“I have social anxiety, it’s just the way I am!”
I hear and read this often through comments on my blog posts and videos and get emails directly.
People would just accept that they have social anxiety.
This article is to challenge that.
That kind of belief is at the root of your belief system that is actually fueling the social anxiety.
It feels very true because for so long you think it’s just the way you are.
I did this for years although sometimes I think if other people can be socially confident then why couldn’t I be. We all are human beings, we all pretty much have the same resources. That drove me crazy and that fueled me to continue the battle of shyness and having social anxiety and overcoming it even though I didn’t know I had it.
Back then I just called it being socially awkward. And I would just do behavioral things on my own. Make a list, make eye contact more, say hi to people first.
I didn’t know cognitive behavioral stuff and how important it is.
Social anxiety it a set of beliefs that have been installed in us and perhaps we’re predisposed to being anxious, perhaps we had a parent who’s socially anxious.
My mother had a little social anxiety even though she could fake it. I learned to fake it very well.
For some reasons social anxiety got installed in us and it is a set of experiences or chained experiences, not one particular experience. Since it’s installed we can move away from it.
So the “It’s just who I am” idea is just your belief system it’s not the truth. You’ve been making it true unconsciously and now you’re conscious and continues to reinforce it.
What you’re doing is you continue to create this perception and that’s how your reality shows up. That’s how you filter social situations as they come in.
The important thing I wanna talk about is beliefs. It’s easy to be caught up if your belief is just your language.
Saying “I have social anxiety, it’s just the way I am,” is not just a language, it’s the emotion and it’s in the body.
That’s why you just can’t say “I have social anxiety, it’s just the way I am,” and all of a sudden “I’m socially confident, it’s just who I am.”
It’s been practiced and it’s run through body, your neural networks.
That’s why you gotta practice your new beliefs and practice letting go of your negative beliefs.
Here are 2 of the things we have to work on:
1. Dissolving the beliefs that get in the way but don’t replace with the new, remain open and flexible.
Picturing what would it be like if I didn’t have that belief. Sometimes just dissolving the beliefs and opening to new possibilities and giving flexibility and freedom can be very powerful.
2. Acknowledging old beliefs that no longer serve, replacing with new beliefs that serve the new socially confident you.
Expressing yourself, being yourself, having a more rational set of beliefs, replacing ANT’s with “I am socially confident.”
Here’s something I wrote that I want to share:
In the past, up until now, being shy is just the way I’ve been, it’s been true to me.
I realized that I created these social anxiety beliefs just to protect myself and they worked as a strategy to protect myself from hurt, shame and embarrassment.
But now these beliefs no longer serve me. So I’m open to dropping these social anxiety beliefs and putting a new belief system in place to help myself become socially confident and to be able to express myself freely in social situations.
So now I know that these beliefs that I’m socially awkward and anxious has actually been fueling my social anxiety and it no longer serve me so I’m choosing to actively drop it.
I choose to accept myself through this process, work on dissolving my social anxiety everyday, so I can learn to be myself wherever I go and therefore I’m socially confident and free.
So those are just an example of beliefs. More of these in my Dissolve Social Anxiety program that would help you get rid of your social anxiety.