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and in the following pages, that’s exactly what you’ll discover.
Lets begin by having a look at the following flawed generalization:
“facing your fears is the only way to overcome your social anxiety”
Now – I’m not saying you shouldn’t face your fears.
To the contrary…
You should face your fears to be able to live a life of freedom and joy.
But FORCEFULLY facing your fears doesn’t work for everyone.
Plus, forcefully facing your fears may make your anxiety WORSE, not better.
There is a far more effective technique that I used to beat my own social anxiety.
For the last 4 years, I’ve helped my clients use this simple technique to overcome their social anxiety and start living the confident, liberated life they’ve been dreaming of.
Because forcefully facing my fears definitely didn’t work for me.
Nor did it work for them.
I personally faced my fears.
I pushed through massive anxiety.
I dealt with prolonged awkwardness, embarrassment and discomfort.
But the confidence I got after doing it was ONLY TEMPORARY.
And sometimes, I found it made my social anxiety worse.
I did the most extreme things… (I’ll tell you more about those in a moment)
I started facing my fears somewhere before the summer of 2004.
I had discovered something profound through a self-help program. It gave me perspective on my situation.
I found out why I was suffering.
And… that there was a way out of the misery.
But there was one problem – part of the solution was “facing your fears”.
And I was terrified to do that.
The things I feared most back then was becoming embarrassed.
Or looking “weak”, “uncool” or “un-confident”.
But even though I was terrified, I was willing to do whatever it would take.
Life was simply too depressing.
I was deeply ashamed of myself.
Thought of myself as the biggest loser out there.
I didn’t feel confident around others at all.
In social situations it felt like people wanted me to look bad. That they wanted me to look foolish and become embarrassed. And that was one of my biggest fears.
I couldn’t connect with people.
I was so anxious in most conversations that it was near impossible to actually listen to what someone was saying. Sometimes my heart was beating so loud, or I felt so insecure and anxious, that I just knew they could see it. And it made cringe.
I was constantly monitoring how I came across, worrying about how they perceived me, busy with thinking of what the was the right thing to answer.
Socializing was incredibly hard.
Especially with guys I thought were “cool” or girls I was attracted to.
When I went to an event that I couldn’t get out of (a birthday party, work outing, going out after many cancellations and excuses) I’d come home exhausted. Making people believe I was fine took a lot out of me. It drained me.
So naturally started to avoid most difficult social situations.
And then there was the worrying about my “reputation”. The doom-thinking about the future. The criticizing and judging myself (and others), and making up worst case scenarios (and then fearing it would happen).
This nonsense was constantly occupying my mind.
And I couldn’t stop it.
My mind wouldn’t leave me alone.
I woke up anxious, and went to bed anxious (unless I was drunk)…
So I had sworn to myself I’d keep going until I had complete confidence in all social situations.
Because the program said it could be done. It made sense to me.
But I had to face my fears.
So that meant getting rejected.
That meant talking to girls.
That meant becoming embarrassed.
And looking foolish…
So I did.
But did it really solve my social anxiety?