Free Yourself From Fear And Create The Life You Are Meant To Live
=> How do you overcome shyness?
=> How do you free yourself from the fear of failing or being embarrassed?
=> How do you think positively of yourself and feel proud of who you are?
These are the life-changing questions that Dr. Aziz tackles in today’s monumental 100th episode of the show. Inside you will discover even more valuable guidance, insights, tools, and support on your journey towards ever-increasing confidence.
Click below to hear this episode!
Our 100th Episode!!
Hey everybody, welcome to today’s episode of the show. Today is a monumental occasion and here’s why, because this is the 100th episode of Shrink for the Shy Guy. One hundred episodes, almost two years old this show is. That’s exciting, I had no idea I’d be doing it that long or what my original plan was. I was just like I got a bunch of stuff to share. And it’s just keep going and growing and I’m super excited to be with you two years later with no sign of stopping insight. There’s a rough patch in the middle air maybe around 60 or 70 or I was like, “I don’t know, why am I doing this and.” And then each time I read someone who writes in, who’s just like, “Wow, that was really helpful or I got something out of that or even better, this helped me transform my life.”
That just juices me, it fills me up with more inspiration, more energy to just keep doing this, keep recording, keep sharing. And honestly, when I do sessions with people or a group call or something like that, when there’s something really valuable in there, something, a major insight they have or a breakthrough, I have this, I like have to go share it whether it’s on a video or one of these podcasts. And if I can’t, it’s painful like we were moving recently and I was also, in addition to moving home, we were also … I was also moving my office and so everything was chaos and I didn’t have a place to record stuff and it was actually really challenging. I was like, all these great insight, I’ll write it down and then I’ll record it later. And of course, I don’t know, I don’t even know where that sheet of paper is that I wrote it down on.
So anyway, it’s a long way of saying thanks for being a part of the show, thanks for listening, thanks for supporting me and putting this out there and I’m excited to keep doing and keep rocking it for another 100 episodes, for another 5,000 episodes, who knows, I got some great ideas for the show, ways I want to expand it, a little additional episodes I’m going to throw in. Some amazing interviews coming up for this year with just super inspiring, super helpful, super powerful people who can help all of us shed any fear, self-doubt, social anxiety just any sense of, “I’m not good enough, people don’t want to talk to me, I can’t do this, I can’t finish that, I’m not good enough in this way.”
Shedding all of that bullshit and just really stepping into who you are, how awesome you are and really what an impact you can have on the world. It doesn’t have to be huge but that you can touch the people’s lives around you. You can give and receive even more love, you can be more free to be who you are. And so, some of those guests are going to really help shed some light on that. And speaking of that, today we’re going to be getting into a really big topic. I thought it was a great topic to dive into for the 100th episode which is, “How to Overcome Shyness and Social Anxiety.” Now, in some ways, all of this show is about that, right and how to increase our confidence and how to be more socially free. But I wanted to address it specifically, the whole process of doing this.
And what inspired me to do this is the question I have from a listener. So, I wanted to answer her question, Ashley is her name and it’s going to help us really make sense of this process, “How Do We Overcome Shyness and Social Anxiety.” And this is very powerful even if maybe you’ve already done a lot, there’s always another layer, there’s always an edge, there’s always a place where we’re a little nervous about putting ourselves out there or what people will think and I’ve talked to people who were very successful in a lot of ways but then they were afraid of putting their book out there. Or they’re afraid of just doing that next thing that people might judge or they might fail.
So today, we’re going to look at how to overcome shyness and social anxiety. Because I know that you’re already on a path towards greater confidence. If you’re listening to the show, you’re already on the path. And this is probably not the only thing you’re doing for your own development. But of course, you probably noticed that setbacks happen and at times, we feel discouraged and at times, you might want to give up and at times, you might say, “What am I doing? Will this ever work and how does this work, I don’t know,” and I’ve been there. So, let’s talk about how this process works. In fact, let’s start by reading this question from a listener.
Ask The Shrink
So, this question is from Ashley, she says, “Hello, my name is Ashley. I have a few questions that I would like to be answered once you have the time to answer them. My questions that I would like to ask are…” She’s very organized, “How to overcome shyness? How to overcome the fear of failing? How to think positive so you can say I’m proud of myself?” I think that’s what she means there, “How to believe in yourself so you can do what you want without being embarrassed or afraid?”
