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Sebastiaan has been talking a lot about the #JourneyToSocialEase.
And that it takes several little steps to actually get there.
In this episode, Sebastiaan will share a most recent event where he experienced uncomfortableness in a social situation and how he dealt with his unpleasant feelings about it.
Gain insights and perspective as you listen to him genuinely speak of his story.
In the end, you’ll understand the right kind of mindset you will need to have to help you “not freak out” when these uncomfortable feelings occur.
You will also realize how you can take things to the next level and continuously challenge yourself to grow, of course, with the help of tapping, which you can learn more about on our website: www.social-anxiety-solutions.com
Go check out the video now!
Perspective on the Journey to Social Confidence…
Hey! My name is Sebastiaan. I’m a former Social Anxiety Disorder sufferer and Social Confidence Coach and I talk a lot about the Journey to Social Confidence.
Today, I want to share a personal story of my journey to Social Confidence as it is at present.
So today, I felt more uncomfortable socially than I have felt probably in the last year or so.
Anxiety, thankfully isn’t an issue in my life anymore.
And socially, I tend to feel just normal.
What’s normal? Just relaxed, at ease, comfortable…
… and today, I did not feel that.
So what happened?
Well, a bit of perspective, so this is just at the end of a particular evening, so let me describe it to you.
So I’m learning Spanish and “As the momento yo arlo Español por que it’s importante para mi.” (Translation: I’m learning Spanish at the moment, because it’s important to me.)
I’m learning Spanish at the moment, because it’s important to me because I’m going to go back to Colombia where I’ve been twice before.
In previous times when I went there, I didn’t speak any Spanish.
And this time, my goal is to speak fluent Spanish before I arrive and I’m likely going to go in October and so I’m studying every day, like an hour and a half, roughly.
And today, I’m currently in Vienna, Austria, and I have two good friends here. But both of these friends were not available this weekend.
And today is a beautiful sunny day and so here I am in the morning. I’m like, “Great. I have no friends today. And it’s a super sunny day. I want to be around people, actually. But I’m not.”
So what am I going to do in order to be around people, right?
Thankfully, we’ve got apps and we’ve got opportunities, and so on.
And am I going to go out and walk up to people and say, “Hey, [do you] want to be my friend?”
I don’t think so.
But there’s an app called CouchSurfing. Well, actually, it’s a website, I joined that in I don’t know 2008, 2009, 2010, something like that.
And back then I was pretty much always drunk.
And when I was drunk, I wasn’t feeling any anxiety, which was very helpful at the time.
This is not a recommendation. It’s just how it was for me.
So I was like, “Great, let’s activate this app because they have something on there where you can see other people who want to hang out.”
So CouchSurfing is a website.
You go on there.
You put up a profile.
You talk about the countries that you’ve traveled to put up a little bit about yourself.
What you’re interested in or what you’re not interested in.
And then when you go to a particular country, let’s say that I’m going to Vienna (as the location I am at now):
Basically, it’s a website to travel for free because you can stay at some other person’s place to introduce you to their friends, you can hang out with them, and so on.
That’s one way of using this website.
The other way of using this website is to meet other people (other travelers).
So I opened this app and I see other people that want to hang out.
And I see there’s one girl who wants to hang out who’s from Colombia, which is where I’m going.
So she speaks Spanish, and she says, “No hablo Ingles, solo hablo Español.”
(Translation: I don’t speak English, I only speak Spanish.)
And I’m like, “Great, she just speaks Spanish. This is perfect for me because in my broken Spanish, we’re going to have lots of conversation.”
So I go and I meet up with Carolina.
There’s no anxiety about that just because I’ve done this before. And I practice Spanish, I feel comfortable speaking Spanish.
So we meet up, we have a good time.
We ate some ice cream
Explore Vienna a little bit
Sit in the cafe
And then there are other people that we’re going to meet up with, hang out with.
And the next guy that we’re going to hang out with is Camilo, and Camilo is also from Colombia.
