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There Is Hope!

I'm overcoming my anxiety, and it's surprising. It's been happening in small steps that lead to big change... For example, I now can go to the grocery store on a busy Sunday afternoon without much trouble. This is huge for me!! How did I do it? Each week I decided to go shopping just a little earlier in the evening. I started putting myself in the environments I've been avoiding, slowly, and getting used to seeing more people. Over time I'm starting to worry less about what they're doing and thinking and just enjoying the moment I'm in and focusing on what I'm there to do.

Now instead of hiding at home on the weekends, I call a friend and ask to spend time together or go somewhere I've been invited. I have a new job where I get to talk to customers and it makes me feel connected to my community. My next goal is to start volunteering somewhere.

I wanted to share this as my second story because a couple months ago I would have never believed I'd make it this far in such a short amount of time. There really is hope to get better. I know everyone is different but what helped me personally is learning to love my quirks, recognizing that I'm not the only one who is shy or self conscious at times, and allowing myself to enjoy and live my life instead of avoiding it! Changing my perspective came from within and also from my surroundings.

My challenge to you is to take a risk this week. Go out and do something that you've been wanting to do. It could be calling a family member to say hi and catch up. Maybe it's going to the park and watching the wildlife and people, even from inside your car. Or maybe stopping by the laundromat or visiting the library. Try something new! Anything! And don't give up.

atruelily atruelily 22-25, F 14 Responses Sep 7, 2009

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And I thought I was doing great trying to overcome my social anxiety. Judging by your story, you're much smarter and more brave than me! and more willing to change.
Maybe now I'm less shy than what i used to be.. And I care less about what people think of me. But I'm socially stupid not just anxious lol
Useful good story. Thanks for sharing!

Hey!Great!Me too I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.I still have some ups and down but compared my initial situation:I was extremely anxious literally with everybody even my dad and sister(i was in trouble with them).I now am in my second year of medecine!I go everywhere with a very light anticipation.I truly believe SAD is completely recoverable.Best of luck everybody!

You are truly an inspiration to us all... one thing I'm wondering though, are you an introvert? I'm an introvert. I believe that introversion (??) & social anxiety go hand in hand. I've never been comfortable in crowds, but have since discovered why I'm like that. Is this possible for you too? I no longer force myself into uncomfortable situations. I was made to believe, by the majority (extroverts), that there was something wrong with me. That I was depressed or antisocial, but that wasn't the & isn't the case. If you're more comfortable shopping amongst less people I say that there is nothing wrong with that. I prefer that myself. For me, its not a matter of low self confidence (like I thought), its a matter of being an introvert. It comes with the territory. Just wondering. I'm glad that you're taking this matter by the reins & challenging yourself. I think its healthy to give ourselves a challenge from time to time, but don't FORCE yourself into unnecessary, uncomfortable situations. If it makes you feel better go for it, but if its truly NOT helping... just be yourself. Good luck to you & your mission! Much love & respect! ;)

im really glad for u..im really glad i read this too.. thanks for sharing it..

I am glad you are over-coming the difficulties. <br />
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It fills me with hope. I do not suffer social anxiety. I am quite the busy social butterfly but am in a relationship with someone who does suffer an anxiety avoidance disorder. <br />
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Your story inspires.

