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“Yeah dude, just never give up man”… It sounds so simple right? But even though this is the essence of it, there are a few tricks you can do with your own thinking that will help you to stay motivated. Techniques that make you feel better and more optimistic about the process.
That’s what this article will give you. It will show several changes to make in your thinking. Plus it gives you strategies to use which makes it easier for you to never give up. Apply these strategies and combine them with the techniques on this site and you are on your way to a quick recovery.
You hear this from all the self-help gurus. And that has a reason! If you don’t know what you want you can never get what you want… What do I mean? You want to get over your social anxiety, that’s enough of a goal right?!
Well, that’s a good start. But when you have a clear goal of how you want your social life to be, it will be achieved that much faster. Plus it will help you to stay on target because you know why you’re putting in your effort and energy.
So, ask yourself:
“What would my ultimate social life look like if I knew I would never give up and could not fail?”
“How good would I feel?”
“How would I look?”
“What are the things that would happen in my life?”
“How would people respond to me?”
“What things would I effortlessly do that are now difficult for me?”
Now please, don’t hold back here. Write it all down. This is about your future! Be specific and write present tense (as if you are already living the life you want).
Make it as appealing to yourself as you can because you will simply never give up when your goal excites you. And your brain will find a way for you to achieve your dream life.
For example, my ultimate goal/vision I had written down for myself was over a page long. It involved sentences like “I comfortable speak/am comfortable speaking to whoever I want to, whenever I want to, and everyone listens carefully and reacts positively”… That was very appealing (and unrealistic at the moment) to me.
I knew I would feel fantastic once I had achieved that so I was willing to do anything to achieve that goal. It made it easier to never give up because I knew what I was working so hard for. So make sure you make it as appealing as possible and don’t worry about how you will achieve it.
Then once you have your goal/vision down on paper, again, make sure it is all present tense.
So that means instead of saying:
“I want to be able to feel comfortable speaking to strangers”
“I am comfortable speaking to strangers”.
If you’re done, put it away for a day and then go over it again.Make it even more appealing.
Seriously, get this in order. It is very important because without an exact goal your mind doesn’t know where it is going and what it should be doing for you. So make sure to help your brain (and thus yourself) as much as you can.
Then if you’ve completed all of the above I suggest reading it out loud (if possible) for 21 days every morning at waking up and every evening just before going to sleep. This will install the goal in your mind and will give the message to your unconscious mind to start working on finding a way to achieve it.
Easier said than done, I know. Having the outcome in mind helps a fair bit already. But, you can have that desire burn some more in you. How? Well, your mind always works to get away from what it doesn’t want and towards what it does want. You just created your vision so your towards motivation is covered.
But, most people are more motivated to get away from what they don’t want. So, since that makes it easier for you to never give up, why not use it to our advantage?
I have to warn you, this next exercise is a bit painful. For it you have to go negative. Big time. In general it’s best to be optimistic and positive, but for now you can go pessimistic and negative. But don’t stay in that too long!
Before you read the following, please understand that I might come off a bit cruel. This is not because I don’t respect you, but this is because in that way I taunt you a little to get you a bit angry. So you can then use that anger to keep your fire burning and never give up on pursuing your goal.
So, disclaimer out of the way, here goes…
I’d like you to consider how bad your social phobia is messing up your life. Think of how awful you feel. Remember how fearful, ashamed and insecure you have felt because of it. How you are missing out on great parties, socializing, friends, relationships and basically on enjoying your life!
Feel how you are fearful and hopeless. Think about how long you have been suffering already and that if you won’t do anything about it, you will stay like this for the rest of your life.
(Ouch, painful. But this is reality right now. You have to accept it to be able to move on, towards what you do want.)
Now while you are thinking about this ask yourself if you are going to let that happen… Are you going to let social anxiety control you for the rest of your life? Are you going to be a victim?
…I hope you are the kind of person that says “No, I’ve had enough, I’m willing to do anything necessary to achieve my goal and I will never give up trying!” If you are at that stage, then it’s up to you to decide to get over your condition.
It sounds simple, and that’s exactly what it is. A decision is a decision. A decision is saying “yes” to anything and everything you have to do to get over your social anxiety.
Now look towards the vision you have created for yourself and affirm to yourself, again, that you will never give up and that you are going to achieve it no matter what. Even though you might not believe it yet, decide. Make the decision to go for it and stick to it. No matter how long it will take you (I’ll help you to make it as short as possible).
Make it your life mission for a while if you have to. There is a way out of social anxiety (disorder), but it’s challenging so it’s important are firm in your decision.
