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Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up feeling confident and at ease about your upcoming event?
The feeling of joy and excitement knowing that you’ll have fun socializing, without thinking about your past anxiety.
In this episode, Sebastiaan will be talking what effortless social ease is, and also what it isn’t.
In this video, I’m going to be talking about what effortless social ease is, and also what it isn’t.
And I’m in a beautiful surroundings – very nature.
Yeah, look for the most nature free place that I could find because effortless social ease is basically feeling natural and feeling at ease, which is very counter to what I experienced when I was still suffering a lot of social anxiety.
So, for example:
Now, I’m going out dancing tonight, that’s something I look forward to, it’s something that I’m excited about.
Before, if I had some social event, it felt like something I had to do – something dreadful that I couldn’t get out of. And that I would then already be worrying about throughout my day, that that was that thing in the evening that I have to go to, and then the closer it would come, the more nerves I would start to get about it.
Now, if that would involve just regular friends, sometimes that would be okay (if it was with my close friends) — but then if there was someone else there that I didn’t know? And so, there’s the friends that I’m comfortable with (one or two) and then someone else? – That would make me feel judged, both by my friends, and this other person coming in, especially this other person coming in.
Now, if there was a new person that would be introduced to our group, **boom** my anxiety be through the roof.
I’ll get a lump in my throat.
My heart would start to race.
My chest would get super tight.
I’d be worried about how I’m coming across.
My voice would quiver.
I couldn’t properly introduce myself.
I’d avoid eye contact.
And in order to manage all of that, I would have to kind of pretend like I’m cool.
Avoid eye contact
Be pretty quiet
And I’m actually by nature very outgoing guy. So that would then also make my friends go like, Hey, what’s going on with this? What’s what’s what’s going on with Seb? They would notice my insecurity.
Now, some of them would then tease me whenever I’d be teased, whenever was the center of attention, I would be blushing.
Now, if I was blushing, while others would see me blush, that would then make me cringe. I would feel an incredible sense of awkwardness where I wouldn’t know what to do with myself, or where to look, and so on.
And after that have had happened, I’d be worried about that thing having happened, and how that now causes me to be perceived in the eyes of others. And I’d feel judged the whole time through. And then, however long the evening would take, I eventually would go home, and I’d be beating myself up. And I’d be worrying about how this has ruined my reputation or lowered it even further. And I would worry about that this new person would become a friend of us, and we’re going to see them more often. Now there’s this awkward thing between us. And I think of the future that this problem would never go away, I beat myself up about it. And then I wouldn’t catch sleep. And next day, we wake up and I dread what happened yesterday, and I’d be dreading what would be going on today would be coming up…
All of that nonsense. And I could keep talking about this nonstop, unedited, unfiltered, for an hour about the crap that went on. Very, very difficult.
That’s actually not what I’m talking about.
I want to talk about social ease, but I wanted to first sketch.
Well, this is where I come from, this is what I experienced.
It started at age 11 or 12.
It progressively got worse.
Age 15 And 16 has got much worse.
And it didn’t start improving until I actually found tapping.
So then took me a while to overcome it because there were no practitioners specialized in social anxiety. The mainstream understanding was that you cannot overcome it, you can only manage it. So it took a long time to overcome it.
But thankfully, I managed to overcome it. And now I’m teaching people like you how to get to that place as well.
And I want to sketch what that place is. Because there’s a quite a lot of misunderstanding about what effortless social ease really is.
So here’s what it is to me. At this stage in my life.
It’s nothing special. First of all.
It just seems like something really special when you’re experiencing anxiety for a long time. And that’s been something that you’ve gotten accustomed to.
Then just feeling relaxed and at ease around others seems like a really big deal.
But actually what it is, it’s an absence of insecurity, and absence of getting triggered by things, and just being in the present moment, just enjoying connecting with people.
So like I said earlier, tonight, I’ve got a dance night. In fact, it’s the best dance night of the week. So I am excited. This is something that I’m looking forward to.
And I look forward to the friends that I have, and that I’m going to see.
I look forward to who’s going to dance with.
I hope that there’s going to be new dancers, because that’s new opportunities to connect new opportunities to try out my moves.
I hope that there are going to be people that I haven’t seen in a while that I’ll see again, something I was really scared of in the past. I look forward to that, because that’s an excitement. — “Oh, my God, I haven’t seen you such a long time. How are you doing?”
That kind of stuff.
So I look forward to social events.
