You Don’t Owe This World a Thing

I am psyched about the upcoming Batman vs. Superman movie. I loved the recently released trailer, which I must have seen a dozen times so far.

There is one scene in particular in this trailer that caught my eye. It’s the scene where Martha Kent, Superman’s adoptive Earth mom, tells him: “Be their hero, Clark. Be their angel, be their monument, be anything they need you to be. Or be none of it. You don’t owe this world a thing. You never did.”

To me it’s obvious that many comic book movies are moving in a new direction with the message they’re sending. And, personally, I love this new direction.

Some years ago, comic book movies like Spider-Man used to tell us that “with great power comes great responsibility” and try to instill in us the idea that we have an obligation to use our strengths to help, even save, humanity.

Now the message is shifting towards what I see as a more rational and mature message, which suggests that we are free to do what we want in life. Thus, we should use our strengths to help others if that’s what we want to, but we don’t have an obligation to do that. I’d like to talk about why this idea makes a lot of sense and why it’s useful to live by it.

superman

Our Existential Freedom

This emerging idea in comic book movies that we are free to choose our own path in life can trace its roots in the thinking of prominent philosophers such as Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Camus and Sartre. I have no doubt that film directors Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan, who are responsible for the current wave of Batman and Superman movies, are drawing some inspiration from these guys.

The ideas of philosophers like Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Camus and Sartre were grouped in a philosophy known as existentialism. The main premise of existentialism is that life is intrinsically meaningless. It has no objective meaning or purpose, and our notions of good and evil are subjective as well.

This lack of objective meaning can be a source of dread, but it’s also highly liberating and empowering. Because it implies that we have no preset obligations in life; that we are free to give our life whatever personal meaning we want and live it in alignment with that meaning.

I find this existential perspective quite accurate. One could even say that “man is condemned to be free”, as Sartre puts it. But it’s not too bad of a sentence, considering how valuable the freedom to live how we want is.

Of course, we are born in society, which brings upon us a set of basic obligations, as part of a basic social contract in the absence of which society would not be able to function properly. But this is a very basic contract, with obligations such as not killing, not stealing, not beating people up. Beyond that, I don’t buy into anything else as a given obligation in life.

Overcoming the Savior Mindset and Living Freely

Many of us have been educated to think otherwise though. Parents, teachers, religious leaders, and many old-school superhero movies have taught us that we have some sort of immense duty towards other people. We have to help them, fix their problems, save them from difficulty, and generally be very nice to them.

I think this idea is simply unsubstantiated. Why do we have the duty to help others? No sensible reason is ever given. Sure, helping others will improve their life, it can also benefit us eventually, and it’s wise in many cases. But that doesn’t mean it’s an outright obligation.

Also, in practice, this idea backfires in horrible ways. As a confidence and communication coach, working frequently with men and women who live feeling they have a strict duty to help others, I witness this all the time.

Such individuals become pathological people pleasers. They always put others first and sacrifice their own needs for them. But they never feel like they’ve done enough for others and they constantly feel the heavy pressure of obligations. Ironically though, they often get very little in return when they need help, and they are often seen as insecure, clingy or needy, which is why they frequently have very few real friends.

One way or another, their bottomless sense of obligation towards others brings them much frustration and disappointment.

Again, this is not to say that helping others doesn’t make practical sense sometimes, because you will get help in return when in need, or that it cannot feel very good at times, even if you get nothing in return. It’s just not an obligation. Martha Kent is right: you don’t owe this world a thing.

If you’re used to thinking and feeling that you owe this world something (maybe, a lot), as well as acting accordingly, it’s gonna take some work to change this mindset. You’re gonna have to dig into your beliefs system and make some crucial changes there. But this is doable, and definitely worth doing.

If you wanna learn how to change your beliefs effectively, free yourself from the burden of a strong sense of obligation and radically improve your social confidence, I suggest you watch this special presentation, where I discuss just that in more detail and share some of my best advice.

Also, join my free social confidence newsletter, where I share regular advice on this topic. The help is out there. You just have to grab it and use it.

Why Anxiety Levels Are On the Rise and What to Do About It

We live in a peculiar society. The level of prosperity we have is higher than ever in recorded history, our degree of freedom and possibilities is also higher than ever, and yet our levels of anxiety are higher than ever as well.

And it’s not just my experience as a confidence coach, which may make me biased considering that I work with anxious people on a regular basis. I’ve seen several important scientific studies that point to such a conclusion.

One interesting study for instance, shows that normal children today experience a level of anxiety that would have been considered pathological in the 1950s. And the study was done several years ago. Things have only gotten worse since.

Since high, recurring anxiety constitutes a serious health issue, I’d like to talk about the 4 factors I believe contribute greatly to this rise in anxiety levels in our society. I’ll also suggest some ways to deal with them, so you can lead a more peaceful and fulfilling existence.

1. Unrealistic Expectations

Nearly everywhere I go, I meet people expecting to live these glamorous, extravagant lives worthy of a best-selling novel, filled with fame, riches, power and adventure. Not just hoping, but expecting; and expecting all of this to come easy.

