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Hey, this is Sebastiaan from www.social-anxiety-solutions.com
And today, again, I have a video testimonial for you.
Now just a little bit of a pre-frame before you start watching it.
This video was recorded over a year ago, and the Social Confidence Community that I’m referring to happened from August 2018 to July 2019. And that’s about all I’m going to say about it.
So just enjoy this interview with Sarah. And it’s going to be really awesome.
Seb: Hi, my name is Sebastiaan van der Schrier. I am a former Social Anxiety Disorder Sufferer and a Social Conference Coach.
I help people feel calm, relaxed, and at ease in social situations. That’s my job. That’s what I do; that’s what I’ve been doing for a long time (about ten years now).
And last year, I decided to step up my game and take things to the next level; see if I can facilitate an environment where I can help groups of people.
So, I created a Social Confidence Community, the first of its kind. And it consisted of three parts:
Now, we ran that for a year. And it was very successful. People liked it.
And I’m going to run it at some point, again, in the future in a slightly different format, based on feedback that I’ve gotten from people. And it’s really cool.
Now. I’m about to ask a couple of questions to Sarah. Hi, Sarah!
Seb: …who was for a part of the community. But before I do, I want to give a bit of a pre-frame.
Before, as I said, I’ve been doing this for ten years.
Before, I would only interview people if they had overcome all of their social anxiety, totally at ease, and bla bla. And so, I only interviewed a small percentage of my clients.
For one, the people I asked to interview don’t always say yes, even if they’ve overcome their Social Anxiety.
Not everyone wants to be public about it.
Not everyone wants to be on YouTube about it.
And so, it’s a bit more selective.
Some people I work with have money for three sessions, and then three sessions, they might only resolve half of their social anxiety.
…and so, I didn’t ask them.
Now I’ve kind of learned more things. And what I learned is, some people have difficulty. Suppose you’re not familiar with this work, or you’re not familiar with tapping, and you’re suffering from Severe Social Anxiety.
It might be way too far out of what you can conceive as possible when you hear someone who was where you were once before – who overcame his/ her Social Anxiety completely, and now feels totally comfortable in all situations and enjoy socializing.
But it’s more difficult for people to believe.
So, this clever marketing guy told me (which I’m very grateful for) that I should talk more about the stages that people go through on the journey to overcoming Social Anxiety.
Then, demonstrate that some people are in one stage, other people are on the other stage.
Because what I just described is someone who’s totally anxiety-free, just comfortable and at ease in social situations, enjoys socializing, and have a great social life, etc.
It might be at level five.
But level three might be – “It’s a lot better, and I feel more comfortable, some situations I’m anxiety-free,” and so on.
And so, they’re different levels.
I don’t know exactly where Sarah is to begin. I kind of roughly know where she is, but I don’t know exactly.
But it doesn’t really matter whether she’s totally anxiety-free.
She’s somewhere in the journey of going from social anxiety to social confidence / social ease.
It might be stage one; it might be stage three; it might be stage five.
That doesn’t matter.
It’s about there’s progress that’s being made.
And that’s what is interesting for people to hear.
(I’m saying this for you also, Sarah)
Seb: Thank you. Welcome. Sorry to leave you hanging for so long.
Sarah: That’s all right.
Seb: Thanks for being here. This is great.
So, as I said, it’s going to be super easy. I’m just going to roll off some questions.
Can you maybe first explain, because it’s helpful for people to understand the pain that they can relate to.
What was your social anxiety before you found tapping or before the community started?
Sarah: Well, it was very much ever-present in social situations. And also, I would feel it when walking on the street. And I would do a lot of things despite it. I think I didn’t let it isolate me.
But it also kept me from doing a lot of things.
Seb: And how would you feel in a social situation?
Sarah: I would feel a lot of physical symptoms like, I would sweat, and it gets cold sweat and sweaty hands, and a faster heartbeat. And just feel very fearful.
And it feels like all eyes were on me.
Seb: Yeah. I was listening to an interview yesterday by this scientist, who’s all about the stars. Tyson. Do you know what I mean?
Seb: Anyway, he talked about communicating things in a way that makes it impossible for people to forget what you’re referring to and using analogies.
I think to myself, “my analogies are not that great sometimes” I need to update my analogies.
What you’re describing is like, ‘yeah, I feel all these symptoms in a situation socially. And I noticed I had a lot of fear’.
