You’ve gotten another shipment of Happy Mail! This week we’re going to talk about something I know all too well, which is social anxiety or fear!
Ever since I was a kid, I was always afraid of doing actions that seemed simple to other people that involved communication with strangers…or any situation that would allow me to mess up in some minor way. For example, it took me until my late teenage years to be able to tell a waiter my order at a restaurant!
I couldn’t explain the social fear, just as many can’t. Messing up, or stuttering, or being asked any questions where I couldn’t come up with a quick answer seemed incredibly daunting. This type of fear started to seep into other things…like reading aloud in class, or participating an answer, or getting involved in extracurriculars that I even enjoyed. Sometimes it was even simpler than that, like being too afraid to be the first kid to hand in a test after finishing it, or getting up to throw something in the garbage.
And while I still do struggle with these issues but in a much more muted sense, I’m at least able to combat them with some helpful reminders and tips. As with many fears or anxieties that cause a physical reaction, you have to break down your thought process! Let’s take speaking up in class as an example.
The teacher asks a question that seems very simple to you, and opens up the class for a discussion. No one else knows the answer. You really want to raise your hand, but you’re afraid to. What you have to get in the habit of doing is asking yourself “why am I afraid of this? What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Well, in this case, the worst thing that could happen is just…you get the answer wrong. You don’t die. You don’t lose your entire life’s savings. Your teacher and your classmates don’t just think “wow, look how stupid that kid is,” because it’s normal to make a mistake! You see other kids get the answer wrong in class every day, and no one ever remembers that incident a minute after it happens.
In other cases, for example, if you mess up saying your order in front of a waiter, you can rely upon the fact that you’re probably never going to see this person again! Their opinion of you (which let me remind you will NOT be “wow this dumb kid messed up their order!”) does not affect a single ounce of your being, and how you live your life. In fact, other people’s opinion of you is none of your business!
All in all, you’re a human being. You’re allowed to make mistakes. Actually, you’re supposed to make mistakes. How are you supposed to get better if you don’t make mistakes? The more you make, the more you learn. So next time you’re in a scenario where you are afraid of messing up, ignore the fear! Go for it! Make that split-second decision! The more often you do it, the less intense your fear will be in the future!
We’re on this self-love and self-help journey together, folks. We all go through the same problems, and we all face the same fears. You have to work to get past them, and you can’t get discouraged when things seem more daunting than you initially expected. You will get better if you try, and in the mean time, we’re here for you to help!
Until next week, BlogClan…good day, and good mental health.
5 Helpful Quotes of the Week
“Feel the fear…and do it anyway!”
“What if I fall? -Oh but darling, what if you fly?“
Erin Hansen (suggested by Jasminebreeze)
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.“
“Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top – it is the willpower that is the most important. This willpower you cannot buy with money or be given by others – it rises from your heart.”
Junko Tabei (suggested by a BlogClan user)
“Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.”
Oprah Winfrey (suggested by Cedarpaw)
(and one extra, because I thought it was too pretty to not include and I love Ralph Waldo Emerson!)
“We acquire the strength we have overcome.“
Ralph Waldo Emerson
P.S. – Want to submit a Happy Mail quote that might be used in the next post? Submit via the form below! Please keep them uplifting and preferably neutral (and without religious tone). Please don’t stress if yours isn’t featured next time! It may be featured in another post!