People get sucked into this dream of having it all and doing it all. And for 99% of them (which probably include me and you too), it’s just not a realistic dream. Not everybody is Bill Gates or Brad Pitt.

I’m all for aiming high, but it’s important to know your limits as well. Because when you don’t, down the path in life you run into heaps of conflicts between expectations and actual results; which is what’s currently happening to lots of folks in their 20s, 30s and 40s. And such conflicts are a major source of anxiety.

So keep your expectations in check and use some common sense when forming them. It will spare you a lot of senseless distress.

2. Negative News in the Media

The media knows that, sadly, people pay a lot more attention to negative news than positive ones. Which is why it bombards us with such news, and now it does so more than ever. And since mass-media news consumption is still a major pastime for most people, it means they’re right in the middle of this onslaught.

Exposed to bad news in large quantities, our minds easily start to over-generalize, and they come to perceive the world we live in is a much more dangerous place than it truly is.

Thus, many folks seem to think that poverty, disease, crime and violence are on the rise, when according to real statistics, they are nearly universally on the decline. And their bad views lead to irrational fears and lots of anxiety.

So, if you wanna make your life much more pleasant and your perspective on things much brighter, cut down your consumption of mainstream news and media to a minimum.

3. Less Focus on Deep Relationships

sleepDeep, fulfilling relationships are a powerful anxiety moderator. People with an abundance of such relationships typically experience significantly less daily anxiety than the rest.

Today though, we seem to be much more focused on money, career and status than on spending quality time with others and building meaningful relationships.

And when we interact with others, it’s often in shallow, restrictive ways, like the use social media websites, which does little in terms of enhancing the emotional connection with others. Posting a couple of pictures on Facebook for your friends to see is nowhere near as fulfilling socially as actually conversing with them face to face.

So it’s important to dedicate your social life a decent amount of time, and to focus on building and maintaining deep relationships.

If you feel you lack the social skills or social confidence to do that successfully, I suggest you check out this free presentation where I’ll teach you how to boost your social confidence, and also join my free social success newsletter. A lack of confidence or social skills needn’t be a permanent obstacle. You can do something about it.

4. The Allure of Quick Fixes

I can definitely see a high propensity for people today to seek quick fixes to their problems, even major ones. I suspect this issue is getting worse, especially when it comes to dealing with anxiety.

People often seek to solve serious anxiety problems with just a few tips and tricks. They look for fast techniques that will effortlessly get rid of all their worries. And many marketers are eager to cater to such desires with false promises and ineffective courses.

When easy tricks for eliminating anxiety don’t work, people often revert to the ultimate quick fix: medication. Anxiety medication usage has been on the rise for decades. But alas, meds often don’t produce improvements either, when they do it’s often short-lived (as the body builds tolerance to them), and they frequently have dangerous side-effects.

You definitely have reasons to trust that you can overcome anxiety issues, including generalized anxiety and social anxiety. But not via quick fixes. The truth is that you need a reliable psychological solution, which you’ll have to put into practice for a few weeks, maybe even a few months. Only thus you’ll genuinely solve your anxiety problems.

Interested in learning such a solution for overcoming social anxiety, which has been used successfully by hundreds of shy and socially anxious individuals I’ve coached personally? Then check out this special presentation I created. You won’t regret it.

Our world isn’t perfect, but it does offer some amazing opportunities. Life today is definitely worth enjoying. So if anxiety issues are preventing you from enjoying it fully, working on taking care of these issues may just be one of the most crucial things you’ll ever do. Take action.

Why So Serious? 5 Ways to Loosen Up and Enjoy Life More

I’ve always appreciated considerably people who are upbeat, optimistic and generally unperturbed by the hassles of everyday life; people who don’t seem to take anything too seriously and are able to fully enjoy life as it is.

Such people aren’t very common though, and a lot of folks are actually quite far from being that way. I certainly wasn’t that way growing up and in much of my youth. But I admired this laidback life attitude so much that I put a lot of work into developing it and making it my own, which over time I did.

Nowadays, learning to take things less seriously is also something I often help my coaching clients achieve. Drawing from their experience and mine on this journey, I’d like to share with you 5 key insights for loosening up and enjoying life more.

1. Get Some Temporal Perspective

Whenever something pisses you off or stresses you out, it’s good to adopt a wide timeframe and ask yourself how much that thing will matter as time goes by.

How much will it matter one year from now that you said something somebody found rude and they got mad at you? Not much, I’m sure. What difference will it make 5 years from now that you made some banal mistake at work and your results were suboptimal? Almost none, I bet.

The truth is that on a large timescale, very few things truly matter. This is why looking at things in perspective helps you relax and not take minor issues seriously. It weeds out the unimportant from the important and helps you focus on what truly matters, so you don’t pointlessly strain yourself.

