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Have you ever blushed during a conversation?
Have you ever felt tired of being anxious?
Have you ever been in a community where you can feel safe sharing your setbacks and breakthroughs?
In this episode, Tapani will be sharing how being a member of the Social Confidence Club helped him with the following:
– get rid of his blushing problem
– be able to talk to people easily and effortlessly
– be able to start a conversation
– and got back his sense of humor
By joining the Social Confidence Club, we will be able to chip away the layers of your Social Anxiety together as a group, as a team, and as a community.
Go to: https://bit.ly/socialconfidenceclub to learn more!
Hello, this is Sebastiaan from social-anxiety-solutions.com and I’m a social confidence coach.
I help people with social anxiety feel relaxed and at ease and social situations.
And I do a podcast and a YouTube channel and I also run a Social Confidence Club which opens once a year for about a week and then it closes for the rest of the year.
And then I guide a group of people through 10 modules to overcome social anxiety and feel more at ease or feel at ease in a social situations.
[To] be yourself, freely speak your mind. And so on.
Now, some people make it all the way to Stage 5, some people make it Stage 2, some people made stages 3 and 4. So, different stages.
So there are different stages on the journey of going from social anxiety to social confidence.
And I was just saying to Tapani at first thought, I should only bring out interviews of people who made it all the way to Stage 5 because that’s most inspiring.
But I actually got feedback that that’s not the case at all.
And in fact, for some people, it’s intimidating to hear from people at Stage 5.
Because they’ll say: “Well, I cannot see myself making that leap. That’s too far from here where I am.”
So I asked some people that are not at Stage 5 yet but that have made significant progress.
Hey! Would you be willing to share about what your authentic experience is and how it is now compared to how it was and maybe what you’re still dealing with, and so on?
Because that gives people… for one, a perspective about where it is that you are, and it might help them to better able to relate to that stage.
And that takes a bit more balls than someone and in Stage 5. Perhaps. Because you’re actually still in the experience every now and then.
So, Tapani, thank you, first of all, for being willing to do this. And like I said to you, I just have a bunch of questions that are pulled from the internet. And I will just do a bit of a Q&A and a bit of back and forth.
And you mentioned earlier that before the interview before this thing started before we logged on, you felt a bit of anxiety.
You didn’t expect it that would be there but it was there.
Then we had a bit of a chat.
How’s it now?
Just as a checkout?
I am quite relaxed. Yeah. I’m not sleepy… but yeah, it’s okay.
Great! Well, question number one.
I think it’s interesting for people to get a perspective of how it was when you were suffering at your worst.
So what was that like for you?
How did you feel on a day-to-day basis?
How did you feel when you were in social situations?
What were your biggest challenges?
Bit of an overall picture?
Yeah. No, I think I’ve always been afraid of like performing.
In the early years of school, when you would have to read a poem or something in front of the class.
I would always skip those days.
I never went to those.
I don’t remember around 15 or something, I started blushing.
And then somebody laughed at me.
And then it gradually got worse and worse.
I started to fear blushing.
And then you when you go to a room and you think like “I cannot blush now”.
In University I always try to go to the back of the room so people couldn’t see me.
And I try to develop all these kinds of things to avoid people seeing me blush.
Then I moved to another city -a smaller one.
It was still very bad there but the group was small.
The school was small.
The people there were accepting.
The school there was not bad anymore.
`I remember going to a barber [for a haircut] and I was in a panic mode because I thought that if I blush now, the lady who’s doing the haircut [will] think I’m crazy or finds out that I’m crazy.
I just tried to hide that because there was something I felt that something is terribly wrong with me.
It was shameful and it is worse at that time because I’m a man – the man cannot.
Man has to be a man, you know?
Boss and be like that, but yeah, [if you are a] man, you have to be stronger.
So it was even worse than the shame.
And I read all the books in the library -all the books there but of course, they didn’t help.
Then I got children and that’s helped a bit because I have the perspective to them – outside of myself.
