Ask yourself what stops you from showing up as yourself? What stops you from becoming more? What stops you from interacting with others as you should? What stops you from showcasing your talent and gifts to others that need it? I cannot speak for you, but I know most of the time it’s my social anxiety that’s gets in my way with relationships. I never seen it as an issue because I always managed to accomplish things that I knew I could do. The issue was that my vision for myself was limited. Some would call me shy or reserved.
Social anxiety disorder 300.23 is real and there are many out there who have it. Social anxiety is also known as social phobia. I have social anxiety and I always have. I never seen it as an issue because I always managed to conquer my fears on moment at a time. Social anxiety is having excess fear of social gatherings, where you may be judged, worry about embarrassment, humiliation, or concern about offending someone. Signs of social anxiety is shyness, paranoid thoughts, shaking hands, racing mind in public settings, feeling hot, overwhelmed, shutting down with communication, isolation, and heavy breathing in a public setting.
Social anxiety can be temperamental, where your traits are predisposed individuals to social anxiety are based on behavioral inhabitation and fear of negative evaluation. Social phobia can be environment, where there is an increased rate of childhood maltreatment or early-onset psychological adversity in the development of social anxiety disorder. Finally, Social anxiety can be genetic and physiological, where traits of the disorder are genetically influenced. This means that first degree relatives have a two to six times greater chance of having social anxiety. (American Psychiatric Association, 204).
There are many celebrities and well-known people who have social anxiety like 23 Singer Summer Walker, who recent came out about not wanting to hug others during her concerts. As an individual recovering from social anxiety (speaking deliverance in future tense) I can relate. I believe it because my social anxiety is why I have a hard time trusting others in my relationships in general. I can remember as a child, where I would blather so much that people would tell me sit down and be quiet. Being told to be quiet so many times, you begin to tell yourself that your voice is not wanted or needed.
Your comfort zone will destroy your growth in life, where you will be existing rather than living. I am not sure about you, but I want to live. What I have learned so far that living requires that you conquer your fears one step at a time. My spirit keeps telling me that on the other side of fear of the unknown and other’s acceptance is the fulfilled freedom I hope for.
A high level of anxiety can be easily produce into fear then depression because you have allowed the three enablers to conquer your mindset; which will contribute to your actions. Working in the social service field, I have met some talented and gifted individuals, who are afraid to work, come out their house, go to public settings, or attend family gatherings. One reason, I able to understand my clients well is because I too suffer with the same disorder also.
Lately, I have been asking God to take whatever it is that is not of him out of me, or take out anything that stops me from showing up in my true potential. I am not the type who enjoy the spot light and want others to pay attention to me. If it were up to me, I would move in silence not caring if anyone recognizes who I am. I ran into an opportunity at Church and at a grocery store this week that revealed to me my social anxiety still exists and it appeared to very high. Survivors of any sort of emotional or mental trauma can ignite social anxiety at any point in your life.
All I ever wanted was peace, and I found the most peace when I was isolated and to myself away from other’s drama, lies, competition, negative energy, and inconsiderate spirits. I came across a lot of this growing up in my home at a child. I felt and still feel that I do not have to deal with it now. The more trauma I was exposed too, the more my social anxiety began to increase. My new life now was demanding that I come out of my shell and begin to feel safe again to show others who I really am. The question is what do you do when you have social anxiety and you know you are called to be something better than your current situation? What do you do when you have great ideas and talents that are boiling over within? Here are four tips to assist you to overcome your social anxiety:
1.It Is a Process
Recognize that social anxiety is a process. It is process to get rid of because it was process for you obtain the disorder. Every trauma wound you endured influenced the intensity of your disorder. Healing is a process also. Be patient with yourself and begin to walk as your future self and not as your past self. Begin to discover who you are without your inflicted wounds. If you cannot remember it time to do some digging within. If you feel safe enough to dig deep into your emotional wounds go for it? If you have trouble solving your own emotional and mental issues then it best that you go see a therapist to assist you work through your issues.