2. Look on the Bright Side Too

I know that looking on the bright side seems like a trite piece of advice. But despite this, it’s one of the most relevant pieces of advice for people who take things too seriously.

You see, one major reason why they take things so seriously is because they look at everything that goes wrong, and they lose sight of all that goes well. They see the cup half empty in any area of life, and this makes it hard for them to enjoy themselves.

So in order to relax and have more fun, you wanna consciously practice finding and acknowledging the positive in your life: your qualities, your achievements, your opportunities, the things you do well and the things worth being grateful for. It doesn’t mean to deny the negative; it just means to see the positive as well. Your happiness will improve significantly.

3. Laugh and Make Fun about It

There is something subtly powerful about laughing at a negative event and joking about it. It sort of tells your mind that the event isn’t that bad after all, since you can laugh about it. And once that idea has entered your mind, it will start finding reasons why, indeed, the event isn’t that bad. So you’ll detach emotionally and feel more joyful.

why so serious

People who are optimistic and upbeat do this all the time. Some of them can laugh about anything, and that helps them immensely. I’ve seen people laugh even about the sternest situations, such as having a terminal disease. Because they have this mindset like: “This is what is; I can’t change it, so I might as well enjoy myself while I still can”. And so they do.

We have a lot to learn from such people. If they can joke about a terminal disease, I’m sure we can joke about the casual hassles of daily life.

4. Work on Overcoming the Deeper Attitude Issues

Typically, taking things too seriously is only a symptom of much deeper issues. Often people who take things too seriously are perfectionists and they can’t tolerate imperfection (their own or that of others). Many times they have visible self-image issues, and often they really lack self-confidence.

When having such issues, even a minor failure, flaw or perturbation in your life can seem like a very big deal and have a strong emotional echo, even though at some level you may realize it’s not that big of a deal. The only way you can change this effectively is to address these deeper issues and fix them.

Fixing these deeper issues will take some time and require proper guidance. I don’t have the space here to go into details on how fix them, but I’ve created a special presentation where I explain just that. In it you’ll learn how your confidence and self-image issues arise, and how to overcome them step by step. So go here and make sure you watch it.

5. Have a Rich, Active Life

People with a rich, active life rarely take things too seriously. They’re too busy doing stuff. They don’t have the time or energy to dwell on negative events and worry. In a way, you could say that worrying about minor things is a luxury, afforded by people with too much free time on their hands.

So an effective way to stop taking things too seriously is to fill your life with activities and keep yourself engaged. Learn, get a job, pursue your passions, find new hobbies, do some volunteer work, do something. It will keep your mind too busy to worry, and it has many other perks as well, like making your lifestyle more exciting and making you a more interesting person.

Life is too short to worry about stuff that ultimately doesn’t matter. But that realization is not enough for you to stop worrying. You need to take the proper steps to change your thinking patterns, fix the deeper attitude issues, and learn gradually to enjoy life more. It’s up to you to do this self-improvement work and make the most out of life.

For more help from me in improving your attitude and your life, check out my free social confidence newsletter.

Fixing the Issue of Coming Across As Shy

Working as a confidence and communication coach, many of my clients are shy and socially anxious people. Many of them verbalize to me big concerns about coming across as shy to others around them.

They tell me that they get comments like “You don’t talk very much”, or “You’re really quiet”, or plain bluntly “You seem really shy”, and they fear that being perceived as shy makes others dislike them. So they wanna know how to not come across as shy.

Of course, the reason they come across as shy is because they indeed are shy. They feel nervous in social settings, they keep to themselves, and they hardly contribute to conversations. So when their chief desire in social situations is to not come across as shy, it is in truth a desire to hide their shyness and seem this confident, outgoing person, which, for now, they are not.

This is an intriguing subject in my view, which is why I thought I’d address it and express what I consider to be some critical ideas on it.

The Deeper Issue Here

First of all, it’s worth saying that, clearly in my mind, the even bigger issue than coming across as shy is actually being shy.

Shyness, although not something to feel ashamed of, is detrimental to you and your social life. It makes it hard to enjoy social interactions, to express yourself as you are, to connect with people and to build meaningful relationships. Acute shyness is often linked with high levels of social isolation, loneliness, depression, and even physical illness.

That’s the real issue. The fact you also come across as shy is less than ideal, but it’s only a minor, superficial issue in comparison to the rest. Being shy is the major matter.

You Can’t Fake It

shySecond of all, it’s worth mentioning that you can’t really fake social confidence. Shy and socially anxious people would like to believe that they can just act as if they’re not shy, and that will quickly fix how they come across, without the need to address the deeper issue. But that doesn’t really work.

You need to understand that being shy and not talking much is mostly an emotional issue, not a behavioral issue. It occurs because one feels nervous and uncomfortable when interacting with other people. You can try to act socially in a way that’s different from the way your emotions dictate, but one way or another, your emotions will come out on top and they’ll reveal your true social tendencies.

If you wanna fix how you come across socially, you have to change how you behave habitually. And in order to change how you behave habitually, you have to change your emotions.

