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.
Sometimes 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.