Kind of crazy how someone who has had social anxiety since a young girl and a total introvert can be filled with excitement about preparing to host a workshop "live".
When I think of all the fears I have been able to overcome that I have carried around most of my life, it really makes me feel proud and it is pretty freeing to say the least. I let the fear of social anxiety interfere so many times throughout the years and its a horrible feeling. Growing up I had no idea that this was even a thing and to be honest I didn't tell anyone how I felt because I thought there was something wrong with me. Keeping it in was probably the worst thing I could have done because it caused the stress of holding it in and not having the tools to deal with it properly which then caused a whole slew of health issues for me. For me it seem to have started around the age of 11 when I was being teased and taunted by a couple of kids in my grade. They were always making fun of me, picking me apart publicly, even showed up at my house with bebe guns and were shooting at my two dogs. I was truly terrified to go to elementary and middle school , to raise my hand, to talk to others and the anxiety I felt seemed to only worsen. Social anxiety stems from the fear of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, self-consciousness, embarrassment, humiliation, and even depression. Unforuantely I carried these feelings along with fears from that moment on.
So how does someone most past this especially after all of these years? For me it took some therapy, which I highly recommend. There is cognitive behavioral therapy which has been known to help those who have been struggling. It took therapy, then consistency and the persisatnce of using the tools to help me get through this. One of those tools has been personal develpoent, which I can not rave enough about. For me buidling that confidence internally was truly key in helpin gme overcome my anxiety. DO I still have my moments when it rears its ugly head? Yes but I am able to work through it and push the fear aside I would say about 90% of the time, which is HUGE for me.
I have been able to do things these past few years that I truly never thought I would be able to have the courage to do. I have had the honor of being a guest speaker at a leadership event, hosted a training call for over a thousand attendees, a guest speaker on two podcast stations (Thriving Beyond Belief & The Unwritten Life) & it TRULY blows my mind I have been able to find the courage to share my story that I hid in shame for long. I pretty much say “yes” to everything that scares me, which truly makes me feel even more empowered everytime I do.
I wish I could tell you I no longer enjoy being an introvert (which seems to be commone for most suffering with social anxiety) but it wouldn’t be true. Being at home or with family or with very close friends is where I still feel safe & comfortable. I wish I could also tell you I no longer have social anxiety and it's 100% gone, but it's almost non existent.
I remember feeling so relieved when I was diagnosed as a young adult with Severe Anxiety Disorder because I finally felt I had an answer, an explanation as to why I felt this way & also discovered through coaching how I am not alone...which felt comforting, giving me a sense of normalcy.
When you have SAD a lot of people can take it as your being rude or unreliable or that you don’t like them, but Gosh that is so far from how I ever want to make anyone feel. I love that coaching has pushed me out of my comfort zone & has truly helped me to grow in so many ways.
When I say this opportunity, this journey has truly changed my life in so many ways I mean it. I find myself doing things I never imagined I would have the courage to do. I find myself fulfilled, empowered and my soul is lit on fire with purpose.
This journey has taught me that nothing comes out of staying safe & the only way to get past your fears is to constantly push yourself out of your comfort zone.
I finally understand the quote “ life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. Do the things that scare you & refuse to live this life letting fear hold you back.