So did I. I’m here to share 3 tips on how I overcame social anxiety & low self-esteem, and released the emotional baggage that burdened me.
1 – Self-Worth is Intrinsic
The description of intrinsic is ‘belonging to the essential nature of something’ or ‘originating and included wholly within’.
Self-worth is not something we gain or develop. Self-worth is inherent in our being. It was there all along, since we first incarnated. Thus :
I am worthy because I AM.
When we recognize our self-worth, self-esteem naturally follows.
The problem was never self-esteem, as self-esteem is the realm of perceiving. Self-esteem is the perception that we can or cannot do something, or that we are or are not something. Self-esteem is a perception and like every perception, it is skewed. It is a distorted belief based on our understanding at the time (mostly in childhood) of an external situation.
I spent my childhood and teenage years being ‘the good girl’. I wanted everyone to like me. I would let others choose. I would compromise. I rarely rocked the boat. Basically, I would put others before me at the cost of my own needs.
The problem was, no matter how good I was and how hard I tried, it never seemed enough. Early on, I developed social anxiety and even crowd phobia.
Of course, even understanding and believing that I am worthy did not suddenly change me. It is something I must remind myself of everyday, in every moment and with every decision and action I take.
2 – Value Your Values
We all have a value system by which we somewhat live our life, we will get triggered, or make decisions accordingly.
I’d like you to list your top 5 values. Looking at each of those values, write a situation when that value is really important for you. Then, list a situation where you failed to uphold this value for yourself.
Some of my values are respect and fairness. I always try to put myself in others shoes and really look at different angles of a situation when making a decision. Will this decision hurt this person? Will I be the only one benefiting from that action? etc…
But when it came to me, I would let others be unfair and disrespectful to me. Here is a small example… My ex would buy himself new toys and I would get his left overs. I didn’t have a brand new cell phone until I stood up for myself and my values and refused his used cell phone. I went and bought myself the new iPhone at the time. Might not seem like a big deal, but all these little things reinforce our low self-worth.
3 – Doing ‘Unlike You’ Things
When you do things you’ve never done before, you get to discover your true self. You get to impress yourself with skills and qualities you didn’t know you possessed. You get to feel a sense of pride that isn’t fake, but that really resonates to the core of your being.
When you give yourself the opportunity and the faith to experience something silly, risky, uncommon, wild, unorthodox… you stretch the limits you had imposed on yourself.
After my separation, I really wanted to go travel again. It was something I had really missed in my marriage and now I was free to do it. I really wanted to go to San Francisco, but couldn’t find a friend to join me. An amazing flight deal came to my attention, so I decided to stop waiting for someone and just go solo.
I had an amazing experience! I met a local (trusting my instincts that it was safe) and got to see even more than I would have on my own. I climbed the feet of the Palace of Fine Arts (I’m scared of heights) and watched a fire performance for the first time in my life. I mistakenly walked the wrong part of town, but kept my cool and all was fine.
That weekend gave me confidence, joy and a sense of accomplishment.