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HOW Did This Happen?

I am 28 years old.  I suffer from social anxiety.  I feel very vulnerable when I am in a professional situation.  I do not know why, but I doubt myself.  I always feel like others are constantly judging me, my intelligence, my persona.  I always think that people think I'm an idiot or not cut out for the job.  Some people have expressed that I should change carreers, but I love what I do and I would be good at it except for the fact that when I'm confronted with people who think I suck at what I do then I curl into a ball and become paralized with fear and unable to function.  Help!!! 
roseanne roseanne 26-30, F 3 Responses May 14, 2007

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I sympathize, I am too battling social anxiety and working my way into a professional position that will be dependent on networking and building professional relationships. I love what I study, but the social aspect makes me nervous. I say, stick with it, and with practice it will hopefully get easier

If you love what you do, you should surely continue to do it. Few people are lucky enough to have that, and to some extent people may well just be jealous. Maybe you could find an understanding mentor to help you through? If people undermining your confidence is what is causing you problems, then you finding opinions to counter that will help. Also, it makes a lot of difference whether or not people are putting forward specific reasons or just general comments. If they can not justify their opinions or do not bother, it is unlikely they have made a genuine assessment of your capabilities and you should ignore them. If they offer specific criticisms, then they are actually helping you improve in your profession, whether or not they realise it. Take these specific criticisms ob<x>jectIVELY, and first look at what is *not* true about them. And then think about whether or not you could become even better at what you do by extracting something useful from their comments. Anyway, just some thoughts.

I appreciate your comments and encouragement! Thanks so much.