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In this post, we share how to overcome your social anxiety permanently. It seems natural to want to focus on fixing the surface problems, like blushing or sweating, but that won’t bring you the permanent results you want. That’s what we will get into.
Here’s more about what you’ll learn:
The sooner you get started, the sooner you can start to heal your past and overcome your social anxiety.
Sebastiaan: Hi, it’s Sebastiaan. I’m a social confidence coach. I help people with social anxiety feel calm and relaxed in social situations and I help people get to that place without forcefully facing their fears using a technique mainly, main technique called EFT – Emotional Freedom Techniques. A tapping technique that stimulates certain acupressure points while you focus on negative emotions. And what it does believe it or not, however funny it looks, it actually releases the negative emotions and your social anxiety problem has a lot to do with negative emotions.
Alright. So, that’s what I do. And people often ask me, “Well, are the results permanent when you do this tapping and you know, how often do I have to tap?” I just want to talk to that today.
So, yes, the results are permanent, however, it may seem like the results are not permanent when you’re not addressing all the aspects of the problem. So, when you think about your social anxiety problem, it is actually quite a complex problem and it consists of many aspects. So, many, many smaller parts that make up the problem.
So, when I work with a client I can break his problem down into smaller pieces and you know, one part of the problem is the bodily sensations that he experiences when he’s in a social situation. So, like the hard racing, the lump in the throat, the tightness in the chest, maybe sweating… You know, blushing in the face. You name it. And so, that’s one aspect. So, that’s one part.
Then you know, another part is the memories that have caused or contributed to his social anxiety. The beliefs that he’s having that are causing or contributing to his social anxiety. Like you know, “There’s something wrong with me, people don’t like me, I should look cool, I can’t lose face”. You name it. You know, there are tons of beliefs and an example of a memory might be… An example for memory might be well the time when I read out loud in front of the class and I was made fun of. Or at a time when my dad scolded me or whatever.
So, another aspect might be some another smaller part of the overall social anxiety problem, might be smaller parts of memories. So, say that we have that memory of all the time when dad scolded me, when you think about it, it actually consists of multiple parts. So, it’s not just the whole memory, it is well, he looks at me and it’s the look in his face. That’s a smaller part of that memory. When he wags his finger at me, that’s another smaller part of the memory. The sound of his voice, that’s another smaller part of the memory.
And all these smaller parts of these memories need to be addressed, all the memories need to be addressed, all the beliefs need to be addressed, all the bodily sensations need to be addressed. Every aspect of the problem needs to be addressed in order for you to have complete relief on the problem.
So, a little metaphor might be that when you think of your social anxiety problem as a pizza, you break down that you know, whenever you have a pizza, you know, if you have a nice pizza guy, he slices up the pizza into smaller pieces for you. You might have 12 pieces, or you might have 10 pieces or whatever. Same with your social anxiety problem. Every smaller part is like a pizza slice.
Now, the good thing is this when you address as a memory thoroughly for example, so, say that you take that memory of your dad you know, getting upset with you and you address it fully you use the tapping to clear it completely and you can’t get upset about it anymore even if you try that you’ve metaphorically eaten that pizza slice and that pizza slice you know, you are going to congest it, it’s gonna go certain places. This is gonna go… You know, it’s gone. It cannot come back anymore, you cannot eat that pizza slice again anymore. And that’s the same thing for the tapping. So, that that’s how you go about it.
So, then you work through the other slices of the pizza one by one by one until your problem is completely done. Now that’s a very simplified explanation of what it is, it’s a lot more complex than that but you know, once you thoroughly address all of the aspects, your social anxiety will be gone.
Now, questions I often get is like, “Well, I cleared this memory and you know, a couple of weeks later it is back. I thought I felt you know, I thought I couldn’t get upset about it anymore but a few weeks later it is back I still feel upset about it.” Well, that’s because you’ve missed it, well, for two reasons. Either there’s still some resistance to being free of anxiety or to being free of this memory. Or there’s a small smaller aspect of that memory you have missed.
So, for example when you when you take the same example with your dad. You might if you break that memory down it might consist of five smaller parts and when you do your tapping you clear four of the smaller parts and it’s you know, the fifth one you’re not aware of and you know, month later you still feel a bit upset. Well, you haven’t addressed that fifth part of the memory. Alright? Or some resistance has come up. So, some part of you doesn’t want to let go of the memory completely. So… And there might be like, “Well, I don’t want to forgive him” or “It’s not safe to let go of this completely because then I’ll have to do X Y Z”.
