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In this post, I share the journey the journey from social anxiety to social confidence…
… I’ll share how to break down your social anxiety problem so you can be on your way to being at ease in social situations.
Here are some things you’ll learn:
The sooner you get started, the sooner you will start to see results and ultimately overcome it entirely.
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Sebastiaan: Hello my name is Sebastiaan from social-anxiety-solutions.com. I am a social anxiety coach or social confidence coach helping people… help people with social anxiety feel calm and relaxed in social situations. And I’ve been doing that for a long time and I also do a podcast where I interview Western traditionally trained psychologists, coaches, healers, psychotherapists who have incorporated energy psychology into their practice and you can listen to that podcast here.
Now in this video I’m going to talk a little bit about the journey from social anxiety to social confidence. I’m going to share with you an example of a little session that I did with a friend not on social anxiety, on something else but that story will be a good example of how you can overcome a particular problem.
Alright. So, a lot of people have a bit of a quick-fix mindset when it comes to overcoming their social anxiety, so they think “Oh, okay. Well, I just need to do this thing I’ll just need to do a bit of tapping I need to find this core memory and then I’ll tap on the core memory and boom all my social anxiety that I’ve had for you know, 20 years in my life or 10 years in my life will be gone forever”. That’s not what I’ve experienced personally, and you know, more than eight years working as a coach, working only with socially anxious people, I have them worked with hundreds of people.
Typically, that’s not the case.
What is more commonly the case is that social anxiety has linked itself to many areas of your life and you need to chip away at it and you need to uncover all the aspects of the problem and while when you start working on it you can actually make quick progress in that.
For example, quick progress might mean your overall anxiety around people might be a seven out of ten strong and you do an hour of tapping on the right target and now your overall anxiety is only a four out of ten strong you know, that can be pretty quick progress. Or another example might be you might beat yourself up mercilessly about being anxious, about having this problem and in a week or two weeks later you don’t have that anymore and you’re a lot more kind and accepting towards yourself. That’s a massive you know, shift that can happen in in a relatively short time.
However, to really get to a place where you’re at ease socially where socializing is not something that costs you energy but gives you energy, that is just natural that comes forth out of you, you know, things that come to mind you blurt them out where you can joke and be in the moment where you can really connect with someone and feel good about it and you actually enjoy the people around you and you have a social life that satisfies you, you look forward to the weekends and you know, you start new things and you know, that level of social ease that is what takes a bit of time.
And it takes quite a bit of time but it’s so worth it because the benefits that you’re going to get by doing the deeper inner work and persisting over time are gonna last you a lifetime. You know, and this is not just gonna affect socializing, this affects the partner that you choose, the career that you go for, how you interact with your kids, you know, and I know you know this but it’s important to emphasize that. I wanted to say reiterate that but I’m not quite sure if that’s the right English. I think it is… I like some fancy words sometimes.
Anyway, so, but the journey isn’t gonna happen in a day or a week or even a month typically. It’s more like a longer-term journey that you’re going on and it’s a journey of self-discovery, self-acceptance, raising your self-esteem, being comfortable in your own skin being at ease with life, being more flexible about who it is that you are and its beautiful journey to be on because while it has its ups and downs, you start here, and you go up. It gets better, and it gets better, and it gets better, and it gets better. That’s the beauty of it. So, it’s all about getting into the game, getting into the journey and then continuing to do the steps that actually work moving you forward to where it’s where you want to be. You know, social relaxation, having a good time socially.
Now like I said earlier I wanted to give a… I wanted to share a story of a friend that I helped because it kind of links to the journey from social anxiety to social confidence. The journey from social anxiety to social confidence consists of a certain number of steps but we don’t know beforehand how many steps that is. Better said you can break down your social anxiety problem into a certain amount of aspects, a certain amount of smaller parts and once you’ve addressed all of these smaller parts then the anxiety is gone and you’re at ease. Okay, now then there’s also you know you want to be able to connect and there are different levels of it but basically you know, from going from your problem state social anxiety to your outcome state social ease consists of certain amount of aspects that need to be addressed that need to be tapped on.
