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How to Handle the Spotlight When You Have Social Anxiety


[su_spacer size=”10″]SUMMARY

In this post, we share how to handle the spotlight when you have social anxiety.

Rachel who is on the Social Anxiety Solutions team will share:

  • Common dreaded spotlight situations,
  • What not to do, and
  • What to do instead that will actually give you some relief.

We will have a live coaching session where I will guide her through a tapping experience. Follow along and tweak it to fit your own unique situation.

We also share a clip from a former client I helped who was able to overcome his fear of being in the spotlight.

It may feel like it, but you aren’t alone in your fear of being in the spotlight and there are real, tangible things you can do to completely overcome that fear.

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Rachel: Hi there, I’m Rachel Bourne. I’m on the Social Anxiety Solutions team and I want to talk to you about how to handle the spotlight when you have social anxiety. Like you, I’m someone who is working my way towards overcoming social anxiety and I’ve been getting coaching sessions from Sebastiaan and that’s been helping me out tremendously. And I still have more to go, but I really wish I had had these tools and techniques that he uses way earlier on in my life before a whole bunch of experiences that were in the spotlight. And I have a long history of being uncomfortable having this spotlight on me. So, this was an awesome topic this week and I really hope that you get something out of it.

We’re gonna cover common spotlight situations that people with social anxiety disorder dread and the thoughts that go through their mind. We’re gonna share approaches that don’t work that maybe you know, you have some experience with and then we’re gonna share a clip of some live coaching that Sebastiaan will do for me for this presentation. So, you get some live coaching here that you can follow along with. You can rewatch and tweak this to your own situation and decrease your levels of anxiety.

What’s learned can be unlearned. You know, you’ve learned your anxiety and it can be unlearned and we’re gonna uncover how to do that. Because you shouldn’t be held back by fear because then you’ll be missing out. You’ll be missing out on opportunities and relationships and so on.

Situations people with social anxiety dread

So, situations you dread and the thoughts that go through your mind. So, basically when you’re afraid of the spotlight you’re afraid of being the center of attention and the spotlight being on you and performing some action with people watching you can be very nerve-racking I know. Some of these situations might be you know speeches, interviews, socializing, being in certain social situations or being around a certain person, everyone may have their own you know, different type of trigger and then you know every time you’re in that situation all those feelings come up for you again. You developed a fear because of your past programming.

And your strategy maybe to you know, face your fears but then you know, throughout that process you get so wound up about doing these things and then, I know from experience you know, going in with that kind of thought process you get really unhappy like leading up to the actual event and just you know, thinking I’ll just avoid this as much as I can and then I’ll just push through it and just you know, force my way through it and it just you know, it’s none of it is fun basically and it just shouldn’t be that way.

So, in my experience facing my fears never did any good. So, the first thought to go through your head when you’re in the spotlight when you have social anxiety you know, maybe your first presented with an opportunity and you’re all excited and you think yeah you know, oh I have to give a speech or I have an interview or there’s a party you know that kind of first reaction it might be positive like oh yeah great this is this time I’m gonna be ready this time you know I’ll be good not like those other times. And then you immediately go back to that place of fear and you know anxiety and kind of replaying past situations that didn’t go so well. You know, what if I look stupid or say something stupid, what if I forget what to say, what if I look nervous, what if these people aren’t gonna like me anymore or they’re gonna judge me or make fun of me?

And then all the way leading up to your event you know this whole thing gets kind of like blown up out of proportion you know, you’re fearing the event by the time that comes up. You know, like in my situation just to give you an example like I’ve worked my way up in a professional setting through a lot of really hard work and really just you know pushing through a lot of things that weren’t fun. And again, like these tools and techniques really could have helped me have like a much more enjoyable experience many, many, many times.

But again, like where you are now but it’s okay you know, don’t look backwards, look forward. You can apply this situation now and then going forward and it’s only gonna get easier and easier for you. And I have multiple stories of these situations really dreading the type of like spotlight situations.

My Spotlight Story

One in particular and I’m really like putting myself in the hot like I’m actually getting hot right now and I think I’ll tap while I do tell this story. I have a lot of experiences but going back to when I was a lot younger you know, like early 20s before I started my career I went to this kind of this casting call and it was like a you know, a few days I think and we had to do a like a commercial and then we had to do a like a monologue in front of a few hundred people. Maybe more I don’t know it was at least a few hundred people and the commercial… As soon as the camera was on me like I forgot my lines and I kept redoing the commercial like over and over. Like I would just freeze and like that’s one of the common you know reactions is to freeze because you’re afraid and I didn’t realize like the whole thing was recorded. I’m like I kept starting over thinking they were gonna like to cut it and clip it and make it all perfect for me.