Now, dancing, there’s actually not that much social. And I mean, there’s lots of social interaction going on, but not that much conversation. Because there’s loud salsa music that bachata music, and kizomba music going out, right? So it’s more more short, small talk.
Other situations where there is meeting someone else, or, you know, for example, this morning, my girlfriend and I went to meet up with Kathy (a close friend of mine) in a particular Cafe, and she was there with a friend and the friend was there. And it just doesn’t feel like a threat anymore.
So I can just be playful, I can joke around, I can have a normal conversation. I can say whatever’s on my mind. That’s the big difference.
So it doesn’t go through this huge filter.
Before, it would be like:
“Oh, I better not say this, because that might end up coming across in that way.”
“Oh, I, if I say this that might be perceived in that way.”
So I can say that…
…this could potentially be fun, like everything was just filtered and analyzed. And that becomes that that’s such a rigid and inflexible and uncomfortable experience, because you’re trying to come across in this perfect way.
I tried to come across in this perfect way so that everyone thought of me, in a positive light.
I was worried about embarrassing myself, being judged, coming across stupid, all of a sudden, getting anxious people noticing it, saying something offensive, people getting angry with me, people getting upset with me, like all of these worries.
And now, that’s all gone.
Now, that’s not to say that I’m so special. I’m kind of tooting my own horn a little bit. But it is something that’s possible for you to, when you start doing the work and you start to neutralize these fears. And you get rid of the traumatic experience from the past that caused you to perceive threat that caused you to be afraid of rejection that caused you to make such a big deal out of looking like a dumbass.
It’s actually fun to look like a dumbass, if you don’t have the beliefs that say that you don’t.
You don’t have the stuck negative emotions from the past that get activated when you do.
And that’s all what you can activate. And that’s simply what I’ve done.
Okay, so that then gets you to a place where…
“I’m okay with whatever happens. I can handle it this like this.”
I know this might sound like I’m bragging. This is not how I’m I’m trying to come across you know. I’m just saying the way that it is.
So it is a place of like, I’m okay with whatever happens because I’ve made myself internally okay with it from the comfort of my own home, the things that I’ve been afraid of I’ve imagined them. I’ve asked myself questions like, What am I worried about might happen? What could be scary about that? What is unacceptable here? What do I not want to have happen? How should this go? How shouldn’t this go?
And I’ve deconstructed all of that crap in my mind to get to a place where I’m like, whatever happens is okay, I’m fine.
Yes, I might offend someone. Well, I can say sorry?
Yes, I might say something that is intended to be fun and it’s not funny at all. Okay, that can happen.
And what you student trigger all sorts of shame and discomfort and all of that that’s been processed. And as a result, it’s just a comfortable experience.
Now, a lot of people think that it’s then completely perfect. Okay, so you have complete perfect social ease.
I don’t know where I’m at with certain things. Like, right now, I’m talking in front of a camera, that’s, that’s perfectly fine. But maybe if I have the speech in front of 50 people that I don’t know, and it’s a rehearsed speech, maybe that will trigger anxiety for me. Or maybe that won’t trigger anxiety.
But if it’s free flowing, and I need to talk about a particular topic that I don’t know anything about, maybe that will make me feel anxious. I don’t know.
But currently in my life, I don’t experience any issues with that anymore. That hasn’t been the case for for many years.
Now, I started salsa dancing. Okay, so I started salsa dancing, about four and a half years ago. And my social anxiety was already gone. But this is a new thing, because now you’re learning new skills.
And in the beginning, you look like this, you look goofy. And you’re definitely not suave. Right? You’re definitely not cool. You’re not gonna look good. And and then when you go out to dance, and you ask a girl to dance, yeah, you’re gonna be a bit nervous. It’s only normal, natural. And yeah, you’re gonna look like a dumbass and so on. But, you know, so I did.
Beforehand, I noticed that I had some nervousness. So I tapped on that. Then I brought that down to manageable levels.
Then I actually went out to to social dance, then dealt with whatever came up. I think I was out that first night for a half an hour, 45 minutes, I danced with the host, then I went home. And then I looked at, okay, what thoughts were coming up? What was I worried about?
And what I was worried about is like:
I look like a dumbass.
Everyone knows that I’m the clown here.
Girls don’t actually want to dance with me.
I’m just getting to pity dance.
I should be great at this already.
All of that stuff.
So I simply focused on that and like tapped on that. And I neutralized all my reactions to that. And then do next thing, okay, a couple of days later, I’m going to the next social dance.
Now already, my anxiety was very low. I tapped it even lower, there was a little bit left, because it’s the unknown.
And then I went. And then there was still some anxiety.
