Social Anxiety: Is it holding you back?

Social Anxiety: Is it holding you back?

Self-consciousness is the enemy of all art, be it acting, writing, painting, or living itself, which is the greatest art of all. – Ray Bradbury

There have been times in my own life where I did not want to talk or engage with others because I felt so anxious. I wasn’t feeling confident, secure or willing to take the risk. It made me feel outside of my window of tolerance (see previous post for more on that!) so I would avoid, withdrawal or decline oppurtunities to engage. In my experience, although sometimes I still struggle with social anxiety, I have learnt to feed the narratives that help and starve the narratives that hold me back. If you think you may have a social anxiety disorder (anywhere along the spectrum) please know you are not alone and this post is dedicated to you!

What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social anxiety disorder is a mental health condition characterized by intense fear, self-consciousness, and embarrassment in social situations. People with social anxiety disorder may feel very anxious about interacting with others, especially strangers, and may avoid social situations altogether. They may also experience physical symptoms such as sweating, shaking, and a rapid heartbeat in social situations. Social anxiety disorder can significantly interfere with daily life and can be treated with therapy, medication, or a combination of both.

Who Does It Impact?

It t is estimated that approximately 7% of Canadians will experience social anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. Social anxiety disorder can impact anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status. However, certain factors may increase the likelihood of developing social anxiety disorder, such as:

  • Genetics: Social anxiety disorder may run in families and may be influenced by certain genetic factors.
  • Trauma: People who have experienced trauma, such as bullying, abuse, or a traumatic event, may be more likely to develop social anxiety disorder.
  • Life events: Negative life events, such as moving to a new city or starting a new job, can trigger social anxiety disorder in some people.
  • Other mental health conditions: People with other mental health conditions, such as depression, may be at a higher risk of developing social anxiety disorder.

It’s important to note that, social anxiety disorder is a common mental health condition, and many people can successfully manage their symptoms with therapy, medication, or a combination of both.

Social Anxiety Disorder Can Hold Us Back:

People with social anxiety disorder may experience a number of regrets related to their condition. Some common regrets include:

  • Missing out on social opportunities: People with social anxiety may avoid social situations altogether, which can lead to regrets about missed opportunities for friendships, romantic relationships, and other experiences.
  • Not speaking up: People with social anxiety may feel too self-conscious or anxious to speak up in group settings, which can lead to regrets about not expressing their opinions or contributing to conversations.
  • Not pursuing goals: Social anxiety can make it difficult for people to pursue their goals, whether it be in education, career or personal life, leading to regrets about not achieving what they wanted to.
  • Letting anxiety control their life: People with social anxiety disorder may regret that their condition has had such a significant impact on their life and the choices they’ve made.

If you feel that social anxiety is holding you back, I want to reaffirm that our connection will be safe, secure and non-judgmental. We can support you with coping strategies to help you navigate these fears and make decisions in line with your values.

Talk soon,