And so, that was done, and I did I don’t even know if I got through the commercial once. And then I had to do a monologue in front of few hundred people like on stage and I didn’t prepare for some reason like normally I over prepare but I was like I’m not gonna even stress because if I start thinking I’m gonna get nervous then I’m you know I’m gonna do a really bad job. So, I underprepared, and I went out and I think I even like had to have an accent and I just totally bombed it and I kept freezing and just kind of staring and not knowing my lines. And then they played the commercial in front of the audience. And so, it already kind of messed up. I don’t even actually know what order, but they played the commercial in front of the audience and like it was the whole thing unedited. It was like me messing up ten times like it would start over it was just like the whole band just kept going and like I’m like I think that was the last time and then I would like to start over again. It was like me doing it again.

So, yeah, I wanted to share that experience with you. I liked that was good. Actually, I’m doing the finger tapping that Sebastiaan talked about while I was telling that story and I think that actually helped a little bit as well.

But anyways, I wanted to share that I’ve been there I know your pain. If you’re you know, in the hot seat you aren’t alone. But again, so the wrong way to handle this type of situation in the future like if you know you’re gonna have to do an event like this or you know give a speech or do an interview.

The Wrong Approach

The wrong approach is you know panic, of course, don’t want to panic. Over preparing, overanalyzing, which is usually my go-to. You know, over researching. And let me just read everything about this and kind of put it all in one place and you know, write all these notes that you’re not gonna say like 90% of the stuff that you’re writing down. And then you work yourself up too much or like the example I just gave you ignoring it completely and procrastinating and under preparing.

And again, you might think like my approach was not good. Like my approach was if I start to acknowledge that I’m nervous that it actually but I’m actually nervous that I actually care about how well I do then it’s gonna bother me more. Like that’s not the right approach you know or thinking that you have to be perfect and so then you procrastinate and it kind of has a reverse effect than what you’re intending.

The Right Approach

The right way is first to realize that the fear is there for a reason. So, somewhere you’re in your past as Sebastiaan has said as a result of trauma you know painful life experiences your mind has programmed and labeled situations like this as unsafe and it did this so that you could avoid similar painful situations like it in the future.

This perception of threat leads to the activation of the fight flight freeze response which results in your social anxiety symptoms. You know, the fast heart rate, the sweat, the shaking, panic etc. Whatever it is that you experience. Like for me my neck gets hot you know, I turn red. It’s changed over the years, but you know, I experienced numerous things you know, maybe an itch.

When you have social anxiety there’s threats really all around specific to your personal history that can trigger you. What you want to do actually is to start from where you’re at like wherever that is and accept the reality of where you are. Accept your symptoms, release your self judgment and then neutralize the origins of your brains perception of threats.

And you can do this by applying a simple tapping technique in the right way. And using this technique you can address the real problem head-on and begin calming yourself down and bring yourself into the present moment step by step.

So, more about this technique and how to apply it in just a second. Again, an example of what doesn’t work are the things I used to do. I tried many things before introduced before I was introduced to tapping. I would… a couple things I did you know, different essential oils which are great you know and different like things to help calm me. There were some courses I took, and you know if I had a speech I would talk and walk on the… I would walk and talk on the phone and pretend to be talking to someone while I’m rehearsing my speech. It’s supposed to be like a technique. Different breathing techniques which of course are good too. Of course, pretending the audience is naked but just never did me any good. Looking over their heads, looking at them in the eyes, like I tried every, every suggestion and you know it none of it ever really helped.

So, the having social anxiety like those things were just kind of like surface like temporary you know, it might work for some people, but it didn’t work for me. I was nervous and the trick the little tricks like made me feel worse. Like the harder I tried to trick myself and trick my brain. Deep down like I wasn’t buying it.

And again, it’s gotten better over the years because I’ve been in a lot of those types of experiences but not to the degree of the help that the tapping and the coaching sessions that I’ve done with Sebastiaan have done. So, the more you’re acting like everything is okay when you aren’t okay in order to conquer your fear the more everything inside will not believe you.

Live Coaching Session with Sebastiaan

So, I’m gonna share with you now, we’re gonna jump to this live coaching session clip that I did with Sebastiaan. And tweak it to fit your own situation start tapping along from the very beginning. Like I don’t know if he mentioned it but like in the very beginning to start tapping along as you can gain some benefit by pausing it you know, pause the video imagine a scary social situation. Maybe being the center of attention you know, or you know a situation that you want some help with right now and then just tap along with us “monkey-see monkey-do” as Sebastiaan says, and you know, get some great benefits from that. Tweak it to fit your own situation and I hope it helps you.

