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Sebastiaan: Hi, my name is Sebastiaan Van Der Schrier from social-anxiety-solutions.com. I’m a former social anxiety disorder sufferer and I help people to become calm, relaxed and at ease in social situations by combining traditional psychology with energy psychology and most notably tapping. Which is a psychological form of acupuncture but instead of using needles you tap with the tips of your fingers at specific acupressure points in the body. It looks really weird and bizarre, if you never heard of it, you probably think it’s a scam but it ain’t. Check it out, check out the many testimonials on my site, the PhDs psychologists and psychotherapists I interview on my podcast social-anxiety-solutions.com and in iTunes popular podcast. Try it out, that’s the big thing.
Now I have a real quick message for you – Mindset that’s going to help you.
Back in the day even before I found tapping my mindset was “There’s something that I’m going to do and through that something I’m going to overcome my social anxiety”. At the time I learned that I had to force myself to face my fears and that was going to give me confidence and that would block out the anxiety and then I would become confident.
And so, I planned like “Okay, I’m going to go to this other city and then I’m going to approach like a ton of women because then I overcome my fear of talking to women”. And I did and it didn’t work. Or I was “Okay, I’m going to go to this other city and I’m going to do the thing that I’m afraid of most which is embarrassing myself”. So, I did, I bought a bright red lipstick, smeared it over my lips, circle around my eyes then went to start conversations with people.
Okay, by the way, I’m telling this like it was nothing but I was scared days in advance. I couldn’t sleep so scared was I of the actual thing. Not to mention actually buying the lipstick like “Am I going to do this? Am I going to do this?”
Walking around and smearing it on my lips like looking in the side a mirror of a car to put on the lipstick in circles around my eyes and I kind of look like a freak but I did it. After an hour of starting conversations people are like “What’s wrong with your face?” I was fine, there were no problems, I felt confident. I’m like “Wow, I don’t care what people think anymore. Oh, look at me, this is so great”. But a week later confidence was gone.
It’s an old story, I’ve told this many time. My attitude was do something big and then on my social anxiety will be gone in one go. I had the same thing when I started tapping. I found tapping I had a breakthrough when I went to a workshop and I worked with a workshop leader. There I had it work for the first time and I made it an emotional shift.
I went from ashamed embarrassed and humiliated talking about the fact that I didn’t have a girlfriend or hadn’t gotten laid. Something that was like my big secret in front of other people and I became embarrassed and ashamed and I started doing the tapping when a couple of minutes…
I felt calm and relaxed and at ease and I could talk about it and all the shame was gone. It was amazing. But from that I kind of had the attitude like “Wow, I’ve got to find this one amazing practitioner that’s going to do this one miracle session with me”.
Or “I have to do this this one kind of tapping session with myself where I find the root cause of all my problems and then I knock that root cause out and boom I have no more social anxiety and I’ll be confident in all situations and my social life will be fantastic and life will be forever amazing”. And that doesn’t work.
I was wrong about that.
The mindset like that is wrong and it’s going to keep you stuck. I also had ideas like “Okay, I’m just going to tap that one day, I’ll take that one day off and then I’m going to tap for like four hours and I’m going to go deep into this stuff. And I did but that didn’t do it. It’s much, much better to do 15 minutes every day or to do 30 minutes every day because consistency and daily practice helps you to continuously chip away at the layers of social anxiety.
Now it doesn’t mean that you need to keep doing tapping in order to remain anxiety free. I’m free of anxiety, I’m calm and at ease socially and I don’t have to tap before every social event – “Oh, maybe I’ll get anxious”. That’s not there anymore.
Once the problem it’s done, it’s done. When’s your brain no longer sees any threats it’s not going to activate that response. But in order to get to that place where your brain no longer sees any threats you need to address every single part that makes up your social anxiety.
Your social anxiety consists of a certain amount of aspects. Aspects are the smaller part that make up the problem. Imagine if you have a pizza you slice that pizza into multiple pieces because you can’t eat it all at once. You eat one slice at a time and then you eat another slice and then another slice and all the pizza slices make up the whole pizza. Just like that with your social anxiety problem you have smaller parts that make up the whole part, that make up the whole social anxiety problem.
Now when you address one aspect of your social anxiety problem your social anxiety will shrink. For example, if you get to acceptance of your anxiety symptoms now your anxiety isn’t going to be as strong anymore and it might stay around for less long and you don’t beat yourself up as much so you suffer less. Now you’re making improvement. That’s one particular aspect that you’ve dealt with of the social anxiety puzzle.
Or another aspect might be that makes up your social anxiety it’s a particular memory from when you were 12, like in my case and you were made fun off by your teacher, you were humiliated in front of the class and everyone laughed at you. The emotions in that memory are aspects. The learning that you got from that memory like “People are out to get me; People don’t like me”. Those beliefs are aspects and all of those aspects make up your social anxiety problem. Now you might have 17 or 77 or 177 aspects, who knows? But you need to address each and every one of them over time in order to get to being totally anxiety free.
It’s therefore much better if you do a little bit every single day because then you are in a consistent habit of systematically chipping away at all the parts that make up your social anxiety. Don’t be looking for this monumental breakthrough through one particular thing. It might come but if that comes it will be the result of having prepared yourself by doing a lot of these smaller steps.
All of these smaller steps paved the way for that big breakthrough and sometimes it’s a big breakthrough and all of a sudden you’re like “Wow, I’m not anxious in this situation anymore” or “Wow, I finally feel comfortable with authority” or “Wow, I’m comfortable with attractive members of the opposite sex” or “Wow, I now feel at ease speaking publicly”.
Whatever it is. That usually comes from a whole bunch of small little things that you do that add up to eventually that big breakthrough. Not always the case. Sometimes it’s like all right, you’re afraid of public speaking. That comes from this particular memory, you clear that memory and boom, your public speaking fear is gone. That can happen but it’s not usually the case with social anxiety.
Social anxiety tends to be a lot more complex and have a lot more smaller pieces that make up the bigger problem. There’s resistance that you need to overcome, there’s acceptance that you need to achieve, there’s the root cause of your social anxiety repetitive negative experiences. All of that needs to be addressed. Take a longer-term approach and just do something every single day. Make it into a habit.
And that might be like “Oh, man, I want to break my social anxiety now, next week”. I get it but as long as you stay in that all-or-nothing mindset, you’re going to stay stuck. If you take a different approach saying “Hey, I’m going to do something every single day” imagine where you’ll be in six months from now. Imagine where you’ll be in a year from now.
The amazing thing is that every pizza slice that you eat, every aspect that you address, if you’ve addressed it completely, then it’s gone forever. Once you’re done with your social anxiety you benefit that from that for the rest of your life. That affects everything – your career, your friendships, the kind of partner that you choose, what you do for fun, the direction of your life. All of it. It’s very worthwhile to do that.
I hope this mindset helps you a bit. I release videos like this every Thursday. You can subscribe here or wherever. I hope it’s been helpful. Have I any announcements? No, that’s all for this week. Tune in next week and I’ll talk to you soon. Bye for now.