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
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.