Sebastiaan: So, I thought I would just give a brief intro and then we’ll just take it from there right away.

Rachel: Alright.

Sebastiaan: While you’re still fresh and nervous.

Rachel: Alright. I mean we can just take little clips of this you know or something, right?

Sebastiaan: Good. Or just take it from as it goes.

Rachel: Yeah, just whatever. Whatever.

Sebastiaan: Yes, okay.

Rachel: No big deal just whatever and just we’ll take what works and take many pieces of it. Are you recording it where you can send it to me? Upload it?

Sebastiaan: Everything right now is being recorded.

Rachel: Oh, my Gosh.

Sebastiaan: Everything you say can and it will be used against you online.

Rachel: Okay.

Sebastiaan: So, it’s already started. So, just start the tapping.

Rachel: Yeah.

Sebastiaan: So, for people watching this, Rachel was giving you a little bit of an intro into being in the spotlight and the anxiety associated with that. Well, she’s in the spotlight and the anxiety associated with that right now as am I actually. But this is not about me, this is all about Rachel today and to be completely transparent Rachel’s been helping out behind the scenes for quite a while now. And I’ve been giving her some sessions and yeah, right now she’s on the spot, right? Because you guys have never seen her face and there she is and so.

And for people that have been watching this and have been following this channel for a while they know what tapping is but really brief for the people that don’t know what it is, tapping is a psychological form of acupuncture but instead of using needles you tap with the tips of your fingers and specific acupressure points on the body. And it looks pretty silly because you’re actually doing this.

Well, what it does is it starts to calm down your nervous system. Studies have shown that it reduces the production of serotonin which is… I always say this wrong. It reduces the production of cortisol which is your stress hormone and it increases the production of serotonin, your happy hormone. You want more of that.

Anyway, and so, these biochemical responses create a sense of calm. So, you focus on a particular problem such as being in the spotlight and then while you do that tapping it starts to calm down the excessive negative emotions.

Now, you won’t get rid of all your negative emotions forever because negative emotions serve a purpose. They have a message for you but when they are excessive or dysfunctional such as anxiety when you’re in a social situation. Yeah, we want to do something about that and the tapping is very effective for that.  So, Rachel did I miss anything? Anything else we should say or…?

Rachel: No, I think you got it.

Sebastiaan: I got it? Okay. Alright. So, Rachel how are you feeling right now in this moment?

Rachel: I’m a little nervous.

Sebastiaan: Okay, alright.

Rachel: I’m a little… I do feel… I do feel on the spotlight.

Sebastiaan: Okay, guess… that’s because you are. All right.

Rachel: Yes.

Sebastiaan: Well, yeah, in the in the tapping world and I’m you know, I’m mostly talking to everyone watching this now. And in the tapping world we talk a lot about… they call it a SUDS. S-U-D-S – A Subjective Unit of Distress.

So, you measure on a skill 0 to 10 how uncomfortable you feel. Zero is like I’m totally calm and peaceful and ten is like I’m as stressed as I can possibly be. So, where would you be on that on that scale right now?

Rachel: Probably a four.

Sebastiaan: Okay. About a four. All right. And what we can do with the tapping is we can aim at that four, whatever that four represents. That four might be tightness in your throat. Oh, sorry, a lump in your throat or tightness in your throat, a tightness in your chest, butterflies in your stomach, it might be your thoughts racing, a particular thought that you’re thinking about the whole time, whatever. You can pick one particular thing to focus on or many things to focus on at the same time though when you pick one particular thing to focus on its more effective, you get laser with the tapping technique. So, what are you most aware of?

Rachel: I think like heat and like heat right here.

Sebastiaan: Okay.

Rachel: Like a little bit itchy. It used to be really bad, but you know like I feel it like subtly like right here a little bit of heat.

Sebastiaan: Okay, gotcha. All right. So, that’s a symptom of the anxiety. So, somehow someway your system is perceiving this situation where you’re in now as it as a threat. You know, we don’t know exactly what that threat is, and we can probably find it out if we do some digging but that this what you’re experiencing is a symptom of the anxiety, okay?

So, what we want to do is we just want to stimulate these acupressure points while we focus on the symptom that we’re aware of or at least that’s what we’re going to start out with because as you can as you’ll find out as you start doing this it’s actually a very forgiving technique and Rachel’s gonna be totally honest when it doesn’t initially work. Because that’s okay. Because if it doesn’t initially work it just means we’ll take a different route, we’ll take a different approach because there are many ways to go at the problem, okay?

