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How long does it take to overcome my social anxiety?
In today’s episode, Sebastiaan will be answering this question.
He will also be giving his insights about what to focus on, on your journey to social ease, as well as the 4 ways to measure your progress.
If you want to watch the coaching episodes that Sebastiaan talked about in this video, you can go to this link.
How long does it take to overcome social anxiety?
That’s the question I’m going to answer today.
And before I get into “Well, how long exactly?” — I first want to talk about what the actual end goal is.
Well, the end goal is Effortless Social Ease.
And what that means is that you just feel comfortable being yourself around others.
You feel safe being your true authentic self with other people.
And when things come to mind, it doesn’t go through 117 filters to see if it is okay. Or if it’s going to be rejected. Or if it’s going to be criticized. Or if it might step on someone’s toes or…
You just have a natural flow of thoughts coming to mind and things going out.
And it’s just flowing. And it’s easy, and it’s effortless. And it’s just natural.
And, of course, you’ll still have your social savviness about you. So, you’re not going to purposely hurt people or say things that are going to ruin a relationship or anything like that. You’re not going to lose your logical sense.
The difference is, you’ll just feel comfortable with yourself, and you like and accept yourself, and you’re okay with you. And you anticipate that others feel the same towards you.
You’re expecting people to be kind and friendly. And you don’t have blindfolds on.
Of course, you can sense when someone’s got issues, and it’s a difficult person, and you better not engage with that person. Of course.
However, you’re generally just seeing the reality as it is.
The vast majority of people are actually kind and friendly.
And yes, some people have significant issues. But you can avoid those.
You have solid boundaries.
You can keep yourself safe.
And you feel comfortable talking about yourself, expressing yourself, being in the present moment with another person, and being vulnerable enough to actually connect.
Because you can handle whatever comes up, you’re okay with whatever comes up.
If there’s conflict, you can handle it.
If you say something offensive, you can apologize.
If something isn’t funny, you can handle the discomfort of that.
If there’s an awkward moment, you’re fine with it.
You’re okay with all of it.
That’s the end goal.
So with that end goal in mind, the question is…
Well, right now I’m suffering from this severe social anxiety in that way what you just described seems like eutopia to me, that’s like, impossible to get to. That doesn’t seem like it’s me, I’m used to having social anxiety. I’ve had it for decades, this is the problem that I’m familiar with and is part of my identity. How am I going to get to that place?
Well, it’s going to take time, effort, energy, learning about tapping, learning about the psychology of change, learning about why you’re dealing with what you’re dealing with.
1. Coping with the problem that you’re dealing with
2. Releasing the problem that you’re dealing with.
So the reality of the situation is that this social anxiety is not going to go away overnight. Even if you have a tool as powerful as tapping. It’s still not going to go away overnight.
Well, because you have been suffering for a long time, and you are having all sorts of feelings and emotions about the problem, you’re probably judging yourself for dealing with the problem. You have all of these automatic emotionalized thoughts about yourself, you’re running around with these beliefs that do not serve you, you’re having these social fears, and there’s resistance to letting go of the problem.
So there’s just a fair bit of complexity to the issue.
However, the issue can be broken down into small bite-sized pieces.
And when you start addressing these small bite-sized pieces, then you begin making progress.
And like I said, there’s coping and then there is releasing.
Well, in the beginning, when you just start out and you’re just learning about tapping, you’re just learning about why you’re dealing with what you’re dealing with. You’re learning about the psychology of change, your first focus is to start to cope better.
And what does that mean?
That means suffering less.
So that means working on the understanding of why you’re dealing with social anxiety, recognizing it has to do with trauma and not necessarily trauma that you’re thinking of when you hear the word trauma like war, rape, torture, and that kind of stuff.
No! More subtle trauma, developmental trauma, or social trauma.
And you begin to discover “Oh, okay, this is what’s going on with me. It’s not who I am”, and you begin to create more compassion for yourself.
And so, the beating yourself up begins to decrease. And you’ll learn about tapping.
So now you have a tool to begin to reduce the anxiety when it comes up.
You’ll have tools to reduce the big bad feelings, the horrible feelings that you’re experiencing.
You’ll now have a tool to actually take control of your inner world.
You’re becoming more and more aware of what the actual problem is.
And you can distance yourself from it, you no longer see yourself as the problem.
But you recognize ‘this as a problem that I’m having that I’m dealing with, and I can do something about.’
So slowly, but surely, you’ll begin to feel a bit more empowered.
That’s all part of being able to cope with this issue.
Now, in the process of coping with the issue, you’re also looking at, “Okay, might there be a part of me that doesn’t want to let go of this issue?”.
And so you’re working with your subconscious, you’re addressing resistance, and you’re all readying yourself to make this change.
And in the process of coping with the issue, you’re actually already beginning to shrink the issue.
