Article Do you need a social anxiety coach to help you gain confidence in social situations? 2 2022 Life coaching https://www.lifecoachhub.com/img/uploads/articles/thumbs/165_1663618751.jpg Confidence coaching life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub
Coach David J. Wingfield

Social Anxiety Coach: First Steps to Overcoming Social Anxiety Disorder With Coaching

 
TAGS: coaching, life coaching, business coaching, coach, life coach, self help, personal development social phobia, social anxiety disorder, NLP techniques, self-help, neuro linguistic programming, self esteem, life coaching

You don't have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you. Dan Millman, social anxiety coaching, coaching tip

You have it within yourself to be free of social anxiety

Do you worry about what people will think of you, of them raising their brows and looking you up and down? Do you shy away whenever people come around? Do you avoid meeting new people due to fear or anxiety? Do you feel tired like the world drained you of everything you have?

You might have a social anxiety disorder if you've been experiencing these feelings for at least six months. And it may be difficult for you to carry out daily responsibilities, such as interacting with others at work or school. 

Social anxiety builds up worries and takes away today’s peace. But hey, the good news is, it’s treatable, and you’re going to need help. Life is too short to spend it at war with yourself, so let me tell you how!

What is social anxiety disorder?

Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder (SAnD) is a persistent, long-term, intense fear of being judged and criticized by others. It also commonly involves a paralyzing concern that a person’s own actions will humiliate or embarrass them in the eyes of the world.

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Symptoms of social anxiety disorder

People experience this recognized mental condition in a wide spectrum of severity. On one side of the scale, a severe and generalized social phobia can manifest itself in blushing, sweating, stammering, palpitations, nausea, and panic attacks. Not everyone experiences these symptoms, of course, but even mild cases of social anxiety can lead to increased stress levels and a marked inability to interact effectively in certain social situations (Stein & Stein, 2008).

Social Anxiety Disorder is usually accompanied by low self-esteem and frequently by depression. It is a debilitating condition that affects millions of people around the world each year. Sufferers of the condition, even in its mildest and most common manifestations, find it more difficult to forge lasting relationships, make friends, or be successful at work.

To put it simply, the common characteristics of people with a social anxiety disorder include shyness when approaching strangers, quietness in groups, and withdrawal from social situations they are uncomfortable with. They may or may not display obvious signs of these things when they engage with others. 

Recognize symptoms of social anxiety disorder, blushing, sweating, stammering, palpitations, nausea, panic attacks, trouble concentrating, coaching tip

Overcoming social anxiety disorder with the help of coaching

The good news is that, with a little bit of effort, Social Anxiety Disorder can be overcome and coaching can help. As a condition hinged on negative ways of thinking, erecting a framework of positive attitudes towards yourself and other people is key to overcoming Social Phobia. To begin this process, the two mental obstacles you will need to overcome are a poor self-image and self-consciousness (Nordahl et al., 2017).

overcoming self-image, confidence, social anxiety coaching, coaching tip

Overcoming poor self-image

The first object to overcome is the poor self-image you have constructed of yourself (Makkar & Grisham, 2011). You may find social interaction difficult because you believe yourself to be unworthy of people’s friendship or respect. This may often manifest itself in you being too shy to initiate a proper conversation or to build effective rapport.

The easiest way to come out of your shell is to associate with like-minded people. Have a look on the internet or a local newspaper for groups you are interested in—whether drama, yoga, or needlework. Attend the group and take time engaging people in conversation about your common passion. You will soon realize that your thoughts, opinions, and personality are valued for who you are. Gradually, your anxiety about talking to strangers will begin to ebb away.

overcoming self-consciousness, social anxiety coaching, coaching tip

Overcoming self-consciousness

By this time you will have realized that much of your social phobia is rooted in an acute sense of self-consciousness (Stein, 2015). The fear of making a fool of yourself with some things that you say can be a strong disincentive to making conversation outside your comfort zone.

This can only be overcome with time, but the more you speak with people, the more you will realize that everyone does or says stupid things from time to time. It isn’t a quality that is restricted to you! Furthermore, you will realize that people will not automatically look down on you for the occasional ill-judged comment. Friendship is a nurturing and supportive environment and should give you cause for self-confidence.

The feeling that you are being judged by the person you are talking to will take some time to overcome. While it is healthy to take a keen interest in the opinion of the person you are talking to, being overly introspective can lead to withdrawal and undue anxiety (Cuncic, 2020).

When you feel this situation emerging, make a point of focusing on the other person and not being distracted by your negative thoughts. Remember that your fear of being judged reflects your own anxiety, not reality. This shift of attention from your subjective world to the outside reality of your conversation can give you the crucial relaxation needed to continue your dialogue and broaden your confidence.

social anxiety coaching, coaching tip


Remember that your fear of being judged reflects your own anxiety, not reality. This shift of attention from your subjective world to the outside reality of your conversation can give you the crucial relaxation needed to continue your dialogue and broaden your confidence.


What is a social anxiety coach?

