Discover And Transform The Underlying Belief That’s Holding You Back
Do you feel nervous around some people but not others? Perhaps it’s your boss, a “cool” guy, or a woman you find attractive?
Join Dr. Aziz as he uncovers what’s happening behind the scenes that makes you feel this anxiety.
He interviews guest expert Sean Cooper, creator of The Shyness-Social Anxiety system, which has helped thousands of people world-wide rid themselves of social fears.
Click below to hear this episode!
Hidden Feelings Of Being “Less Than”
Hey, welcome to today’s episode. Today we’re going to be getting into what I call hidden and inferiority. In fact, we have an awesome interview lined up with Sean Cooper who’s created this extremely powerful in-depth helpful system to help people break out of shyness and social anxiety.
So I’m really excited to jump in and start talking with him. But I want to set the stage first. And I mentioned the word hidden inferiority, what does that actually mean?
Well, sometimes it’s not hidden but sometimes it is. But the basic underlying thing is that we feel inferior. We feel less than. Is that something you can relate to? Or you feel less than others, not as good as other people and in some way you are not as likeable, admirable, worthy of love as they are. And it could be for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you see someone who’s better looking than you are better dressed.
Maybe they have a better career or earn more money than you do. They have a car that you can’t afford. It could be all kinds of things. We have so many triggers for this. If you are a man and you see an attractive woman, you might immediately feel inferior to her or to the kinds of guys that you imagine she could date if she wanted to, those guys who are better looking or have brighter eyes or better hair or whatever the things that you compare yourself.
The question is do you feel consistently inferior in your life? Is that an experience that comes about not just once in a long while but on a daily basis, on an hourly basis? Do you live in a world of inferiority? And when I mentioned with hidden inferiority is important as well because sometimes we’re not even aware of it. We just feel nervous around someone. So you’re going to talk to that person who is your supervisor and you feel nervous. Are you going to talk to that woman who’s attractive and you feel jittery and nervous and if you checked in with yourself, you’d find out that you’re worried about what they think of you.
You’re worried that they’re going to judge you and beneath that, you’re worried maybe they’re better than I am and they’re going to see that they’re better than I am and they’re not going to like me. And that’s what we want to change today. That’s only a buzz. I want to drop all of that bullshit. Because as long as you’re living in that lens of inferiority and everyone out there is better than I am then you’re not seeing yourself accurately. You’re not seeing them accurately. And most importantly, you don’t have the freedom to be who you want to be in the world, to speak out loud and share who you are.
And that’s why I’m excited about my interview with Sean because we get into a bunch of subjects but one of them is this idea of inferiority and hidden inferiority, how to know when this is happening for you even when you’re not quite aware of it. Sean is an amazing guy and I think we should just jump into the interview now because there so much good stuff that I cover in my conversation. So let’s do that right now.
Expert Interview With Sean Cooper
Dr. Aziz: Our interview today is with Sean Cooper. And Sean is a pretty fascinating guy. He’s got a fascinating story. He personally struggled with social anxiety for many years until one day he decided that he was going to do something about it. He wasn’t going to live that way anymore. And then through dedicated study and consistent action, he’s been able to overcome his social anxiety and lead a life of increased confidence and increased possibility. And the cool thing about Sean’s stories, he didn’t just stop with himself. He has a passion to share this information with other people.
And he’s created a system called the Shyness and Social Anxiety System which he was just telling me he’s totally revamped and converted into audio as well. And it’s a way to reach people out there. And I’ve listened to it. It’s incredibly well-researched and full of practical steps so you take it from just intellectual and make it actually practical because he, himself has changed his life with this stuff and so he really packaged it in a way that can help other people do the same. So it’s an honor to have you on the show, Sean. Your story is fascinating. I’m excited to talk to you about that and just some of the knowledge you have about how someone can overcome social anxiety. So thanks for being here and welcome to the show.