So I didn’t have to concentrate on myself all the time -it was a lot better.
But then when the internet came, finally.
I started searching things and then I found your stuff when you started and [I] started following you -and it felt very good.
I bought one of your courses at once.
And [I] did a lot of tapping from the childhood package thing –all that.
I mean, it helped a lot.
And I have been doing it every once in a while like there are a lot of times in between when I felt better but I almost forgot about it.
I went to work in the morning.
I was a bit anxious.
And every morning I would do some tapping, the feeling went away and it was very good.
Nowadays, I’m really [not] anxious anymore.
[I am feeling anxious just] a few times a year or something like that.
It’s maybe because my life is quiet.
I don’t see that many people.
I work by myself.
I meet a few clients these days.
I’m totally relaxed which wasn’t the case 20 years ago.
I was always scared of the clients… kind of.
“What if they think I’m crazy?”
[I get you].
But we’re trying to hide that.
But when the 30 Day Social Confidence Challenge came out, I studied that and it felt very good.
And after that, I took the Social Confidence Club.
I’ve been following that for one year now. And it has been a very good year for me.
It has still helped me even though I thought that was quite good.
I’m much better now.
And are there other things that you tried, aside from self-help before you found Tapping?
I went to a psychiatrist.
But it was kind of an alternative [approach] not a traditional.
And I went there a few times but I don’t think he was good.
Then I stopped that.
I did meditation. I studied it when I was 17 but it didn’t help with the anxiety.
It helped with many other things like to get some insight on what to do and what not to do.
I definitely recommend that.
I did the TM meditation.
And at that time, I read regularly for many years.
I still do it sometimes.
That was very good, but it didn’t take out the anxiety.
I get you.
And so before you joined the club, was there were there any doubts about joining?
I felt intimidated to be in a group and being in front of a camera has always been difficult for me.
My worst nightmare if a guy from local news with a camera would come and ask me something then everybody in my city would know that this is a weird guy.
It was my worst nightmare.
And so because you knew that there was a coaching element which is a big part of the Social Confidence Club…that was intimidating to you?
Being asked questions and not being able to build something stupid, or being in front of the group also.
At least these things.
Let me speak to that before people get worried.
So the Social Confidence Club consists of a Wednesday email where you get specific tapping exercises to address the social anxiety issues, as well as tap alongs, and so on psychology lessons.
And then every Friday, well, let’s just say once a week, there’s a live coaching webinar.
Now you’re free to attend those, you don’t have to attend those.
You can also watch the replays. This is an opportunity to remain completely anonymous and still get results because you’re tapping along with the others.
A level of challenge up from that is being there live, but invisible and mute.
And then a level up from that is being visible and mute.
And then the highest level or the second-highest level is participating.
And the absolute highest level is like you’re actually a volunteer.
And so you can play with your exposure level there.
What is different about this is that everyone on the call is dealing with social anxiety.
As the coach, I know exactly what it is like to be dealing with social anxiety.
So it’s a very compassionate, non-judgmental place.
We actually welcome your anxiety. In fact, we encourage it, we’d like it if you get anxious because then we’ve got stuff to tap on. We’ve got lots of stuff to tap on. We welcome the anxiety -it’s a good thing.
We’re creating a completely different relationship with it.
We’re allowing it, it’s not something you have to hide.
There are different levels of participation and sometimes people remain completely anonymous throughout the whole period that they’re part of the club. And some people that kind of work up their way. So they start anonymous, and then they join with audio and then eventually, they’re talking and speaking, and they become regulars.
It just depends. It has different levels and nothing is forced upon you -you have an opportunity.
Yeah, I think this is a perfect format because there are so many different levels that you can participate, just like you said.
It’s very well-thought.
It is very easy to participate.
I was thinking what would be another way that will be as good?
The only thing that came to my mind would be to take a group of people to an island for a month and deal with them like Temptation Island (a TV show) but it will be difficult.
You know what? I did that three years ago, we had a retreat.