Oh, that was my experience.
And one of my analogies before was that your system is reacting as if you’re in a burning house, and it’s telling you, “Get out! Get out; it’s dangerous!”
Another one like this is what I thought of yesterday. It’s not great yet, but I’ll just throw it out there anyway.
For example, you imagine that you’re in a zoo. And all the animals are behind cages, you’re fine. But an alarm goes off, and all the cages open up. And now all of the animals come storming out. The lions, the tigers, and the rhinos, etc.
That’s kind of what’s happening to your system when you’re in a social situation,
Your system is reacting in the same way as that scenario.
A threat in this scenario, socially, might not be a threat for your life, like it might be in the zoo that has gone nuts.
But it is a threat to your survival.
Because your system reacts the same to like an identity threat.
Seb: And so, what were some of the fears that you had that were really strong for you? Do you remember?
Sarah: Yes. So well, just in the case of walking on the street and passing people, and I would actually fear that they might say something to me.
And it would feel like a threat to my survival like the same. ‘If there’s someone who’s going to attack me.’
Although knowing that they’re not going to attack me, I would fear that they might say something to me, or even that they might look at me, or look at me a little too long.
But mostly, they would say something, and they would always be like, “phew, I passed them, and they didn’t say anything.”
That was one thing, and why would that be so bad?
I didn’t quite figure out.
Seb: Yeah, like, like they’re out to get you or something.
Sarah: Yeah. Like they are.
And well, other fears that I would often have – just fearing to be ignored. And I was being shut out from all the social interaction that that was a big fear.
Seb: Yeah. Okay.
And what was your worst-case scenario where you feel the most anxiety?
Sarah: What would be a worst-case scenario?
Other people were talking, laughing having a great time.
And me, not being part of it.
Me, being on the side and not knowing what to do with myself…
…or who to talk to.
Seb: So, a lot of awkwardness.
Seb: Gotcha. All right. How long have you been dealing with social anxiety?
Sarah: Most of my life? I used to think all my life, but I think I’ve traced it back to when I was around 10.
Seb: Okay. Gotcha.
And what was most difficult or frustrating because of it in your life?
Sarah: That it would hinder me from talking to people I want to talk to.
That was the most frustrating part.
Often, I would leave, like if I had attended something in some activity with other people, which I did a lot, many different things.
And then things became a little bit chaotic,
For example, we weren’t any longer doing the scheduled things or something. And people were just talking at random,
I would often just leave because I felt too anxious.
And although there were people I wanted to talk to.
…I just couldn’t, and especially if they were people I really would like to talk to, then I would just hurry and leave.
Seb: Yeah. Yeah. Familiar. That sounds familiar. Both personally, and also like, “Hey, I hear that story a lot.”
Seb: Yeah. Why do you think you left? What were you worried about in those moments?
Sarah: I felt like I had to get out of there. It felt like, “Okay, I got to run away. I need to run away”.
This is getting too uncomfortable. I’m feeling like I was just feeling very anxious. Very awkward.
And then I would be afraid that people would see how anxious I am.
That’s one part of it.
That’s always was a really, really big one.
Maybe that’s the worst-case scenario for me that people seem anxious.
Seb: Right. Yeah. Yeah. Got it.
I know that we’re, in fact, we’re doing a coaching series on that now, or coach someone who wants to overcome that particular fear because I send them all to my list.
“Hey, what’s your number one fear?”
And I list these 10 common fears.
That was the number two fear.
The number one was fear of being judged negatively.
Sarah: Right. Yeah.
My number one was, was always the people seem to be anxious.
Seb: Yeah. Yeah. Got it. And so then, not being able to talk to people, what would that lead to?
Sarah: Well, I mean, definitely some level of loneliness and a lot of dissatisfaction.
But, really wanting to create new relationships and really wanting to bond with this person or that person that I would meet.
But then not being able to and just sticking with what I have, and what’s familiar.
And so, a lot of dissatisfaction,
A lot of frustration, also with myself
A lot of anger with myself for not being able to.
And feeling like “shit, I’m just wasting my life not making use of these opportunities to connect with other people, instead of running away”.
Seb: So, not being able to live your potential?
Sarah: Not so much that I think that sounds so ultimate, but not being able to form connections, which is like, you know, we’re social animals.