Small chunk it! When you have a huge goal you want to accomplish it might look almost impossible to get there. That’s why you should divide your end goal into parts. Then focus your attention on accomplishing the first, least challenging part.
Your end goal might be “I am comfortable speaking to people wherever I am and I completely enjoy all my social interactions”.
And at the moment you can hardly look people in the eye…(which is fine, wherever you are right now is OK. Accept it and work towards your goal)
Then your small chunk, least challenging part of your end goal/vision would for instance be “to be able to look people in the eye.”
(If that is too advanced for you, don’t worry about it and pick something smaller. Maybe you can start by leaving a post somewhere on an internet forum.
Or maybe driving in a car -preferably in the passenger seat- and looking people that drive towards you in the eye. Or anything else that is challenging, but not overwhelming.)
Then use all the techniques and information you find on the Change Your Brain page and focus on solving that one part of your goal.
Now when you have achieved this success you pick a new challenge. For example, smiling to people or saying “hi”. You then again use the tools and techniques on this site to get to the next point. And so on.
The annoying thing about motivation is that it comes and goes. The one moment you are motivated and you slam your fist on the table and you are convinced you are going to do it…
…And then the next moment, instead of doing something towards recovery, you “just don’t feel like it right now” and you let go of your never give up attitude and zone out in front of the television.
I have several tricks you can use to change your thinking and make staying motivated much easier. But they all fail without… persistence! I can write pages and pages about it, but it basically comes down to this once sentence:
“Persistence is continuing to keep going even though you don’t feel like it”
It is part of self discipline. And, just like physical muscle building you do in the gym, this also is a muscle you can build.
Every time you are continuing to keep going even though you are tired, busy, not feeling like it right now, etc, you are building your persistence muscle. So every time you use your never give up attitude when you don’t want to do something, the attitude gets stronger.
Every time you persist you get better at persisting. Until you are persistent in persisting! (as I am persistent in making lame jokes)
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
Thomas A. Edison
Aside from having a goal, a burning desire and a building persistence muscle, I have found the below techniques to be great in building and maintaining my never give up attitude.
When you achieve a small victory celebrate it! No matter how small it is. Say you have looked one person in the eye for a full second and that was very difficult to do.
Awesome! Pat yourself on the back. Eat something very nice. Do anything to reward yourself. You want to let your mind know you are happy with what it has done for you. So reward that good behavior!
Your consistent thoughts create your reality. Always focus on what you want, never focus on what you don’t want. If you do focus on what you don’t want, slap yourself (just kidding, be nice to yourself) and refocus on what you do want. If you don’t know what you do want, always focus on your goal. Make it your default thing to think of.
(This was a big one for me. When I used to have all these negative thoughts I always focused back on playing soccer. That way I could calm down my mind. I did that for years. It helped, I got off the negative thinking -and I’m sure I’m an even better soccer player now-.
But when I started to think about my goals every time I didn’t know what to think about, magical things started to happen. My goals where becoming my reality faster than ever before.)
Developing a never give up attitude and changing your thoughts from negative to positive costs energy and effort. Especially a lot of effort and energy when you’re a habitual negative thinker. As you might know it’s not easy to change a habit.
Now what you eat influences your energy level. When you only eat junk-food and other unhealthy stuff your energy will be low. Positive thinking will be even harder because you don’t have much energy to do so. So, like mom said, eat healthy!
Also, when you have planned to get out of your comfort zone today and work towards one of your small-chunked goals, you are less likely to come up with the excuse:
“I don’t feel like it now, I’m tired!”
When you are energized it’s much easier to have the never give up mindset.
This one is great. Do you want to feel awful and overwhelmed? Think of how much you still have to do to conquer your social anxiety… Sucks right?
Now do you want to feel proud, confident and motivated? Look at where you had to come from and the progress you have already made (even knowing about stuff, changing your mind is progress)… Feels good doesn’t it?
Keep in mind that this takes time. Developing a never give up attitude is like building muscle in the gym. It’s tough work, especially in the beginning, but once you have it you feel unstoppable.
And, of course, you are then guaranteed to overcome your social anxiety. As a last word I like to give you this…
There might come a time when you think to yourself:
– that never give up attitude, I have enough of it! I don’t want to anymore, it’s too much, I give up…”
In such a situation…
…Refer back to this page! Take a strategy and use it. Every bit of it helps a little in developing that never give up attitude and that will make the journey that much easier and less painful.
You can do this. It just takes time. But it’s o so worth it. Good luck and remember…
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Changing Your Beliefs 101
Go to part 1/3: How To Change Your Beliefs
Go to part 2/3: Challenging Beliefs To Change Your Beliefs
Go to part 3/3: Changing Core Beliefs To Improve Your Self Esteem