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We are doing a look back to episode 5 with Steve Wells about self-acceptance to become socially confident. The original podcast is located here.
In this post, we share the importance of self-acceptance as it is the key to social confidence…
… we’ll be looking back to episode 5 where I interviewed Steve Wells to discuss what is at the root of social anxiety, what prevents people from moving forward, and how you can finally stop this vicious cycle and become free in social situations.
Here are some things you’ll learn:
Sebastiaan: Hello, this is Sebastiaan from Social Anxiety Solutions. I’m a personal coach and I help people with social anxiety feel calm and relaxed in social situations. Now, in this video I wanted to talk a little bit about the importance of self-acceptance. and I want to talk about that because it’s one of the main keys to being at ease socially because there are parts of us that we accept and those are usually the parts that you know, we accept ourselves when we’re happy, we accept ourselves when we’re confident, we accept ourselves when we’re funny, we accept ourselves when we’re intelligent.
However, we have moments where we’re not happy, we have moments when we’re boring, we have moments when we’re annoying to other people, we have moments where we’re insecure, we have moments where we’re anxious. And these are parts of us and we’ve learned through programming in our early childhood to only accept certain parts of ourselves and as a result we have repressed these parts of us and then when they show up it becomes a problem for us.
So, when we feel anxious we’re like, “Oh, my God I shouldn’t be this way. This is bad, it’s wrong to feel this way, it’s weak, it’s pathetic and so on”. Or when we feel insecure there’s shame about it because we’re supposed to be confident all the time and never have any insecurities whatsoever. So, a key to social confidence and be free of your anxiety is actually being okay with all the unacceptable parts.
In other words, you want to make the unacceptable parts acceptable and tapping is a great way to do that because when you’re okay with feeling insecure, when you’re okay with you know, being socially anxious, when you’re okay looking like a dumbass, there’s a lot of freedom in that. And because… Think about it. When you’re fine with looking anxious, when you’re fine looking stupid then you have nothing to hide and that’s what you know, social confidence is all about – “Hey, I am who I am. I’m all right with who I am. I’m kind of great and I’m kind of shit sometimes and that’s alright, I’ve got nothing to hide”. And that’s a very safe place to be, right?
And that’s the outcome because anxiety shows up whenever your brain perceives a threat. Whenever your brain perceives that you’re… it’s not safe to be you. So, and when you’re okay with all of you then you’ve got nothing to hide hence you’re safe hence there’s no perception of threat and so there’s no anxiety.
Now, that’s the outcome that you’re looking for. You know, I’m not talking about how to get there, that’s actually quite a bigger story than just a little video but you know, in these videos I’m just giving you little blips of information and things to consider and I might be repeating certain concepts several times because it just takes time to land sometimes, you know. And the more you hear something from the more different angles… At the board if it starts to hit you and you start to get your own “A-ha” moments and stuff like that.
Well, what I was thinking would be awesome is to have a little bit of a summary about an interview that I did with Steve Wells. And Steve is a friend of mine but he’s quite a bit older than me. It would be funny if he hears me say that. I think he’s in his mid-50s. He’s a psychologist and we… A couple of years ago I organized the big relief mission, emotional relief mission for the traumatized victims of super typhoon Yolanda at the Philippines and he along with my mentor Dr. David Blake came over to help the traumatized victims and we taught them the tapping techniques to release the trauma.
Anyway, Steve is a psychologist and he’s an absolute expert in the tapping techniques and he’s been very creative with it and he’s combined along with my mentor provocative therapy with the tapping and they’ve created their own approach called “Provocative Energy Techniques” which is hilarious. A lot of fun makes, makes your healing process very enjoyable both for the practitioner and the coach.
But anyway, he and my mentor, they really emphasize the importance of self-acceptance and the importance of acceptance in general. You know, and when you look at the spiritual teachings this is a concept that comes back over and over and over and over. You know, Byron Katie talks about loving “What is”. Acceptance of “What is” is essential in order to actually start making changes.