And I went home and I repeated the same process.
And again, and again and again. And again.
Until within two or three weeks, I was still looking like a clown, very bad on the dance floor. Still making all the mistakes, dancing out of beat, looking like looking like a fool. And yet I was comfortable.
And that is the process that will get you to the place where you’re actually at ease.
And so, what social ease is literally just feeling relaxed, just feeling at ease.
Not trying to prove yourself.
Not trying to impress.
Being okay with looking stupid.
Being okay with upsetting people.
Being okay with saying no.
There’s no need. There’s no have to there’s no should’s — it’s just like, Okay, now, does that mean I don’t care anymore, but what people think of me?
No. I do still care. Of course, I’m not a psychopath, but it’s not a worry anymore.
So I can operate based upon my own values. I know myself better than anyone else. And so what I think of myself as most important as long as I act in accordance with my own values, I’m fine.
So then what they think of me is a lot less relevant.
And if you’ve been socially anxious for your whole life, which is the case for a lot of people, it’s very difficult to imagine that you can get to the place where there is none of it and where you can actually feel chill, relaxed, at ease, you don’t get triggered anymore.
Because it feels so familiar to you, you might have identified aid yourself with the issue, you know, you see yourself as a person who’s socially awkward, or who has no social skills, or with socially anxious.
You might have found all sorts of evidence for that, well, it runs in my family, and it might be my genes, and I’ve got a sensitive temperament and all that kind of stuff.
Look, I’m a very sensitive person, myself. And, yes, that didn’t help with the social anxiety. But now that the social anxiety isn’t there, I’m still very sensitive guy, funny thing to say for me.
And yet, that has now become an asset. Because I can sense and Intuit very well how people are feeling. And I can adjust my approach, or I can adjust what I say or what I don’t say, in order to help soothe the conversation.
Now, truth is, a lot of people have some social anxiety. And so now when I sense that, I’m like, Okay, let me give that person some approval, let me avoid eye contact, to hear a little bit to give them some time to get used to it, like, you know, you can do all of these little things with your sensitivities becomes this, you know, this is huge asset.
Where I was trying to go with this, I don’t want this to be an edited video, I want this to be one shot. So it’s all it’s all over the place. It is a natural state. That is why I’m in this environment.
To have an environment that kind of is in alignment with what I’m talking about.
Even if you’ve had social anxiety for the longest time, you might agree with me that when you see little kids running around, they are not socially anxious.
You’re not born, there’s no baby that comes out of the womb, feeling socially anxious. And so it is something that you learn it’s a particular pattern in your mind, your brain is seeing a threat, it has learned that threat through repetitive negative experiences in early childhood, developmental trauma, maybe critical parents or overprotective parents, or like a million other things, or specific shock trauma — a time when you were reading out loud in front of the class or you were made fun off, or times that you got bullied, or whatever.
These experiences have caused the problem.
And by deactivating those experiences, in other words, using the tapping to neutralize those stuck emotions, and to shift the perceptions that you learned at that time, you get slowly but surely back to being okay with yourself.
There’s a lot more that needs to happen, you need to transform the relationship with the anxiety itself.
You need to neutralize the subconscious resistance to change.
There’s more going on than that.
But it is a path.
It is a journey that you can walk.
And you can do it.
It’s not going to happen overnight. But it is something that you can do.
In other words, you can take control of this problem. And you can bit by bit chip away at the layers of this social anxiety issue. And so that you get triggered less and less, and so that when you get triggered, the anxiety goes away faster.
And so that when you get triggered, it’s not a 10, but it’s a 5, and then a 4, and then a 3, and it just gets less and less and less over time.
That’s the amazing thing that tapping can do.
So last thing I want to say is, when you see kids, and they’re playing, they don’t have social anxiety. They’re just natural. They’re in the moment. They say the weirdest stuff.
It’s very funny to interview a kid to ask kids questions because they’re honest. They say whatever comes to mind. They’re there in the moment. They’re in the present. They’re not worried.
Like, if I say this, how am I going to perceived?
Oh, I wonder what’s the consequences going to be of this?
How will the kids in kindergarten, think about my reputation? If I all of that…no!
They’re present. They’re here with you. They’re connecting. And they’re real. They’re authentic. That’s it.
So they’re authentically themselves.
And what social eases is feeling safe being your authentic self with others.
I couldn’t have handled it more perfectly.
This is where we end it. Hope this helped you.
This is what it is from my perspective.
And I wish you all the best on your journey to effortless social ease.
Bye for now.