Day 12: What is Your Proudest Accomplishment?

Day 12My proudest accomplishment.

There was the time I published two books. And the time I was invited to travel with Oprah and her team as she filmed her Lifeclass in NYC and St. Louis. Then there’s the time I was voted a “Woman of Influence” by the Nashville Business Journal and a few months later, named one of the most eligible bachelorettes in Nashville by Nashville Lifestyles magazine. There was the time Forbes magazine compared me to Mark Zuckerberg. There was my first major speaking engagement, when I spoke in front of 10,000 women at the Women of Faith conference in Connecticut with shaking knees. There was the appearance on The 700 Club and being quoted by Ryan Seacrest and getting to interview some of my favorite celebrities like Jordan Knight and Daniel Goddard.

There was the time I became an aunt (twice!) and the time I gave my life to God and the time I was blessed enough to share my story and my heart with half a million precious women across the world every single day. There was the time I walked away from an abusive, damaging relationship and never looked back.

Yes, there is no shortage of accomplishments that I am proud of. In career and in life and in love, there’s a lot that I’ve done that I’m proud of. (There’s also a lot that I’ve done that I’m not so proud of.  But that’s just life.) I definitely consider myself a very blessed person. But there’s one thing I’ve done, beyond all the achievements and goals met and dreams realized, that I’m MOST proud of. And that is my battle with anxiety.

Notice I didn’t say “winning my battle with anxiety,” because I haven’t won it. I may never completely, 100% win it. But I also have never stopped fighting it. And I never will.

I am a survivor of panic attacks. I still occasionally deal with them. If you’ve ever had a panic attack, you know it is NO JOKE. It feels like you’re dying and flying apart and losing your mind all at the same time. It’s quite possibly the worst feeling in the world, because it makes you feel helpless and weak and completely out of control. It’s also a cross I bear that I am a little ashamed of, as I think most anxiety sufferers are. Something about anxiety makes you feel like you’re flawed and damaged and inferior to those who are “normal.” Small, simple tasks to others, such as driving down a busy interstate or hopping on an airplane to go visit a faraway friend become great, big, giant hurdles and potential triggers. It’s truly exhausting. It’s frustrating. And it can really get in the way of the things you hope to accomplish and the person you hope to become. But, like any struggle or obstacle in life, it can also make you stronger…if you let it.

I’m proudest of my battle with anxiety because I don’t let it define me. I live my life and take big scary chances and I refuse to let fear rule the day, because I feel the fear and do it anyway. “Do it scared,” Sherri Shepherd says in her book, Plan D. “That thing that scares you the most, that makes you say ‘I don’t know if I can do it, I’m scared’: RUN toward it, because it’s so amazing on the other side.”

It might take me a little longer than most to get to the other side…and I might get there with heart pounding and hands shaking and knees quaking…but I’ll get there. And THAT is my proudest accomplishment.

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33 Responses to “ Day 12: What is Your Proudest Accomplishment? ”

  1. October 21, 2013

    As always, your posts are inspiring and encouraging. This one, makes me super proud of you! For all that you have accomplished in your life and your career, to be able to say that this battle is something that you’re the most proud of, when it is something that many of us women (self included) do our best to hide it, is so beautiful! Thank you for being strong. Thank you for being willing to step outside of the mold that society wants to force us in. Thank you for being real and honest and completely raw before us. Thank you for being you! You rock!!!

  2. October 21, 2013

    I struggle with anxiety as well. Thank you for sharing!

    My proudest accomplishment:

  3. Jay
    October 21, 2013

    My proudest accomplishment is to be at peace by myself…

  4. October 21, 2013

    Thank you for Sharing Mandy. You are such an inspiration. God Bless you.

  5. Aminski
    October 21, 2013

    Thank you for sharing this. It is truly inspiring 🙂

    My proudest accomplishment to date is to walk away from an unfulfilling relationship, fearing I would never find love or that kind of understanding again.

  6. October 21, 2013

    Thank you for sharing that! I’m also a sufferer of panic attacks. You give me great hope. ♥

  7. October 21, 2013

    you’ve achieved so many things! good for you. here’s mine.