It was not a month but seven days.
(I will be doing something like that in the future, once we’re back to normal)
You can do it at home, on your own.
Watch the replays if you cannot participate.
It is always very helpful and tapping along.
How’d you feel once you joined?
It was easier than I thought because we don’t have to speak.
I think I participated at the beginning, I can just watch and tap along.
And then at some point, you asked us to maybe say our name or say hello.
And that was it.
It was easy to do that.
And then a few months later, you can say a few sentences.
I like it. I think it’s a very good system.
So how are things now with the blushing?
And just in general, with the anxiety?
The blushing has gone away, almost completely.
Like sometimes I get some heat in my face but I am not trying to avoid it anymore.
I am thinking, everybody blushes, and that’s natural because you’re human.
So yeah, it’s cool. Going away. Almost. Totally.
Sometimes I also still the feeling when sitting with a group somewhere and then gradually started blushing, the heat starts to build up in my face, so I feel hot.
I think that is still there but I haven’t had it for a year but I think it may be still there.
I don’t know.
I get you.
Well, it will be gone.
And now, how’s that different from how it used to be when you blushed?
What would happen then?
What was your experience then?
I was looking for ways to hide like if I’m sitting at a table, [I am thinking if I] can stand up and go somewhere? Can I go to the toilet?
And if not, then I would just feel terrible and shame.
The people will think what’s happening here? Why he suddenly [turned] red?
And I will feel awkward.
And how would it then be after an episode where you blushed?
Yeah, kind of a depressing feeling afterward.
I cannot do anything about it.
This is my life.
Yeah, because I can very much relate to the blushing.
My social anxiety started with blushing. It started after I blushed.
I blushed and then, afterward, (it’s a very similar story) I was afraid of them blushing again.
And whenever I become the center of attention, I blushed.
Whenever I was criticized, I blushed.
Whenever there was talk about girls or attractiveness, I blushed.
Or whenever I was challenged, or whatever, some will make fun of me, I blushed.
It just [happened] all the time and [I became] scared of blushing and worried that “Oh! In this moment, I can absolutely not blush because that would mean XYZ”, right?
Like that, like, horrible. Torture for a long time, so yeah.
If somebody talked about sex. It wasn’t embarrassing for me. But like, I thought that if I blush, they think I have a problem with sexuality.
That’s a good example. Good example.
It consumed my thinking, right?
Just like my anxiety and what you said earlier.
Like, “I’m a man, I’m not supposed to blush. This is weak.”
They see that. They see me being weak. You know, this is pathetic, and blah, blah, blah, and very harsh on myself. And, and all of that. Which perpetuates the problem.
But also, at that time, I thought I was the only one because I didn’t see any friends or anything.
And like, of course, there were others but I didn’t meet them.
So that was the worst case.
Well, [it is] great that that’s pretty much done.
It’s wonderful! Yeah.
And how about what else is different?
Oh… oh….. I can talk to people easily.
I can even start conversations, nowadays. That wouldn’t be the case like 20 years ago.
When you are relaxed, you get back your sense of humor if there is any.
At that time, I was tired, most of the time. Because being anxious makes you tired afterward.
I’m much more energetic nowadays.
It’s exhausting because your system is in survival mode.
So your heart’s racing faster, your blood is pumping, the cortisol and adrenaline in your system is racing.
You use up a lot more energy when you’re experiencing anxiety.
So when you don’t do that anymore, you have more energy, you will feel more relaxed, your body feels better.
Yeah, exactly. That’s right.
So I definitely recommend people with social anxiety to participate in this school.
I think it is the best out there, you know.
It is so well-thought-out.
You’ll be doing this for so long that it’s getting better all the time.
What do you like best about the club?
Seeing other people with anxiety and for them talking about it.
Realizing that it’s not so strange that people have it.
And also the WhatsApp group is nice [because] people can ask for advice, or tell their experiences, or [if] something went good after.
So, so part of the club is also our WhatsApp group.