But in order to get rid of the social anxiety completely, you need to address the triggers.
So there are certain people, certain circumstances, and certain events that trigger social anxiety within you.
Or to be more precise, they trigger unresolved traumatic memories, limiting beliefs, and negative fantasies, worst-case scenarios that you’ve made up in your mind you’ve rehearsed.
Those get activated by certain people, circumstances, and events.
And you’re going to use tapping in order to neutralize that step by step.
That’s the journey.
That’s the process.
You’ll be working on three things:
1. You’ll be reducing the upset (feeling) that you have about the problem
2. You’ll be working towards acceptance of the unacceptable – you know, the problem that’s impossible to imagine that you can actually accept. But acceptance is necessary. It’s one of the keys, you’re going to work on resistance. That’s one of the keys.
3. You’re going to work through these triggers.
Now that process is a journey. It’s a journey to go from social anxiety, all the way to effortless social ease, all the way to social confidence.
It’s the journey to social confidence.
And when you start doing that, as you’re coping, you begin neutralizing the problem that happens progressively.
So it’s not going to happen overnight.
But the question is, “how long is it going to take?”
Well, it depends.
Because every person is unique, and every situation is unique.
I’ve been coaching for 13 years, and I have video testimonials on my YouTube channel. And one of them. His name is Tavon, he overcame his five-year-long social anxiety issue, which was very severe within three coaching sessions of 90 minutes each. That’s very fast. That’s not the norm.
I also worked with someone, and she took 26 sessions over a period of a year and a half.
And I’ve worked with people longer than that. And I’ve also worked with one or two people faster than Tavon.
But typically, it is a problem that you get relief on quite quickly with tapping.
You can get relief in a single tap along and I have a bunch of them on my YouTube channel, when you tap along with them, you notice relief, things are shifting and changing your body. But that doesn’t mean that the problem is gone. You’re just addressing a tiny little bit of it.
But when you use the tapping, you tap on the right targets and you do that on a daily basis, it is common to experience a reduction in your social anxiety within under a month.
And with persistence, you can get rid of the problem completely.
So it is helpful to understand the 4 ways that you can make progress.
1. The frequency of anxiety is going to decrease.
So if you normally get triggered 23 times a week, and you work through certain triggers. Now you only get triggered in 17 situations or with 17 kinds of people circumstances or events versus 23 weeks, that’s a massive improvement.
Okay, now you experienced the problem less.
2. You’re going to notice is the duration of the anxiety is going to be shorter.
As you’re coming to terms with the issue. You’re not beating yourself up about it anymore, and anxiety is no longer triggering a stronger fight-flight-freeze response launching you into a panic state, the anxiety will go away faster and faster.
So for example, instead of going to a social gathering or being in a meeting and being super anxious from start to finish for three hours in a row, you might be anxious at the start of it. But then it starts to decrease and decrease. And within 20 minutes, it’s gone.
That is also a way to measure your progress.
3. The intensity of social anxiety is going to decrease.
If you are 10 out of 10 anxious, you have a full-blown anxiety attack, you can’t function. 0 – you’re calm, chill and natural, and at ease.
Well, if you experience anxiety around a particular person at 8 out of 10, man, it’s all over the place, you can’t function, your heart’s racing, you can’t listen to people, words don’t leave your mouth, you have this lump in your throat, you’re sweating, it’s a mess.
If you get that 8 to a 5, now you’re still uncomfortable, you’re still anxious, but it’s a lot better. You can actually get a few words out. And you can function a lot better.
So those three:
…are the first 3 ways that you’re noticing that the problem is decreasing, that it’s getting smaller.
Because a lot of people make the mistake of thinking, “Oh, this is my social anxiety problem. This is social confidence. And how do I get social confidence?”
Yeah, I get it, but it’s not going to happen in one go, it’s going to be progressively less intensity, less frequency, and less duration.
Okay. And so that’s what you’re after.
But there’s a fourth thing that will happen. And that is…
4. Your level of social ease and authenticity begins to increase.
Because social anxiety is a symptom of a deeper underlying issue.
Social Anxiety actually isn’t the real issue.
The real issue is that your brain is perceiving threats socially. And it’s alarming you: “Careful! Danger! You might get rejected here, you might get ridiculed here, you might be put down. And this situation is just like how it was with your dad or your mom or during this time that you got bullied.”
So your brain has learned through traumatic experiences, what is painful, what you need to fear, and what you need to avoid.
And then when it sees these potential threats, it alarms you about it. And that’s the anxiety.
But the real problem is that your brain is perceiving that threat and activating the fight-flight-freeze response, which leads to social anxiety symptoms.
If the fight-flight-freeze response does not get activated, because your brain is not perceiving a threat, your system won’t put you in survival mode.
So the trick is to get rid of that perception of threat.