  8. Emily Williamson
    October 21, 2013

    My proudest accomplishment came in the form of a battle, when my fiancé left me while 4 months pregnant with our second son (our fist had died in 2007). I decided to be a happy, joyful, completely fulfilled mother and saw all the blessings of being able to have another child (the doctors had told me otherwise). I delivered my son, worked three jobs to keep us afloat, and we are a thriving, blessed family of two with a great life in a new wonderful town and I have been blessed with a new exciting career!

    • October 22, 2013

      You go girl!!!!

    • Olerato
      October 25, 2013

      Oh wow, that’s actually really amazing. Just when you thought your whole life was down the drain, BANG! Came something as beautiful as that. I don’t know you personally but I must say, I’m proud of you!

  9. Suz.
    October 21, 2013
  10. October 21, 2013

    My beautiful daughter. I’m a single mom, her dad is involved but only in a harmful way, but the courts don’t see it that way (mental abuse doesn’t show it’s bruises) even though he did EVERYTHING he could from bribes and what I’m sure would’ve been empty promises to threats to get me to have an abortion, I thank God EVERY DAY that I kept my baby. I gave birth to her a day before my 18 and a half mark, I’m 30 now and due to endometriosis I know she was a gift from God. I was told at 15 that I couldn’t carry a child to term and have had two miscarriages. Ellie is my everything, my greatest accomplishment, gift and so much more, she’s the air I breathe and sometimes when thing’s get hard the ONLY thing that keeps me going. Word’s cannot express my deep and undying love, of the only child I will ever have. I am complete with one, because I achieved pure perfection with her, I know all mom’s think there kid is perfect, but I’m not the only one that think’s this, people meet her once and say how polite, kind, sweet and an all around great kid she is, and invite her back for no reason except that they want to spend more time with my charismatic daughter, this fills my heart with pride and joy. My mom has two friends (her closest) that wish there grandkids were like hers, they’ve both admitted to enjoying time with my girl over there own. I feel sad that they can’t enjoy time like that with there grandkids, but I am happy they get to spend time with Ellie, my greatest accomplishment.

    • Dee
      October 22, 2013

      Stefanie your story brings tears to my eyes – beautiful.

  11. Christine D
    October 21, 2013

    My greatest accomplishment would have to be the day I purchased my house ten years ago with no assistance from anyone. It was all me. I have turned it into my home that I enjoy spending time at with my family and fur babies making wonderful memories.

  12. Raquel
    October 22, 2013

    Thank you for this! I also battled with Anxiety and fear attacks but through the Most High, I’am overcoming, and my Proudest Moment was finally being able to get my first place and provide for myself. XoXo

  13. October 22, 2013

    Thank you so much for sharing this! It gives hope to those of us also struggling with anxiety that we too can accomplish great things. thank you!

  14. Jennifer
    October 22, 2013

    Thank you for the inspiration! I have struggled with anxiety and panic my whole life. I felt like I was reading about myself as I read this entry. You’re right. It will never 100% go away but there are ways to live and even thrive with anxiety. I put it in the passenger seat so it comes along with me sometimes but I no longer let it drive!

  15. Stephanie
    October 22, 2013

    I’m so grateful to have come across your website. It’s provided inspiration and reassurances at what seems like just the right time. I also have struggled with anxiety, but made what for me was a huge step last year. I took my first solo vacation! It was scary and at times a bit lonely, but I did it! 🙂 So happy to see others taking those steps outside of our comfort zones and living life 🙂

  16. erin
    October 22, 2013

    Wow! This blog keeps getting better and better. I would say my proudest accomplishment was graduating college. I had changed majors and I had to have a minor with that major and i barely was passing some classes in that minor .. but low and behold i did pass .. with the lords guidance. I graduated and so many people said to me give up, but i kept going. I also would say another proud accomplishment is my two nephews and one niece .. love them to pieces. I would also say another one was finishing a half marathon.. very proud at that moment as well 🙂 .. thanks for continuing to share 🙂

  17. What an accomplishment! Love your blog by the way. 🙂

  18. October 22, 2013

    blogging for 30 days about being single is such a great way to grow as a person, even if a person in a relationship were to do this challenge I think they’d learn a lot about themselves and what they truly want in life as well as what they have learned in their lives.

