By Molly Rowen
It’s common for people to have certain things that they worry about more than other things. One worry is about our social interactions. You may have heard about, or even experienced yourself, how people lay awake at night replaying the conversations they had that day, picking apart little details that may not matter in the long run, but seem impactful at the moment. A lot of times people analyze their own behaviors and words– or lack thereof– beating themselves up for how they portrayed themselves, or wishing that they had done something differently.
Social anxiety holds people back from opportunities, as well as from being ourselves and forming meaningful relationships. It is very uncomfortable and discouraging to live life feeling like we can’t be our authentic self. No matter how much we tell ourselves we are going to change, the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t happen with the flip of a switch. You hope that one day you’ll wake up and not be shy or not fear social situations. The reality is that it is not that simple, and does not go away with pure willpower.
We can be our own worst enemy. We can hold ourselves back from opportunities for fear of being ridiculed or rejected. It’s easy to avoid situations where we might be rejected. It’s easy to be ourselves in the comfort of our own bubble.
So, how do we move past the guards we put up around us? You can start by putting yourself into uncomfortable situations until they start to become comfortable. In a way, I can relate to this because I am shy and, like all humans, I want to be liked and accepted for who I am. My whole life has been a series of uncomfortable situations that I put myself into because I have dreams and goals that are bigger than my shyness and self-doubt.
We can also work towards stepping out of our comfort zone by changing the way we talk to ourselves. We can be so negative and analytical towards ourselves without even realizing it. Do you think you want to change your lens? We are here to help.