And he comes over. Also a nice guy because I like hanging out with nice people, of course. So we all get along well.
It’s funny that I don’t speak so much Spanish, but they’re very nice about it.
But I’m starting to lose a lot of the conversation because my understanding of their conversation is about 60%, 70%.
And my conversational ability comes down to:
… so very boring conversation.
So, I’m not a great conversationalist, but it’s fine, and we’re having some inside jokes.
And no, we’re not having inside jokes.
They are having inside jokes, and they’re teaching me a couple of slang words in Colombian, and it’s all fun and everything.
And then we’re going out to dance.
I’m a dancer. I’m a Salsa dancer. I’ve been doing that for 3 years every single day so I’m comfortable dancing Salsa, right?
And so we go out, but now we’re hanging out for hours now and it’s the whole time speaking Spanish.
And I noticed that I’m starting to feel less and less comfortable, and I’m not sure what it is.
I’m like, “What’s going on? I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know why, but I’m starting to feel insecure, which is, at this moment in my life, thankfully, after doing so much inner work is a very uncommon experience so I’m very curious about it. Why am I feeling this way?”
Some things that came up were like, “Oh, I want to impress them because they’re Colombian. And they are from one of the countries where Salsa is IT. And Salsa is very important to me, I have a big passion about it. So they dance Salsa and it’s in their blood.”
So I noticed while I kind of want to impress them,I want them to like me.
I want them to think I’m cool.
Well, that is something that’s going to take you out of your natural way of being.
Let me just say that differently, I felt like I needed to impress them, it was important to me.
And that is what takes you out of your normal, comfortable way of being.
So my belief system:
That kind of thinking or rather, that kind of belief system:
Beliefs that I picked up at some point…
… quite recently started to cause me to feel insecure.
That and maybe some other stuff got triggered.
I’m not sure what got triggered, but that’s what happened.
I’m sharing this to explain to you how I dealt with it, okay?
The way I dealt with it is I did the best I could.
It wasn’t fantastic. It wasn’t gracious. But this is what happened.
So all right. So I was feeling those feelings, and I was starting to feel more and more insecure.
So I noticed that and I’m sitting there with them.
And they’re like, “Sebastiaan, qué pasa? Estás bien?”
(Translation: Are you okay?)
I’m like, “Yeah, I’m okay. I think I’m just a bit tired.”
And I go off to the toilet, I’m doing some tapping, kind of calming myself down, verbalizing these phrases that, “I try to impress them”…
… and I start to calm down a little bit.
I go back, feel a little bit more calm. And then there are other little things that trigger me.
Not really big triggers, but other things that kind of get me a little bit back into that insecure feeling.
“Man, what’s going on? Why am I feeling this way?”
And because I’ve not been feeling insecure for such a long time, and because I do this work.
And because I teach this, I understand what’s going on…
… old stuff is getting triggered.
This is not 36-year-old Sebastiaan’s feelings.
These are old feelings and these are beliefs that don’t serve me in the here and now.
So I know that when you apply to tapping and you focus on these beliefs, or I allow these uncomfortable old feelings to be there.
And I tap and allow them to process, it’s going to release, it’s going to let go…
… and everything’s going to be fine.
So that perspective helps me to know that, “Okay, this is just a temporary thing. So I don’t have to freak out about it.”
So I don’t, but it’s still very uncomfortable, right?
And so I’m there, we go to this other place.
And to this other place, they’re having Spanish conversations.
And by now I’m trying to follow, but we’re now 3 or 4 hours in and I’m just sitting there.
And I’m like, “Man, I don’t want to be here anymore. I feel uncomfortable. I don’t want to be in this situation. I actually just want to go home, do some tapping, calm myself down and get myself out of this situation, and deal with whatever got triggered.”
But it was just quite socially inappropriate to do that.
And perhaps there’s also something about my belief system that says that it’s socially inappropriate to do that. But whatever, I just didn’t want to leave.
