LYL PODCAST EPISODE 143: Why You Can Still Fail Forward Over 40 (The Best of The Menopause Movement Podcast Episode 82)

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I never realized that I had a form of anxiety back when I was just getting started in my surgical practice.

And every time, it’s because of the responsibility of taking out a gallbladder.

Here’s a quick science talk: There are two structures that have to be cut in order to remove the gallbladder—the cystic artery and the cystic duct.

And if you do it wrong, it could be devastating for the patient.

I’m a good surgeon, I know my anatomy, but every single time I do it, this feeling of dread will just come up, and it wasn’t until several years later when I looked back that I recognized that as anxiety.

This is why it’s important for me to remember that everything comes down to belief.

I heard this first from Jack Canfield: “Fear is just false events, appearing real.”

We only have a couple of fears like the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Other than that, everything else is manufactured because of beliefs that we created as we grew up, like failure.

The mindset of being able to fail forward is a foreign concept to a surgeon.

And when I started the Menopause Movement, I really had to work hard to undo all those beliefs around failure because you don’t start a business without failing it forward. You’ve got to test things, you’re going to fail and then you have to tweak things.

But when you think about how we live inside of a box, and how our growth is outside of it, as we step out, the cycle continues. Failing forward is the way to go.

Anxiety is a very disruptive condition and can increase during menopause, but there’s a way to overcome it and I talk more about that in today’s episode of The Best of The Menopause Movement Podcast with Vikki Yaffe.

Vikki is a coach who helps ambitious people manage anxiety and procrastination so they can get more done in half the time. She’s the host of the Hack Your Time podcast (previously F*ck Anxiety and Get Sh*t Done).

During our conversation, we talk about the definition of anxiety, why we evolved to have anxiety, where anxiety comes from PLUS:

• Dealing with procrastination
• How our brains hold us back from almost everything
• A new definition of goal setting
• Why failure is so important when it comes to meeting our goals
• The perks of being unrealistic

And stay to the end to find out how to deal with imposter syndrome and find more ambition.


• Check my latest podcast or listen to the previous ones (
• Connect with me on Instagram @drmichellegordon
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• Vikki Yaffe’s Website (

• Vikki Yaffe’s Instagram (
• Vikki’s Podcast (

Books mentioned in this episode:

• The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
• The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image by Leonard
• Disrupt You!: Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation by Jay Samit

Amazon pays me a small fee when you buy using these links.

What’s Discussed in This Episode:

01:57 What is anxiety
04:29 The link between anxiety and procrastination
06:26 Techniques to calm anxiety and other overwhelming emotions
08:27 Identifying and interpreting the things that make you anxious
09:14 Reminding yourself that you can survive any situation
11:01 The connection of anxiety and feeling overwhelmed
12:38 Motivation comes from success
16:54 How to manage bringing the mind to commit to changes or modifications
20:02 Placing meaning to neutral aspects in life bring anxiety
23:43 Everyone has the choice to make a change
26:21 Taking the smallest step to be motivated
27:20 The habit of time on and time off
28:54 Your productivity does not define you
29:35 Resting is essential for your well-being
32:55 Setting goals for growth and not success
35:55 Building failure tolerance for yourself
38:09 Retraining the brain to think differently
39:22 The perks of being unrealistic
42:03 Attaching intention to your goals
43:02 Working on ambition and understanding emotions attached to it
45:26 Imposter syndrome and dealing with it

About the Guest:

Vikki Yaffe is a professional anxiety and procrastination coach. She has been helping different individuals manage their anxiety and procrastination issues for the past few years. Vikki also helps her client overcome doubts about their capabilities and skills, whether in the workplace or at home. She aims to encourage everyone to be consistent in getting things done.

Dr. Michelle Gordon

Surgeon, TV Host, Author, Speaker.
Fall in love with your life, one habit at a time. 
No fluff.
Action Based.

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