Alright. So, all I want you to do is you just want you to focus on that you know, heat sensation that you have while you simultaneously stimulate these acupressure points. Alright, and then tapping on the eyes. So, what you’re doing is you’re just concentrating on the discomfort while you do the tapping. Now under the nose. Now tapping on the chin.

Now for people listening people you know, if you look for standard EFT it’s like “Even though I have this you know, heat in my upper neck I deeply and completely accept myself”. That’s standard EFT. This is an applied you know, or a different version of it. It’s more like SPT – Simple Energy Techniques. Check out from my mentor and his mate Dr. David Lake, psychotherapist and Steve Wells, psychologist.

They’ve developed this. This is a simplification of EFT and they found that that is just as effective, and I found the same. So, you know, sometimes I use the setup phrase you know the original EFT approach and other times I just do this. So, you know, like I said it’s a very forgiving technique.

Alright. So, after a bit of tapping you’ll either find out that you feel just as uncomfortable, you’ll feel more uncomfortable or you feel less uncomfortable or you no longer feel uncomfortable. So, what are you aware of Rachel?

Rachel: It’s slightly less.

Sebastiaan: Okay.

Rachel: I would say maybe like a three.

Sebastiaan: Okay, gotcha. All right. So, what that tells me is that there’s likely some part of you that is resisting letting go of that anxiety response, okay? Because typically if you do tapping for a couple of minutes and it’s just a low intensity, the low intensity will drop. So, and when I say there’s likely resistance to letting go of it that might be because you know, that there’s a variety of common reasons but basically consciously Rachel here wants to feel at ease. Am I right?

Rachel: Yes, of course.

Sebastiaan: Right. So, that’s her goal, that’s our conscious wish and that that’s a conscious wish you have in social situations as well but because your subconscious doesn’t agree so Rachel’s subconscious doesn’t agree with that there is resistance to letting go of the anxiety. So, the subconscious might be “Well, it’s not safe to just to relax here because I might say something stupid or you know I might look like a dumbass or I might do something wrong or whatever reason XYZ or maybe I don’t deserve to be you know, comfortable for everyone to see and that kind of stuff”.

So, what we simply do is we’re just gonna verbalize these common resistances while we do the tapping. So, let me just get this out of my screen, remind me tomorrow. Okay, so, there we go. All right, so, just tapping under your arms and just say, “It’s not safe to relax.”

Rachel: It’s not safe to relax.

Sebastiaan: On the liver point, “I don’t want to relax”.

Rachel: I don’t want to relax.

Sebastiaan: On the wrist point, “It’s better to be super focused and alert right now”.

Rachel: It’s better to be super focused and alert right now.

Sebastiaan: On top of the head, “It’s not me to be relaxed while I’m in the spotlight”.

Rachel: It’s not me to be relaxed when I’m in the spotlight.

Sebastiaan: “Unless it is”.

Rachel: Unless it is.

Sebastiaan: “Hey, it certainly hasn’t been the case”.

Rachel: Certainly, hasn’t been the case.

Sebastiaan: “But I’d like to feel a bit more relaxed”.

Rachel: But I’d like to feel a bit more relaxed.

Sebastiaan: Okay. Under the nose, take a deep breath. Okay, tapping on the chin. Again, no right or wrong answer. We’re not you know, we’re just being genuine here trying to see what’s going on for you so what’s coming up for you.

Rachel: My neck feels better.

Sebastiaan: Okay.

Rachel: I do feel something in my stomach.

Sebastiaan: Okay, all right. So, we call this chasing the pain in EFT where your discomfort moves to a different place and then you simply focus on wherever the next place is. So, tapping your collarbone so just notice where that’s going. And so, all you’re gonna do is you’re just gonna notice that whatever thing you feel in your stomach. Okay. So, as you tap under the arms so if that feeling in your stomach has a color, what color is it?

Rachel: You really have a hard time with that one, you know.

Sebastiaan: First thing that comes to mind, doesn’t matter.

Rachel: Blue but it seems like it shouldn’t be blue.

Sebastiaan: Okay. All right, yeah. So, on the liver points just say, “This is a blue feeling that shouldn’t be blue in my stomach”.

Rachel: This blue feeling that shouldn’t be blue in my stomach.

Sebastiaan: On the wrist point. Okay. So, you can kind of focusing more deeply onto the sensation by naming it, giving it a color, give it you know, noticing what the temperature of it is etc. You are kind of more tuning in to it and you are more focused on it and the better you focus and better you do the tapping typically the better your results.

