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How to Overcome Social Anxiety?

I am very familiar with the pains of social anxiety. In fact, I experienced a great deal of this when I was in high school. In this article, I'm going to share with you my story,  and give you first-hand tips on how to overcome social anxiety.

I had a lot of social anxiety in school. Whenever I had to present in front of the class, I would get a strange feeling in my stomach, my face would turn red and I would completely go blank. Often times, I’d skip classes just to avoid never-racking public speaking sessions.

In addition to this, social anxiety forced me to take comfort in my room – so I’d stay indoors and computer games were my best friends. Indeed, computer games seemed to make me feel a lot more comfortable and safer than heading out with friends!

social anxiety

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Of course, I had goals (some of which I achieved gradually). So things weren’t THAT bad.

However, at one point in my life, when I was 19 years of age, I met a girl (at a sporting event) who I felt very attracted to. She was so beautiful that I thought she was out of my league. So the 19-year-old nervous Igor decided not to even approach her!

When I reflected on this a little while later, I started feeling very bad – why was I losing chances and opportunities in my life? I was very upset with myself. At that moment, I decided, I must do something about it.

This quote best summaries how I was feeling -

“The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

– Anais Nin

Luckily, that point of time was apt for me to transform myself. I was going to university to study psychology – this was perfect because I could get in touch with professors who had deep insight into psychology and human behavior.

In addition to having conversations with my mentors, I started doing my own research, thereby creating a robust list of techniques that really do make a difference to your confidence!

As I progressed in the course, I realized that my problem was indeed not rare. Many people had similar insecurities and challenges, if not worse – this was a very liberating realization.

Moreover, I found that some of our fears are hard-wired into our brains as an evolutionary adaption. For example, we are hardwired to fear snakes and spiders. However, such fears are mostly irrational in today’s world – the dangers that existed for our ancestors are not relevant to today's reality.

Such fears are completely normal. Most have them. But what’s not normal is when these emotions start controlling your actions. In fact, it should be the other way around.

This brings us to the next question – how do YOU control your emotions?

Seems hard? Well, there are a lot of proven techniques for the same.

A lot of professions require confidence in order to succeed. For example, military forces, salesmen, public speakers, sportsmen, politicians, singers etc.

Listed below are insights about how to improve your confidence. They have been inspired by researchers, celebrities and my personal experience as well.

Quickly going back to the attractive girl and nervous Igor story – fortunately, half a year later, I met the same girl again. Nothing had changed, except for my knowledge of the ‘go-to’ confidence boosters. I was more prepared. So, I approached this girl… and the rest is history. Today, we are happily married and are raising our beautiful daughter together.

Our wedding photo

Later, I decided to use the same techniques for other endeavors. It helped me to:

  • Travel around the world, visiting over 20 different countries and meeting a lot of great people.
  • Start my internet business serving millions of people.
  • Run my seminars (public speaking), give interviews on TV, newspapers etc.
  • Simply have fun and enjoy life more.

how to overcome anxiety

As you can see, my life was completely transformed. From being afraid to talk in front of my own classmates, to now, where I could speak to complete strangers, do interviews and start my ventures with confidence.

If I can overcome social anxiety, so can you!

If you feel like you deserve more in life and you would like to improve your feeling and your results in life then I have some good news for you.

Over the last 5 months, I and my team of KeyToVictory were working hard on the new course called "Mastering Self-Confidence: Complete Guide"

  • There I've included clear concise practical tips for daily application.
  • You'll find scientifically proven facts and real-life examples that show how to go through the challenging periods of your life as quickly as possible and to recover from them effectively.
  • You will also see how to boost your self-confidence and therefore maximize your chances for success.

If you follow these simple techniques, you can pursue whatever you want in life.

Meanwhile, you may check out a few quick tips below.

1. Find your purpose

Think about any famous historical figure: Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein.

These people have influenced the course of history and have impacted many lives.

How did they do this? Was it their confidence?

Well, not really. Often times they were rather modest. The secret is that they found their purpose in life. Their confidence transcended beyond themselves.

You too can follow the same path. Find something that pushes you to get out of bed in the morning. This very thing will boost your inner confidence.

2. Develop a morning ritual.

The beginning of your day – ‘the hour of power’ – sets the tone for the rest of the day. If you take actions to energize yourself in the morning, you will find that you will be a lot more confident during the course of the day. A simple, yet very powerful technique.

Ways to reduce anxiety and boost confidence

Want to know about morning rituals? Check out this article: "10 Morning Rituals for Daily Success".

3. Empowering beliefs

Psychology asserts that everyone has their own ‘self-ideal’ – that is, a combination of traits that you believe is ideal for yourself. Research has shown that successful people are very clear about their ‘self-ideal.’

‘Self-ideal’ is similar to a corporation or a political party having its values and missions. You can use the same technique for yourself.

Maintain a journal where you list down guiding principles for your life. These guiding principles could even be quotes – quotes that word your ideal.

Here are a few examples of empowering beliefs from my personal journal:

  • I strive for constant improvement (not perfection).
  • I dream it, I do it, I live it!
  • By letting myself shine, I light up the world!
  • I lead by example.
  • The secret of living is giving.
  • We only live once, so I live life to its fullest!

The above are just examples. Yours could be different. Having such ideals and reminding yourself of the same will get you closer to the “ideal” version of yourself. In this process, you are training your mind to think in the shoes of your “ideal-self,” and thereby influencing your actions accordingly.

Igor Smirnov

Igor Smirnov

Psychologist, blogger, chess Grandmaster, Internet entrepreneur. Follow Igor on Facebook

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