Women to Watch: Caroline Foran on how her anxiety led to her success

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Beaut is so excited to announce the launch of our dynamic new series Women to Watch. We'll be profiling women from all industries and backgrounds who will be sharing their path to success and giving advice on how to make it. Our first subject is the multihyphenate, Caroline Foran.

Caroline Foran likes to change her hair length a lot. If you do a Google search, you will see promotional shots and press event photos of an absolute babe with a beaming smile, and long blonde hair in one, a bronde lob in another, a luscious Heidi braid in the next. But the essence of Caroline Foran is not her beauty - or her impressive variety of hairstyles. It's not her seriously relatable, funny and honest writing style (though in her line of work that helps). It's her confidence, born out of a prolonged attack of crippling anxiety, and the way she's using it to empower the people of Ireland - and beyond.

Caroline Foran describes herself as, first and foremost, a journalist, content creator and strategist. And along with being a wellness expert, she's an interiors guru (she runs Gaff with friend Jo Linehan), beauty editor, author and influencer - of the no-bullshit variety. We use the word influencer lightly 'round these parts, and Caroline would probably dispute my claims, but she is the type of person the term should be reserved for. At thirty, she has become a recognisable voice in Irish publications, both online and in print, has had two books published, and has allowed her personal story of living with anxiety become a comforting reference point for others who also struggle with their mental health.

If you want to increase your confidence, I just think be yourself. I think people appreciate that and I think we get carried away comparing what we see on social media which is comparing someone's highlights reel with your behind the scenes and it's not real life.

The Dublin-native began her career at Entertainment.ie starting as an intern and fulfilling every intern's dream of ending up as Senior Editor while still in her early twenties. She led a bona fide dream life interviewing celebs and going to cool events. Looking to expand her career, she accepted the job as editor of Lovin' Dublin - and that's where it all began to unravel when her anxiety decided to rear its head, like a sore, pulsating yellow-tipped pimple arriving on your wedding day.

She realised the problem wasn't going to fix itself by waiting it out, so Caroline gave in her notice and began her recovery. I can't oversimplify things by saying the result of her journey towards 'owning' her anxiety, but her first book couldn't have been written without going through it.

Have the confidence to make mistakes and have the confidence to let yourself fail.

Owning It: Your Bullsh*t-Free Guide to Living with Anxiety was published in May 2017 and proven by the fact that it was Number One on the bestseller charts for weeks, Caroline wasn't the only one looking for help with a solution to their mental-health concerns. Owning It is a refreshing, often funny (very often), honest and matter-of-fact look at Caroline's personal encounter with anxiety offering frank opinion and insight including into various methods of treatment.

A follow-up, The Confidence Kit, was commisioned very soon after Owning It's phenomenal success. This time, the focus is on fear, or rather, facing fear, and it's as honest and bullshit-free as its older sister. Wisdom is not reserved for the old; Caroline has only turned thirty, but through her experiences and the lessons she has learned over the past decade, from college through career success, to her anxiety struggle and now as a best-selling author, she has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and advice that she is thankfully more than happy to share. And that is why she is the first subject of our Women to Watch series.

The Confidence Kit is on sale in bookstores now.

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