Well, that perception of threat, like I said earlier is the result of traumatic experiences.
Now those traumatic experiences didn’t just cause the perception of threat. You also had such a painful experience that had lowered your self-esteem, that or lowered your level of self-acceptance, emotions of shame and insecurity and inferiority, they became stuck, and you’re reliving these old feelings over and over and over.
And as you start working at the roots of the social anxiety problem, you begin to process that trauma, you begin to neutralize those stuck, excessive negative emotions, and you start to shift those perceptions around.
And as you do, your self-esteem begins to increase, you’ll start to gain natural healthy self-esteem, and you begin to accept yourself more and more, and you begin to become more and more okay with yourself.
And as a result of that, being your true authentic self – starts to increase, and improve,
So it’s like anxiety, frequency, intensity, and duration is going down. And simultaneously, your level of authenticity and social ease is going to increase.
So this is what we’re after.
This is the journey that you’re on when you’re on a journey to effortless social ease when you’re on a journey to social confidence.
How long does that take?
Well, it takes as long as it takes. That’s the only answer.
And how long does it take?
While I can totally understand the question. Rather, the better question might be:
“What can I do today to optimize my progress?”
Now, that’s a question perhaps for a different kind of video, but this is the answer.
It takes as long as it takes.
And within a month, you can make great progress. And you can have a tool with which you can cope better which we choose to suffer less.
You can begin to chip away at these layers of anxiety when you know how to use the tapping in the right way, when you get triggered by a particular social situation, or by a particular person, you now use that situation as a way to fuel your transformation.
I’ll give you a good example, someone inside our Social Confidence Club, his name is Valle. He changed his job. And he went to like an internship and he posted in the Social Confidence WhatsApp group, that he was struggling and that his anxiety was at a 9. And that it really bothered him. And he wasn’t sure if he could even keep up with it. And so he reported that he was going to tap on it.
And he asked for advice. And we all gave him advice. And he started tapping on it. And 4 or 5 days later, he reported that the 9 out of 10 anxiety that he was experiencing, had dropped to 2 out of 10.
And he said, “it’s great when I when I now actually get triggered because I have an opportunity to tap and work through that trigger so that I become comfortable in that particular scenario as well.”
Well, that’s it. That’s how it goes.
Once you learn these tools, there’s a person or a situation that triggers you…
You’re now going to use that as a healing opportunity, so that you become comfortable with that person or that circumstance. And you then include that person or that situation within your comfort zone.
So rather than having to face that person, and face your fears, and try to change your thoughts all the time, and try to somehow magically deactivate these feelings, process these feelings.
No, you actually use the tapping to process these feelings. And you can do that in the comfort of your own home just like Valle did. Or in the toilet, he goes to the toilet taps on himself on that trigger, and begins to reduce it.
When they sit at home at night, he uses the tapping to begin to reduce that experience, that he’s having that trigger, he begins to neutralize it, it might bring him to memories that remind his brain of this particular situation, or off this particular person, and he begins to neutralize it.
And now next time he’s calm with this person…great!
His comfort zone has now expanded without having to force himself massively outside of his comfort zone. Now he uses these tools, these techniques, these strategies, and these mindsets, in order to soothe himself from the comfort of his own own own home, and expand his comfort zone. And now he’s more at ease with himself.
And that’s the journey that you’re on. And it takes as long as it takes.
But what you’re really after is being able to take control of your inner world, being able to shrink that social anxiety further and further and further and further and further and further and further.
And it takes however long it takes. Whether that’s a month or 10 years.
It’s not going to take 10 years, hopefully. But you know, this is what I can say about that hope this serves you hope this inspires you. Because this is something that you can actually do take control of your inner world take control of the problem that you’re having. So you can cope with it better, and your suffering decreases. And you can actually start to neutralize those triggers.
This is the best news ever, there’s only a finite amount of triggers.
Once you have come to accept the challenge that you’re dealing with, once you’ve released the resistance, and once you actually start working on the triggers, there’s a finite amount of triggers, which means you might have 37 triggers or you might have 137. Or you might have 737. I don’t know. That’s why I cannot tell you how long it will take to overcome it.
But if you have 37 triggers, and you get rid of 6 of them, guess what? You’ve got 31 triggers left, etc., and so on and so forth.
That’s why it’s different for different people.
But the power comes from okay, “I can work through these triggers now. It’s improving, I’m making progress.”
And like Tony Robbins says: “Progress equals happiness”.
Instead of being hopeless. “I can’t do anything about this. I’m a tough case my brain is broken. There’s something wrong with me.”
No, you are actually making progress.
You’ve got the techniques, strategies, and mindset to actually do something about this.
So very passionate today. hope this inspires you.
This is Sebastiaan from social-anxiety-solutions.com
I wish you a great week and all the best.
Bye for now.