Welcome guest blogger Chantal Beaupre! Chantal is an Emotional Mastery Coach, a Naturopath, an Independent Licensed LifeSuccess Consultant, and a business partner of Bob Proctor — as seen in “The Secret” movie. Her passion is to assist, educate, and inspire consciously focused business owners and individuals to achieve extraordinary success and happiness, at home and in the workplace. Recognized as the go-to self-development expert, Chantal has a treasure trove of practical, highly effective tools to help you live your life to the fullest. I encourage you to take a look at her just released virtual guidebook Anxiety Free at Last.
Breaking Free From Social Anxiety
by Chantal Beaupre
Most people have felt social anxiety at some point in their lives. You may find it intimidating to be in situations that include many unfamiliar people. You may even find it more intimidating if you’re having an issue with shyness.
Social anxiety can be overcome, though. Everyone’s personality is different, but you can change the way you respond socially no matter what your personality is like. With little effort in the right strategies, you’ll most likely be more at ease at the next party or meeting ahead.
Try these tips and guidelines to help you to break your cycle of social anxiety:
1. Practice makes more effective. If your social interactions are few and far between, you limit your chances of success in these situations. Instead of avoiding social situations, start by seeking opportunities that you find small and less intimidating to practice social interaction.
2. Be yourself. Remember that people generally want to get to know the real you. Most people you meet will be just as nervous as you are. Help others make themselves at ease by being yourself and asking questions about the other person. As they open up to you and the conversation gets rolling, you’ll feel more and more comfortable.
Remember that people are less concerned about your flaws than you are. It logically follows that you find social situations to be overwhelming when you try really hard to be perfect. Sometimes you’ll make mistakes. Even embarrassing mistakes can lead you and those around you to feel at ease if you learn to laugh at yourself. And, most people will understand if you make a mistake. More often than not, they’re just as intimidated.
3. Talk it out. Discuss your struggles with a trusted friend or loved one. Talk about the issues you have and ask for help if necessary. If your social fears run deep, consider seeking professional advice. Most of the time it’s much better to take steps now to overcome your fears than to miss out on all that life has to offer while you sit on the sidelines.
4. Look on the bright side. Try to see the good in every situation you face. If you’re in a social situation that you’re afraid of, face your fears head-on. Chances are that you can find something about the situation that will help to make you smile. Once you get into the swing of things, your fears will most likely shrink.
5. Take steps to relax. If you start to panic, take steps to relax yourself. Excuse yourself for a few minutes alone. Take a few slow, deep breaths from your belly. Continue breathing slowly and deeply as you return to the social situation. You’ll feel confident and more in control when you breathe deeply.
6. Join a group or club. Groups and clubs are great places to practice social interaction with others who share the same interests as you do. Many groups exist, and you’re almost sure to find one or more that cater to an activity or subject matter you’re passionate about. This helps make conversations easy as well.
Remember that your attitude and will to change makes all the difference. Get off the sidelines, pick a social situation you’d normally avoid, and use these strategies to overcome your fears. Turn social situations into opportunities to learn, grow, and experience all that life has to offer.
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