Now, friend of mine, a new friend and she had trouble driving a motorbike. She was scared to get on the bike, she was scared of making turns, she was scared of going up hills and all that stuff and when I met with her for lunch she told me about this and I’m like “Well, you know, there’s a reason for that for there’s a reason for why you have those fears. There’s a reason for why you are more afraid of that than other people”. She’s like “Oh, yeah, maybe because I had an accident”. I’m like “Well, bingo. You know, that’s most likely to be it”. And I said be happy to help you with it if you want for you know, I do free sessions every now and then with my friends and she’s like okay.
And so, last Saturday morning we met at her place and we did some tapping. And so, the tapping that we did was we got rid of the resistance to working on the problem. We looked at the memory itself of the time that she had an accident and we chunked that memory into smaller pieces and then we addressed every piece one at a time and then we looked at why she got into an accident in the first place. So, she had some issues with control we tapped on that and then it’s like “Okay, well, how do you feel now when you think about getting onto a motorbike?” And she said I think I feel fine. – Try to get upset about it. Okay, yeah, well, when I think about being at the intersection again because I had her asked I had asked her to rate that. That was one of the things that she was afraid of most. When I think about being in the intersection again, yeah, I still have some fear. – Okay, great. Do some more tapping. How about now? – Yeah, I don’t feel anything. – Okay, try to get yourself upset. Can you get upset about it? – No, I can’t. – Great. Now let’s test it out in the real world.
So, then we walk down and we both got on the motorbike and I’m like “Okay, now you’re sitting on the motorbike any fear or worry or concern or anything in the way of you being comfortable riding this bike now?” – “No, I’m not”. I’m like okay because we’re not trying to push you here this is not like grit your teeth, face, your fears, go through it because she had done that. She had actually posted on a forum hey who can help me ride motorbike and the day before she had grit her teeth, faced her fears and went for it but she was just as scared after she had done it. You know, she felt a bit of confidence that she had conquered it and that kind of stuff but not much, right? And now, so, I told her like okay well we’ve dealt with your fears now it’s normal if you still have a bit of apprehension or are still a bit of you know this is new because you don’t… you haven’t had, you haven’t built a proper competence in driving yet because before she had gotten her accident she wasn’t the competent driver. That was the first or the second time she got on a motorbike. Right.
Anyway, so, we’re sitting on the motorbike and so I asked her any ever… any remaining fears? – No. – Okay, let’s go. And so, I drove slowly, and she followed, and we drove for about five minutes and I stopped. I’m like “So, how was it? Anything come up for you?” She’s like, “Yes”. I’m like “What was it?” – “Well, when cars passed me I feared that they were gonna hit me”. I’m like, “A-ha. That’s another aspect that we didn’t know off when we were still comfortably sitting in your room doing the tapping. So, let’s address that”. So, we’re on the street you know, and I’m like “Even though I’m afraid that cars are gonna hit me, I accept myself and my feelings”. You know, and she’s tapping and you know, I’m like, “How’s that now?” – Well, I was a seven but now it’s about a four” – Okay, are you still afraid of the same thing?” – “Well, now I’m more thinking about how to scooters were swerving around me”. I’m like okay that’s another aspect. Okay, let’s tap on that. We tapped on that, how’s it now? – “I can’t get upset about it anymore”. – Really? Try to because if you can do it now, then it might come back when you’re on the motorbike. – No, I can’t. – How do you feel about driving the motorbike? – Fine. Are you sure? – Yes. Okay, great, go try it out and see what happens. And then you know, later she sent me a text message because I said now you’ve been following me and not our test to see what… are you really done with your negative emotions, is to go do by yourself. And of course, I didn’t send her onto danger street, just a simple street. And she drove home, and I said “Well, any other aspects, any other smaller parts of your problem that came up? – No, great, I feel fine. Thank you so much, blah, blah, blah”.
So, I’m sharing this story because this relates very much to the journey to overcoming social anxiety. However, she has… her problem state was “I’m scared of driving the scooter. I can’t drive scooter”. Okay, motorbike, whatever. And her outcome was “I want to be comfortable driving a motorbike”. And it took certain smaller parts of the problem that… We basically we took her problem “I’m scared of driving the motorbike” and we looked at “What, where does that come from?” Well, it came from this time that she had this accident and then we took that memory and we chopped that into smaller bits as well and then we took each smaller bit and we aimed it and we aimed at it, we did the tapping of it and we cleared that whole memory. Now that memory was no longer used as a resource for how to feel into here and now and now we wanted to test it and so, we got onto the motorbike and we found out that there were some more smaller pieces of this overall problem of uncomfortable riding a motor, driving a motorbike that we hadn’t addressed yet which we then addressed.
