Before you can beat your social anxiety and shyness, I believe that you must have a clear understanding of what it is, how it works, and how fear, panic, and worry play a role.
I have been shy ever since I was a kid. I remember being in school and being very quiet. I remember trying to go through a whole day of school without talking.
I don’t know why I behaved this way, but didn’t think much of it. Besides being very quiet, I was a good student. I paid attention, I got great grades, and I kept up this pattern all the way up until I finished high school.
I had a few close friends who I was comfortable around, but I never ever wanted to speak up in class, be the center of attention, or go to any parties or social gatherings. I didn’t really understand why I felt this way. All I knew is that I liked keeping to myself and hanging out with a couple close friends here and there.
I realize now that it held me back in a lot of ways. Not only did i miss out on a lot of experiences growing up, but I also reinforced my social phobia by continually avoiding them. Avoiding something leads to a greater fear of it over time.
I also missed out on practicing necessary social skills that I would need throughout my life. When you avoid social activities, you miss out on a lot of learning opportunities on how to interact with new people. While everyone else was gaining experience, my social skill set was falling behind.
As you can imagine, this only made the possibility of overcoming social anxiety and shyness even more difficult. Can you relate?
I went on living like this for years even though I knew that it wasn’t doing me any good. It negatively impacted my career, my social life, getting a girl friend, making new friends, etc. Even though it was hurting me, I didn’t want to deal with it. I just kept up the same routines and hoped that I would overcome it by some miracle.
Well, the miracle never came. I knew that I wasn’t going to overcome it out of thin air. I knew I would have to take responsibility and make a decision to change it myself. It would take work and commitment, but I was so fed up with it, that I just had to make a change.
I decided to focus on what’s within my control and do what I can to crush this condition. The same goes for you – if you want to overcome social anxiety and shyness, you’re going to have to take ownership and make things happen!
Decide that it’s time to make a change. Educate yourself on what social anxiety is. That’s where my journey started – and it’s where yours can start too.