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In this post, I take a look back at my moving interview with former social anxiety sufferer Tavon.
He takes us through his journey from social anxiety to social confidence.
Here are some things you’ll learn:
My hope is that this gives you hope and inspiration for you to pursue overcoming your own social anxiety.
And know that you can become free of this. It’s not always a quick journey, but you can make dramatic shifts with the right mindset, techniques, and approach.
Sebastiaan: Hi, my name is Sebastiaan van der Schrier and I’m former social anxiety disorder sufferer and I’m a social confidence coach and I’ve been coaching socially anxious clients for ten years. And in this video, I’m going to show you a summary of an interview that I did with a former client whom I worked with for three coaching sessions.
Now, before I get into that I just want you to know that I’m also the host of a podcast and on that podcast, I interview coaches, psychotherapists, researchers, PhD’s, best-selling authors who all have incorporated a particular technique into their practice or have researched a particular technique. And that’s the technique that I used to overcome my own social anxiety and that’s the technique that I used with this coaching client Tavon where are you going to hear about.
And that technique is called EFT or more informally known as tapping because tapping is a weird-looking technique which is kind of a psychological form of acupuncture. Instead of using needles you tap by the tips of your fingers on specific acupressure points on the body. And when you do that, and I know this looks really weird while you’re focusing on your problems and you will hear Tavon talking about that, we’re talking about his past.
And so, when you’re talking about your problems and you’re doing that tapping simultaneously it starts to release and let go of the emotions that are connected to the problems.
Now that’s a very simplified way of explaining what it does and it’s not as easy as that. I mean it is as easy as that but it’s not as easy to overcome your social anxiety than to just talk about your social anxiety and tap. That’s not what it is but it is very simple and very effective in that it is focus on a problem, have emotions connected to the problem and then do to tapping and disconnect the emotions connected to the problem.
It’s not as simple as, “Okay, I’m just going to focus on my social anxiety I’m going to do some tapping and now my social anxiety is gone”. That’s not the case. You need to look for “Okay, why do I have social anxiety in the first place?” Well, because your brain is perceiving danger. Why is it perceiving danger? Because of limiting beliefs that I have picked up – “I’m not good enough. Something is wrong with me. People don’t like me”.
These beliefs come from somewhere, they’re the result of the repetitive negative experiences from early childhood and traumatic experiences that you may have had in life so you need to go back there, address the emotions there, shift and change the beliefs that have resulted from those repetitive negative experiences and the traumatic life experiences that now cause your brain to filter social situations in such a way that your brain perceives there’s a threat and activate the fight flight freeze response which rushes adrenaline and cortisol into your body and put your whole body in survival mode.
See, there’s a lot more to it than just tapping.
Tapping is a great technique, it’s an amazing technique but you need to know what to apply it to. And when you do know that which I’ve studied myself because I’ve been working with clients for 10 years and I had to overcome it myself I had tons and tons of coaching sessions with amazing practitioners then you can actually overcome your social anxiety completely to the point where you’re relaxed and at ease and you can shoot a video like this and you look pretty dumb and make all sorts of mistakes and not really care.
Or you can be in a social situation and just shoot the shit. Just say whatever comes to mind and be alright with people’s reactions and feel connected to people. Actually, look people in the eyes and not have to avert your eyes or look away or think about how long should I stare or should I look above their eyes or below their eyes of what if they’re piercing my soul?
All of that nonsense is not there anymore because you’re just at ease with yourself, you’re comfortable to yourself, you’re accepting yourself for who you are and you’re whatever people can think, whatever they think that’s fine because I think I’m quite nice, I’m alright, I have my bad sides but I’m okay with those two.
It’s a level of self-acceptance that you can accomplish and achieve over time. It doesn’t happen overnight but that’s very much possible with this technique because this technique goes beyond the “Just change your thoughts”. Changing your thoughts as in a conscious level. The problem is not on a conscious level, the problem is on a subconscious level. You need to address it on a subconscious level and Tavon in this interview talks about this.
Now, I coached Tavon for three sessions. That’s three times ninety minutes which was one-week spread apart and he overcame pretty much pretty much all of his social anxiety. I think he might have still had a little bit left, but he overcame pretty much all of it after living a hermit lifestyle as you hear him say himself.
It’s pretty profound so I want to convince you of the power of this technique.
I don’t want to convince you that it’s going to be a quick fix especially when you’re dabbling by yourself. The technique is very powerful to do by yourself and I’m going to share a resource where you can get this for free but it’s going to take time. You’ll get a tool with which you can actually start to take control over your inner world and allow your emotions to process and come to a place of acceptance of what’s going on inside of you so you can free yourself.
