In life we all experience fear and dealing with it seems impossible. It’s also becoming a serious problem in our society, many people suffer from social anxiety and are afraid to take chances in life. In this article I will purpose a way for dealing with Social Anxiety and fear.
Disclaimer: This may not cure your anxiety 100%, although it will make it A LOT easier.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
My Social Anxiety
I suffered from social anxiety too. In the past when I needed to order something at the bar I would always ask my friends to order for me because I was too afraid to ask it. When my friends didn’t want to order or I was alone, I would always reharse what I was about to say.
I would say it 20 times in my head and when it finally was my turn to order… I was really anxious,stuttered and put way too much pressure on myself. I thought that everyone was watching me and criticizing me.
The problem with social anxiety is that it is all in your hear, you mind doesn’t shut up and keeps reminding your of everything that can go wrong.
Murphy’s Law – (“Everything that can go wrong will go wrong”) keeps playing in your head.
Is Social Anxiety fake?
I kept suffering from this anxiety for the last years although it was a lot better because I learned to live with and fight against it. But what if I told you that this fear is actually not really fear at all? Just a label made by society.
Let me explain:
1) Real Fear: What is real fear? Imagine, you are walking into the woods, in the middle of nowhere. And suddenly you come across a 880 pound, big brown bear. And it stares you directly into your eyes. At that moment your body takes over, you come into this alert kind of state because of the adrenaline.
Your intuition takes over and your brain is completely quiet, at that moment you are not worrying about the color of your shirt. Because if you would think too much, you could get killed by the bear.
2) Fake fear a.k.a Social Anxiety: Imagine, you really like a girl and you are too afraid to ask her out. You have thought about what you are going to say for some time and you promised yourself to ask her out tomorrow when you see her.
The next day you are in school and you have an amazing feeling. You are ready for this, you have the feeling that you can do this. Until…
You see her, you freeze, you feel an anxious feeling inside of your body. You mind doesn’t shut up and keeps reminding you of everything that go wrong. Again Murphy’s Law plays in the back of your head.
You decide not to do it. You don’t want to risk ruining it.
This is called fake fear or social anxiety. There is actually not a problem, she didn’t reject you, what your mind says is not necessarily true. She may actually like you too and want to go with you on a date. Still that feeling inside you holds you back from actually having a great experience.
Dealing with Social Anxiety and Fear
I once was at a personal growth mee tup and they said that you could actually deal with social anxiety.
How do you deal with Social Anxiety?
At the meet up they explained that this “fear” we experience is actually just a label. And that we can place another label on it if we want to. You can actually replace this label with something fun. Something you actually enjoy.
We can change the label from fear to excitement.
“Thomas I really don’t feel excited, I really feel the fear, you can’t just place another label on this? It doesn’t work this way.”
Yes you can, think about it.
right now you see this fear as big red sign that says “Keep out!” but if you change this to a sign that says “Here is where growth and the most intresting experiences lie.” then you will actually like the feeling. You will not associate the negative feelings to it, you will actually start to like this.
Let me give you an example: let’s say you had the balls to actually ask the you like out and what did she say?
SHE SAID f*CKING YES!
You couldn’t believe your ears when she said “Yes”, now you arranged your date for the next week. And you can’t help to think about the date, about all the ways it could go.
You think you are scared, but you are actually excited about all the beautiful things that could happen. The only problem is that you have a wrong label for it
I could give you a 1000 examples of scenarios to reframe. But I think you got the point.
I just want to tell you that it’s possible, I still feel this feeling of “Social Anxiety” it just learned to reframe it, the feeling now helps me point to the places and experiences that actually could improve my life and get me new experiences. Dealing with Social Anxiety is actually a lot easier.
I encourage everyone to do the same, it helped me a lot and it could help you too. Feel free try it out and drop your experience in the comments.
Everyone who reads till this point, thank you for reading the aticle I hope it helped you. And I wish you the best and a really beautiful day!
Dealing With Social Anxiety – Summary
1) Real fear is when you are on auto pilot and your intuition takes over.
2) Fake fear (aka Social Anxiety) is made up by your mind.
3) Reframe fear to Excitement.
4) Let this “fear” guide you and point you to new experiences and places of where growth lies.
5) Enjoy the feeling