From Crippling Anxiety To Achieving Personal Mastery

Note: This is Part 1 in a mini-series on some of the core strategies I’ve been using for years to overcome my anxiety and take control of every area of my life.

My heart pounded.

I waited, not-so-patiently, at the hotel front desk … The lobby was filled with other people checking in for the event, and sweat beaded up on my forehead (even though it was January and the open doors chilled the room).

My social anxiety was peaking … “Oh, no,” I thought… “I know that guy… I hope he doesn’t come over here and make small talk.”

The year was 2007 and I’d been making an effort to get to more live events like this one … In my dreams I saw myself networking with other high performers, making valuable connections, charming complete strangers … and having everyone smile and clap me on the back when I walked over to shake hands – a real Bill Clinton type.

However, reality was the complete opposite.

For the rest of the weekend I could hardly force myself to leave the comfort of my hotel room for the sessions … with my Introverted Self often getting the best of me.

Even though my rational mind knew I was missing out on something even more valuable than the speaker’s presentations … I was missing the personal interaction and NETWORKING opportunities.

My problem was I always struggled to exchange more than a few words with one or two strangers at my table … When group activity or networking time started, I’d find a reason to leave the room … And dinners or drinks after the day was over?

Forget about it.

I literally never went.

I was much happier to sit in front of my computer.

Always taking the easy way out.

There were so many times I let my anxiety get in the way of making money … and even finding love.

It wasn’t until I had my anxiety attacks that sent me to the ER that I finally had reached the point where I had enough … And since nothing had ever worked managing my anxiety previously … I knew I had to really dig in, research, and experiment to find the answers.

Eventually I built a highly effective system.

A system to not only manage my anxiety, but it even allowed me to succeed in business AND social settings … To lead my incredibly talented team members … To help thousands of other entrepreneurs scale their businesses … And to find my love Michelle whom I live with today in Vancouver.

When I boil down all the habits and strategies I used to erase anxiety and live my life this way … Every single one of them is rooted in developing what I call “Personal Mastery.”

My dedication to this process of personal mastery is what’s allowed me to escape the shackles of my anxiety.

So for the rest of this week I’m bringing you a three part mini-series on the 5 Pillars of Personal Mastery.

Once you implement these you’ll grow your income and improve your personal life … Because if there’s one thing I know … It’s that you, as an ETR reader, are destined to be a high performer.

If things like anxiety or lack of discipline are holding you back … I’m about to give you the key to unlocking your true potential … Starting today with Personal Mastery Pillar number one:

1.     Improve Structure, Routine, & Discipline

The foundation of personal mastery is Structure, Routine, and Discipline (SRD).

Beginning with your habits.

Most people go wrong trying to build new habits by not realizing a few days per week is not enough.

Remember, you’re trying to make this new habit automatic.

If I was building a new habit of a workout routine … I would schedule it on my calendar every day at the same time 7 days per week.

Then, even if I was taking a day off from intense workouts … I would still put on my workout clothes, go to the gym (or wherever I would normally work out), and just do something light.

The point is to engrain behavior by repeating it at the same time, in a similar manner, EVERY DAY.

Another thing I encourage is the “Diet Uniform.”

Meaning I eat the same thing daily for breakfast and lunch, with some variation for dinners.

My good friend and business partner, Bedros Keuilian, does this too.

It saves time… you never have to think about food and always know what to eat.

(It’s the nutritional equivalent of Steve Jobs’ “famous black turtleneck”.)

PLUS… this helps eliminate mistakes and unhealthy snacking (keeping both me and Bedros lean and mean in our 40’s).

Now… do try to be smart about this …  I don’t recommend a Big Mac every meal (yes, there is a guy out there who does this -> 50,000+ Big Macs and counting).

But always be searching for the right breakfast and lunch to keep you focused all day long… and then don’t deviate.

Next … Control your environment. 

Control what’s around you and eliminate distractions.

An easy example you can do for this:

Next time you’re sitting at your desk, stretch your arms out to full length … and look at all the different things within your reach.

ALL of those are potential distractions.

Get the phone off the desk (even better if it’s in another room) … put away the snacks when it’s not snack time… and get rid of any work that’s not your current focus.

Another part of controlling your environment is avoiding toxicity.

This involves managing your inputs … Whether it’s your social circle, Facebook groups, or what you choose to follow for news or entertainment … If there’s negativity bringing you down … Remove that toxic waste.

Finally, the common element of all successful people … Planning and Preparation

For example, things like meal prep save you time and save your health (like I hinted at a minute ago).

When all your meals are ready to go for the week, it’s hard to go wrong.


– planning a productive week
– being well prepared for a business meeting
– or planning a sales presentation…

All are virtually guaranteed to bring you better results.

And THAT is how you get ahead.

Keep an eye on your inbox for Part 2 of this 5 Pillars of Personal Mastery mini series … Where I’ll be sharing pillars 2 & 3 so you can continue to develop mastery of the self … and achieve more money and success no matter what challenges have held you back in the past.

To your success,
Craig Ballantyne

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