How to Overcome Social Anxiety? Enjoy Your Failures.
Think about it—why do social situations frighten you? Why do you find it so difficult to overcome your social anxiety?
Failure. You have a fear of failure.
That failure can rise up and take a hold of your mind in many different ways.
Maybe, you’re afraid that you’ll say the wrong thing to someone.
Maybe you’re worried that you don’t know what to say to that girl you like in school, or you feel that you’re not pretty enough for the guy in your neighborhood to be attracted to you.
Whatever it is, ultimately, it’s a fear of failure. And often that failure starts in the mind.
Think about this—why are you scared right now? Why do you feel “stuck” right now? Why do you believe that you’re unable to progress forward in your desire to meet new people and live a more happy, fulfilling life?
It’s because, in your mind, you feel that hope is lost. That you’ve tried and failed so many times before, what’s the point in trying again? That you’ll just look like more of a “fool,” more of a “loser,” more of a “pathetic person” who, for whatever reason, can’t quite be as “normal” as everyone else.
But in your fear of failure, you’ve forgotten one key thing—failure is important.
Failure is key. Failure is necessary for you to progress as a human being.
Look, here’s the brutal truth: There are things in life you suck at that, no matter how hard you try, you will ALWAYS suck at.
Maybe you’d love to be a singer, but you weren’t blessed with a beautiful voice.
Maybe you’d love to be a comic book artist, but you can’t draw anything beyond a stick figure.
Maybe you fantasize about quarterbacking in the Super Bowl, but you have no physical ability.
But those are natural born talents, right? Sure, you work hard to perfect your singing voice, or to hone your ability to hit a wide receiver in stride. But in the end, it’s simple—you’re either born with the talent, or you’re not.
Socializing is different. You’re not born with a charming gene. You’re not born with the ability to tell a good joke or to simply “be interesting.”
That’s an acquired skill. And you learn and develop that skill over time.
Mistakes Lead to Failure. Failure Leads to Greatness.
How can we learn anything in life without failing? There’s not a single thing I can honestly think about that I’ve eventually done well at without having failed once or twice.
I made mistakes. I failed. I learned from my failure.
I can’t tell you how many times I went on job interviews, and ultimately failed to get each and every one of them. I had the passion. I had a college degree. I even had some work experience.
It didn’t matter. I wasn’t the candidate they wanted to hire.
And so I failed to get the job.
But here’s the thing—failing at something doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. It means you just need to change your approach in order to achieve your goal.
When you fail at something—an oral presentation in class, asking someone out on a date, etc—you always take away a little something from that moment. You unearth a piece of information that can guide you towards success the next time around.
If social anxiety makes you feel like you’re stuck inside a mental cage, then you must realize that the fear of failure that’s holding you back is, quite literally, the key that will set you free.
You have to realize that you truly NEED to fall off the horse a couple times before you can ride off into the sunset successfully.
You need to realize that embracing the idea of failure will make you stronger.
Remember, being able to socialize well is a skill. It’s not a talent—nobody comes out the womb as a smooth talking newborn.
But you first have to learn the skill, and that’s simply through everyday interaction. It’s through getting comfortable looking people in the eyes, shaking their hands, and talking to them about their weekend.
It’s through not feeling anxious when you’re invited to a party, and by being more open-minded about meeting new people and stepping a bit outside your comfort zone.
So enjoy your failures. You need them. They’re the key to freeing you from your mental cage.
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