How This All Got Started

It’s useful to note how all this shyness stuff even gets started. Shy people wanna know how to not come across as shy because they are extremely concerned with their reputation. And it’s this very concern with their reputation that makes them shy in the first place.

What happens is that, because they care too much about their reputation and they have certain limiting beliefs, the shy person will fear that if they express themselves in social situations, they’ll make mistakes, or seem stupid, or something similar, and get a negative reputation. So they hold themselves back and they don’t talk much. Thus, they end up getting a reputation as a shy person, which is also a negative reputation for them.

So the shy person ends up stuck between a rock and a hard place. If they talk, they may go wrong and gain a bad reputation, if they don’t talk they gain a bad reputation. All of this arises because they are so extremely concerned with the way they come across to others.

So How Do We Fix This?

Ultimately, shy people need to put aside this concern with how they come across. Instead they need to put their focus on actually developing social confidence and overcoming their shyness. That will naturally take care of how they come across as well.

As I already alluded to, overcoming shyness entails learning to not care so much about your reputation, as well as overcoming several other limiting beliefs. This is what will free you to be confident, authentic and outgoing in social situations.

Working with shy and socially anxious people over the past 6+ years, I’ve developed a step-by-step method for overcoming shyness and social anxiety, which goes to the very root of the problem.

I describe this method to beat shyness and social anxiety in this free instructional presentation, which I suggest you check out. The confidence advice you’ll gain from it is practical, unique and to the point. So go here and watch it right now.

Also, for more practical tips from me on building social confidence, social skills and a fulfilling social life, get onboard my free social confidence newsletter.

Shyness is something you can deal with successfully. There are now fast and reliable solutions for overcoming it. You don’t have to concern yourself with faking social confidence. You can truly be a confident person others enjoy talking to. But you have to make becoming confident the priority, not merely appearing confident.

How to Deal with Social Pressure and Follow Your Own Path

Sometimes your goals and behaviors, even though they make rational sense, will come into conflict with the way others would like you to act and live. When this happens, such people may try to make you conform using emotional tools such as sarcasm, criticism, withdrawal of approval, threats or rejection.

The use of such tools by a number of people to exert influence over you is what’s known as social pressure. It’s a force meant to make you conform to the will of others around you and, more broadly, to the standards of society.

I’ve had many conversations with people who’ve made numerous sacrifices in life due to social pressure. Almost without exception, when they look back, they regret having given in to the desires of others instead of doing what they truly wanted to do.

This is why it’s key to know how to deal with social pressure. It frees you to follow your own path in life and do so without any shame. With this in mind, I’d like to give you a few practical ideas:

1. Remember That the Majority Is Often Wrong

Social pressure is often a powerful force because when several people show disapproval towards something we do, we automatically assume they are right and we are wrong, since we are alone and they are many. Our minds tend to operate on the principle that the majority is always correct.

However, in practice, that is frequently not true. In fact, let’s face it: most people don’t really know what they’re talking about most of the time. They believe various ideas simply because they’ve been exposed to them thousands of times from a young age (which is basic indoctrination) and they never bothered to question them; then they go through life following those ideas, living unimpressive lives, and expecting others to do the same.

So when you consider this, it makes no sense to give authority to an idea just because a lot of people believe it. If anything, it’s probably a sign it’s a flawed idea. This is something to always bear in mind when confronted with social pressure.

2. Don’t Blow Things Out Of Proportion

Sometimes social pressure can take pretty rough forms. Like if your whole family threatens to kick you out of the house and disown you unless you get married. It’s not a tragedy, but it’s not a pleasant situation either.

social pressureHowever, the vast majority of times, social pressure takes light and brief forms. Like if your friends tease you a couple of times when going out for not drinking alcohol, or a few people give you weird looks on the street because you’re dressed in an unusual way.

It’s common though for individuals dealing with such minor events to mentally make a really big deal out of them. They start thinking that everybody hates them, and that they are complete screw-ups. Their minds dramatize and exaggerate.

When dealing with social pressure, it’s important to notice how you think about it, and keep your thinking in check (here is more detailed advice on how to do this). Acknowledge what’s happening, but don’t blow it out of proportions. It will save you a lot of stress.

3. Develop a Strong Sense of Self

In my experience as a confidence and communication coach, there is strong correlation between how sensitive a person is to social pressure and how weak their sense of self is.

People with a weak sense of self let how others see them define them, and abundant approval from others is the one crucial factor that makes them feel good about themselves. Conversely, if others disagree with them or disapprove their conduct, they instantly feel invalidated and worthless.

Cultivating a strong sense of self implies getting to know yourself and your strengths, developing a positive self-image, and improving your social confidence.

This is a big and crucial topic, so I’m not gonna address it in this brief article. Instead, I’ve created a free instructional video where I share my tried and tested advice for improving your confidence and developing a strong sense of self. I suggest you go here and watch it right now. You won’t be disappointed.

