With this month being Mental Health Awareness Month, I will be highlighting common emotional/psychological challenges and offering a different perspective for you to consider so you can see that challenge in a different light.
One really common challenge is that of speaking up and feeling accepted by others.
- Do you fear being judged or scrutinized by others even though you are in a safe and relaxing environment?
- Do you worry about how others see you and that you might be seen in a negative light?
- Do you have a hard time having a conversation or meeting unfamiliar people?
- Does it sometimes feel that you have trouble talking to people, meeting new people, and attending social gatherings?
- Do you find it uncomfortable being observed or performing in front of others?
The questions above are linked with what mental health clinicians might
describe as social anxiety.
Instead, think of your worry about how you are being perceived as a distraction from feeling vulnerable (or the sense that you could be hurt).
When you take the risk to connect with others or to perform in front of others (e.g. public speaking, speaking up in a meeting, or offering your opinion with friends) you open yourself up to the possibility that you might later face such feelings as embarrassment or disappointment from having exposed yourself.
Perhaps, then you can consider social anxiety as a reluctance to deal with the experience of being vulnerable and a reluctance to also deal with the unpleasant feelings that might result from taking those risks.
I want you to write the below quote in your journal, and really try to embody this as you go throughout your week:
“I am capable and resourceful and able to take more risks to speak up in front of others and handle the emotional outcomes that result.”
Dr. Joan Rosenberg