Okay, have a look, here’s my shortcut interview with Tavon.
Sebastiaan: What did you find as a result of the coaching process?
Tavon: Man, I’m so glad I did it. I had done the hypnotherapy, counseling with the psychologist. Yeah, for a long time. I did those things for a long time and didn’t really see as much benefit that I’ve seen as now. This was a wonderful experience.
It’s amazing to me. It’s times throughout my day to where I just significantly notice the differences that tapping has made and it’s just like, “Wow, I wasn’t comfortable doing this a couple months ago”.
Before the coaching it just got worse over time because I was avoiding.
So, whenever I was in the situation, I found it just worse and worse. I was very hermit like closed off. I would plan to go somewhere and it would be like outside or close to the event I’d just immediately change my mind and say “Oh, well, I’m not gonna go to this party or whatever”.
I think addressing the childhood issues for me was definitely the thing that I liked most, the thing that I felt was the most important because I felt like a lot of obviously what it’s stemmed from and going through those issues and doing the tapping with it I think really, really made a big difference and really helped out a lot.
Sebastiaan: Was it a painful process?
Tavon: No, I wouldn’t say it was a painful process. I mean I guess to some degree you have to think about the event, and I don’t think that’s something that I want to focus on sometimes, I guess. But with the tapping though I just started to accept it.
The more I addressed it and the more I tapped there was more acceptance, more relaxation while talking about it. Making it so while I’m tapping I can’t get upset about it so I think that just led to me accepting it and being more outward.
I started to develop more of an outward perspective. Rather than saying, “Oh, I deserve that, I was bad”. Through that tapping it really helped me to really establish that I couldn’t control what was going on. I was just a child in the environment developing to what was around me. And I think the tapping really helped the subconscious get that.
Sebastiaan: Well said, nice.
Tavon: After the coaching it happen just like gradually, I got out of this cycle of the habitual isolation and it get to the point why I started like seeking to go places and when really wanting to get out of the house and do something.
That resistance is something that I don’t even feel anymore and now it’s like I just go. That whole process has just like alleviated like it doesn’t happen anymore. It’s like someone invites me somewhere it’s just cool, that it’s cool not to feel that at all.
Sebastiaan: And how is it now when you’re around people?
Tavon: A lot better. Like a lot better. It’s to the point that we’re sometimes it still surprises me honestly, I guess just because I’m just so long isolating myself. It’s still surprises me just how much more calm, much more present in the moment I feel.
Like I’ve been more able to just express myself without fear of judgment or criticism. Someone doesn’t like me – Okay. Like all right, that’s fine. I’m so thankful for your coaching. Honestly it means so much to me. I mean I’ve done your coaching and meditation and so many other things but there was really something really significant after my sessions with you that I don’t feel that I consciously could grasp. I just followed along with what you said, and it really helped a lot so thank you.
Sebastiaan: Nice, great.
It’s quite profound the change that you make when you’ve been stuck for a long time because what we do, we don’t just work on a conscious level, mostly we work on a subconscious level because we’re addressing these patterns that are causing your brain to believe that you’re not safe.
What we were working on was mostly stuff from your childhood, relationship with your mom, relationship with your dad, things that happened. And it’s that deeper stuff that we worked on that then has started to shift things around.
Tavon: I would definitely recommend this. It’s powerful.
I think when you find these core issues that you’ve dealt with and you do the tapping with it and especially doing the coaching with you 1-on-1 because you knew all the right questions to ask and everything, I think a person really can knock down those walls of resistance and fear and really experience more freedom because of the tapping.
Sebastiaan: Nice, thank you.
All right, I hope you enjoyed that, and you found it inspiring. I hope this moved you to think, “Wow, maybe it is actually possible for me to be free of my social anxiety” because it is and it’s amazing that that’s possible.
If you want to learn more about this tapping that Tavon is talking about, I have a free social confidence starter kit and in that social confidence starter kit I teach you the basics of this technique and I guide you through experiencing it for yourself.
That’s over a series of 10 videos of roughly 5 minutes each, it’s super simple and you just follow along, you learn the technique and I also have an audio book in there where I share how I overcame my social anxiety and eBook called “How to overcome social anxiety completely?” which is the science behind how to go from social anxiety to rock-solid social confidence.
You can get all of that by clicking the link below this video or to go into my website social-anxiety-solutions.com
I hope that’s been helpful. I release videos like these every Thursday and I’ve been doing that for a whole bunch of time. My first video dates back to 2009. Go check it out if you want to laugh. Sign up, subscribe to the channel and I look forward to connecting with you then again. Bye for now.