So, you… not just you. You want to… you need to get to the place where you’re actually in acceptance of your social anxiety and acceptance of yourself. That’s where true freedom lies because if you don’t get to the place where you accept your social anxiety and you can use the tapping to get there. And Steve and I will be talking about that in the interview that I’ve done with him that you’ll get a bit of a summary of in this video because if you don’t and social anxiety comes up for you then you freak out and it gets worse and it just keeps it keeps the loop going, it perpetuates a little. So, you can interrupt that by using the tapping on your resistance to accepting it, and we’ll dive in a lot deeper.
Anyway, I’ve been talking for long enough and I’m starting to get to my destination. I’m about to fly off back to Asia. So, check out this video and leave a comment below if you have any insights that you want to share that might have been helpful for you when it comes to acceptance. Like, how have you used acceptance in your life or how will you use acceptance in your life in order to move towards greater levels of social confidence.
So, hope this has been helpful. Enjoy the summary of this video. Let’s do it again. Enjoy the summary of the interview I did with Steve and I’ll talk to you soon. Bye for now.
Rachel: Hi there, my name is Rachel. I’m on the Social Anxiety Solutions team and I want to give you a brief overview and share a few clips from the interview that Sebastian was referring to where he interviewed Steve Wells. It’s social anxiety solutions podcast episode number 5 – “Self-acceptance: A key to social comfort”
This is an awesome engaging interview that really drives home what is at the root of social anxiety, what prevents people from moving forward, and how you can finally stop this vicious cycle and become free in social situations.
So, if you’re suffering with social anxiety, I highly recommend you check out the full interview.
We’ll start this off with Sebastian’s experience with this and lead into Steve’s explanation as to how lack of self-acceptance and social anxiety are related.
Sebastiaan: So Steve we talk about self-acceptance today because I believe it’s one of the causes or the cause of social anxiety. And I know I definitely didn’t accept myself. I saw myself as the biggest loser around, I thought that everyone was above me and I saw how everyone was having fun and I was missing out and I couldn’t really enjoyed when I was around other people. And I mentioned it earlier that you know, I found out about self-acceptance. You know, it was suggested to me and I was like, “Are you kidding me? How can I accept myself? This social anxiety it’s ruining my life, I can’t be myself. You know, without this I’d be fine.” I was wrong, but you know, “Without this I’d be fine, I’m not gonna accept myself” and that that actually caused me to struggle for a lot longer. So, Steve to kick off, how does self-acceptance relate to social anxiety?
Steve: Okay. Well, exactly as you said. You have your problem and then you have your reaction to the problem and the reaction of the problem is fairly universal is that we get angry at ourselves for having the problem, we beat ourselves up for having the problem, we put ourselves down for having a problem because any problem that we have we shouldn’t have.
You know, in general across the world people feel anxiety when they experience new situations and you know of course some people are feeling the fear and going it anyway whereas others are stopping in their tracks. Now if you’re if you’re doing that and other people are going ahead then you can… now you can beat yourself up for not being as good as them.
Sebastiaan: Right, comparing.
Steve: So, it’s… Yeah, absolutely. So, this underlying thing of “I’m not as good as them” or basically “Not good enough”, that’s a universal human belief. And you know, someone who has a problem like saying social anxiety has that belief really close to the surface. You know, everyone has it but for someone with social anxiety it’s going to be close to the surface a lot of the time so you know, you’re feeling anxious a lot of the time and you know, you should be out there doing it and so there and you’re not so therefore you know, you can blame yourself there’s something wrong with you, you can beat yourself up and so on.
Rachel: So, as Steve explained, self-acceptance and social anxiety go hand in hand. As opposed to trying to fix the surface problem, the problem being your social anxiety, the key to overcoming the anxiety would then be to accept these parts of ourselves that we’ve not been accepting.