So, I’m just telling them a bunch of things Rachel. So, while you’re tapping on the top of your head. So, I also noticed that you said, “Well, it’s blue but it shouldn’t be blue”. And maybe it’s also kind of like a reflection of a particular inner resistance to the feeling being there in the first place.

So, on the beginning of the address because a common thing that we very, very common thing actually it keeps anxiety-like locked into place is having feelings about the anxiety. So, I have an anxiety response, I have symptoms showing up in my body, my heart is racing, I was a lump in my throat whatever the symptoms are. And I shouldn’t have those you know, it’s unacceptable that I have them, I’m a loser for having them, I should just be comfortable what’s wrong with me? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

All that in your dialogue and those feelings they kind of put a lid on the problem as Steve Wells says and you know, off and I’m just parroting other people. If it’s said well I shouldn’t change it.

Anyway, so that’s what it does. So, you actually want to be okay however, counterintuitive that might sound you want to be in an accepting place off the symptoms that you’re experiencing. And so, right now when you’re aware of that feeling in your stomach just say, “I shouldn’t feel this way”.

Rachel: I shouldn’t feel this way.

Sebastiaan: Yeah, chin – “It’s pathetic I feel this way”.

Rachel: It’s pathetic I feel this way.

Sebastiaan: On the collarbone, by the way if you haven’t already been started tapping along you know, go back to the beginning of the video and start tapping along or start tapping along right now. Okay? It’s nothing bad that’s gonna happen you’re just gonna calm yourself a bit down. All right. And if your symptoms are not the same which they likely aren’t, or they might, that’s okay. You’re you’ll still get the benefits, you still gained some benefits.

All right. On the liver point. And sometimes you just want to verbalize whatever is going on for us. So, just say “I’m under a lot of pressure right now”.

Rachel: I’m under a lot of pressure right now.

Sebastiaan: Okay. So, on the wrist point, I’m kind of just mind reading a bit because I’ve been doing this for a long time but what else might be going on for you in your in your mind right now?

Rachel: A little… sometimes when I get come on the spotlight my mind goes a little blank. Like I’m not fully present like as much as I would like to be.

Sebastiaan: Sure. And are you aware of that now?

Rachel: A little bit.

Sebastiaan: Okay. And how should you be instead?

Rachel: It’s hard to explain. Little less on guard maybe.

Sebastiaan: Okay, yeah. So, you shouldn’t be on guard?

Rachel: Right.

Sebastiaan: Right. Okay. So, we have a lot of these rules about how we should be and how we shouldn’t be socially, and we come up with those or brain comes up with those just by observing people around us and circumstances and programming and cultural programming and that kind of stuff. And then these rules actually make it a lot more rigid and narrow how it should show up in a social situation. And that then is like “Oh, I’m not behaving according to the rules”. That’s a danger and then boom you get anxiety because of that. So, on the chin. What did you say it shouldn’t be self-conscious? Sorry, I’m not paying attention. Say it again.

Rachel: No, that’s true too. More present, more present, you know. Although I’m here and I hear everything you’re saying it’s just I guess like an on guard, right? Like on guard like…

Sebastiaan: Right. Yeah, on guard. I shouldn’t be so on guard.

Rachel: I shouldn’t be so on guard.

Sebastiaan: Liver point – “But I am”.

Rachel: But I am.

Sebastiaan: Wrist point – “Maybe part of me thinks there’s a reason to be on guard here”.

Rachel: Maybe part of me thinks there’s a reason to be on guard here.

Sebastiaan: Yeah, under top of the head – “And that part should just shut up and go away”.

Rachel: And that part to just shut up and go away.

Sebastiaan: On the beginning on the eyebrows – “Or maybe it’s there for a reason”.

Rachel: Or maybe it’s there for a reason.

Sebastiaan: On the side of the eyes – “It’s seeing some danger”.

Rachel: It’s seeing some danger.

Sebastiaan: “And it’s trying to warn me”.

Rachel: And it’s trying to warn me.

Sebastiaan: On the nose – “And I’ve been hating on that part of me”.

Rachel: And I’ve been hating on that part of me.

Sebastiaan: On the chin – “And I wonder if I could potentially see”.

Rachel: And I wonder if I could potentially see.

Sebastiaan: Collarbone – “The intention that this part of me has”.

Rachel: The intention that this part of me has.

Sebastiaan: Under the arms – “The intention to keep me safe”.

Rachel: The intention to keep me safe.

Sebastiaan: Yeah, on the liver point – “This part is just trying its best to keep me safe”.

Rachel: This part is just trying its best to keep me safe.