4. Find People Who Accept You as You Are

The fact many people don’t approve of what you do or how you do it doesn’t mean that all of humanity is rejecting you. But it can often feel that way; unless there are also people in your life who accept you the way you are.

These people can be either A) like-minded people, who are similar to you in goals and behavior, or B) open-minded people, who have a lot of tolerance towards diversity.

Such people are great because they confirm that being true to yourself is not a death sentence for your social life. It’s reassuring to know that you can follow your path, and even though many will object, some people are fine with it and will keep being your friends.

If you lack such people in your social circle, I encourage you wholeheartedly to find them and keep them close. Get involved in social events, meet new people, get to know them better and spot the ones who accept you as you are. Make friends with such people and foster those friendships. For an unconventional person in particular, they are priceless.

Once you’ve learned to deal with it, social pressure is really no big deal. All that will truly matter to you is that you understand why you wanna do what you wanna do, and it feels right to you.

You’ll feel motivated to follow your own path and you won’t be distracted by herd-like opposition. You’ll live true to yourself and you’ll be proud of yourself for it.

Taking Action and Taking Risks That Lead To Social Success

I frequently say that social success builds up on a foundation of social confidence and good social skills.

Most people who lack the social life they want are in this position because they are lacking in these two departments. Social situations commonly make them feel nervous, and they are somewhat socially clumsy.

Fortunately, there are steps they can take in order to utterly change this. Social confidence and skills can be learned. It’s mostly a matter of training one’s mind to think in a new way, and building positive social habits. I describe this process in more detail in this special presentation.

This process does take some work though, as learning anything meaningful does. For shy and socially anxious people, this is where a lot of procrastination often comes in.

Although they feel lonely, although they crave a better social life, it’s common for them to postpone working on their social confidence and skills over and over again, and just try to distract themselves from their problems with TV, computer games, food, alcohol or daydreaming.

I understand this phenomenon. Years ago, when I realized I was socially insecure, I didn’t immediately start looking for a solution. At first I just waited, hoping this problem will go away on its own. It didn’t. Then when I eventually picked up a book on overcoming shyness, it took me months before I seriously started practicing what I had read in it.

I procrastinated a lot. But eventually I took the necessary steps to find a reliable solution for my social insecurities and I applied it consistently until I became the socially confident and capable person I wanted to be.

When I look at the shy and socially anxious people I talk to today as a social confidence coach, I see a similar issue of procrastinating and not taking action. Only sometimes it’s so acute it’s shocking even to me.

smileSometimes I’ll have an email exchange with someone who’s been socially anxious for over a decade, and although they’ve read a bunch of advice over the years about overcoming this, they’ve yet to take even the first practical step for improving their confidence.

Considering how precious and short our time on this planet is, wasting so much of it is mind-boggling to me. Nevertheless, many people procrastinate for years before truly doing something to improve their social confidence. So I’m writing to hopefully help change that.

There are a few major reasons why we procrastinate in overcoming our social insecurities, which I’m gonna address one by one, and I’m gonna show you how to deal with them:

1. Delusional Hope

This is when a person thinks their shyness or social anxiety will just go away on its own, if they just wait. Kind of like a bruise on your arm that heals itself. Unfortunately, that rarely happens.

You see, the mind doesn’t work the same way the body works. Your body repairs itself. Your mind on the other hand reinforces the thinking, feeling and behavioral patterns you already have. So if your thinking is negative, you feel nervous in social settings, and you avoid social interaction, as time goes by this will only stay the same.

In order to change, you need to take conscious action and effectively re-condition yourself to think, behave and react emotionally in a different way. Here is my blueprint for doing this.

2. Lack of Hope

There are also many individuals who lack hope in the exact area where it’s important for them to have hope. I’m talking about the people who simply don’t believe they can overcome their social insecurities, so they choose to do nothing.

When a person tells me “I just don’t think I can overcome my shyness”, I will typically ask them “What makes you think that? Have you tried it multiple times and failed? Have you seen lots of people around you trying it and fail?” They’ll usually reply: “No, it’s just something that I think”.

That’s the kind of thinking that’s not rooted in concrete experience and has little to do with reality. The person thinks they can’t overcome their shyness just because their thinking is generally pessimistic, without solid proof to support it.

And this is the type of thinking that’s most toxic. It’s the kind of thinking that keeps folks stuck in jobs they hate, in mediocre relationships, in circumstances way below their potential, all while reality permits so many things to be achieved. It’s the kind of thinking not to be trusted.

I’m not saying that you should believe with certainty that you can overcome your social insecurities without proof (I believe it, but I have lots of proof). I’m just saying to have some hope that this is something that may possibly be done. And that possibility is what makes it worth trying. If other people have succeeded, why can’t you?

This leads me to my next point.

3. Not Wanting To Take Risks

For some, even when they think it might be possible for them to gain social confidence, it’s not enough to take action. Because the possibility of failure is also there, and they don’t wanna assume that risk. They aren’t willing to try something until they’re sure it’s gonna work. They want guarantees of success.