So what did I do?
I went to the toilet again, did a little bit of more tapping.
And I came back and I ended up not leaving.
So we went to this other place where we went to dance and they danced Cuban style, which I’m not familiar with, yet. I know it a little bit.
And so I’m like, “Alright, I’m just going to go dance because I know that’s my comfort zone. And that will get me in my comfort zone a little bit more.”
So this is something I did. So I went and I danced a little bit, and then I came back, still a bit uncomfortable.
I’m like, “You know what, I’m going to give my sister a call and I’m going to talk to my sister’s daughter because that’s going to get me out of this frickin’ thing that’s going on in my mind.”
So I talked to my sister’s daughter, we play a bit of games, and I start to feel more comfortable again, perhaps because that’s a safety zone for me.
I go back to feeling the way I normally do and I returned to them, and I feel a lot better.
I still feel a bit insecure.
But when we go to the next place, and some of that insecure feeling starts coming back.
I’m like, “Okay, this is not great, but hey, it is the way it is.”
And I’ll dance a little bit more. I’ll dance a little bit more and go back.
And so, this story doesn’t necessarily have an “Alright, I did this and that solved the problem.”
No, it’s a lot of little things that I did.
A lot of mindsets that I’ve learned and adopted.
A lot of truths that I’ve gained over the years that have helped me make this night into actually a great night.
So I came back, I was still uncomfortable.
And Carolina’s like, “Seb, are you uncomfortable? Why are you not smiling? What’s going on?”
I said to her, “Well, we’ve been talking Spanish for a long time. I just feel tired.”
Actually, the real truth was, I feel a bit insecure and I’m not exactly sure why.
But that was very difficult to communicate and communicating that would lead to potentially an awkward situation.
It was just not the vibe, they were a bunch of years younger than me as well. And they didn’t really have that personal development understanding.
So I’m like, that’s socially not very smart to do. So I’ll just say this, which is kind of true as well. I will just work with it.
And so I did, and I just sat there.
I was a bit uncomfortable and I just let myself feel uncomfortable, and continue to sit there, and then new guy comes in from Argentina.
And thankfully, this guy actually spoke English. And now I could speak English to this guy.
And as I was speaking English, I was starting to feel a lot more comfortable, and more comfortable. And soon, I was pretty much back to feeling normal, which was very interesting to me.
I’m like, “Wow, this whole speaking Spanish thing would not allow me to show my real personality.”
And it made me think that “Wow, there’s quite a bit of my comfort comes from me knowing that I’m a good guy. I’m an interesting person, I can keep a conversation, I can make jokes, and so on.”
And when I don’t have that available to me because it’s in a different language, we’re just speaking Spanish, I don’t feel as confident, right?
And that’s also the thing that happens when you’re feeling anxious.
Because when you’re feeling anxious, you don’t have access to all of those abilities to have a normal conversation.
That anxiety that you feel is taking all of that away because your brain is like, “There’s a threat. There’s danger. Run, Hide, Freeze!”
And so that’s what was happening to me when I was just speaking Spanish.
Like I said, this is a very fresh conversation, a very authentic talk.
There’s no direct personal message to you.
It’s just I’m just talking about how I actually ended up dealing with the night feeling those uncomfortable feelings I haven’t felt for a long time.
So an Argentinian guy comes in, and we’re having a bunch more conversation in English. And I start to feel more comfortable.
And now I’m talking to my new friends in Spanish again, and I explained to them, “Well, it feels very comfortable to me to speak in English for a bit. This is great.”
I go dance a little bit more and now I start to feel more comfortable.
And things are fine, we ended up having a great night.
I met 4 more fascinating people. [They] were all Latinos: A Mexican, a Peruvian, and 2 from Colombia.
And I make a bunch of new friends and I practice a ton of Spanish.
Right now as I’m shooting this it’s 1 am in the morning and l met up with Carolina at 3 pm.
So I learned a whole bunch of Spanish, met some new people and I went through an uncomfortable feeling.
