If you suffer from social anxiety, you’re not alone. Not by a long shot. Social anxiety is the third largest mental healthcare problem facing the United States — however it’s a challenge that people overcome everyday, without the use of medication. If others can over social anxiety, then you can as well.
In fact, I use to suffer from extreme social anxiety that made me so fearful that I avoided people, especially large groups. I felt like I look in this picture here. This affected my goals and my social life. Thankfully, I overcame my social anxiety and now enjoy being wherever there are gatherings — even speaking in front of them! You can read a little bit about that here: Building Confidence for Social Events
Here are three ways that have helped others (and myself) overcome social anxiety so they can enjoy life more:
1) See the forest for the trees. When at social functions, don’t see a group of people as a unit that you have to be a part of, but as individuals each with their own qualities and faults. You’re not a cog that needs to fit somewhere, you’re an individual whose qualities deserve to be anywhere. Don’t see a room of people as a room of people, but rather a collection of distinct individuals — just like you. Its not you versus the world, its all of you in the world together.
2) Isolate the problem. To overcome social anxiety, you have to know what situations affect you — and own up to them. If you have a fear of public speaking, accept that condition not as a fault, but as a challenge presenting a new personal goal. And as with all goals, realize it takes work and dedication to meet it. Practice tough situations out loud. There’s absolutely no shame in rehearsing a conversation or speech to your dog (man’s best friend, after all) or switching to note cards or Power Point presentations to avoid the initial trembles that everyone — yes, everyone — experiences.
3) Be open. The worst thing you can do is hide your social anxiety from the ones you care most about (and who care most about you). To overcome social anxiety, it’s important to have at least one confidant who understands that fear. Don’t hide from it. Face it together.
Try these three tips. Really try them. See what happens. Then, if you want more help for overcoming your social anxiety, I am here to guide you like I have hundreds of others. Reach out to me 267-266-6480.
Joanne Cipressi, CHt, CNLP
Empowerment Personal Coach
Joanne Cipressi is a heart based and passionate coach that is an expert in re-programming mind and emotion patterns for self-esteem, healthy relationships, career success, and vibrant health. She is located in Bucks County and coaches one-on-one in the entire Philadelphia area, as well as nationally via Skype and Phone. She travels as well. She offers hourly one-on-one sessions, 4 and 8 hour transformational sessions, weekend immersions sessions for dramatic life changes, as well as others programs. Contact her at 267-266-6480 or email her at Joanne@joannecipressi.com to feel great about your life.