Interestingly enough, this is the precise kind of mindset that’s at the root of shyness and social anxiety.

You could say that shy and socially anxious people feel nervous in social situations and they don’t talk much because they’re afraid they’ll say something stupid or weird or boring, and they’re not willing to take that risk. So they end up watching from the sidelines as others talk, bond and have fun.

The fact of the matter is that in life, there are no guarantees. If you wanna achieve anything, you gotta be willing to take some risks.

You take risks by opening up and participating in social situations, and the reward is that you get to have a fun social life. You take risks by trying a solution for your insecurities that seems good after an external evaluation, and the reward is that you get to overcome your social insecurities. Even if that solution may not be ideal for you, because eventually you’ll get to the right one.

Somehow, this discussion all goes back to time. Time is the only finite resource you have. You don’t want to waste away years and years of it by waiting and delaying and avoiding risk, instead of working on overcoming your social insecurities and trying the solutions that exist. 

Trust me: years from now, when you’ll be looking back at your life, the biggest regret you’ll have is having procrastinated, not having taken more action and not having taken more risks. And the biggest satisfaction you’ll have is that of having put everything into it and tried all that you could to be the best person possible, and have the best life possible.

If you’re ready to take action for ending your shyness or social anxiety, get onboard my free social confidence newsletter, where I’ll share with you my top social advice, based on my experience as a former shy guy and my 6+ years as a social confidence coach. Click here to join it today.

And above all, end the procrastinating! Take action! The time is now. 

How to Stop Being Envious

Envy can be a real pain in the ass.

I’ve heard some people say that envy is good, because it gets you motivated to do great things in life, in order to be better than others. But I don’t really know about that. I find that envy does much more harm than good, and overall it’s something to overcome.

The Perils of Being Envious

First of all, I find this assumption that envy creates motivation to enhance your life to be severely flawed. In my coaching I often interact with people who are very envious, or people who themselves deal with other people who are very envious.

And more often than not, what envy actually creates is a strong tendency to backstab others, try and sabotage them, spread rumors about them or be passive-aggressive towards them. I guess it’s more convenient to try to pull somebody down than to lift yourself above them.

Second of all, even if envy motivates you to achieve something in life, it might be something you don’t really want. You just go for it because others have it. But it doesn’t make you intrinsically happier.

Think of all the people who work 80 hours a week, in a crappy job, so they can make more money than other people around them. And they eventually end up making more money, but then they find out that, besides the fleeting pride, more money doesn’t make them that much happier, and having more time for themselves would have been a much better path. It’s a very common situation.

envy

Plus, even if you surpass a person in one aspect of life, soon enough you’ll find another aspect where they’ve surpassed you. You’re making more money than they are, but they have a happier marriage than you. Bummer! Later you’ll find individuals who are making more money than you, so more envy gets triggered.

Because you’ll always find people who are better off than you in at least one area, you’ll always feel envious. You’ll be spending lots of time feeling angry and bitter towards others because they have something you don’t. Not a good way to live your life.

4 Ways to Get Over Your Envy

This being said, let’s look at how to stop being envious. Envy can be a deeply ingrained emotion, and overcoming it does require some smart strategies. You may wanna stop being envious just like that, but it’s not that simple.

In time, I’ve discovered that 4 strategies in particular work very well in overcoming envy. Here they are, one by one:

1. Stay Less Informed About Others

In today’s world we are encouraged to constantly keep in touch with every person we’ve ever met and know every detail of their life. We connect with others on Facebook and Twitter and other social media outlets, and we find out what they’re wearing, what they’re eating, what parties they’re going to every day.

However, when we learn something about another person, it’s common to automatically compare ourselves to them. It’s pretty much human nature. And when we do, we are likely to find reasons to feel envious. So having too much info about other people’s lives stimulates envy.

There are actually studies that show, for instance, that spending a lot of time on Facebook leads to a decrease in overall life satisfaction, because of this very dynamic.

This is why it’s a good idea to avoid being too connected to the lives of a large number of people. Of course, keep in touch with friends and people you care about, learn about their lives, but don’t stay too informed about too many people. It’s bad for you.

2. Embrace Abundance

One reason why some of us feel envy very easily is because we are in a mindset of insufficiency. Consciously or not, we deem that there are very few resources in this world, and if others get a lot of them, there won’t be enough left for us.

If others make a lot of money, there won’t be enough left for us. If others date attractive women/men, we won’t have anyone attractive to date. Or so the logic goes.

But it’s a flawed logic. The truth is that while many resources are limited, the limits are placed somewhere very high. We do live in a world of abundance and frequently there is plenty to go around.

It’s an excellent idea to practice this way of thinking. Embrace the idea of abundance and don’t let your mind trick you into seeing false shortages. It will make you much more relaxed.

3. Learn to Like Yourself

Another typical reason why we are envious of others is because we don’t have a good opinion of ourselves. So when we find out something positive about another person, it acts as a reminder of our own shortcomings. And when you have a poor self-image, any such reminder hurts like hell.

