Anxiety Disorder

How Anxiety Recovery Is Just Like The Flywheel

In 2010, I wrote a little post on my business blog about a concept called the flywheel. Below is an excerpt from that post:

In online business, most people fantasise about The Tipping Point. It’s a concept made famous by Malcolm Gladwell in a book of the same name.  It is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behaviour crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.

Many people assume that when their online brand takes off, they’re set. That instant popularity will bring instant riches and everything will fall into place.

The reality is more like the flywheel, which is described below.

“Picture a huge, heavy flywheel. It’s a massive, metal disk mounted horizontally on an axle. It’s about 100 feet in diameter, 10 feet thick, and it weighs about 25 tons. That flywheel is your company. Your job is to get that flywheel to move as fast as possible, because momentum — mass times velocity — is what will generate superior economic results over time.

Right now, the flywheel is at a standstill. To get it moving, you make a tremendous effort. You push with all of your might, and finally, you get the flywheel to inch forward. After two or three days of sustained effort, you get the flywheel to complete one entire turn. You keep pushing, and the flywheel begins to move a bit faster. It takes a lot of work, but at last the flywheel makes a second rotation. You keep pushing steadily. It makes three turns, four turns, five, six. With each turn, it moves faster, and then — at some point, you can’t say exactly when — you break through. The momentum of the heavy wheel kicks in your favor. It spins faster and faster, with its own weight propelling it. You aren’t pushing any harder, but the flywheel is accelerating, its momentum building, its speed increasing.”

Jim Collins, Author, Good to Great

Reaching that crucial tipping point is just the start of your transition to successful business owner. You’ve overcome the main hurdle, but you have to keep pushing that flywheel to reach that certain level of momentum.


Last night, this concept popped into my head in relation to my recovery from anxiety. I have been so frustrated lately, almost petulant, at how slow recovery is taking. The mind is able but the body sure as heck isn’t willing. I’m making progress but it is incredibly slow. The psychologist got a huge rant at how even though things are improving, everything is all about survival. It’s about getting better. It’s about housework. Getting fit, getting a job.

I believe that it could help to think of it in relation to the flywheel. My psychologist suggested making short and long term plans, just so I could see what I was working towards. The health person at the job network said that everything would be a snowball effect.

I just like taking marketing nerdiness and applying it to a different field 🙂