In the upcoming club, we’re going to actually do mini-groups of five people. It is voluntary, you don’t have to participate in it. But it’s a mini group of probably five, that’s your support group, your accountability group.
But what we have had, and what we also will have is like the big group, so everyone is in the big group, that’s people from all over the world.
And whenever you’re struggling with something, you can report that, then people will support you,
Whenever you have questions, people will have answers or suggestions.
Whenever you don’t know particular resources, people will provide it to you.
People report ‘wins’ they’re having, you know, so I talk things in it, we put little quotes in it. So, it’s a really cool thing, you know? All people going in the same direction.
So the technology these days helps.
It helps you very much with many things, [even] with anxiety also.
Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
And, actually, I wanted to ask you this.
So why do you think others might doubt joining the club? Why might they not or why might they have worried
For someone? It might be big because they don’t have that money to pay for it? Of course. You need that money to participate.
But what else?
I don’t know. Maybe, maybe, maybe… [they] cannot see the possibilities there or maybe they think that nothing can be done? Like this is it.
Right, right. Yeah.
I am the tougher case of the tough cases that I’ve seen.
Yeah. They might be able to change but not me.
Yeah, right. Yeah.
And that kind of thinking is actually self-protective because it’s like, “well if I’m going to go and participate in this, I’m going to get my hopes up. And then I might find out that it doesn’t work. And then I’m going to be even more down on myself and my future. And you know? I have to risk giving up what I’m familiar with. It really, really sucks. But at least I’m familiar with this. And if I start participating in this, you know, what if it doesn’t work? Well, what if it does work? You know? You know? What if it does work?”
Yeah. And also like, avoidance is easier.
When you’re anxious, it’s easier to stay home than go to a club or somewhere.
So it may be with this may be also like that it’s easier to control the old life than to speak out some scary.
Good point, good point. Yeah.
It’s easier to just pop on Netflix and distract yourself.
You get immediate relaxation by watching TV.
But you have to say hello to strange people.
Right, right, right.
There’s an interview coming out, actually, very soon, of someone who, well, I thought that she didn’t participate at all because I didn’t remember her but she had joined one live meeting. I think, out of the whole year, I didn’t see her. So she was pretty much anonymous. I didn’t see her on WhatsApp but she overcame social anxiety.
So it’s up to you. You can choose it.
So it’s still something challenging because it’s different than what you’re used to but you can decide how “scary” you make it.
This is a fabricated social situation with people that are all on your side that have compassion for you. Not just because it’s the right thing to have compassion. No, because they’re in the same boat. They’re having the same feelings, the same kind of thoughts, the same kind of problems.
So, you’re helping each other go through this problem together as a group which is so so different than, than anything out there.
While it might be easier to put your Netflix on, when you meet that person the next day, or you step into the bus, or you arrive at work, or you go to the supermarket, or you’re the center of attention, and your problem shows up. Now you wish, okay, maybe I shouldn’t have popped on Netflix but I should have actually done that inner work or join this club so I can move through these problems so I no longer have that in my life and I can actually be myself and enjoy my life.
It’s a time investment.
It’s a money investment.
It’s an effort investment.
But it’s worth it.
Was it worth the money you invested?
Definitely! Yeah. Yeah.
I could have paid more! And it’s not that expensive if you think about it, but yeah, of course, it’s money.
Was it a painful process?
No! Not at all.
No, of course, it takes time because if you want to change, it takes time.
Like if you want to build muscle, you have to practice.
I gave the metaphor to my mom who I wanted to go see a practitioner because she’s got all of these issues.
[Our conversation went like this]
Mom: Well, you’ve sent me to practitioners before. It doesn’t work.
Me: Remember when you went to that practitioner that I paid for three sessions, and they you paid for the fourth one because you were getting such great results?
Mom: Yeah. But now my problems are back.
Me: No, no, your problems did not come back. What is left is back. And it’s in your face right now. Look, if Mariska (who’s like one of her friends who’s got who’s severely overweight by around 30-40 kilo) goes to the gym one time do you think she will be going lose that weight?
