I have been called the “blue collar psychologist” of social anxiety.
Though I am not trained formally as a psychologist but as a coach, I do take pride in that label. Because I have been in the trenches and also have explored many approaches and techniques on my own.
I am a personal development nut, and always will be. I never will be in my ivory tower spewing theory without practical application. Theory is worth less than zero without applying it in experience.
I realize I also am a poster child for what is possible in getting through shyness and social phobia – after struggling with it for many years and eventually breaking through. I often make videos and write posts that give tips, key concepts or are inspirational.
Forward moving approaches to helping you get through this nasty little bugger called social anxiety.
But today, I want to relate three key reasons, on which you should NEVER base your recovery.
Reason #1: Just to Fit In.
People that leave comments or send me emails often say they just want to fit in and they would do anything to be normal. I understand where they are coming from, but this is actually a terrible reason to build a foundation for recovery.
Why? Because you don’t honor your uniqueness as an individual with this kind of thinking. Uniqueness must be honored.
It means you will likely try to fix things that don’t need to be fixed because you are trying to do what others do, which never works for “fitting in” anyways. Half of the world wants to “fit in” which really means seek approval, and thus fulfillment from other people’s reactions.
People that don’t have social anxiety like you do, still seek approval.
They are lost on what it means to be truly happy and fulfilled. So why go that route when you can shortcut your mindset to one where you acknowledge your uniqueness, are proud of it AND use your uniqueness as a fuel source to overcome your SA?
You will save yourself a lot of trouble in the future with a mindset shortcut of being proud of your uniqueness at all times, even when social anxiety is bad. You will be getting ahead of even the “normal people” who seek constant social validation from others in order to try to be happy, even though you still have SA and they do not.
It may seem paradoxical, but it is important you understand this. Take it from someone who has been through the other side. You will save yourself a lot of time.
Reason #2: Expecting your anxiety to be gone forever.
This is a trap I fell into during my battle in getting over the war hill of social anxiety. There are times in recovery where you go out and feel little and yes even no social anxiety at all. It is an alluring, ego trap, let me tell you.
You see, we all feel to varying degrees some social anxiety or another, whether we have ever had the condition of it or not.
You feel the bliss of being out in public with no SA showing up, only a day or two later to see it back again.
“Noooooo!” you scream in your head, because you had a taste of what seemed like actual recovery.
It is an illusion you can enjoy for the moment, but do not fall into the trap of being attached to it.
Anxiety will come back to varying degrees. What we are looking for is it going down overall in the long haul. And more importantly, that you live your life the way you want to, and interact with others DESPITE feelings of anxiety or shyness.
Reason #3: Because someone else wants you to.
This reason has to be one of the worst.
Sometimes I will get messages from anxious mothers and fathers who want their child to beat social anxiety. Maybe the parents had it, or maybe they started researching on the Internet about social anxiety and think their child has it.
If you are feeling the pressure from someone else, like a parent or anyone, who offers to pay for your therapy or recovery, really consider whether that is a good move.
If you are not committed to see the recovery process through, you will not do the work.
I have even heard of people who initially are very enthusiastic and say they are committed but someone else pays for it, and they don’t take the help they receive seriously because they did not pay for it themselves.
It is a strange but true psychological effect that putting money on the line (especially of your own) makes you more committed because something more is at stake.
I am not saying everyone have this lack of commitment. I have both seen this happen with people and experienced this myself.
What Other Reasons Can You Think Of?
What other reasons would you not want to have as motivations for recovery?
You can comment below the post and contribute to the conversation.
It will be great practice for putting yourself out there, and you will be bringing your experience to help others just like you.
After all, we are all in this together aren’t we?