Matthew 6:34 CEV, “Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.”
Do not compare yourself strength or your abilities towards others because you do not know what others had to ensure to get to the confident place they are at currently. It is best to acknowledge that nothing good can happen too fast, or else it will not be effective. Be Patient with yourself because good things take time.
2.Become Vulnerable with God
Please recognize that your presences matter here on earth, and if it did not then you would not be here on earth. Understand there is purpose in your battle with your social anxiety. This is an opportunity to conquer a giant like David did with God’s help.
While, you may fear what others are thinking of you. Recognized that you are called not because people believe in you, but God seen something beautiful that he knew needed to be displayed. The world wants us to believe that there is one type of beautiful and acceptable norm. God is working overtime to let the world know that their beauty in each one of us, we just need to humble ourselves and become vulnerable with Jesus first.
Vulnerability requires that become comfortable with uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. (Brene Brown). This is interesting because overcome social anxiety with God will involve you overcoming uncertainty of what to expect from others, risking your reputation, and exposing the emotional darkness for others to see (Facing Judgement).
1 Peter 5:7 CEV, “God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him.”
It is safe to say that your secrets are safe with the Lord than it is with you venting to someone else about your unusual issues. At least, you do not have to worry about anyone telling your business, deceiving you with tales, rejection, or ill intentions. You may hear some silence…, but you will not feel rejected. You must trust that your vulnerability will sacred to him, so he can guide you how to overcome the spiritual battle of social anxiety.
3.God’s Love Involves Trusting Him
Social anxiety is rooted in fear of being punished either emotional, physically, mentally, or financially. Social anxiety stops you from seeing the love in social settings because of your past trauma wounds that lacked love in the situation. For some reason, your fear of acceptance is associated with your trust in others.
A person with social anxiety will open more around those who they feel they can trust. Speaking for myself, being an empathic I can feel the emotions of others and their intentions. This allows me not to interact with others who are not what I consider to be authentic because the lack of trust is not there. Battling with social anxiety, I needed to depend on God’s love for me as an individual and trust that his plan for me life is not meant to harm me but push me to do his good and express his love.
1 John 4:18 CEV, “A real love for others will chase those worries away. The thought of being punished is what makes us afraid. It shows we have not really learned to love.”
Experiencing molestation and toxic relationships, I am overcoming my social anxiety of trusting another man with my heart. This is can be daunting for me because my past experiences, where it hard for me to trust other’s intentions. There are many where I am from who have toxic intentions to feel a void in their lives. This is the reason why I need God to help me to escape toxicity and be begin to feel secure again.
Being honest, it is the fear of being punished, which is the reason why I decided to keep my mouth close. Whenever, I showed up in public with my guards down. I was attacked so I thought. I was ostracized because I was not willing to buy into the cliché statements, trending clothes, and drama queen personality. I was the totally opposite. I was not seeking validation or attention for others to see me. If I did, it was not for society but my family. I feel society has its own issues that its chooses to ignore. Why would I want to be a part of this toxicity? At the end of the day, it is God’s plan and you must ride with it or get left behind. I do not know about you, but I plan on moving forward. I trying to be wherever God is.
4.God is on Your Side
Whatever God is calling you to do. Trust that all is on your side. He will prove it to you for every step you take by faith. Your faith muscle is strengthening by your obedience to his word upon your life. Whatever you do may not be perfect the first time you do, but trust it will be get better with time. Trust that God is on your side.
Isaiah 41:10 CEV, “Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Don’t tremble with fear. I am your God. I will make you strong, as I protect you with my arm and give you victories.”
God is not looking for perfect people, but he is looking for authentic people with good hearts. God is of love, peace, and joy, and prosperity. His hands and heart are open to those who are willing to receiving his goodness. When all the odds are against you, God is for you. All you need to do is call on his name and strengthen your relationship with him. Your past mistakes made you who you are today. Do not let the ignorance of others, those with limited mindsets, and negative energy stop you for being you. Ask God for unshaken security today. Love you! You are supported!