You know that you have social anxiety but are skeptical as to whether overcoming
it is even possible.
You may have tried before and it didn’t work. In fact, reading self-help books, participating in anxiety therapy, and trying to keep things under control were dead ends. You just didn’t see the change that you wanted and continued to feel anxious in social situations
Now your social anxiety is getting in the way with living your life, and you know it.
So, what do you do?
The truth is that, despite your initial failure, overcoming social anxiety is possible. However, you will need these four vital keys to be successful.
1. Willingness to Try
The first vital key for overcoming social anxiety is a willingness to try. Keep in mind that this doesn’t have to be a big leap into the deep end of the pool of anxiety. That would actually be counterproductive and set you back.
Instead, taking baby steps towards overcoming your anxiety is OK. Maybe it’s spending an extra minute in the crowded shopping mall. Or making a goal to introduce yourself first at a party.
It doesn’t have to be a big event. However, as you get some successes under your belt, you’ll find it much easier to cope with social anxiety. Remember, when it comes to overcoming social anxiety, this is a marathon, not the hundred-meter dash.
2. Support System
When dealing with any challenge it’s important to have a support system in place.
For example, that may mean:
- Having someone you trust to talk to
- Attending a support group
- Participating in activities you enjoy and are low-stress
- Eating well
- Getting enough sleep
Overcoming social anxiety calls for taking a big-picture approach towards how you manage stress and anxiety in your life. This may mean coming up with not just one but multiple support systems.
3. Self-Forgiving Spirit
Make no mistake about it, you will have setbacks, and that’s OK. Part of this process is learning what works for you and what doesn’t.
Maybe you took on steps that were too much to handle at first. Why not break them down into more manageable parts? For instance, instead of spending an hour on the bus, try at first to ride just until the next stop.
Of course, it’s understandable to feel disappointed and get down on yourself during low moments, when you just can’t seem to make headway. However, setbacks are going to happen when you work on overcoming social anxiety. The key is to learn from those experiences.
4. Participation in Anxiety Therapy
Anxiety therapy is the fourth key to overcoming social anxiety. You need to be able to get the perspective of a professional who understands these issues.
Granted, you may have tried therapy before, and it didn’t work. But that doesn’t mean that therapy will never work. Maybe you just didn’t have the right working relationship with the therapist. There’s nothing wrong with seeing someone else.
A therapist that truly connects with you can introduce you to coping skills that you may not have considered before. They can give you “homework” assignments for you to try outside of the office in the real world. Afterward, you can review, process, and learn from the results at the next session.
There is no single way for overcoming social anxiety. Rather, it requires using multiple strategies in order to make progress and find success.
Most of these are things that you can do on your own, such as talking to someone you trust and developing your support systems. However, talking to a professional trained in anxiety therapy is a crucial part of this process as well. If anything, it helps to know that you are not alone in this and can talk to somebody who truly understands social anxiety.
If you’re interested in how I can help you overcome your social anxiety, please contact me or learn more about anxiety therapy by clicking on the link.