A few years back, I was crippled by social anxiety, to the point I couldn’t even go to the post office without freaking out. (And I had to go to the post office daily to ship out packages for my company.) It was embarrassing and just straight-up hard to handle. I started looking for ways I could get this out of my system. I had been fine earlier in my life, so why was it a problem now? Thanks to a quick search on the internet,
I found a way to overcome social anxiety and really retrain my brain to see my world differently.
I used this proven program called Joyable. It’s an online cognitive behavioral therapy program that breaks down your thought processes and helps you change how your brain gets anxious about your situations. I had an amazing coach, Jill, checking in along the way to help me with my questions and sort through my daily struggle. After about 4 or 5 months of taking the course, rewiring my brain, and learning to get out of my comfort zone, I was stronger and able to push through situations where I was anxious. It truly was a breakthrough for me!
Fast forward to today.
I go to networking events and talk with people. I get up and share ideas, teach others around me, and do it confidently. What?! I get on calls with my clients and teach them different skills. My old self who hid away in her room back in 2015 wouldn’t even be able to fathom that! But here I am. This is me!
Do I still have moments where I doubt myself? Oh, of course. Do I still get nervous when I am going to a place where the outcome is unknown and I might have to put myself out there? Yes! But now, I have a practice I walk myself through beforehand to help me realize that I’m making everything bigger in my head than it actually is.
I would definitely suggest that you check out Joyable if you struggle with anxiety. At full discretion, I wasn’t paid to talk about them or to use their program. I used my own money and went through the process on my own 3 years ago. I thought I should share because a lot of people I’ve talked with haven’t heard of the program!
MY ADVICE IF YOU’RE STRUGGLING WITH ANXIETY:
Repeat after me: I belong here
Whenever I’m a little nervous about the unknowns of a situation I walk into, I just remind myself that I belong to be there as much as the next person. You belong, so allow yourself to take up space!
No one is out to get you
It seems like the whole world is against you sometimes. You see stares and you worry what they think of you. Maybe they just think you’re good-looking or have an interesting outfit. Maybe they think you’re weird. BUT WHO CARES? You shouldn’t! This is the time to let go of what people think about you. The only opinion that matters is yours.
If the worst thing happens, you will actually be okay
If you fall on your face or say the wrong thing, you’ll be just fine. I’ve messed up big time in front of audiences and I am still here today, still living and breathing, and going about my life just fine. Let’s keep it in perspective that even if the worst happens, you’ll eventually forget and move on, and everyone will have already moved on about 5 seconds after your blunder.
Whether that’s using Joyable, seeking a counselor, or just confiding to a friend, embrace that you have anxiety, and that’s OKAY. Try to turn around your thought processes and change your mindset. You will have such peace of mind and will be able to breathe. You don’t have to do this alone.
You can overcome social anxiety.
It starts with you.