A social anxiety coach helps you identify the social circumstances that cause your anxiety and guides you on how you can cope with them. Working with a coach, you will become aware of your anxiety triggers. The coach will be there with you to slowly work on those triggers and encourage you to engage in self-improvement.

Every person with anxiety or concern has a different experience with how to deal with these emotions. And the goal of a social anxiety coach is to help you develop a more stable sense of self.

Coaches are not the same as counselors. A coach will not treat you like a patient. They will not tell you what to do. Instead, they have a whole arsenal of techniques and tools at their disposal to get you to find your own answers. You are in charge, and your coach is your accountability partner, guiding you and helping you stay on track. 

You have everything you need to succeed in your goal of being more confident in social situations. Your coach will help bring this out in you by uncovering what will work specifically for you. And only you know what this is, which is why your coach will never take charge, but instead help you to find those answers inside yourself.


A coach will not treat you like a patient. They will not tell you what to do. Instead, they have a whole arsenal of techniques and tools at their disposal to get you to find your own answers. 


How can a social anxiety coach help you with overcoming social anxiety disorder?

mentally prepare for social situations, social anxiety coaching, coaching tip

1. Get prepared for social situations

If you have social anxiety, you might assume that you will say something foolish and people will make fun of you in social situations. Your coach might support you in mentally preparing for being around others by imagining the absolute worst that could happen. As the client, you will then be prompted to think about how you would bounce back if that ever occurred. Next, you’ll think about the best-case scenario: what would your reaction or behavior be?

The more we stay away from the things we are scared of, the more afraid we are of them. A social anxiety coach can support you to take small actions toward being in social situations.

2. Let go of unhelpful thoughts

Anxiety is there for a reason. Your coach will help you work through limiting beliefs you are holding that your subconscious feels are there to protect you, but are actually holding you back.

3. Get used to taking action

When you realize what limiting beliefs you need to do or overcome, you and your coach will create specific action items to take. These are small, actionable steps you can take toward a larger goal. For instance, one week, you may commit to talking to the cashier at your grocery store, or smiling and saying hello to 5 strangers on a walk. You will work up to larger goals over time.

4. Develop your confidence

Working with a coach can help you build up your confidence so you have internal self-esteem. Confidence will go a long way to dispelling social anxiety. You might be internalizing the idea that the opinions of others define you. Once you let go of needing the approval of others, you will be much stronger. You’ll build up your thin skin to be thicker (thick fur as the Germans say). You’ll be able to shrug off others’ opinions of you because your internal self-conception is strong. You know you are capable and don’t need internal validation. Your coach will use various techniques to help you build up this kind of internal self-esteem.

journaling, social anxiety coaching, coaching tip

5. Encourage journaling

Journaling is a tool your coach may use with you to get you to process deep-seated beliefs and emotions and work through them. Journaling has been shown to be extremely helpful in helping people to work toward their goals and let go of unhelpful beliefs.

6. Learn techniques to lessen anxiety

Your coach will help you with various techniques that can help. They might assign worksheets to evaluate where you are (are you a Highly Sensitive Person? What triggers your anxiety), and resources to help you in certain situations. Your coach may suggest you try controlled breathing, muscle relaxation, taking the focus off yourself, and even talking back to your negative thoughts. Some coaches may be trained in NLP and have other techniques to dispel unhelpful thoughts and behaviors.

6. Remember that you’re not alone

There are many other people who have social anxiety. Your coach will help you realize that you’re not alone. This helps a lot to change the way you feel. When you understand that other people also have the same level of anxiety, you realize that you’re not weird and overacting, you’re simply just human!

how can a social anxiety coach help you, social anxiety coaching, coaching tip

How to find a social anxiety coach near me

Search for a good match with a social anxiety coach. Most will offer a free consultation. You can choose who you work with to achieve your best sense of self. If you can’t decide, put in a request to get matched to the perfect coach for you.

Even when you don't think you are, you are amazing. Don't give up; you're stronger than you believe you are and you have a lot to do. You’re not alone!

And remember, always be proud of how hard you are trying.

Photo Credit : h.koppdelaney

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COMMENTS

  • Sarah roussos
    May 03, 2013

    Social Anxiety is something that I'm trying to work through. I think it's more than over simplified here. I've tried many techniques, and still haven't been able to push by it, over come it, and step into the fullness that I'm meant to live and be!

  • April 25, 2014

    My precious daughter has been deeply impacted by social anxiety disorder. From early childhood she has had trouble making and/or maintaining connections with others. In the last few years she has been quite isolated and depressed. She has lost a job and even most recently a volunteer position due to the anxiety that she cannot hide. It's so painful to worry so much about being judged, and then that very worry results in being let go. I would love to find her a life coach that specifically addresses coping with and overcoming this obstacle to life.

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The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, recommended treatments, or professional advice. Readers should consult with a licensed professional to get advice for their individual situation. See the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for more information. Copyright Life Coach Hub Ltd 2016. A community of life coaches dedicated to improving your life.
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