Mom: No, of course, not.
Me: Exactly. If she goes to the gym three times, will she be losing weight?
Me: Exactly! This is a period of time because you’ve built up this crap over years and years and years.
So even with a tool as powerful as Tapping, it will be going to take time to work through the layers of the issue.
But when you start, after a month, some people make profound progress. Some people make a bit of progress, but you’re going to make progress, it’s going to be better, you’re going to have better thinking better mindset feel better.
And it builds on each other.
So it takes time.
But, you know?
Also, one thing I was thinking that may prevent somebody from joining is the Tapping.
Like, for someone, it may be strange, because it is weird to tap on your face.
So someone may think it will do anything good for you like if you are a scientific person or something like that.
Mainstream psychology doesn’t speak about Tapping and all that. Right?
But yeah, it works! I don’t know why it works.
I don’t think anybody knows really why it works.
But it works.
So maybe they can find out what’s the exact reason why it works.
Right. And I’m the same for me, you know?
I care about results. I don’t care exactly what it means.
It is interesting but I just care if it will going to make me feel better.
Yeah, it does. Right?
So it’s undeniable.
And I had Dawson Church, PhD researcher on my Podcast and he’s like, look, there are 102 scientific studies backing up the EFT Tapping’s effectiveness, and there are five meta-studies that have been done which is the highest level of scientific evidence.
The American Psychological Association says it meets the standards for evidence-based treatments for public speaking anxiety, test anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder.
But even though it’s solid science goes out of the window, it doesn’t matter because once you have the experience in your body, or you feel shame, or fear, or whatever you do tapping, in a minute later, you will feel calm.
That’s the real evidence to you – and then you’re solved.
So that’s what you’re really after.
And also, when I am watching people on these calls I am feeling anxious like 10 out of 10.
But five minutes after? I don’t feel it anymore. I’m relaxed.
How was that possible? I don’t know.
But yeah, it works.
And that’s also a thing like, you see these transformations.
When we do these coaching sessions, you see the transformations on screen.
And we also have our volunteers report how they’re doing three weeks or four weeks later, and then they report on the changes that they’ve made.
So that’s also inspiring.
I never could have done it before. I play in a band and being on stage has always been very scary for me.
But now, these last gigs that we had I was a bit relaxed, totally relaxed on stage.
It is just wonderful.
Amazing! Really cool.
One more thing that did come to mind is, maybe people are also like, well, I’ve tried to tapping, and it doesn’t work for me.
Yeah, but you can do some things on your own like I did.
Like random typing and or reading some scripts, it does something for me but Seb’s thing is more powerful.
So if you haven’t tried it before, it is not proven that it doesn’t work.
Exactly, exactly. Oh, yeah.
When you have a coach it’s a totally different thing than doing it by yourself.
I learned about Tapping and I couldn’t get any results by myself.
Then I saw all of the DVDs where you have these practitioners work with clients, and I saw this is the real deal.
I’m still trying, I’m still learning.
I studied it, I kept the whole course right, all of the levels.
I worked through that for six months but I wouldn’t get any results.
But I was desperate enough to keep going.
Only once I work with the workshop leader and he asked me particular questions to tune me into my problem. And I started tapping, then I had my first shift.
So doing your own tapping can really be great but this is a skill, it’s an art.
It’s so deceiving because you can learn the tapping points in the setup phase in 30 minutes.
And then you think, “I know how to do this tapping”.
No! You need to know about subconscious resistance, nonacceptance, how the past influences the present, what kind of beliefs are here, what the what you need to focus on, what to do when it doesn’t work.
There are all of these pieces of the puzzle and it’s a whole study, you know?
And throughout the club, you’re learning a lot about how to apply this tapping.
You will become a lot better at yourself and at tapping also.
But, you know? If you haven’t had any results with the tapping by yourself it is not because the tapping doesn’t work but it is because you haven’t been able to apply it successfully to the issue that you’re dealing with yet.