And so, you then simply address the resistance that comes up or you address the smaller aspect that wasn’t addressed fully yet and then you move past the memory completely. So, it actually doesn’t happen that often. I’d say maybe in five percent of the cases or something if you’ve thoroughly cleared a memory you’re done with it.
Now, another more common thing is that people get, make progress on their social anxiety, so they feel less anxious and then it comes back. So, why does that, why does that happen? Well, it happens for a variety of reasons. First of all, you might just be addressing the symptoms of the problem. So, the anxiety that you experience, you know, the racing heart, a lump in your throat, racing thoughts, tightness in your stomach, you know, washing and so on. These symptoms that what you label as the social anxiety, that is actually just a symptom of a deeper underlying problem.
So, we’re very programmed in our society to “Oh, I have a problem. What is the instant fix for it? You know, just give me a pill and then the problem will be gone”. You know, “I have a headache” – Take a pill. “I’m sick”- Take antibiotics. And that’s so great and very helpful and necessary when you need it but with social anxiety you can actually look at “Hey, this is the presenting problem but what is actually causing the anxiety?” Like what is what is starting that anxiety? Well, what is starting the anxiety is the perception that you’re not safe socially. So, you’re not feeling safe to be who you really are in a particular situation. Maybe you get rejected, maybe you don’t feel as worthy as them, whatever. There are variety of reasons for it. And that variety of reasons is actually fears and beliefs. And these beliefs they come from somewhere you learn them through repetitive negative experiences in early childhood, relationship with mom and dad, that kind of stuff and then traumatic experiences or mini traumas or difficult life experiences that you’ve had that added on to the beliefs and formed new beliefs and now you’re dealing with a problem that you’re dealing with.
So, that’s the deeper underlying stuff. And so, when you just tap on the symptoms you’re just tapping on the surface stuff. And it’s kind of like you know cutting weeds, you know, I’m here in the rice field. This is where I’m standing. And so, if I were to cut those weeds and I would just cut them, they will grow back again. But if I take him and I pulled them out root and all, there’s nothing that’s gonna come back. That’s a good analogy for what you want to do with your tapping efforts. You don’t just want to tap on the symptoms of your social anxiety, you also want to tap on the underlying causes, so you take them out by root and all. When you do that, you get permanent results.
That’s said, another reason for why social anxiety comes back is because there is resistance to letting go of the problem. And that’s common. I mean not just common, everyone has that. If you didn’t have any resistance letting go of social anxiety, you wouldn’t have any social anxiety. So, that resistance is there and when I work with a client we’ll have a session, we’ll do some work and at the end of the session they will feel great and they might not feel any anxiety in the moment and then they go out in their life and they have a couple of good days and they’re like “Wow, great. My anxiety is gone”.
And I warn them of course, beforehand that they can expect that it’s going to come back because it’s gonna come back because we haven’t addressed all of it yet. We’ve only addressed part of it. And the resistance will show up again and the resistance might be, “Well, it’s not safe to be free of social anxiety. Who will I be when I don’t have this? There will be more pressure on me. It’s better to just stay in my comfort zone. If I’m free of social anxiety, I’ll have to do all these things that I said I would do and I don’t want to do that and blah blah blah blah”.
And all these pieces of resistance are also like aspects of the overall problem and each of them can be addressed individually and need to be in to address individually because these resistances are your subconscious saying “No” to you being free of social anxiety.
And so, until all the resistances are properly dealt with, you won’t be free of your social anxiety completely. So, the anxiety will keep coming back. So, when the anxiety comes back you can either look at, “Alright, well, have I tapped on the symptoms or have I tapped on a deeper underlying issue?” Alright? And the other thing that you look at it’s like, “Oh, is there resistance? Am I a hundred percent “Yes” to being free of social anxiety?” And your answer will be “Yes”, but subconsciously there will likely be you know, you might ask yourself, “Well, what’s the downside to being free of social anxiety or what’s an upside? What upside might there be if there was one to staying socially anxious?”
