Jul 26, 2008

Brain programming and self-esteem

More and more I am convinced that my recent success in beating social anxiety has more to do with the amount of positive programming about myself that I got. It finally got to that critical level when I began believing it. And it could have been anything: tapes, more therapy, or anything else.

This is not a new idea, I encountered it in more than one self help books: You need to be sure that you are great and wonderful and beautiful and lovable. If people around you reinforce this idea, you will start believing it and acting on it.

Sometimes people make mistakes, even the smartest people act stupid at times. Allow yourself to do or say stupid things. It's not a big deal. Just apologize and move on not giving it a second thought. You will make better decisions if you strongly believe in yourself than if you worry about being wrong about anything you do or anything anyone else thinks.

Having this in mind, it makes a lot of sense to do as many as possible of the following

  • Use tapes like those from Dr. Richards at the Social Anxiety Institute,
  • Keep in touch with friends and family members that make you feel good, and excuse yourself from seeing people that make you feel bad about yourself
  • Find a good therapist
  • Participate in groups for SA or whatever groups where your presence is welcome and you are well-liked
  • Do yoga. Yoga teachers are supposed to be supportive, so it is likely that in a yoga studio you would find a good environment for growing self-esteem
My yoga program was subtitled: Love living in your body. Every week we would hear a variant of encouragement to love our selves and our bodies. "Love your body for what it is now, not next year, not when you'll love 10 pounds or when you'll have a boyfriend. It's perfect, right now, just as it is. You can walk and run and jump and it doesn't hurt to do this. It helped grow these amazing children that you have and helps keep you alive. Touch your thighs and belly and arms and say Thank you, body, thank you!" It worked great and after more than an year of therapy in which I heard a lot of: you're wonderful just as you are, you just need to start believing it, it finally sinked in.

I'm playing with Facebook and Linked In these days and I am so happy to see people trying to connect to me... and I say that they are doing it because I am nice. It's great to love yourself, quite a novelty for me.

1 comment:

Gregor Mendel said...

hi! I really like your blog, thanks for posting. I also have social anxiety disorder. I'm trying to find ways to overcome it. Good luck!