  19. Julia
    October 22, 2013

    Thank you for sharing this. I have struggled with anxiety for the majority of my life. But it especially became a huge issue for me because of an verbally/emotionally/mentally abusive relationship that I was in about 8 years ago. I haven’t been able to shake it since. Thankfully I can lean on the Lord and I have fewer and fewer episodes than I used to but I still have issues with it when in crowds or busy traffic areas or airports. I know this is something I will live with for the rest of my life but it makes it easier to deal with when I know that I am not the only out there that has these fears and anxiety attacks from things most people out there find rather silly. Hearing someone else is making strides and still functioning in every day situations is so encouraging.

  20. aida
    October 22, 2013

    I was totally a shy girl, who didn’t dare to speak in class. the terrible event of marriage make me get out of my shell. When I saw myself in the court with the influx of overwhelmed rights and values , I opened my mouth ! I am in a battle to defend my rights as a woman. I have a career which I contact to many people everyday and participate in many associations. I feel like I am trying to be a strong single woman by now.

    • Nick
      October 23, 2013

      I’m very impressed that with all of your accomplishments, you would choose this as your proudest moment. I’m a single man in my early thirties and I stumbled across your website from Your outlook is very encouraging. I thought I might share a bible passage that helped me fight Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCD comes in many forms, but the one constant is that it is anxiety based.
      ” Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from …. the anxieties of daily life”
      I believe this is Gods way of reminding us that anxiety, like life is not the end, and it will pass.

  21. Ngoni
    October 26, 2013

    I would say my proudest accomplishment is graduating from college after going through some major issues: being diagnosed with depression, getting hit by a car as a pedestrian, and being diagnosed with cancer in my shoulder. I faced all of those issues with God’s help and grace. I earned my bachelor’s degree six years after graduating high school and it is a good feeling because it wasn’t easy for me.

  22. Rebecca
    October 27, 2013

    Everytime I read this blog, I really feel like I am not alone in this. I am proud of graduating from a great college and getting my Psychology degree, my current goal is to go back to school and contiune to strive for my dreams. I know how those who struggle with anxiety feel, I was diagnosed with anxiety about 6 years ago and it is no joke. Some people don’t quite seem to understand, those mornings you wake up and you can already feel it taking over. It is not easy to cope with, but once you can calm yourself down and breathe, sometimes you can take on the day. Other days, it is not that easy. It is a day by day process, and it is so nice to know that someone out there does understand.

    I want to move forward with my life, make a difference and be happy. Find my happy, and that will truly be my greatest accomplishment.

  23. November 4, 2013

    Panic attacks are the absolute worst! And so hard to explain to someone who doesn’t have them and thinks you’re just overreacting!
    Here’s my proudest accomplishment:

  24. Michele
    December 20, 2013

    My proudest moment was when I met a man that I thought was my friend, my love and my lover.. Only to recently realize that I am feel like I am just a occasional pit stop. That I don’t feel like I am in a relationship,, or that I belong to someone,, .. That I feel single..

  25. Katrina
    January 6, 2014

    I have many degrees, a trade degree, a great career, and awards for dance. My proudest accomplishment is healing from chronic illness, and letting go of pain from the past. I live…healthy and in love and peace through Jesus. A state of mental and emtional well being that is– bliss. I was in the darkest place and, that without the darkness I would have never found the light.
    Thank you God.

  26. Mercy
    January 26, 2014

    OMG I thought I was alone in this….Been battling chronic panic attacks and anxiety since childhood…low self esteem and inferiority complex virtually became part of my life…There is nothing in this world I do on my own…for fear of making mistakes i always run to people to make decisions for me.I’m afraid to speak or do something on my own for fear of being ridiculed in case things turn out wrong…i’v been crying over this for God knows least for a little balance in my life to strengthen me and make me believe in myself,to stop imitating others and be myself ,to be able to speak the right things at the right time…i always ask God,why didn’t he make me smarter and knowledgeable like my friends and colleagues who have all the answers and solutions to almost every problem that they are asked to solve at work…Just why can’t I be like them..Why do I always have to be dependent on them for even tasks that I have been assigned to?God I seriously need help!!!!!!

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Something wonderful is on the horizon
Turn Toward the Sun CoverLife doesn’t always look the way we want it to look. In Mandy’s upcoming book, Turn Toward the Sun: Releasing What If and Embracing What Is, you’ll find encouragement to live in the moment, sit with your experiences, and trust God with the unknown.
Preorder from Baker Book House for 40% off and free shipping!*
*US shipping only