Anyone who has ever done “exposure therapy” for social anxiety disorder, or any anxiety for that matter, will know that it is hard. Some people give up on treatment at this point just because it is so hard.
It might seem obvious but one of the things that can make it less hard (NOT easy) is to make sure that whatever the goals of treatment are, they are aligned with your goals and values.
There are too many generic treatments out there that prescribe exposure tasks such as “talk to a stranger”, “go to a mall” or “attend a party” without adding the important question: Do you actually want to?”
NOT “Are you afraid to?”, BUT “Do you actually want to do this?” (there is a big difference).
What do you value in life and does that line up with your goals?
I want to share something with you; I’m not a big fan of busy bars and pubs. I used to be, when I was younger. Maybe I’m just getting old but I prefer to be able to actually have a conversation with someone and to not be crowded and hot.
If you told me I had to “overcome” this, I would have little interest in doing so. But if my anxiety was getting in the way of me being able to attend my local stadium and support my favourite sports team of all time, well that’s a different story!
Sure, it would be hard, but I guarantee I would be motivated to achieve it. But that’s just me.
And that’s the trick, only you can figure out what you value in life, what is important enough to make yourself do hard things.
- What do you hate missing out on because of your social anxiety?
- Who do you miss seeing?
- What have you never done that you have always aspire to do?
What values do you have and how can you let them be your compass?
Hard questions, but my programme will help you figure it out. Because overcoming social anxiety is hard, but it has to mean something or it becomes impossible.