Sean: Ah, thanks, Aziz. Yeah I mean that’s a great introduction. That’s basically my story. I grew up with a really, really bad social anxiety like to the point I was always extremely quiet in class. I could barely make eye contact with people, stuff like that. I’d be anxious even going to the grocery store or someone’s I feel really nervous even just walking down the street. So it’s kind of like my background and then it got to a point where I really couldn’t take it anymore and so I kind of start to study different areas like all sorts of different stuff from psychology to self-help to guys to teach man how to meet woman, all types of different areas like that. And eventually, I found myself making some pretty good progress in overcoming my own issue so I decided to create a website at shynesssocialanxiety.com which also has an email and newsletter that I send out usually couple times a week. And I also wrote as you mentioned, the Shyness and Social Anxiety System which I’ve been selling on my website for about two-and-a-half years now.
Dr. Aziz: Right on, and that’s a fascinating about the story is you live with it for many years and I did as well. And I know that a good chunk of people with social anxiety will wait up to 10 years before they really seek help in whatever form. And so the question I have for you is what happened? Was there a particular moment where you realize that you could do something about it or like what taught you or what distinction did you make that help you realize that you can make that shift?
Sean: I think the biggest thing for me in the beginning was as I start to kind of figure out a little bit of what worked. I’d start to take very small steps in the beginning like maybe I would look at somebody and instead of breaking eye contact immediately I might look at them for one second longer. And I’d feel very nervous about doing this. By another step, the more I could push into what made me afraid and also kind of by rewiring the ways I was thinking in my inner belief systems. I start to get like small changes in the beginning. And then those small changes just motivated me to keep pushing and keep discovering new areas.
Dr. Aziz: Yeah, I think that is something that comes across in your program as well that through consistence, small actions is how you build up a kind of a new way of being in the world. And that maybe actually relates to my next question which is, you talk about in your system about rewiring your brain. And can you say more about what you mean by that because that’s just a really interesting way of phrasing it.
Sean: Well, basically where I got the word rewiring or the idea is there’s the, for most of the past hysteria of science and psychology, scientists believe that the brain was basically set in place after childhood. But just recently in the past maybe 20 years, and this idea has only recently really come into the mainstream in the past few years. This idea that the brain isn’t actually sets in place. It can actually be changed even into adulthood. What scientists called this idea is neuroplasticity. So what scientists found is that the brain can actually physically change over time if you change your actions.
They’ve done attempt studies even on people who have social anxiety and they’d found out people who do things like cognitive behavioral therapy or different types of therapy for social anxiety. When they do it long enough, the neuro-pathways in their brain actually start to work in a different way. So that’s kind of what I mean about rewiring the brain.
Dr. Aziz: And then the idea is that if when the pathways are altered or different pathways are reinforced then a person thinks differently, feels differently, ultimately behaves differently in the world. That’s cool. And it really just reinforces what I think we both have seen in ourselves and then working with people was that that something real is changing in them, and that of course that’ll be reflected in their brain. So it’s a good overview of sort of your approach to it. And I was listening to your program. I wanted to really get into some of the need ingredients, some of the specifics because I think you teach them really important stuff.
And the first thing I wanted to ask you about is you have an entire chapter or maybe two on social value on this kind of idea that we’re regularly assessing where we fall in the hierarchy and then kind of assuming that certain people are (inaudible9.57). And this is a really common question I get is, am I okay around someone who’s what I think my equal, my peer or perhaps less than me in some way , in income or appearance? But when I have to go talk to my boss, he’s got more status, more power? What if I have to talk to a beautiful woman or a cool guy who looks like he’s really composed and well-dressed? Then my anxiety kicks into high gear.
And I’m just like, maybe I think a lot people listening more relate to that. How do you help someone break free of that pattern of that getting stuck in seeing someone who’s more valuable than them and then being nervous as a result?
