Social anxiety can make you question your social aptitude when you find yourself unable to form a proper sentence or feel uncomfortable around other people. Your bad experiences can cast a shadow on the good.
The danger lies with self-pity. When you start pitying yourself, you’ve begun to let anxiety control your life. You go out only when you don’t feel anxious and let others in only when you feel lonely. Your life becomes a game of convenience, while you’re burning away your connection to others.
When you play this game, you lose your ability to heal your wounds. It’s one thing to say you want to heal and another to realize you need to heal and make the proper changes to get there.
On the other side of stress is the change you’ve been yearning for.
Change is a path riddled with uncertainty and stress. God knows you don’t need any more stress in your life. It’s bad enough that you can’t keep your mind under control most days. When you do, someone somewhere will remind you that stress is a necessary evil for your greater good. On the other side of stress is the change you’ve been yearning for.
It’s important to realize when you’re pitying yourself and change it in order to heal.
Take a page out of Mark Manson’s book
Focus is what makes the successful, successful. It needs to become second nature whether you have social anxiety or not.
You need to live and breathe it.
Social anxiety has your mind wandering about things that should not matter to you. The solution is goal setting and commitment.
Mark Manson’s message in the “Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life” is incredibly useful for people who struggle with social anxiety and self-esteem. If you haven’t read it, start here.
Here is Mark’s perspective on focus:
“If you find yourself consistently giving too many fucks about trivial shit that bothers you … chances are you don’t have much going on in your life to give a legitimate fuck about.”
Then he supports his view with another quote from Eric Hoffer, an influential American Philosopher:
“A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.”
You need to set goals that you care about — goals that no one and nothing can deter you from no matter what. Not big goals. Smaller goals that you can achieve daily.
Peter Schroeder 🚀 calls this type of goal setting micro-habits. You “Pick something you want to do and improve on. Then determine the path of least resistance to be able to accomplish your goal.”
You know your goal is right when your mind does not wander into self-doubt and your fear is weakened.
For example, if going grocery shopping alone overwhelms you with dread, try writing down 2–5 items on a list and focus on just getting those items. Even if you have to stare at that list the entire time you’re walking, completing it is all you care about. Not the people around who might be judging you. It’s Just you, that list, and the items. That’s it.
Once you’re done, you can go back to the comfort of your home knowing that you’ve achieved something that will free you from your anxiety. The real challenge becomes repetition.
Too often we become complacent after achieving little progress. We become content with mediocrity and revert back to our old self. But that is a disservice to your healing. Repetition and consistency will teach your mind to see your social fear as less threatening.
The end goal, as Mark Manson puts it, is to learn how to stare “failure in the face and shoving your middle finger back at it.”
“The road to success is paved with failure” is not an understatement. It’s a warning that success is not for the faint of heart.
You need to become strong by wearing your weakness upon your sleeves. And armored with your iron goal, defeat everything that stands between you and the life you deserve — a life free of self-doubt and freer still to spread your wings.
So, what will you do today for a better tomorrow?
Call to Action
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