So, basically, we took the problem and we took a chunk out of it, took a chunk out of it, took a chunk out of it, took a chunk out of it until she couldn’t get upset about it anymore then she went out into the real world she found out that there were still two chunks left that we haven’t dealt with yet and we dealt with those and now she was comfortable driving the motorbike.
Now when you’re looking at social anxiety it’s the same thing. You’ve got a problem – social anxiety, you got an outcome – social ease or social confidence. Now the journey to getting there is the same. However, social anxiety is a much more complex issue. There is usually, usually not just one specific experience that kick-start at your social anxiety and from then on everything was bad and once you’ve resolved this one memory everything is gonna be fantastic. You know, green lights, butterflies and rainbows. Usually there’s a lot more going on. There’s you know… I won’t go into all of it again.
So, basically your problem is also break… you know, you can break it up into smaller pieces as well and the challenge is that you’re already living your life and so, you are already getting triggered with anxiety. And so, what you want to do yet is keep living your life and you start chipping away at the problem. So, you start looking at these smaller parts of the problem and you start chipping away at them, chipping away at them and chipping away at them. And what you’ll notice after say a week of tapping or two weeks of tapping at the right targets, you know, effective tapping you’ll you know, you’ll start to reduce your overall anxiety and you feel you have some more emotional control. You beat yourself better, you beat yourself up a little bit less. That’s progress, you feel a bit better about yourself, that’s progress. You respect yourself more, that’s progress. You know, you keep tapping. Now there are situations where you used to feel anxious and now you notice, “Hey, holy shit. I don’t feel anxious here anymore. That’s awesome”. And then you get triggered massively in this situation where you always get triggered and like “Oh, my God nothing works for me ever blah, blah, blah”. And you then look at “Well, why do I get triggered there?” Well, because I believe that I have to impress people. A-ha. Okay, I’m gonna focus on that now and do your tapping on that and you start to make progress there and then you know, next time you’re in that situation you get triggered maybe instead of a nine, it’s only a six.
So, like, “Okay, more work to do but I feel better”. And this is how you go so, you get better and better and better, less and less anxious, more and more comfortable and it’s a journey, okay? This isn’t like… With Ann it was like an hour maybe. You know, we set an hour, maybe we drove around for 10 minutes or 15 minutes and her problem is gone. I haven’t spoken to her since, but she sent me later that day, “Oh, I think the problem is gone because I went by myself to clear café”. Which is this cafe that that is here.
So, here it’s likely to be a longer journey. How long? Well, I’d say a month, six months, twelve months, two years, five years. You know, the question is not how long is it gonna take, the question is are you starting right now? Because if you’re starting right now then you’re on the path. You know, it’s gonna take as long as it’s gonna take. So, you might as well get started. Alright, so, and I thought about this earlier, it’s a little bit like going to the gym if like if you want to get fit and you want to get into shape it’s gonna take a bit of time before you’re actually fit and in shape especially if you’re you know, if you’re overweight. If you’re overweight you’re out of shape, you’re in bad health and all that stuff.
You know, it’s gonna be challenging in the beginning and then slowly but surely you built your momentum. But if you’re 20 or 30… You know 20 kilos overweight, you’re not all of a sudden gonna be lean and fit and trim. No, you’re gonna even have to do your cardio, you’re gonna have to lift weights, you’re gonna do swimming, you’re gonna do whatever. You’re gonna have to build up the habit of doing it – It’s a process. Anything that’s worth doing in life, I found that I’m you know, pretty new at this with my 33 years old. Anything worth in life is gonna require to put in consistent effort over time, okay? So, but, you can do it because you can break it down into smaller pieces and you can get started and as you start taking action, you start making progress.
Okay. So, I hope this is helpful analogy for you and I will talk to you next Thursday. Bye for now.