Sean: I’m trying to think if there’s a quick answer I could give. It’s really, I think it’s kind of a more long term approach because when you’re talking about something like being intimidated by certain people, that really goes to down to like a real core belief that someone has. So a guy who feels really nervous or shy but only around attractive woman, he has that belief that the woman is somehow higher value. She’s raised to a pedestal above him. Actually, it’s kind of funny. There’s a lot of guys who feel social anxiety around attractive women.
So the way I see it is like somebody who has social anxiety or… The way I see it is some guy who feels nervous around attractive women, it’s like the same way that someone has social anxiety would raise everyone on the pedestal above him. That’s the same thing about the guy is doing to the woman. And I think there’s a bunch of different ways that you can tackle this issue. One way is to try to rationally challenge it in your mind.
So for example, if some guy is intimated by an attractive woman, he probably has some kind of beliefs as I said earlier in childhood that for some reason, her beauty makes her higher value. And these can also be reinforced by the media, by how he sees everyone else treating the women and stuff like that. And I think beyond that, it’s not just putting other people upon a pedestal above you. When you have these feelings of inferiority that make you feel shy or socially anxious, that also comes from putting yourself below them. So it’s kind of like an inferiority complex.
And this often comes from feeling that you’re unworthy or unworthy of love or deficient in some way. That you have some kind of defect about you that makes you undesirable or you think, that there’s something I know, as you talk about in your program that people who have social anxiety or shyness, they assume they’re going to be rejected by people instead of assuming that they’re going to get their approval. So I think this is big part of it too which is when you assume that people are going to reject you. That assumption usually comes from believing there something bad about you.
And when you believe there’s something bad about you then that affects how much you value yourself and that’s what makes you feel nervous and anxious around certain people. I don’t know. Does that answer your question? I feel I was a little bit over the place but…
Dr. Aziz: Yeah, no. But I think it really speaks to that and my hope is that someone listening will really relate to that and examine that. I think… let’s pause for just one minute here, and we’re going to get back to our interview with Sean. Let’s just take a brief break and we’ll be right back after this.
Dr. Aziz: I know you’d provide a lot of help and transformation to your system. But do people also seek you out individually to work with you and learn from you?
Sean: Oh at the moment, I don’t do private coaching. I may offer in the future. But at the moment, I’m not doing it right now. I do, yeah, I do answer like email question very often from people. I know you definitely do a lot of private coaching.
Dr. Aziz: Yeah, well that’s… and actually a one thing I wanted to hear your thoughts on is sometimes, when I’m talking with someone and I introduce this idea, they just, they’re nodding their head as I share it with them. They’re like yes. I do feel inferior to my boss. I see that. That’s absolutely true. And sometimes, though, someone will say I don’t know like I don’t think they’re any better than I am. I don’t really believe that. And yet, their behavior or their emotional response would indicate that on some level, they do.
And I’m wondering how you, is that something that you have seen in others or noticed in your work about how they’re sort of this underlying inferiority but then an unawareness of that inferiority and how you might help someone see that in fact that they are seeing themselves as less than.
Sean: Yeah, I think that’s definitely. Well, first of all, there’s something I noticed in myself. And it wasn’t that I was actually thinking to myself in my head that I’m worst than people or that I’m unworthy or that I’m unlovable. All these ideas or concepts that I’m kind of talking about, they’re really describing my own behavior that I somewhat had really bad social anxiety and the behaviors of other shy and social anxious people. And I think you make a really good point that it’s not really beliefs of inferiority or feeling lower value than people isn’t something that you’re… usually people aren’t really consciously aware of it but they are revealed through the way that they act around people.
So I think if there’s somebody listening through this interview then they shouldn’t pay so much attention to what they’re saying to themselves in their head because the thing with human psychology is that we have a lot of blind spots to how we really are. Instead they should try to look at their behaviors and their inner emotional reactions when they’re around certain people. And try to figure out from that what that reveals about, their inner beliefs about themselves and about other people.
