the back burner? I learned the hard way when I let mine slip and started 2023 in A & E 🥳.

Dying for business? Lessons from my trip to A & E
Photo by Simran Sood / Unsplash

2022 was a year of relentless pursuit, and it took a toll.

As a team, we delivered over 1,000 hours of 1:1 mentoring alongside weekly delivery of one or all of our programmes for nine consecutive months.

On top of that: TEDx, two kids, a husband, a podcast and Happy Startups School Summercamp.

The 5,000 hours of support delivered in 2020 and 2021 is the story for another day. The crux of it? I was burnt TF out 😵‍💫.

What do you do with a Sea View room in Ibiza on your first trips sans kids with the Husband post-Covid? When you have poor mental fitness, work of course...

As the Founder of the community, mentor and creative guide I take my responsibilities seriously - leave no one behind.

Yet, there was and IS a dynamic team of inspiring folks working alongside me.

I just wasn't fully tapping into their genius or asking for more help.

Gif of a dog wearing a hat. The dog is sat on a chair with a cup of coffee. Around them are flames and smoke while the words "It's Fine" appear above the dog in all capitals and bold.
Actual footage of me 🙋🏾‍♀️

New Year, New Me?

My burnout was obvious to everyone...but me.

I was put on extended leave for Christmas by the team and our board.

As the holidays came to an end my energy was up. I felt normal(ish).

Then, one fateful morning, in early January, I thought I had met my end.

I woke up and reached for my phone after taking a break from social media.

Within ten minutes, my heart raced, and dizziness overcame me.

I hoped a shower would help, but it only led to hyperventilation.

Man wearing a green shirt sits on a sofa blowing into a brown paper bag. He's hyperventilating.

With help from my husband, we headed to hospital.

During an eerie eight-minute drive, my arm tensed, and a thought raced through my mind:

"I'm having a heart attack."
A reference for the US-based GenXers and Millennials. IYKYK

A Clear Diagnosis

After undergoing a battery of tests, the diagnosis was clear – a panic attack.

The trigger? A cocktail of people-pleasing, hyper-achievement, avoidance and an insidious fear of rejection.

It was a sobering moment. I couldn't help but feel the irony.

As the Inspirer-in-Chief who champions confidence and sustainability, I was dying for business. Sounds dramatic - it didn't feel far off.

Free Your Mind - The Rest will Follow

Fortunately, I had an invaluable support network – partners, mentors, and a vibrant community – who helped me peel back the layers, much like an onion.

And so, I found myself returning to the starting point, which led me to collaborate with Caroline Kay on Brain Gym.

You see, as I was burning out during the Summer of 2022, Caroline was getting mentally fit.

During our mentoring and co-working sessions I noticed the abundance of MENTAL WEALTH Caroline gained by adding PQ Training®️ to the support she receives at Inspiration Space.

PQ Training uses research-based tools to strengthen the part of the brain that serves you and quiet the part that lets you down.

Free your mind of the negative stories and fear, the "rest" (all the puns intended) literally does follow.

You're not imagining it. Fear of rejection is REAL.

The brain reacts to rejection like physical pain. In fact, fMRI scans show it.

This is probably why hearing the word 'NO' can feel like a punch in the gut.

Our response to rejection is deeply ingrained in our evolutionary history. Back in the day of 'Hunter/Gatherers,' rejection from the tribe meant certain death.

Brain scans captured through MRI show the same area associated with distress, whether caused by social rejection or physical pain. Source: Oxford Leadership

Yet, rejection and business go together like two peas in a pod.

Hands up if you take sh*t personally? It couldn't just be me...

We all experience and manifest our fear of rejection differently...and similarly.

Fear of rejection can show up as:

🫠 Apathy

🤡 Jealousy

😶‍🌫️ Procrastination

🫤 Undercharging/Overdelivering

😮‍💨 Difficulty asking for help or delegating tasks

So it’s no wonder being ambitious is also MENTALLY challenging.

Finding pleasure in pain creates a constant battle between you and...you.

Give up? Keep going? AH! Either way, it hurts.

Turning DREAMS into reality requires a constantly evolving comfort zone.

Brain Gym rewires your brain's response to rejection, transforming it from a source of pain into an opportunity for growth.

More than a solution - with regular training, care and attention, a life without fear of rejection can be YOUR new normal.

I've only recently started with 'light' Mental Fitness training and my energy feels more consistent, in spite of both ADHD and PMDD.

My ideas feel fresher and more creative.

My listening, mood and sleep - all improved.

The Brain Gym Experience

Just like physical fitness, as a Founder, you have to constantly nurture your mental fitness. So, consider Brain Gym your mental exercise class and emotional wellbeing spa.

In 15-minutes a day you can reframe how you react to the word 'NO.'


Your community-powered journey combines video lessons, app-guided exercises, and live group coaching to boost your mental fitness in just eight weeks.

WEEKLY FOCUS: Gain insights, stay motivated and apply them all week. Delivered via video lessons. Personalised for you.
DAILY PRACTICE: App-guided exercises to build the neural pathways that strengthen mental muscles. 15-minutes a day. Simples.
PEER GROUP SUPPORT: Community support and live coaching accelerate your results. 24/7 group access. Create lasting habits.
TRACK YOUR GAINS: Monitor your mental muscle gains for instant motivation. Available in your personal dashboard. See the results.

Go Beyond Mental Fitness

Under Caroline expert guidance, you won't just improve your mental fitness; you'll tap into the wealth of her expertise as a high-performing salesperson who's secret sauce is authenticity.


Learn the art of effective customer communication that helps them choose you.

Manage stress, handle conflicts and do more with less in your professional life.

Experience the Difference

Founder coaching is often out of reach for startups and bootstrapping businesses.

Brain Gym changes that with a 'Pay-as-you-Train' option, making mental fitness accessible.

We are so confident you'll feel the difference that we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Why risk everything for your business when you can thrive in it?

Join Brain Gym and experience the difference for yourself.

Brain Gym | Positive Intelligence®️ for Founders
Take your startup to the next level at Inspiration Space. Boost performance and mental wellbeing in just 15-minutes a day. Are you ready? Your OOMPH awaits.