Sebastiaan: Yeah, and the wrist point. All right, yeah, and the top of the head – “I shouldn’t feel uncomfortable at all”.

Rachel: I shouldn’t feel uncomfortable at all.

Sebastiaan: On the beginning of the eyebrows – “But I do”.

Rachel: But I do.

Sebastiaan: Side of the eyes – “But what if I’m okay anyway?”

Rachel: But what if I’m okay anyway?

Sebastiaan: Under the eyes – “What if I’m not these symptoms?”

Rachel: What if I’m not these symptoms?

Sebastiaan: Under the nose- “I’m just experiencing them”.

Rachel: I’m just experiencing them.

Sebastiaan: Chin – “They’re very uncomfortable”.

Rachel: They’re very uncomfortable.

Sebastiaan: Collarbone – “But if I resist them they’re gonna stay around”.

Rachel: But if I resist them they’re gonna stay around.

Sebastiaan: Under the arms – “And if I accept them I can allow them to pass”.

Rachel: And if I accept them I can allow them to pass.

Sebastiaan: On the liver point. Yeah. So, just thought of this metaphor yesterday when I was having a massage. So, I was having a massage and it was painful in my feet. She was giving me like you know elbows into the bottom of your feet. Now that’s not a very pleasant feeling. It’s very good for you. And I know that if I resist it, if I’m gonna you know, tighten my muscles and try to go against because it is painful try to go against the pain, it’s gonna hurt even more but if I relax into the pain and I allow the pain to be there it’s actually a lot less painful and a lot more healing. And the same thing goes for these annoying uncomfortable symptoms that you experience because it’s true that they’d you know, they don’t allow you to function optimally, it is frustrating to feel that way, all of that kind of stuff. And yeah, I hope I landed the plane on that but let’s see.

Rachel: No, that makes sense.

Sebastiaan: Okay, good. So, tap on the chin, take a deep breath. And typically, people have a lot of resistance and there’s our something that’s really perceived as a threat, so just tap on the collarbone and say, “It’s not safe to relax completely”.

Rachel: It’s not safe to relax completely.

Sebastiaan: Under the arms – “That wouldn’t be smart”.

Rachel: “That wouldn’t be smart.

Sebastiaan: On the liver point – “They can all see me”.

Rachel: They can all see me.

Sebastiaan: On the wrist point – “What if they think there’s something wrong with me?”

Rachel: What if they think there’s something wrong with me?

Sebastiaan: So, what?

Rachel: So, what?

Sebastiaan: The beginning of the eyebrows – “That’s not so what”.

Rachel: That’s not so what.

Sebastiaan: Side of the eyes – “They should think I’m awesome”.

Rachel: They should think I’m awesome.

Sebastiaan: Under the eyes – “They shouldn’t think there’s something wrong with me”.

Rachel: They shouldn’t think there’s something wrong with me.

Sebastiaan: Under the nose – “But they might”.

Rachel: But they might.

Sebastiaan: Chin – “And I have to change their mind”.

Rachel: And I have to change their mind.

Sebastiaan: Collarbone – “But I can’t”.

Rachel: But I can’t.

Sebastiaan: Under the arms – “Might as well be okay with what they think of me”.

Rachel: Might as well be okay with what they think of me.

Sebastiaan: Liver point – “That’s not safe”.

Rachel: That’s not safe.

Sebastiaan: Wrist point – “Unless it is”.

Rachel: Unless it is.

Sebastiaan: Top of the head – “I can’t be upset enough about it to change what they think”.

Rachel: I can’t be upset enough about it to change what they think.

Sebastiaan: Beginning of the eyebrows – “And so, I might as well relax about it”.

Rachel: And so, I might as well relax about it.

Sebastiaan: Side of the eyes – “But what if they think I’m a loser?”

Rachel: But what if they think I’m a loser?

Sebastiaan: Under the eyes – “I am a loser”.

Rachel: I am a loser.

Sebastiaan: No, I’m not”

Rachel: No, I’m not.

Sebastiaan: Chin – “Yes, I’m”

Rachel: Yes, I’m.

Sebastiaan: Collarbone – “No, I’m not”.

Rachel: No, I’m not.

Sebastiaan: Under the arms – “I am sometimes”.

Rachel: I am sometimes.

Sebastiaan: Liver point – “Other times not so much”.

Rachel: Other times not so much.

Sebastiaan: The wrist point – “By default I’m a loser.”

Rachel: By default, I’m a loser.

Sebastiaan: Yeah, on top of the head – “I shouldn’t be a loser. I should be a winner”.

Rachel: I shouldn’t be a loser. I should be a winner.