And we ask these questions, you can kind of uncover the subconscious resistance and then you have something to focus your tapping on and then you can tap on that and then you move past that resistance. And once you are a “Yes” to being free of social anxiety which you’re likely going to be and your subconscious is a “Yes” as well, now, there’s no longer any resistance and then your results are permanent.
Now, finally the thing I’ve been talking about… About aspect, the smaller parts of a problem, that also applies when you’re looking at the bigger picture of overcoming social anxiety. So, when your social anxiety comes back going back to the example that I had, that I have working with clients. We work for a session, they feel better, you know, they might be free of their anxiety in that moment, but they go and they go out into their lives, they feel free of anxiety for a few days and then they get triggered and they feel anxiety again and they’re like, “Oh, my God, I’m still anxious, it never works”. But it simply means you’ve tuned in to another aspect that hasn’t been addressed yet.
So, if you if you take the pie metaphor, you’ve eaten 2 slices of the pie, but there’s still 10 that need to be eaten and while those 2 slices of the pie are dealt with and you cannot get anxious anymore in those particular situations or at least you cannot get upset anymore about those memories that we’re causing or contributing to your social anxiety, there are still many other aspects that need to be addressed. So, overcoming your social anxiety is really a matter of persistence, thoroughly addressing every aspect, every pizza slice needs to be eaten so to speak in order for you to be free of your social anxiety completely.
Now then finally I just want to end on you know, “How often do I need to tap?” Well, yeah, you tap as often as you feel uncomfortable and that will be a lot. And some of the times it will work other times it won’t work and if it doesn’t work there are reasons for it. You might be dealing with resistance, there might be an early your memory that you’re not aware of, the better you know how the tapping works the more effective you can be in your tapping. But it’s not a matter of “How often do I tap?” It’s more a matter of “How often do I tap on the correct issues in order to clear one of the aspects?” Because by clearing one of the aspects now you’re getting closer to being free of your anxiety. Your social anxiety might consist of you know, 17 aspects or 77 aspects or 777 aspects. You know, I’m just exaggerating but just to give you an example. There’s a certain amount of aspects that make up your overall problem and each aspect you address with the tapping you get one step closer to being free of the problem.
So, how often do you tap? I would tap every day. I would tap before social situations, during such social situations, do the tapping not to get rid of it, but just to add the tapping to the problem after it you do your tapping and you know, in the comfort of your home see what you can commit to. Maybe you can commit to five minutes a day. You know, that’s already helpful. Maybe you can commit to 15 minutes a day. Big mistake a lot of people make is like “I’m gonna do two hours of tapping every single day and you know, I’m gonna get rid of my social…” But nobody can keep up with a big commitment like that. It’s much better to just be consistent and do-little things. You want to be able to build a habit. So, if you can commit to 10 minutes of tapping a day, great. Do that and then over time if you’re, after you’ve done that for a month or so, then move to 20 minutes and see how you go.
It’s really a process that you’re getting yourself involved in of freeing yourself. And the results that you’re gonna get are gonna last you a lifetime. So, might as well get into it, right?
Alright. So, I hope that’s been helpful. You can get my free tapping videos, I have a little mini course called the Social Confidence Starter Kit where I teach you the tapping over a series of videos and I guide you through a few experiences of it on common issues. And so, you get to feel what it feels like in your body to actually shift something, to have an emotional change in your body. And that’s not an “A-ha” moment, nice insight. No, you actually feel something in your body and you’re like, “Hey, tapping really works. This is amazing. I will do whatever it takes in order to get rid of this social anxiety using the tapping”. That was my mindset at least when I started out some you know, 10 or 12 years ago. I don’t remember how long it was.
And in there you also get my eBook – “How to Overcome Social Anxiety Completely” where I share my story, what I did, what didn’t work, you know, try to overcome my social anxiety, forcing myself to face my fears of talking to groups of girls purposely getting myself rejected, putting red lipstick on my face and talking to people and you know, purposely embarrassing myself, all these public speaking… I did a lot of things, a lot of weird things to face my fears. And all did it work but the tapping is the difference that made the difference and I worked with some brilliant therapists who were also essentially in my recovery.
And so, now, here I am talking to you saying that this stuff works. So, give it a go. I hope this has been helpful and you can get that below this video. Also, hit the subscribe button if you want to see more videos of a release of video every Thursday on a social anxiety related topic. Alright, leave your comments below and I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.