Considering this, a big part of learning how to stop being envious is to improve your self-image and learn to like yourself. Not only that it will make you less envious, but it will transform your whole life for the better.

Improving your self-image is an entire psychological process, which entails dealing with several limiting belies. I don’t plan to discuss this process in detail here, but if you wanna learn more about how it works, I suggest you watch this instructional presentation, where I share my formula for improving your self-image and social confidence.

4. Build Stronger Relationships

You may have noticed that we don’t feel that envious when a close friend or a dear relative achieves something awesome. That’s because we are strongly emotionally connected to them and their success sort of feels like our success. So we are happy for them rather than envious o them.

This is why a great but often overlooked way to overcome envy is to build better, deeper relationships with people. Having lots of acquaintances and no real friends doesn’t make a fulfilling social life, and it predisposes you to feeling a lot of envy. Having good friends and acquaintances is the way to go.

Deepening your relationships with others does depend on having good social skills and a dose of social confidence. And lacking them is what prevents many folks from developing fulfilling relationships.

So if you wanna improve your social skills and confidence, I recommend that you join my free social confidence newsletter, where I share most of my advice on these key topics. I’m sure you’ll find the content you’ll be receiving from me very relevant for you.

Feeling envious rarely leads to good outcomes. If you often feel envious of others, my advice is to make overcoming this issue a priority. And if you know other people who easily get envious, try to help them work on overcoming this as well.

The resources to work effectively on overcoming envy do exist. I trust this article is one such resource. Start putting the ideas laid here into practice, and I’m certain you’ll like the results you’ll see.

Image courtesy of Romancement

Fear of People and How to Overcome It

Fear of people is more than an emotion. It’s actually a psychological condition, also known as anthropophobia, similar to shyness and social phobia. A person with this condition is afraid both of interacting with and being around other people.

The fear of people is more intense than shyness. The person with anthropophobia doesn’t just feel a bit of nervousness what chatting with someone. They are considerably afraid, and this intensity of emotions makes their condition more similar to social phobia.

But it is also different from social phobia in the sense that while someone with social phobia feels anxiety in social types of situations (for example, when being in a group, or talking to unfamiliar people, or speaking on stage), someone with anthropophobia feels anxiety when dealing with people in general, including people they’ve know for a long time, individually. So the range of the emotion is broader.

Predictably, the fear of people is a highly debilitating condition. A person who fears others in general finds it hard to interact with anyone and is unable to develop meaningful interpersonal relationships. And considering the crucial role positive social interactions and relationships play in our life, it’s unavoidable that this person frequently feels lonely, depressed and unfulfilled as a result of lacking these elements in their own life.

Symptoms and Causes

If you believe you or someone you know may suffer from anthropophobia but you’re not sure, a better understanding of this condition’s symptoms will probably clarify this for you.

Besides the obvious state of anxiety when dealing with others, there are several common symptoms of suffering from the fear of people. Individuals with this condition:

  • Feel strong anxiety in anticipation of a social interaction or event, often days in advance;
  • They typically have trouble holding eye contact with others, even with familiar people;
  • They often feel nausea or sickness when interacting with others or being around others;
  • Intense sweating, skin pallor or blushing are also common when dealing with other people;
  • They have constant thoughts of self-doubt and self-criticism when in social settings;
  • They avoid social events and interpersonal interactions, and often they even just avoid leaving the house;
  • They find the mere presence of other people highly energy draining, and talking with people even more so.
  • They seriously struggle with making conversation and being friendly with others.

What causes anthropophobia? It is believed that genetic predispositions do play a role, but it is not the dominant one. Early traumatic events from childhood regarding relating to people are often at the root of anthropophobia, but not always.

alonePersonally, having coached multiple individuals with anthropophobia and studied a lot of the psychological research on this subject, I consider that multiple causes comes into play, but the most important one concerns negative experiences relating to others.

Sometimes these could be a few traumatic experiences dealing with others, other times they could be a lot more non-traumatic but still unpleasant experiences, other times it’s a combination of the two.

In any case, these negative social experiences, perhaps on a background of above average emotional sensitivity, make the person develop a very negative perception of people and interpersonal situations.

At a conscious or subconscious level, they have come to believe that other people are a threat to them, that they will judge them and hurt them. They have come to see themselves as unlikeable and inclined to attract the antagonism of others, and social settings as dangerous for them.

Thus, they fear people and they try to avoid them as much as they can. This is the only way they can feel safe. But sadly, this also makes them completely isolated socially and ultimately very unhappy with their lives.

How to Overcome the Fear of People

The good news is that the fear of people can be overcome. The fact this fear can be so intense and all-encompassing is not in any way an indicator that’s its permanent. With proper guidance and with some consistent work, you can stop fearing people and learn to enjoy social interactions.

In order to achieve this, what you need is to develop new, more constructive thinking habits regarding people and your relation to them. As these new ways of thinking skink in, your fear of people will dissipate.