Sebastiaan: Okay. All right, deep breath. Okay. So, I’ve verbalized a couple of the things that are typically going on for people and if you’re listening to this I’m sure you can relate. And also why I did that is because you know, I’m a loser, you’re a loser, we are all losers in some fashion but it’s just an idea that we’re emotionally attached to and it’s you know, a part of us is a loser and you know, you felt like a loser at a particular part in your life and if you repress that side of you and you’re like “No, you know, I can never be a loser. I should always be a winner, I have to be a champ, I got a you know, knuckle down and be the best” and that kind of stuff then there’s a part of you that you’re rejecting. You know, you’ve disowned the weak word of “loser” part of you. It’s just a harsh judgment and you want to be okay with being a loser because then you don’t have to hide that you’re a loser sometimes because you might be in a social situation you might say something dumb, I do it all the time. And then you end up looking like a loser and if you’re ashamed of that part of you now you’re gonna feel uncomfortable and awkward and maybe even blush.

But if you’re okay with the fact that you are a loser sometimes then you say something dumb in a social situation and you know you show up as a… or you know, people might think that you are a loser. Usually they don’t. You know, they don’t care but if they then do you’re like “Alright, I’m okay with that. I’ve accepted the part of me that is a loser. You know, I don’t have to prove myself. I’m a loser so what?” You know, what’s your, what’s the problem?

Okay. So, anyway, I’m throwing a lot of information at the people watching and I just want to check in how you doing Rach?

Rachel: Actually, pretty well. Like I feel… I felt when we were done that last time like a little bit like a buzz kind of feel. Like where I was kind of anxious before like I kind of felt something, but it was more you know, it’s more like positive.

Sebastiaan: Right, okay.

Rachel: And I don’t… And yeah there’s no more of that like heat and grand sensation.

Sebastiaan: Yeah. So, that’s a typical sign of energy release. It sounds a bit woo-woo and weird and all that kind of stuff if you’re listening to this but basic premise of EFT of the tapping is that all negative emotions are due to disruption in the body’s energy system. Now if you imagine that your energy system is it’s kind of flowing in a circle when it’s flowing you’re feeling great. And you know, the energy that’s flowing is your key or your Chi or your prana depending on what you know, if you look at Japanese philosophy or the yogic tradition or whatever. Many different fields talk about this.

But when you’re your key or your Chi or your prana, your life energy is flowing well, you feel great. But at whenever there’s a little disruption in that flow now you experience negative emotion. And what the tapping does it sends a little signal to wherever that disruption is, and it balances the disruption. But you need to focus on the right thing in order to counter that imbalance.

So, when we started talking about you know, being a loser and that kind of stuff that was one particular important aspect of why you were feeling uncomfortable to the degree that you…

Rachel: We hit home or something.

Sebastiaan: We hit home. And so, as a result the energy system got balanced and now you feel… And then you felt like the energy rushing through your body. Some people have to giggle, other people yawn, some people they could take a big sigh, sometimes you feel euphoric feelings, sometimes you feel heat moving throughout your body. And you’re just kind of coming back to the present moment. You’re no longer reliving some kind of you know, past experience or you no longer emotionally attached to a particular belief.

Rachel: Yeah.

Sebastiaan: All right. So, now we could go on with this but we’re just doing a little bit of an idea as to how you can go about the tapping and how you can use it to calm yourself down when you’re being in the spot light. Okay? So, Rachel’s gonna do a little bit of the end presentation I believe. Is that right?

Rachel: Yeah, we’ll do something.

Sebastiaan: Right. So, now maybe new anxiety comes up about doing the end presentation. Who knows? Who knows? But that’s kind of how the tapping works. So, you have a particular problem and that problem say social anxiety, consists of a certain amount of aspects. A certain amount of smaller parts and each of these smaller parts need to be addressed, need to be focused on, tapped on and bit by bit by bit you’re then bringing yourself back to the present moment where you feel safe to be yourself.

So, you know, “I’m a loser because I have social anxiety” is an aspect. You know, “People shouldn’t think that I’m weird” is an aspect. “I feel a lump in my throat” is an aspect. “The time when my dad hit me when I was 7 where I learned that I’m not good enough” is an aspect and so on.

So, with the tapping you simply go after all of these particular aspects one by one by one by one by one and that’s a journey that you go on. It doesn’t happen you know, I mean you can make amazing transformation in a single session you know, and you can calm yourself down quickly but to get to the point where you actually free of your anxiety where you calm it at ease and social situation that’s gonna take some time. It’s gonna take your efforts, it’s gonna take tapping but you can do it. And that the brilliant thing about this. It’s a matter of taking step by step, you know, step after step and persisting until you’ve dealt with all of the specific aspects. Alright. So, do you think we covered that? Did I miss anything?