But you may find that to be a challenge for you. In this next clip, Steve shares his struggles with accepting how he felt and what he realized and did to stop the cycle and finally have a breakthrough.
Steve: I’m typing out these words you know. You know, even though I’m you know, I’ve been playing wasting my time on the computer again playing silly computer games I deeply and completely accept myself. And I thought “No, I do not you know, I totally do not accept myself”. And so, there night I thought, “Well, hang on a minute. You know, this thing that I think is the problem maybe this is the real problem you know, is that I’m not accepting myself”. So, I thought okay you know let’s make that the target of this process instead of targeting you know, this problem, let’s target the problem underneath it which is that I just don’t accept myself.
Sebastiaan: Most people with social anxiety will say, “Well, I’ll accept myself once I’m free of my social anxiety”. So…
Steve: Exactly. And the challenge is that it actually starts with wherever you are because you know what? When people… And I work with people at the top level. A lot of people that you know most of the listeners really admire they still don’t accept themselves. You know, a lot of celebrities and a lot of sporting greats, a lot of people who are in the top of their field underneath that they’re not really happy with themselves and I don’t really like themselves.
So, even after achieving those things they still have this lingering feeling of not being good enough. And so, I say start with that first because that’s what you’re really after. And when you do accept yourself you’re able to move forward. Like when I did that when I had that breakthrough through feeling I just started doing stuff because I wasn’t worried anymore about falling with it. It was just like you know, it freed up my energy to be able to do things without thinking that they were the measure of my worth in the world you know.
Sebastiaan: Yeah, yeah.
Rachel: So, you might think, I have all this work to do first and then I’ll be good enough and will then accept myself, but as Steve said, he has seen a lot of people at the top levels of performance in their fields, athletes, celebrities, and so on, and they still struggle.
So, you might as well address it no matter where you are now because it sounds like it will be there waiting to address, no matter your levels of success in the world.
So, as Steve explains, the further he went into this, he became more aware of how big his unacceptance really was. He learned to apply the tapping towards this and he shares an experience of you know, having gone through so many levels of this and then just being filled with a lightness and a realization that he was never the problem and he shared that he’s never turned back since.
Can you imagine the difference between going from not accepting yourself to accepting yourself every day? How many parts of your life that would impact?
Steve also shares that it’s important to make the tapping a part of your daily habits because social anxiety attaches itself to all parts of your life because you’ve you know, had it and you’ve carried it with you through different parts of your life.
And so, each of those needs to be addressed. And some aspects you might be able to address quickly while others you know, will take more time. But he says if you put in time consistently that is very beneficial, and you know you can reduce your suffering without forcefully facing your fears with this approach. And just by doing the tapping you know, at the very beginning you’re gonna be taking the edge off and he shares that it’s gonna get easier and easier.
And so, if you can work on accepting yourself and whatever it is that you’re been pushing away about yourself, he recommends doing this for 30 days. So, every time you find yourself not accepting yourself you can apply a tapping technique.
Social confidence is really the aim here to where you know, you no longer are afraid of being yourself and you no longer have anything to hide.
Anyways, I highly recommend you check it out. It’s episode number five on the Social Anxiety Solutions podcast which you can find on iTunes or by going to social-anxiety-solutions.com/podcast.
And be sure to check out the show notes page, referenced there, there’s a number of Steve’s links and videos, his self-acceptance series and his book that he co-wrote with David Lake called “Enjoy emotional freedom”. Be sure to subscribe on socialanxietysolutions.com to learn more about how you can overcome social anxiety. Seek professional help if needed of course.
And remember, your social anxiety and level of self-acceptance go hand in hand.
It starts with where you are.
Blaming yourself for the problem, or for not being good enough, is the problem. You are not the problem.
So, start tapping and learn the technique and apply it to wherever it is you’re not accepting yourself and make it a daily habit.
Try it for 30 days.
And I’ll leave you with one of Steve’s favorite quotes from Alan Wise which is “Success, not perfection”.