And I managed to deal with it. Not in a great way, but I did what I could in order to deal with it.
And I had the mindset in order to not freak out about it, maintain my composure, and still work through some of the things that got triggered.
And as a result, I’ll be more comfortable in this situation next time.
And tomorrow by the way, after this call (after this video), I’ll be writing down all of the things I felt uncomfortable about.
All of the thoughts that I had in my mind that were repetitive that made me feel uncomfortable or insecure, or whatever.
And tomorrow I’ll be looking at this and I’ll be working through each and every one of them. I’ll be tapping on it.
So this evening becomes a great opportunity for me to take my Social Confidence journey to the next level.
So I live in Bali. And in the beginning, living in Bali, I had lots of uncomfortable situations.
I started dancing, I felt uncomfortable. There are dancers that are better than me at dancing and that helped me discover, “Okay, I judge my value based on how good I am at a particular skill I need to work on that. I don’t want to look like a clown, I need to work on that.”
And I work through all of these little issues to get myself to feel comfortable in that situation.
And now Bali, where I normally live, is completely comfortable.
All situations in Bali are comfortable.
And now I go to Vienna, and I find myself in a new situation, I want to learn Spanish.
I’m meeting Spanish-speaking people and now I’m the person who cannot have normal conversations because I’m just very limited because of how little words I know.
And I don’t know, I really didn’t know the culture and so I have a different status.
And getting myself to become comfortable with that, is for me the next stage in my journey.
So social ease, if you want to, can continue to be an opportunity where you can challenge yourself to grow because I want to feel comfortable around Spanish-speaking people even when I don’t speak Spanish fluently.
I started dancing Salsa and I was uncomfortable going to the first social dance.
Asking a girl to dance, I look like a dumb as dancing, all the other guys around me look better.
The girl actually doesn’t really want to dance with me. I get the pity dance.
That got me to feel all sorts of feelings and emotions. Got me to have all sorts of uncomfortable thoughts.
And I worked through all of them, I tapped on all of them, and I processed all of that.
And within a couple of weeks, I felt comfortable dancing Salsa after a couple of weeks, even though I looked like a total dork on the dance floor, even though girls actually didn’t really want to dance with me, and so on.
But I was comfortable because I took all of these little challenges on board. And I saw them as exactly what they were – just emotionalized thoughts.
There’s no reason really to feel that uncomfortable, you can process those emotions.
And it’s the same thing now with Spanish, I’m now in a position where I’m below intermediate in Spanish, but I can feel comfortable being a below intermediate in Spanish.
Not being cool
Not being suave
Not being intelligent
Not having great conversations
Not being able to tell stories because I’m not capable of stringing sentences together…
… and yet, I can feel comfortable in this situation.
I’m not there yet, but I’m going to get there. And so this is the next phase of my journey to social ease.
And now I’m coming to the conclusion of this story. I was hoping there was one.
It’s stages that you go through.
Okay, so this is for me the next stage.
What is the next stage for you?
You may be comfortable in particular scenarios, but what is for you the next level up?
Not like the biggest level, but what is for you the next level up where if you get yourself to feel comfortable in this next stage, your life’s going to improve – that’s what you’re looking for.
And that might for you be going to the supermarket and being comfortable in the supermarket.
Or that might be if you’re able to do that having a “Hello, how’s it going? How are you?” conversation with the checkout counter, if that’s something that’s important to you.
Or maybe that is being around your close friends and not freaking out.
Or maybe that is a meeting at work on Friday where you normally freak out – that might be an area where you want to get yourself comfortable.
That is the next phase, the next step for you in your Social Confidence journey.
And that’s possible when you apply the tapping in the right way, and how to do that you’ll learn all about it on my website – social-anxiety-solutions.com.
Hope this is helpful… from the trenches. Yeah, hope this is helpful.[This is] Sebastiaan from social-anxiety-solutions.com. Go check it out.
Bye for now. Ciao!