Rachel: No, I think that’s good.

Sebastiaan: Okay, good. All right. So, no right or wrong answer. What are you noticing right now in your body? How much anxiety is left or how much tension is left?

Rachel: I don’t feel anything negative like physically.

Sebastiaan: Okay, alright, good.

Rachel: Like there’s no anxiety there. The more so just like maybe overanalyze you know, we’re kind of like…

Sebastiaan: Okay, yeah.

Rachel: In my head a little…

Sebastiaan: Okay, gotcha. All right. So, that is just another symptom that you can focus on because you can focus on how it feels in your head, you know, the over analytic-ness. Maybe there’s a tension in your jaw’s, whatever. And that just becomes the next aspect to focus on. And so, you just continue to tap like that.

Rachel: Yeah.

Sebastiaan: But I’m… you know, I think we’ve done quite long enough already as it is so let’s end it here, what do you think?

Rachel: Yeah, thank you. I do actually feel better, I think after this all I’ll shoot the intro in the closing.

Sebastiaan: Great, awesome. Well, you know, I didn’t do this in the beginning I want to do it now. Thank you for being brave and you know, for sharing yourself to the world. That’s very cool. So…

Rachel: Yes, thank you. I appreciate. It was very helpful.

Sebastiaan: Cool. All righty. Bye for now then. Guess this is where we ended.

Rachel: Cool. It was good.

Sebastiaan: What do you think?

Rachel: I thought yeah, I thought that was great.

Sebastiaan: But…

Rachel: I did actually feel all those things. It was good.

Sebastiaan: Yeah, good. Okay.

Rachel: That’s helpful. What do you think about? What do you think?

Sebastiaan: I think it’s fine. I’ve given them quite a bit of information.

Rachel: Yeah.

Sebastiaan: The good thing is that you’re typically not an easy shifter. So, some people you know, they “Oh, my God I feel so amazing”.

Rachel: Yeah.

Sebastiaan: And you know, certain people just respond more strongly, people that are more kinesthetic, you know, people that are more into their feelings. People be a little bit more analytical, they’re more in their head, more perfectionistic. You know, you need to hit the right note and it takes a bit longer, it takes a bit more work, but it doesn’t matter. I think it’s a great presentation and people will be tapping along with this. So, you know, there’s a lot of things that they can relate to so they’re gonna get some good relief from doing that. So…

Rachel: Okay, good.

Sebastiaan: Good stuff. So, yeah. So, thank you. Your debut!

Rachel: Oh, my goodness. Well, I hope it helps. I hope it help.

Sebastiaan: Okay, cool.

Rachel: I was just here being nervous happened along.

Sebastiaan: Yes, yes, yes. Okay, well, I got to go. I got a session in 13 minutes but let’s be in touch pretty soon, yeah?

Rachel: Sure, yeah. Do you want to just upload this on YouTube?

Sebastiaan: Yes, I will do that right away. Okay?

Rachel: Okay, cool. Thanks.

Sebastiaan: Cool. Thank you. Bye-bye.

Rachel: Alright. Bye.

Alright. So, that was the live coaching session with Sebastiaan and I do have to say that I feel much calmer. I know like I’m not very I’m not very expressive sometimes and I’m more like I guess analytical than expressive, but I do actually feel calmer after going through that coaching session.

So, again rewatch this and apply it to your own situation.

Lesson Learned

The lesson learned here is to know that you’re afraid of the spotlight or you’re afraid of a social situation for a reason. Your emotions are there for a reason, they’re there to protect you. So, instead of trying to fight them and push them away and be hard on yourself and judge yourself for having them, accept them and release your judgment of yourself and neutralize the perception of threat using the tapping technique.

This tapping session was merely a short example of how to apply the tapping. This likely has already given you some relief however you want to apply enough tapping on the right targets by persistently doing so until all of the smaller aspects of your issue are dealt with. You can have freedom from your particular issue then you can be totally free and at ease being in the spotlight. This can happen quite quickly, or it may require you to do a lot more tapping over a longer period of time. It all depends but relief can be made pretty much instantly when you apply the tapping on the right

Coaching client who was able to conquer his fear of the spotlight

Here’s a clip from a former client Sebastiaan worked with for three sessions who could now freely speak his mind during his wedding anniversary speech. This was Siamak from podcast episode number 65.

If you want to learn how to apply tapping so you can also become confident in social situations get the free social confidence starter kit.

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