Updated: Jun 22
It is natural for some anxiety to emerge at transitions such as this time. However as with all anxiety, when we get stuck and unable to recover, then it is key to pay more attention to overcoming it.
One may initially think that in the social isolation, social anxiety is no longer as prevalent.
Social Anxiety, especially on social media, is still a significant issue for many of us at this time.
Social Anxiety is when we find it difficult to engage with others because of two things:
❇️ we hold the belief that people have negative perceptions of us
❇️we hold the belief that we ourselves are not enough.
These two beliefs can be held consciously or subconsciously and are prevalent especially on social media.
We may or may not be fully aware of the limiting beliefs we hold or their impact. However they do still lead to considerable distress disrupting our lives and limiting our potential for joy and success.
With social anxiety, we hold beliefs that part or most of our creative self expression is not a welcome perspective, in some way, for one reason or another.
We think we are not where we should be by now and we hold limiting beliefs about our own worth. We feel not good enough. And we think others feel the same. In fact we may have some evidence that they do have unhelpful perceptions of us.
This causes us to perceive interactions in a more defensive way than we would prefer.
Many of us prefer to see such unhelpful evidence as a useful reflection of how a part of us feels and be inspired to recover and transform. However Social Anxiety after trauma makes it very hard to stop getting triggered by these unhelpful reflections such that we fight or flee when they come to our minds.
FIGHT OR FLEE
We either fight or flee when our social anxiety is triggered. We get defensive and attack (fight) or avoid engagement all together even with the other’s best intentions (flee).
Do you recognize which you tend to do the most?
I know exactly what social anxiety feels like. I remember the struggles I had with panic attacks, for weeks, before a social event and weeks afterwards, dwelling on interactions, actions and conversations that I did not think went well. I would usually hold the belief that I had made a huge mess. BIt is still a journey, with my daily toolkit, especially with all my social media engagement, lives, podcasts etc
We may have an interest or passion in self- improvement, wanting to clarify an aspect of our life or performance. However we may still not see our good as enough. We may play down or totally dismiss our own positive aspects. We may struggle with self acceptance.
We may also value more the opinions of others, even opinions they have not expressed, opinions we have imagined from them. These opinions would rarely consistently say good about us.
Self depreciation is emotionally exhausting and does not enhance our success.
Holding more empowering beliefs about your own self is not delusional or a waste of your time. It is absolutely essential. It is fundamental to recovery from anxiety and your success.
Healing from social anxiety, the Transformation starts with understanding the impact of social anxiety in your life, especially online, to raise your awareness of what you feel and to catch and release the tenseness in your body. It is also about reframing and rewiring your limiting thoughts.