Challenging Your Worst Fears

The more you expose yourself to the social situations you fear, the easier they will become. You will eventually learn and internalize that you do not have to fear these situations.

Once you get comfortable in these situations, you will want to continue pushing yourself to the point where you can say something stupid on purpose to see what happens.

You will see that even when you do say something stupid or foolish, nothing bad actually happens. You will learn that you might feel temporarily embarrassed, but that’s about the only consequence. You will finally learn that all your fears and anxious beliefs are unfounded and simply false.

So, once you get to that level of comfort, purposefully make mistakes or try to look stupid (mispronounce, ask obvious questions, bump into a door, etc.).

Draw attention to yourself on purpose by dropping something, arriving late, etc.

These are all great ways to test your anxiety provoking beliefs.

You can even purposefully increase your anxiety symptoms – sweating, racing heart, lose your train of thought, or let your hands shake on purpose (discussed here). By purposefully bringing these physical symptoms on, you will learn that they are nothing to fear.

Next: Developing a situational exposure hierarchy

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