SOCIAL ANXIETY - Overcoming Self Consciousness
Updated: Jul 24, 2020
Many people feel anxious in a crowd, or people feel anxious around people they don't know and new people. Sometimes all they can think about is, "What are people thinking of me, and what's their judgment of me?" And if you're one of those people, don't worry because by the end of this video you'll have six ways to overcoming those fears and start being more social, more outgoing, and more happy. I've coached hundreds of clients that have suffered from social anxiety, I've helped them break free from fear, now it's your turn.
Start saying "Yes" and "No." First, "Yes." Perhaps you've gotten into the habit of saying "No" to everything. Instead, why not start saying "Yes?" If you're invited to do something social, try to make a habit of accepting the invitation. Although you might feel anxious at first, the more events you attend, the less fearful you become. I'm telling you, it works. So the next time an invitation comes across your paths, or someone asks you to join a group for a cup of coffee, make the effort to go. Just get out there.
And now the "No." The "No" part, are you a pushover, or do others make unrealistic demands on your time or treat you poorly, but you feel powerless to stand up for yourself? This is the time to learn how to say "No" and be assertive. Be more assertive, and "No" is a complete sentence. You don't have to go along with everything that everyone wants, or even over-explain why you said "No," yet it's important to clearly communicate what you want and what you need so others are not left guessing or thinking how you feel, don't assume.
Say "I'm nervous." I've found that one of the best antidotes for social anxiety is to simply acknowledge how you're feeling. When you're approached by someone new, just tell them. In many settings, it's completely acceptable to start a conversation with a laugh, or a comment such as, "Please forgive me if I stumble my words, I just get a little nervous at social gatherings." Immediately you begin helping yourself out of slipping into a panic attacked feel situation, and plus people are more forgiving than you might think they are, and they'll do things to help make you feel more comfortable and more at ease. If they don't, it's probably not your crowd.
Tip 3 Practice, practice, practice. Practice those social skills. You may not have been born with a silver tongue, but you can improve the skills that you have by practicing. Practice how to make introductions and simply introducing yourself. Sometimes it's just simply saying "Hi, my name is Dee, what's yours?" And that may be all you need to start a conversation, but you have to practice it. Practice making better eye contact or how to remember names, or learn how to give compliments.
There are tons of books and free information out there on these subjects, and it will probably be one of my next videos, since I've had tons of experience with social skills boosting by helping my daughter who's on the autism spectrum. One of the things you can do to improve your public speaking, for example, is to join a group like Toastmasters International.
What have you had to practice in order to get better at? Put it in the comments section, "I got better when I practiced."
Tip 4 Agree to be you and only you. Everything that you say and everything you do doesn't have to be perfect, whatever that is. Look around the room at the variety of people. Look at all the body shapes, the hairstyles, the clothing preferences. Listen to the pitch of their voices and the way they walk or laugh. No one person you'll see is like the other. Variety is the spice of life. We are so different and unique and special, and my advice is to just be clean. Clean body, hair, and teeth, these are the basic social norms, everything else is personal preference and style, so find out what your personal preference and style is, and be okay with that. My daughter, for example, is kind of shy and prefers jeans and an anime T-shirt and a messenger bag almost everywhere she goes. My husband has this distinct gregarious laugh that's like no other. My friend Susan always wears something sparkly, and it may be eye shadow or jewelry. I have a friend, Dawn, who can work a room greeting everyone, and my friend Christine is more reserved and she watches a room before selecting who she'll talk to. So, instead of being perfect, be you. That's more than good enough.
No one's paying attention. Seriously, everyone else is so jumbled up in their own thoughts and worries and struggles with their own confidence in life that they have very little time to dwell over anything that you perceive as awkward. They just don't. Also, put things into perspective. Why do you even care what they think? I, in my 50-plus years on the planet, have learned that other people's opinions and judgments never affected me in any way that's actually mattered. It hasn't. People are going to talk and gossip about everything and everyone, and that's just the way it is, if they're actually paying attention to you. So what? I read a study that people will decide if they come to your funeral based on the weather, so why do you even care what they think while you're living?
Be accountable to someone. You may stay in your rut forever if nobody knows you're trying to move past social anxiety and you're not accountable to someone. Find a partner. Choose someone you trust. It can even be an online friend, and just tell them about your plans to make changes in your life. This works very much like having an exercise partner, the other person keeps you honest and keep you navigating towards your dream when it seems like it's too hard or too long.
You can hire a coach, someone like me who's skilled at helping you set your goals and helping you stay accountable going after them, or you can do one of the things that I do, be accountable to the woman in the mirror. This is a fun thing to do. You could take a dry erase marker and write on your mirror what social goal you plan to achieve this week, for example, "I will attend a social event and say hello to two people at the event." And after you've attended the event and did what you said you were going to do, you can write, "I'm so proud that I..." And then fill in the blank with your accomplishment.
Now you know six ways, or six Dee's Keys to overcoming social fear, anxiety, and self-consciousness. To help you get better at these skills even faster, I've put together a subliminal hypnosis recording for you to listen to each night as it gently guides you through powerful and positive suggestions on being more confident in social situations. This recording has been used successfully by my hypnotherapy and coaching clients to help them move more confidently in social settings. I've put the link below for you to download for free. Also, if you want to join a community of women and some awesome men just like you, I have a Facebook community where I share up to date coaching tips called Dee's Keys to help you navigate through life and entrepreneurship.
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