That’s what life is a big part of life is to have good connections with other people…
Seb: Yeah, Amen.
Sarah: …missing out on life.
Seb: Yeah, gotcha. Okay.
Seb: And welcome back. Here we are, after a little interruption, scheduling issues. But we’re back,
We changed our clothes and different environment because my mom wants me to sit upstairs.
And here we are.
So, let’s just continue where we left off.
Where we left off was, we kind of got into your history, a little bit of the social anxiety prior to the community.
And so now my question is, what’s the biggest benefit that you’ve gained as a result of the community?
Sarah: Overall, I think that’s actually just knowing how to use tapping.
I was going to say it’s my reduced anxiety, but I think the biggest benefit is the tool of EFT that I use a lot.
Seb: Hmm, great. Yeah.
Sarah: And also, I made connections.
And I made in particular, one good friend that I’m in touch with from the community.
Seb: Okay, that’s awesome. Nice. Nice.
And what are your overall results? What has changed? How’s your social anxiety now? How’s your social ease now?
Sarah: It’s overall reduced. I’m not anxiety-free.
And just today, I was wondering if there are any situations where it’s completely gone?
And the closest I get to it is…
…I think there are.
But then there are also, I think there are situations where it’s completely gone.
Yes. There are.
And then there are situations where I don’t experience that I feel anxious.
But I still have some autonomous reactions.
Like my body still does some things.
As if my body tells me that I’m anxious, but it’s confusing because I actually don’t really perceive that I’m anxious.
I think that’s a remnant of it.
And then there are many situations where I’m just like, “I still have anxiety, but it’s significantly reduced.”
Seb: Great. Cool.
And has it been worth the money you’ve invested?
Sarah: Yeah, it has. Because I’ve really learned (in depth) everything.
Like this whole program that you made is so detailed.
And you take them through step by step.
And it’s something that I can use my whole life.
Also, just various ways how to use tapping and lots of tools.
So, it goes way beyond just the program in its time limit.
And it also goes beyond dealing with social anxiety because it’s a tool that you can use for various things.
Seb: Yeah. Nice.
Tapping itself, the basics, you can learn it in 10 minutes.
But you can achieve so much more.
And you can get so much better results from it when you understand how your psychology works, your emotions, what important key concepts are to keep in the back of your mind as you’re doing the tapping, what to do when it doesn’t work? All of these kinds of things.
And when you learn that and when it becomes something – anything that’s complex in the beginning, once you do it enough times, it becomes easy, then it becomes natural.
So that’s a tool that you have for life because, unfortunately, you’re going to have issues like everyone for the rest of your life.
And it’s nice to have a tool like that.
Sarah: Yeah. And it’s become something.
Very quickly, I became very passionate about it. And I talk about it all the time to everyone.
And I also practice it with friends and with people in need who are interested.
And so, I use it a lot.
It has become a huge part of my life.
Seb: Cool. Cool. Then going back to my questions, was it a painful process?
Sarah: Yes? Yes.
Seb: Okay. Can you tell us why or how?
Sarah: One reason it was painful was just doing the work and lots of emotions when working on memories.
Especially in the beginning, I would just start crying every time I was doing the tapping. And then that didn’t continue.
But at first, I thought, ‘okay, that’s just how it’s going to be’.
And so, there’s a lot of pain that comes up.
But for me, it was welcome.
It’s like, ‘Okay, I’m working through this. And this is a process and it’s a therapeutic process’.
So, it was painful, but it wasn’t the problem that was painful.
And, what was painful also is the time and thinking ‘Okay, when am I going to do it?’
And I have to keep up and the stress that I also had to go around.
Seb: Right. And when you said ‘painful emotions came up’ and that kind of stuff. Was that pain beyond what you could handle?
Sarah: No, it wasn’t.
Seb: Alright. Just checking.
And I’m also asking (not for me, obviously) for other people.
Because in my experience, it is a bit painful, sometimes.
Because you’re tuning into emotions that are there already anyway, that you are experiencing in your life already anyway, because it gets triggered.
But people, circumstances, and events – it happens at moments where it’s inconvenient, and it sucks, you get triggered, and so on, and it’s outside your control.
And that’s different with the tapping in the way that we do it. Because we purposely bring the pain to mind so that we can address it with the tapping.
Sarah: Yeah. Yeah, exactly.
So, it’s always painful to bring the pain up. That’s is what it is about.