Dr. Aziz: That is a brilliant way of phrasing it like pay attention to your behavior and emotional response and then by examination, almost guessing her to do think, oh, what does this reflect about my beliefs? And I think that’s a great way to get at it because I absolutely agree. Person does not walk around saying I am less than this person. I’m unlovable. Those are deeper, more core beliefs that are almost non-verbal in some ways so just forces that influence us. So I think that’s a great way to find them. So thank you for that. That’s a very helpful distinction. My next thin that I want to get to though, Sean, is I got to say. We got some beef after listening to your program. And the word on the street is that you are against affirmations. Is that correct?
Sean: Well, it’s not that I’m against them. I have no personal issue with them.
Dr. Aziz: Come on, Sean. I’m trying to get some sort of east coast, west coast thing going here. Sorry, go ahead. What are your thoughts on affirmations?
Sean: Well, the thing is I remember I was reading an article in Psychology Today not too long ago and they actually did a study on affirmations. And they found that people who already have high self-esteem, they felt better after doing them. But people who actually needed to use them, people had low self-esteem actually felt worse afterwards. So I mean, it’s not… and personally, I haven’t found that they have helped. I’ve never met somebody who’s told me, I was really shy and insecure, and then I used affirmations and suddenly I’m super confident.
Honestly, I think that these ideas like affirmations and in case somebody listening doesn’t know what they are, it’s like a statement that you repeat to yourself like I’m really confident and happy, stuff like that. I think it’s like an overly simplistic easy answer that a lot of self-help authors gave to people because it sounds like it might work. But I don’t think this advice was ever grounded in practical experience.
Dr. Aziz: Yeah, that’s it, the topic I find really fascinating because I have a very similar experience with saying things. I remember there’s a book I got by Shad Helmsletter, the self-talk solution or something which is very in the affirmations. And I was really motivated. I brought out dozens of them and I tried to say them. And I have a very similar experience like I wasn’t, I didn’t feel different in any way. And I absolutely agree that affirmations, as a sole single approach to social anxiety is woefully inadequate.
However I’ve found, I learned, I’ve done some training with Anthony Robins who is an incredibly motivating inspiring person. And through working with him, I kind of developed the idea of emphatic declaration where you utilize your entire physiology and emphatically declares something that you want to start to adapt to be true about yourself. So one thing that I utilize this on and I actually teach guys to do is there’s a pretty common theme of having a pretty low body image when it comes to social anxiety, a lot of perceptions of our appearance.
And so one thing, I started doing and have guys doing is emphatically declaring I am a deadly handsome man and women are dying to talk to me. Women are happy when I come talking to them. And it’s different than just saying the phrase with sort of a passive like I’m happy, I’m happy. It’s in fact, I’m going to step back from the mic here so I don’t blow it out. But it’s saying something like this, I, Aziz, I’m a deadly handsome man and women are dying to come to talk to me. I, Aziz, I’m a deadly handsome man and women are hoping that I’m going to talk to them. They’re waiting for me. They need me to come and talk to them.
I, Aziz know deep down that I am a deadly handsome man. And you can’t see what I’m doing right now but I’m wiggling my arms around. I’m throwing, I’m gesturing, I’m gesticulating and if I wasn’t worried about blowing out the mic, I would be saying these with absolute force and conviction, absolute certainty and generating that certain body and walking around with passion and intensity. And I found that, that kind of thing has produced a powerful shift whether it’s to change how I see if women want to talk to me or before I give a presentation or a talk in my car, in my way over. I’ll be banging my chest then, as my friend calls it, my gorilla move.
And so I’m curious about what your thoughts are on something like that, like a distinction between an affirmation and emphatic declaration.