In my experience as a confidence coach, there are two types of interventions that work in learning this new type of thinking habits.

1) Progressive Exposure. When you fear people, you are inclined to avoid them. Unfortunately, this only keeps the fear alive. In order to overcome it, it’s crucial to do the very opposite and expose yourself to social settings and interpersonal interactions more.

This process needs to be progressive in order to work well. You start small, with exposure to social situations that generate a relatively small amount of anxiety, and you advance steadily. Progressive exposure essentially acclimatizes you with dealing with people and thus it becomes comfortable.

2) Correcting Your Thoughts. In addition to progressive exposure, it’s also important to directly address those negative thoughts that make you fear people. This implies noticing them when they appear, recognizing what’s faulty about them and replacing them with more rational thoughts.

Essentially, you need to consciously practice thinking in a more constructive way. And with practice, this news way of thinking overpowers the old one and becomes second nature. And so the fear dissipates.

If you wanna learn more about this proven process for overcoming the fear of people and how to use it, I suggest you watch this instructional video where I go into more detail. The information I share in it is gonna be very valuable to you so make sure you watch it.

Qualified assistance in overcoming anthropophobia constantly proves very helpful. If you can work with a competent psychologist or psychotherapist or coach, you’ll make much faster progress and the whole process will be much easier.

At least, I recommend you join my free social confidence newsletter, where I will share with you more practical advice for triumphing over anthropophobia and act as your online guide in this process.

In closing, I encourage you to bear in mind that the fear of people is something you’ve learned. And anything that you can learn, you can unlearn. It’s easier said than done, but with effective action and perseverance, it can be done.

And it’s more than worth it. When you stop fearing people, you are able to get out of the house more, meet people, talk to them, make friends, build fulfilling relationships and have a great time with others. Your life will never be the same.

Image courtesy of David Ingram

How to Stop Being Needy

Do you often sabotage yourself by being needy? Whether this happens in job-related situations, around other people in general or around members of the opposite sex that you fancy, I want to let you know that you can learn how to stop being needy and solve this issue. Permanently.

Over the last several years, I’ve coached dozen of individuals who were needy and I helped them gain the self-confidence they desired. The fact of the matter is that being needy is a process, created in your mind by the way you think about yourself and others.

And you can reverse this process through proven psychological techniques, thus replacing neediness with sell-confidence. Here’s the gist of this procedure.

1. Build Trust in Your Strengths

First and foremost, you have to get in touch with you own strengths. Do some self-exploration and get to know your own strengths. Acknowledge them to yourself and become aware of their value in this world, for you or for others around you.

If you’re often needy, it’s almost certain that you don’t have a very good opinion of yourself, and that has a lot to do with seeing your flaws but not seeing your strengths. A big part of learning how to stop being needy is correcting this state.

The goal is for you to know our strengths better and trust them. Thus you’ll see yourself in a better light, which will make more things seem possible for you, which will automatically make you less desperate. There is a lot of power in seeing yourself in an overall positive way.

2. Think in Terms of Abundance

freeAlso common for people who are needy is a perception of shortage. “If I don’t get this job I will never find another one like it.” “If I don’t get this person to be with me, I will never find anyone like them.” This is how their routine thinking goes.

But this is never true. In reality, no matter how special an opportunity is, there are many other opportunities similar to it. That are many great jobs and great women/men out there, and this is something that you need to realize and internalize.

Put another way, in order to stop being needy and desperate, it’s essential for you to think in terms of abundance. To see this world as a world full of opportunities, in which when one door closes, another one opens. It is very much true. And this is a way of thinking that you can develop with practice.

But, this is not as straightforward a process as it may seem. There is an entire art and science to changing the way you think. To learn more about it, I recommend you watch this practical presentation right now, where I discuss it in more detail. It’s loaded with relevant confidence building advice for you.

3. Challenge Yourself

One of the amazing things about challenging yourself is that besides helping you be more confident, it also helps you stop being needy.

This makes a lot of sense. When you challenge yourself and you surpass these challenges (which one way or another you almost always do), you prove to yourself that you’re capable and you can rely on your won person.

This in turn builds the perception that you have many options in life, in dating, in your career, and so on. And that’s how to stop being needy in any of these areas.

Our regular tendency is to avoid challenge. Because challenges create struggle and sometimes generates anxiety. This tendency is especially true for people who are needy. So it’s crucial for you to correct this tendency and begin doing the very opposite.

Consistently challenge yourself. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, try new things, and take calculated risks. You’ll be surprised what you can achieve and how your image of yourself and of the world can change.

For more advice on how to stop being needy don’t forget to watch this video, and put into practice the ideas you’ve learned so far.

The truth is that you don’t have to be needy. It’s not a fixed personality trait. It’s a mere habit you’ve picked up over the years through some bad social conditioning. You can completely remove this conditioning and be the confident person you want to be. Many before you have managed to do so.

Image courtesy of blinkingidiot