It’s the pain.
But it was welcome.
And I was not overwhelmed with pain at any point.
Seb: What happened when you went through a process like that? Or can you think of a time where you had that pain you did the tapping, and then what happened?
Sarah: It was not the same every time. But it would decrease.
And sometimes, I would work through some pain and clear it completely.
But most of the time, I would, at some point, come to a point when I was exhausted. And then I would stop the tapping at that point.
And then, with the intention of returning to the same thing later on.
But that was difficult for me to do.
Somehow, I didn’t most of the time didn’t manage to return to the things I had interrupted.
So, a lot of it, I haven’t through to the end.
I mean, I could go through the whole program again, and do it more carefully, and probably get a really long way.
Seb: That probably has also to do with why in certain situations, you’re still anxious.
There’s also a thing with there’s only so much that you can do on your own. You can’t be a doctor and a patient at the same time.
But you can get really far if you learned how to do it, and you’re persistent, and over time, as you have experienced.
And when you then get to tapping into moments that you got rid of it completely. What did you then feel?
Sarah: I felt tired. Just tired. Mostly. But like sleepy?
Seb: Yeah. Because it costs a lot of energy to repress stuff, and to push things away, and to hold on to traumatic memories. And people respond to it in a different way.
Some people get sleepy.
Some people are yawning.
Some people feel energized.
Some people feel euphoric.
It’s a different experience that people have.
And also, the same person can have all of the above-mentioned reactions, depending on what they’re working on.
Sarah: Yeah, it was interesting, because when I did the tapping on my own, I usually felt sleepy afterward.
And sometimes I just felt like maybe frustrated and depressed, because I didn’t manage to really work it through or to really target properly and stuff.
That also happened.
But then I also did several webinars with you.
And then after a couple of those, (it happened twice) I felt euphoric afterward, my energy was like, ‘Whoa,’
And you described at some point, like a lot of the energy that has been bound up in all these problems when released.
And I felt pull up energy, and then I had to dance around, and it felt really high.
Seb: Then you’re returning to your life energy.
Your normal, natural life energy. That is what you’re getting back.
In the moments that you’re not able to get it all the way down, you feel frustrated and depressed?
Those are the moments where you probably need some outside help because then you’re too close to your own issues. You can’t see the forest for the trees.
Sarah: Those were the parts that made it most painful because those were when I felt demotivated and I felt like “oh, I’m never going to get rid of this. And it’s too much work” and all of those.
Seb: Also, we ran it for a year and it’s the first time that I ran it. So now afterward I’m looking at the feedback. And so, when I’m running it again, I’m going to do it slightly differently in that there will be less content. And it will be a bit smaller, and there will be more kind of interaction with more people.
Because I think the forum was also quite valuable for people when it was active.
Sarah: Yeah, super valuable.
It was in the beginning, that was a huge part of it.
Just having a community – that meant a lot.
Seb: So, anyway, we’ll learn as we go. And what specifically did you like most about the community and why?
Sarah: Having community meaning having people who share similar experiences and being able to exchange with those people?
And talking with people who understand what it is that I’m talking about, and who also share their perspectives and experiences of the same problem.
Seb: Why was that helpful for you?
Sarah: It’s difficult to describe why. Overall, I think that we always need a community like the same goes if some people have some, some kind of disease, like a somatic disease, and then they need to have others who share the same or a mental illness or anything that or even just an interest, you play a musical instrument, like you want to have people to connect with over this.
So I think it’s something very basic,
Why? It’s extremely supportive. I don’t know what to say about why.
Seb: So, we did a few webinars, did a few live webinars for the community, and other people tagged along with our session. But you also tapped along with them and watch some of the other people’s sessions.
What was that like for you?
Sarah: I felt that I learned a lot when doing that.
The borrowing benefits, I could never really tell how much I experienced the boring benefits that you talk about so much in EFT
But I always felt that I learned a lot and I was just absorbed in it.
And it was also really great to have when I wanted to work on the program, but I was really tired. And I actually just wanted to have a break.
With this, I don’t have to figure out things myself. I just need to tap along.
Seb: What are three other benefits of the community?
Sarah: Connecting with people on an interpersonal basis. Not only just having community and sharing about this, but also having personal conversations with people and actually establishing friendships.
Seb: What do you mean? Within the community?
