After a challenging childhood, with my dad dying when I was 5, continuous fighting with my mom and being placed outside of the house, and my stepdad committing suicide, I got off to a rough start. I became so anxious at the age of 11. I had always been the strongest and loudest in class, and this gave me a certain status. I felt untouchable.
That all changed when I got ridiculed by my favorite teacher in front of the class. I got bright red, and everyone laughed at me. Given my upbringing, beliefs, and emotional state at the time, this was a mini trauma. I now got afraid of becoming embarrassed again. I was teased for a few years for having big ears. To the point where I went to a plastic surgeon and considered having them fixed (never happened, though).
From age 11 onward, my social anxiety got progressively worse. At age 16 or so, when girls came into the picture, things got even tougher. I was extremely insecure, and compensated for that by being arrogant. I couldn’t have sex to save my life, and sex was on my mind 24/7. I thought that having sex, and getting a cute girlfriend, would solve all my issues and give me back my status. I was suffering from an intense social anxiety disorder. I was ashamed of myself, I hated the world and everyone in it. I felt inferior to just about anyone.I was terrified of embarrassing myself in social situations, was convinced people were constantly judging me, woke up anxious every day, avoided social situations as best as I could, and when I would have to go to one I got drunk as soon as I could.
I felt like the biggest loser alive. Once I read about possible solutions, I tried everything I could to overcome my social anxiety. I learned that I could become “rejection proof” if I would purposely get myself rejected. So planned to do this. I went to Amsterdam and was going to purposely get myself rejected by girls. I was shit scared days before the event, just thinking about what I was going to do. The day before I hardly slept…
When dooms day arrived, I went to Amsterdam and walked up to random women, and groups of women, inside stores and outside stores, and approached them like a creepster saying “you like me, give me your number”. I successfully got rejected, ridiculed, laughed at and so on for 20 times in a row.
It was very painful and scary. I had to push myself HARD to do it. But it got easier after the 9th or 10th time. By the 20th, it was relatively easy to do, and I felt like the man.
But three days later, all my painfully gained confidence was gone again. It was just a temporary solution. The deeply ingrained beliefs from childhood that I was “unlovable” and that “people don’t like me” remained unchanged, and so my core low self-esteem simply came back.
I also was told “do the thing you fear most and the death of it is certain”.
Embarrassment was the worst thing I feared. So to face my fear, I bought the brightest red lipstick, put in all over my lips, and made big red circles around my eyes, and then walked through the street of a busy city trying to make conversations with people. Same story. HORRIBLE to do in the beginning. Got easier after a while. And confident at the end of it. But a few days later, my confidence has left me once again.
I did more experiments in facing my fear and things like that.
I tried the recommended therapies, I studied all the self-help stuff I could get my hands on, I listened to thousands of hours of it, I applied various tools, strategies, techniques, but nothing seemed to really work for me.
I only made little, insignificant progress. And it was painfully SLOW.
Eventually, after 5 years of trying whatever I could get my hands on, in utter desperation I stumbled onto this silly looking, yet very powerful technique called EFT.
At first I thought “yeah right, as if tapping on my face and body is going to help me feel better!”.
I of course was skeptical, and thought it was some sort of a scam. But I did my research, and found tons of testimonials online, and many videos as well. People said “it works where nothing else will”. That got me excited. I decided I would make it work for me, no matter what.
It didn’t work for me at first. Cause I was numb to my emotions. But eventually, I got to work with an EFT specialists during an EFT workshop, in 2005.
He asked me some painful questions, and had me talk about how I didn’t have a girlfriend, or how I didn’t have any sex for a long time. That made me feel massively embarrassed. That was one of my biggest secrets I tried to hide from the world. As he had me talk about that in front of the group, and I was bright red from shame and shaking with anxiety, he told me to start doing the tapping.
And as I did, the shame and insecurity and everything started to rapidly dissolve. It was like a plugged drain that got pulled, and all the painful emotions flushed away. Within 2 minutes of tapping I didn’t feel any shame, anxiety, or anything else. Instead, I felt a calm acceptance. And peace. I couldn’t even get upset about it when I was asked to try to get upset about it. That was a life-changing moment for me. I finally found something that worked. That internal shift I made that day didn’t solve my social anxiety disorder, but I felt I had made more progress in those few minutes of tapping than all the years of pushing myself combined. I then decided to use EFT to resolve my social anxiety completely, and to keep going until none was left.
Using EFT (with the help of many EFT specialists, because while you can learn the basics of EFT in 10 minutes and is already powerful, it needs to be applied it in the right way to overcome a complex issue such as a social phobia. If you just do some basic EFT, you won’t overcome it…) I eventually managed to become completely anxiety-free.
Today (August 2013), I am anxiety-free. I’ve been anxiety-free for years. I’m fortunate enough to actually like, love, trust, respect, and accept myself. Something I worked hard on. I no longer hate the world, or the people in it.
I feel free in the world. I feel safe being myself, and that’s a tremendous feeling compared to how I used to feel. I now make friends easily, I connect with people effortlessly, and socializing is fun. I have incredible, loving people around me, and I’m grateful for the warmth, fun, and ease I experience when interacting with others.
Because I experienced such freedom and connection after years of loneliness, fear and isolation, I figured many others were suffering like I was. Being the self-help junkie I had become, I made a big goal.
I decided to do whatever I could to learn how to help others overcome their social phobias. I created a vision to resolve social anxiety in the world. This was some 6 years ago. I since have dedicated my life to bringing the best solutions to people suffering from social anxiety, and eventually work on prevention of social anxiety.
Since October 2009 I have been coaching people from social anxiety disorder all the way to social confidence. I have continuously refined my skills, taking workshops all over the world, and I’ve worked with my own high-level coach every single week.
From 1000’s of hours of being coached by the best Master practitioners/therapists, thousands of hours of study and over 4 years of me coaching social phobics I’ve created a step-by-step system to overcoming social anxiety from the comfort of your own home.
Since EFT has given me so much, and because I know there are SO MANY people out there suffering like I was, I feel inspired like crazy to get the word out there. It pisses me off it that it doesn’t have the recognition it deserves.
When Yolanda hit the Philippines, and I saw my Filipino friends help out with their volunteer teams, I felt inspired to go and help the traumatized kids overcome their traumas with EFT.
This has evolved itself to the mission it has become today. And the mission, is but a stepping stone into something far bigger. We now want EFT to be implemented by the world’s leading NGO’s, and we want to have everyone in the world know about EFT.
My story on camera, shot a while back: