Step by Step Progress against Social Anxiety Disorder

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 11:59 -- jb

Many people without social anxiety think that we need to "push" or "force ourselves" to overcome our social anxiety problems.  They tell us to just "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," and then everything will be okay.  It is as if they think we could just magically overcome the problem in one explosive blow.

While this strategy may work in some aspects of life, such as sports or work, it is a detrimental philosophy to hold if one is trying to overcome social anxiety disorder.

Those of us with social anxiety have been "pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps" and "forcing ourselves to do things we have anxiety about" all our lives, and doing these things has not decreased our social anxiety.  In fact, doing these things has actually caused our anxieties to grow much worse, and our social fears are only re-inforced in our brains.

To make permanent progress against social anxiety, all you ever need to do is take one proactive, forward step at a time.  There is no need to do anything more, as that would only cause you more anxiety than necessary and could set you up for a setback, which would make your progress take even longer.

Always act and move forward -- but do it by taking ONE step at a time.  Find the "easiest" option in the situation and work on it until you feel no anxiety, and then move up to the next easiest situation (or person).

Because each situation is different, traditional hierarchies don't work well in practical usage for social anxiety.  It's better to be in the situation, observe it in the moment, and assess how to take the next small step forward in that particular situation.

For example, if you are at a party or a business convention where you are mingling with strangers, look around and see which person causes you the LEAST amount of anxiety.  Then, take the initiative and go over and say hello.  Make some small talk, and feel free to dismiss yourself from the situation whenever you feel the need to.  This is a small step against social anxiety, and all these small steps will add up.

One small step holds great power.  It is these small steps that allow us to overcome social anxiety permanently, and these small steps add up more quickly than you may realize.

It's just one step at a time... don't let procrastination stop you.  You can act against procrastination very easily... try it... you'll be surprised.

You take one step at a time.  Then, when you have no anxiety about it, you move forward by taking ONE STEP.  It's one step at a time.  This is how you reach your ultimate goal.