Social anxiety and self-empowerment
Social anxiety affects many people, sometimes in a very profound way. Those with social anxiety experience anxiety almost solely when in social situations, such as being introduced to new people, being in crowded environments such as offices and supermarkets, speaking in public, interacting with authority figures, or when any kind of attention is called to them. They may experience a wide range of anxiety symptoms, such as sweating, dry mouth, racing heart, blushing, panic attacks etc.
Others may perceive them as being shy, odd, stand-offish, or even aloof when in fact they are simply too fearful or nervous to interact normally. Fortunately, there are a number of therapies that have had great success in reducing or eliminating the symptoms altogether. Hypnotherapy being one of the most powerful... well I would say that wouldn't I?
Five steps to empower yourself
1. Write down your desired outcomes and reasons for working towards them. Stick them on your wall, computer or bathroom mirror etc. to remind you throughout the day to stay on track and stay focused.
2. Remember your successes rather than your failures. Write them down in a journal of some kind since it’s easy to forget your successes. Indeed, the act of actually writing them down enhances their power subconsciously.
3. Act 'as if' If you don’t feel capable, confident, motivated or enthusiastic then act 'as if' you are. The strange thing is that within a few minutes you will actually start to feel capable, confident, motivated or enthusiastic for real.
4. 'Chunk' it down. Break down your task or project into smaller steps (this is often referred to as 'Chunking' in NLP) and focus on that first small step rather than trying to eat the Elephant whole (another NLP favourite). When you are done move on to the next 'chunk' and focus on completing that. Recognise each small success will help maintain your motivation. It’s amazing how much you can get done if you follow this simple method.
5. Remember to have fun. Make sure to create fun in a task. That way you will stay motivated to complete it.
Six ways to be successful at work
1. Change your thoughts
Your thoughts control how you feel and your feelings control your actions. If you need to change your world then firstly change your thoughts.
If you want to feel powerful and confident then you must firstly recognise any negative thoughts you may be having before discarding them.
Focus on the contribution you want to make. If your thoughts are immersed in 'I want to make a positive contribution' then you will act accordingly. If you are thinking that you hope others like you or that you hope you are good enough then that will lessen your ability to contribute.
2. Fake it
Displaying confidence (even if you don't truly feel it) matters to you and to those around you.
No matter how you feel, if you believe that you are powerful and have a contribution to make, you will. Regardless of your age, knowledge or experience, believe that you are here for a reason, to make a positive and meaningful contribution.
3. Mind your language
Words are powerful and can diminish your power over others and implicitly increase their power over you. Words like:
- “Just" - I just wanted to ask you about that report
- “Sort of" - This is a good idea...sort of
- “Not sure” - I’m not sure if this is a good idea or not, but…
Don't hesitate or waffle, get to the point to raise your impact and influence.
4. Find the triggers that trip you up.
Think about situations when you have lost your confidence, or became anxious. Was there a common trigger? Things like being interrupted, being rushed before a meeting or feeling as though you are not fully prepared?
What causes you to shut down or feel inadequate? If you know your triggers you can de-personalise them and have a strategy for recovering quickly. Establish a schedule – anxiety has a way of throwing off any attempt at organisation. Writing things down and having a schedule can help with decluttering the mind, enhancing your focus and getting things done.
5. Stop aiming for perfection
There is no such thing as 'perfect' and striving for perfection can be debilitating as it can keep you from jumping into the conversation, trying something new or simply delivering. A constant search for perfection will keep you one step behind where and what you should be because you will never get there. And when you do fail to get there then anger, frustration and self-doubt will rise up. Aim for excellence, but scrap any attempt at trying to be perfect.
6. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
It is up to you to decide if you want to give your power away or not. Respect yourself and don’t give it away cheaply. Self-doubt is complicated, a problem without an easy answer. You have to solve it for yourself—no one can do it for you. So take control of your head and believe that you deserve to be at the party.
Remember, you are a unique human being, there is nobody else on this earth quite like you. There are untold billions of people who were never born. You are one of the special few whose ancestral line has continued all the way down to you and the odds of that happening were and are astronomical so give yourself a pat on the back for making it this far and enjoy it! You deserve to feel special don't you?