Social fears are often a result of an unconscious fear of rejection. In place of prudently making social connections with other people for either business or personal reasons, people with social fears often hold themselves back.
There may be a number of reasons for why someone holds back, but it usually equates to unconscious fears caused by limiting beliefs about meeting new people, starting conversations with strangers, and expressing your views and opinions.
Many of the self-imposed limiting beliefs about connecting with other people are associated with low self-esteem. Identifying and removing the negative beliefs about yourself is one way to correct the problem.
As for beliefs about other people, the primary issue there is an over-generalization about people. Everybody has different standards for when and who they choose to interact with. It usually has nothing to do with you.
From time to time people will feel social and would be more than happy to socialize with almost any person. At different times though, people turn inward and like more isolation in their lives.
One example I often see is the insinuating limiting belief that if you approach someone who does not wish to connect with you at the moment, and you get rejected, then you made a blunder and never should have initiated contact in the first place.
After all there isn’t actually any real danger in trying to start-up a conversation with another person, but that doesn’t make the hurt any less real. The fear may be based in false beliefs and inaccurate assumptions; however it still could control one’s conduct.
Most of you reading this have or have had difficulty approaching members of the opposite sex. When I was in grade school I was terribly shy with girls. Even though I had lots of girls express interest in me I was too scared to allow them into my lives.
On some level of my being I believed if they got to know the real me, they might reject me, which would equal a massive amount of pain in my mind. The limiting belief I had at the time was, “I’m not good enough.”
Where I got these beliefs from really didn’t matter, but removing them did matter to me, and I figured out what I needed to do. I had to face my fear.
Quick Story about facing my fear
Back when I was in the tenth grade my best friend Kevin and I were staying down Ocean City with his parents. Kevin was much more outgoing than I was, so one day he decided we should try to pick up girls on the boardwalk.
At first, I was a little hesitant about Kevin’s suggestion, but I decided to let Kevin take the lead with his idea.
So, we sat down on the bench at the boardwalk and waited for some attractive girls to walk by. Soon enough, two pretty girls walked by and Kevin approached them and started a conversation.
Feeling unsure at the moment, I stood idly by not really adding much to the conversation. After a few minutes of talking to the two pretty girls, Kevin ended the chat so he could do it again.
Next, a group of four pretty girls walked by and Kevin got their attention with his usual charm, but this time I did a lot more talking then I had before.
After doing this a few times I wanted to “pull up” some girls as we called it back then.
We sat back down on the bench and my eyes caught two more hot girls walking our way. I walked over to them and began talking. This time though, I was the one doing all the talking with the girls as Kevin just stood there and watched.
Kevin and I “pulled girls” at least a dozen more times that night, and it actually became almost effortless to do as my personal beliefs subsided.
For every one group of girls that we were rejected by that night, at least five or more groups of girls were more than happy to talk with us. Whether we were rejected or not didn’t matter, because the limiting belief of “not being good enough” was no longer present in my belief system, because I had actual “real life” examples to prove otherwise.
This exercise can be used in any area of your life. Just go out and do the thing you are afraid to do, and do it a lot.
Limiting beliefs are an obstacle to your goals that make it seem impossible to get to where you want to be. The experience is similar to being up against a brick wall that you just can’t seem to get over. This is why it appears so difficult to make the changes in yourself that you want to. Remember, the wall is not physical, it exists only in your mind as a thought you think is real.
As the old saying goes, “Change your beliefs and change your life.”
Over to you:
Have you experienced social anxiety?
What did you do to overcome this?
Please share your valuable thoughts, views and experiences in the comments box below.
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About the Author:
Justin Mazza writes for Mazzastick Personal Growth blog. Be sure to go to his blog and read the Secret of Deliberate Creation to learn how to manifest your reality. Justin is a husband, father, and blogger who has committed himself to being a life-long student and teacher of personal and spiritual growth. He began his personal development journey back in 1997 reading over 700 books about personal development, spiritual growth, psychology, health and nutrition and metaphysical studies.
Photo Credit: Diamond Farah