Sean: To be honest, I haven’t heard about that but it sounds like it’s very interesting. It sounds like the main difference is that you’re using your body and you’re using your expression to generate certainty. So do you do this to guys like say, you’re coaching some guy right before he wants to approach a woman? Or is this something you teach people to do like every morning or…
Dr. Aziz: Absolutely, yeah. I definitely encourage a ritual of it, a regular practice. I recommend in the morning. That’s when I do mine. I jump on the little rebound or trampoline I have and vocalize whatever I need to reinforcing for that day or that time in my life. I think that’s where you can really let go and hopefully you can live alone or be around. My wife doesn’t care. She knows I’m crazy and so I’m just jumping around, yelling things in the morning. She’s like, yeah, that’s fine.
But I know there’s like I think the main inhibiting factor is self-consciousness even when no one’s around and this blew my mind. I remember I had a lot of social anxiety and long before I learn this stuff, just even like singing or making weird gestures or sounds like even when no one was around. I felt incredibly inhibited. And so I think the same thing applies here. So I really encourage guys to do it around the house. And then afternoon, when I’m working with someone, we’ll anchor it in. That means is after you have done this and you’ve really generated that sense of power in yourself, you make a more subtle gesture. That’s a unique gesture.
And it’s sort of like behavioral conditioning. So grabbing your… making a fist with your thumb inside your fingers, sort of a unique gesture that you don’t normally make. And associating that gesture to the feelings that you have each morning, and so then when you’re out in public and you see a woman or something, you don’t have to like, scream and bang your chest. You just grab your fist in that way and take a deep breath in and you can recall some of those feelings. And then take… the idea is to get you over the hump to then take the necessary action.
Sean: Yeah, it sounds pretty awesome. It’s like a little ninja technique. I think one of the things which I really like about your book which, this is something which, where you just mentioned kind of brought to my mind, when you’re before you’re about to take action, then I think i1 is good to like get yourself into a better state like maybe more certainty before you’re about to approach a woman or something like that or before you’re about to give a presentation. But I think a lot of the old confidence or self-help materials, they focused a little bit too much on…
Dr. Aziz: That is all the time we have for this interview today. I’m going to share more of my conversation with Sean in our next episode where we’re going to get into what I call the genuine approach. How to approach people but particularly women for dating from a place of genuineness, being your self not trying to be someone that you’re not or a pick-up artist. You’re doing all this strange stuff to get her to like you. How do you just show a boldly and authentically and honestly as yourself which ultimately as one of the most attractive things you can do?
I’m going to talk about that and we’re going to hear Sean’s thought on that. We’re going to share stories and a lot of exciting stuff coming up. So check in next week for that episode. Before we end today though, we have to go into your Action Step.
Time for Action
Dr. Aziz: Today’s action step is to generate awareness because awareness is the underpinning of confidence. What you need to do is you need to start catching your hidden inferiority in your daily life and call it out in your mind. So when you start to feel nervous around someone, notice what is it that I’m latching on to as a sign of their superiority. And just pay attention to what society has taught us is better. Is it their looks, their body shape, their money, their possessions, their car, their house, their freedom to be able to go travel somewhere?
Notice what is it that I’m comparing myself? What is it that I’m feeling inferior about? And just really call it out. Notice it in your mind. Oh, I’m nervous around this person because they earn more money than I do or they are more famous than I am, more people know them or they’ve written a book or something like that. Notice what it is and then call it what it is. It’s bullshit. No one’s fundamentally better than you for any reason. You’re both just people. They put their underwear on just like you do every morning.
They belch, they fart, they shit, their human organism. They’re not this exalted perfect person. That’s just something in your mind. It’s bullshit! They’re just like you. Sure they’re better at a certain skill or they’ve been blessed with certain appearance or looks and you can acknowledge that. That’s great. Now, look at them. They’re able to earn this or look at her, she’s very beautiful. It doesn’t mean she’s a better person than I am. We’re both equally awesome.
To really identify that hidden inferiority, call it out as bullshit and make a practice of that this week. And then next week, we’re going to get into the genuine approach and more of our interview with Sean. So until we speak again, may you have the courage to be who you are in the world. Show up and share your voice. And underneath all that, know that you’re awesome!
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