Congratz!<br />
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It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there, very impressive.<br />
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Taking the first step if often the most difficult. You keep postponing it and saying you'll do it next time, when you are prepared better/feeling better/"another excuse".<br />
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I know I've been there way too many times!<br />
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Progressively desensitizing yourself though, like you have done, is a great way to get outside your comfort zone and slowly but surely become more comfortable.<br />
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Every time we do something we fear (while having social anxiety, we shouldn't make the challenge too big, otherwise it can have the opposite effect. Go just a little outside your comfort zone..), we get a bit of confidence in return for it.<br />
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And every time we do the thing we fear, we also get a thicker skin to those situations. We become more comfortable and find it less scary. Your story illustrates this perfectly, nicely done!<br />
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What you might want to have a look into, is what helped myself the most and which is the main technique I use when I coach people from social anxiety to social confidence. <br />
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It's called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and is the most powerful technique I've found in 8 years of searching and applying techniques to overcome my social phobia.<br />
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Don't be fooled by how stupid it looks and how "woowoo" and "out there" it looks. It's extremely powerful and effective.<br />
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Plus, it's free!<br />
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I teach how to use it for social anxiety in the video's and accompanying PDF's you get when subscribing to my newsletter.<br />
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You can do so here:<br />
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http://www.social-anxiety-solutions.com/free-social-confidence-starter-kit.html<br />
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What this does, is it deals with your anxiety directly. So instead of facing your fears gradually -which works, but takes a lot of time, effort, persistence and self discipline-, you get rid of your anxious feelings prior to going into the anxious situations...<br />
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And once you do deeper work with this tool, the results are amazing. <br />
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Go have a look at my site for more advice on how to overcome social anxiety if you're interested:<br />
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http://www.social-anxiety-solutions.com.<br />
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And you can also type in EFT in google or youtube and find thousands of testimonials and video's in case you're sceptical (which is understandable, I was too in the beginning, but this is really the REAL DEAL)!<br />
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Keep up the good work and all the best in your journey to overcoming your social anxiety.<br />
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Best,<br />
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Sebastiaan<br />
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P.S. In case you're interested in the coaching package "Social Phobia to Social Confidence Guaranteed", keep an eye on my site. This will be offered the 1st of October.

Wow, that's great! Good for you. That's f-ing amazing, girl, what is your secret lol???!!!!!! I hope to get like that one day.......

your life experience is very special. and i am happy for you.<br />
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but i don't know what i want to experience... i want to confess to my colleague that i actually loved her. and i still do.. but i dounbt i will

Wow, from the bottom of my heart.. thank you everyone. I didn't expect to touch someone with my story! Your comments gave me a smile, too :-) Your support and encouragement mean the world. <br />
I'm happy to hear that some of you felt inspired after reading and some are improving in your own ways. Best wishes to you all and thank you again!

Am trying as much as possible to archieve what u just have. You are an inspiration to me. But as you've said it, time counts. Thanx

I have anxiety problems too. Not nearly as bad as that though. You are inspiring. I will do my best to fulfill your challenge. It's a good idea. I'll try to do it once or twice every week.<br />
I think the main reason we fear, is because we are afraid that we just can't handle it (whatever 'it' is). A good "I can handle it!" always helps me.

I also suffer SAD too.uve inspired me

YOU ARE AWESOME<br />
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I love this part...<br />
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"I know everyone is different but what helped me personally is learning to love my quirks, recognizing that I'm not the only one who is shy or self conscious at times, and allowing myself to enjoy and live my life instead of avoiding it!"<br />
<br />
... because it's a really important step in turning the tides in the battle against anxiety. I know for me I was so wrapped up in my own thoughts so much that I never took the time to see that other people were looking for someone to make them feel more comfortable, just like me. Taking responsibility for others and being that person is what helped me out.<br />
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I'm really glad to hear you're both consciously taking steps against this and that you're doing well! I honestly admire your progress, I'm farther along than you are but by the sounds of it you're moving at a faster pace than I ever did. You honestly just put a bit of a smile on my face. :}

Congrats! I'm glad you are getting better and thanks for sharing. I myself also believe I am getting better as well. Well actually I know I am better, but I still have a long ways to go.<br />
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When I first developed SA it was accompanied by massive panic attacks. I believe I was close to never leaving my home again. But since then I now go to work every day. Grocery shopping and other stuff like that is not too dificult for me... The one problem I am still having though is letting people get close. I rarely if ever hang out with my friends anymore. So that is the peice of the puzzle missing for me. My friends are also busy people too, so it is hard for me to get them one on one, but when I can I do...<br />
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Let me know if you want to talk about anything.