Outgrowing Social Anxiousness Challenge: Final Thoughts.
Thanks Ole for the beautiful photo heading up this article! Check out his work on instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/headrushphotography/
Three months ago, I took on the challenge to overcome my anxiety of starting conversations and my fear of rejection by facing that fear head on, as I explain in the first article of this series. For this final month, I was quite confronted by the fact that I felt I really needed to wrap up this experiment with ‘bigger’, ‘better’ results than I’d achieved since February. When the time came around however and I suddenly realised it was May 5th, the official deadline for my challenge, I must admit I felt a little bit disappointed. From my perspective looking back on that day, I didn’t feel I’d made many major breakthroughs, or had any super memorable experiences to share which really lived up to my ideal of how this month ‘should’ have gone. This is one reason why this article comes a few days after the fact. However, having taken that time, reflected, meditated and brought some reality to the past month, I can actually say I’m pleased with my results. Looking back, I have to say that I have actually done myself proud after all.
This period has actually been quite eventful. Romantically, I had some conversations during this time which really had me realise how much more confident, steadfast and direct I’ve become. I addressed directly things which seemed off to me, and acknowledged what I really liked, asked very straightforward questions and gave very straightforward answers. Being to the point lead to some new situations occuring which simply wouldn’t have had I been more coy, and I’ve definitely gotten better and just saying straight up what I’m feeling and what I’d like to happen, and being open to hearing how things are for the other person. I found myself empowered by this, and this increased directness has helped create some new and fun experiences with new and fun people.
I also caused results with my friends, mending one important friendship (much to my joy), and being generally unafraid to tell it how it is when stuff needs to be addressed. I was also making new friends at social events just by drumming up conversations, where before I might have stuck exclusively with those I knew or was introduced to. It’s not that I didn’t have the skill or conversation ability to do this before (as my often overlong articles attest to, I have no issue with finding words). It’s just that in the past, I’d allow my nervousness to stop me from making that first move, and now I just didn’t listen to that fear. A wise woman and brilliant author called Elizabeth Gilbert once said that fear of failure is like a backseat driver who just won’t shut up. In essence, you can choose to listen to it and probably get hopelessly lost and miserable, or you can trust your own ability to drive, politely tell fear to shove it where the sun don’t shine, and get on with living life the way you really want to. I think that analogy is very much what the flavour of what these months have been about; me reclaiming my drivers seat, or perhaps for the first time realising that I in fact own the wheel.
All in all, I had conversations during this time which really had me realise how much more confident, at ease and comfortable with myself I’ve become. Fortunately, I believe I’ve also managed to avoid becoming cocky in this process; the fact of the matter is I just give a minute amount of craps now about appealing to what I think will make other people like me. I’m free to be me, and that is truly a gift! This month did not end with a loud or raucous explosion, but rather subtly showed me how capable I actually am at making results happen through communication. I highly recommend therefore that anyone else who feels anxious in social situations, is afraid of asking attractive people out, or just wants to push their boundaries; try this challenge yourself! If you really commit to it, you may just find you really have some breakthroughs and see life through a totally new lens.
Until next time my charming canoodlers!
Amor and More,