Sarah: Yeah, within the community. But do you mean the program as a whole?
Seb: I mean, in life itself.
Sarah: Well, overall, reduce anxiety and the tool of EFT.
Seb: Has your life changed in any way, shape or form?
Sarah: Yes, it has.
I am less worried. Or sometimes I’m on my way to something and I’m not nervous.
And that’s a huge change. Like it’s a massive improvement.
Because I was nervous every time, I went to someplace that had any social setting.
Now, I can go to places and I’m on my way there and I noticed that I’m not nervous about this at all.
And it’s just a huge relief.
And I also catch myself saying things and doing things spontaneously without being super self-conscious.
It’s a relief and it makes me able to live more and be me.
Seb: Good. That’s a good benefit.
And what does that do to the overall mood? If anything?
Sarah: It gives me more energy, definitely.
It really drained me to feel so anxious all the time. So, in a social setting, I would often get really tired. And really exhausted. And I want to leave for that reason too- just because it was too much.
So, I have more energy, and I just feel happier.
Seb: Yeah, that’s good.
And that’s why I also pre-framed this interview by saying, people go through different stages.
And I think I’m going to talk about this more.
Stage 1 – You have social anxiety, and you’re suffering big time.
So, if you can’t overcome it, and you’re worried about it, you’re ashamed of it, you’re upset about it, you’re frustrated with it, and like, really strong.
Stage 2 – You have social anxiety, but you’re not suffering so much.
You’re not beating yourself up so much.
You’re feeling more hopeful because there’s something that you can do about it.
And you feel more in control because you are doing something about it.
And so, there’s progress being made.
That kind of takes away that depressed and hopeless feeling.
That might be stage two.
Stage 3 – A progress and process.
You’re making progress and you still have problems, but you’re making progress.
In certain situations, you might be anxiety-free.
In other situations, you still have anxiety.
In some situations, you’re able to be yourself.
It’s a bit different in different scenarios.
Stage 4 – You don’t have any anxiety anymore, your anxiety-free.
Stage 5 – You’re actually not just anxiety-free, but you’re also just comfortable and at ease, and you have a good energy about you.
And that’s pretty much anywhere.
You bring a good feeling.
You’re at ease.
And you’re just kind of back to your natural energy, like the kind of the energy of the kid is in. Like a liberated way of being.
And I think from stage three, you can kind of dip into stage four and stage five.
So, it’s not exactly like this. And then this and this, and this and this. We’re kind of somewhere on that spectrum.
Sarah: Yeah. I think I’m somewhere between stage two and three. Most of the time.
Seb: Yeah. Cool. Well, that’s good.
Sarah: Yeah, it’s very good.
Seb: Well, I think this is a good place to end it.
Seb: I’ve run out of questions. Is there anything you possibly like to add?
Sarah: I would like to say thank you for this program and the community. It’s made a huge change in my life. That sums it up.
Seb: Thank you for being part of it.
It’s the first time I ran it. So, it’s nice that some people have some trust in what you’re doing. So that’s good.
I am happy about the results that you’ve already gotten. And I’m assuming that eventually, you’re going to reach all the way to where you want to be so
Sarah: I totally am. I just need to put in some more work. I know that. So, it’s okay.
Seb: Good. That’s in and of itself. A very nice feeling.
That is huge.
Knowing that there’s something I can do about this. And I’m not stuck forever, because when I’m stuck and there’s nothing I can do?
That’s a helpless victim, the very bad place to be.
Sarah: Yeah, yeah, that is also a benefit of the community.
That I’m no longer feeling hopeless, or that’s just how it is for me.
That’s just how I am.
I know that I can change this fully.
And I feel very secure enough.
Which I think also reduces my anxiety when I’m in situations where I experienced anxiety. Because I don’t get completely worked up about it. And I don’t think it’ll never change or thoughts that just spin negatively.
Seb: Yeah. Great. Great.
Well, on that note, wish you all the best we will be in touch.
Alright, hope you enjoyed this interview.
Make sure that you register for the upcoming 30-day social confidence challenge which is going to kick off on the first of January.
It’s going to be really amazing, really exciting.
Go to bit.ly/socialconfidencechallenge
And start 2021 with a bang.
And I’ll start reducing your social anxieties you feel more at ease and have more social confidence in 2021.
All right. That’s it for now. Talk to you soon. Bye.
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