And that is something that you will learn inside the club.
I also bought some DVD about Tapping and listen to some audio dealing with anxiety and EFT tapping.
I think the biggest change this year for me is acceptance.
Before, I always try to feel relaxed tomorrow.
Now, I think that it’s okay if I’m not relaxed.
It is fine if my body is doing things.
It doesn’t matter anymore.
So then you are any, you are not fighting with yourself anymore, just absorbing like, okay, yeah, and then it goes away.
And in fact, acceptance actually makes the problems go away quicker.
And for the longest time, I was tapping in the same way that you’re describing.
I was trying to get rid of all my negative feelings.
I didn’t want to feel anything negative and no fear, no anxiety ever.
But that put my mind on the lookout that I can’t do this because I might get anxious.
What if this happens, what if I feel that emotion?
And once I started integrating the acceptance work, things started to change because if you’re okay, with feeling anxiety, if it doesn’t bother you anymore, you don’t get upset about it. You don’t judge yourself for it. That’s tremendous freedom.
Now, accept acceptance doesn’t mean that you are not going to get rid of the anxiety. It just means that you’re okay with yourself and you’re okay with the anxiety while you’re in the process of neutralizing it.
Because it takes time.
It’s just something like, okay, now I have this back pain, but yeah, okay, maybe tomorrow, it will be gone. So it’s just absorbing it. Like, this anxiety game now. Okay. I learned it somewhere. But yeah, that’s fine. I can deal with it.
What are you still struggling with but still difficult?
I’m not struggling much but I know that I will not stop.
I will continue [doing this] for the rest of my life because something will come up and it will be different.
I like to continue to be more open with strangers, invite more friends, see more friends, and organize big parties. Something like that. I’ve been enjoying that more. So that’s the direction I would like to go.
I get you. Yeah.
So when you do not have that yet, there’s something inside you that’s holding you back from that or from taking the action steps?
Yeah, there’s still something.
Well, it’s simply the next level to work through.
I was pretty much anxiety-free but I still didn’t enjoy being around people. Now and getting to that stage was simply like another layer.
And I just want to briefly say, like, I will keep tapping for the rest of my life. It’s something that you keep doing. That’s not because, like, for me the same, but I’m not continuing to keep tapping because I still have social anxiety issues to work on. They’re done.
I keep tapping because life happens, you know, other problems present themselves. And it’s just something that suits you it’s something that calms you. It’s something that it’s also a relaxation tool.
When somebody shouts at you for no reason or you get emotional for when someone cuts you off in traffic….
…or the internet doesn’t work in your hotel, [just like] my case.
Now, I’m like, All right, before I start yelling at this lady, I better calm myself down so it’s just great emotional management.
But once you’re done with a particular problem, like, I haven’t blushed in the longest time and if I blushed it doesn’t even matter but I don’t need to keep tapping because otherwise, the blushing is going to come back.
It doesn’t work like that. It’s done, that’s over with.
Yeah, that’s how I feel.
Well, um, I’d say I’ve asked most questions.
So would you recommend the Social Confidence Club? If so why?
Yeah, definitely. If you have social anxiety, please join.
Anything else to add?
Hmm… no, have a nice day to you and everyone else watching this.
Keep doing the work.
Awesome, great advice!
Tapani, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
Yeah, I could say that, you have been very important for me in changing my life.
Thank you very much.
Thank you. Appreciate that. Happy to hear it.
Okay, I will close this.
So if you want to learn more about the Social Confidence Club, if you want to join probably at the release of this interview, it’s not open yet.
We’re going to open in mid-February. It is going to only be open for five days, roughly.
So, and, we’re going to cap it, we only have a certain amount of available slots.
So if you want to be on the early announcement list, go to bit.ly/socialconfidenceclub that is bit.ly/socialconfidenceclub.
Stay tuned and I will talk to you very soon.
Bye for now.
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