So, those are big questions. Those are like huge, big, awesome questions and if you have the answers to those questions, then you’re in damn good shape. And I won’t say that I have all the answers to everything in life as much I would pretend to like I think I do and I think most any person is only going to know the infinitesimally small fraction of what there is out there in the world and the universe and everything like that. But I’ve been working on myself in this area for maybe 14 years now and I’ve helped clients with this for — it’s 2005 so what are we, 11 years now so there’s a lot there that I’ve seen. So, I’m going to share the best stuff that I got that’s going to help you in this process.
First question, how to overcome shyness? So, this is really powerful and there’s three things I distill it down that you must do if you really want to overcome shyness. And when we say here, maybe make it quick distinction actually because some people say like, wait a minute, “Hey maybe there’s nothing wrong with shyness. Why are you bashing on shyness? Why are you making it sound like some disease?” And if you’re feeling that way, that’s not my intention at all. Here’s what I mean, so, shyness might be a temporary feeling of hesitating. My son, Asaim who I love, he’s amazing, he’s a little over two and someone comes to our house. I mean, he’s like loud and running around and doing all kinds of crazy stuff that toddlers do. And someone comes over and sometimes even if it’s someone he loves like his grandma or a good friend of ours, he’ll run over and want to be picked up.
And you’re holding him and then a friend will come over and say hi and he’ll kind of smile and put his head behind my … maybe behind my shoulder. And it’s cute, right, it’s him being shy and there’s nothing wrong with that. I mean that’s a beautiful thing, it’s funny, it’s endearing, its sweet. And sometimes everyone, anyone feels shy, you feel little hesitant, a little worried. That’s not the real problem. The real problem is a chronic sense of “I don’t want to reach out, people aren’t going to like me, I’m going to fail, I’m not good enough, people judge me harshly for X, Y and Z because I’m not enough for this and I’m too much of that and so I don’t want to put myself out there.” That could be called social anxiety and the reason I use the word shyness is because that’s what Ashley is using, that’s what most people say when they say, “Oh, I’m really shy,” that’s what they mean, it’s like I have a lot of social anxiety.
So, with that big caveat, we’re going to dive into the three things you must do to overcome shyness, we’re also going to look how to overcome the fear of failing and answering all Ashley’s questions. In fact, this whole episode is dedicated to that, we’re going to take a quick break right now and we’re going to dive into those three things so stay tuned.
Do What Scares You
Three things that you must do to overcome shyness. First, do what scares you. Yes, that’s the million dollar turnaround, the 180 degree shift. Stop avoiding and start approaching. Do what scares you. If you do that, you will chip away at your fears and doubts like nothing else. That you might feel more fear at first though, of course, right because you’re doing what scares you, you’re not avoiding it, so, it’s more scary. But when you persistently and consistently do it bit by bit by bit, not to be huge, it doesn’t have to be a crazy leap from a 5,000-foot building, you can just take a small step, go 5% outside your comfort zone. You consistently do that, you will transform.
Challenge the Ideas that Make You Scared
Number two, challenge the ideas in your mind that make you scared. So, you’re going to start getting better and getting more awareness and noticing what story am I telling myself. So, you’re feeling anxious, you’re going to do it anyway because you’re facing your fear but then you’re so tense, you’re so worried. A mentor of mine I’ve actually had on the show, Brad Pennigraph who’s an amazing … amazing everything, author, coach, NLP master, he’s a pretty amazing guy. And a question that he taught me which I love which I love is to ask yourself, “How am I doing this?” So, when you’re feeling tense or nervous, ask yourself, “How am I doing this?” And notice what am I focusing on, what am I saying to myself? How am I creating this in my experience and you just might find that you’re saying to yourself, no one there will like me. So, if you’re telling yourself, no one there is going to like me, everyone thinks I’m stupid then you’re probably going to be pretty anxious.
Change the Way You Talk to Yourself
You’ve got to learn how to challenge. First identify those ideas and then challenge those stories in your mind. The third thing you must do, if you really want to overcome shyness, social anxiety, fear self-doubt is change the way you talk to yourself. You have to challenge your inner critic and replace it with compassion. You’ve got to commit to being on your side no matter what, this is a huge piece. You can’t just go out and do what scares you but continually berate and beat yourself in your own mind and virtually everyone I work with, there’s a huge amount of self-love that they need to heal. They don’t, there’s a part of them that is just ruthless, just beats them down again and again and again and if they try to argue with that part, it just steam rolls over them. So, they need to learn very powerful tools and strategies and work over time; it’s like training a new habit of changing the way you relate to yourself. That is a huge step in overcoming shyness.
So, to get to our next question here, how to … oh by the way, when I share the answer to these things, if you listen to it and you’re like, “I already know that, yawn, what’s next? No, I know that one too. God there’s nothing new here.” Well, maybe there is something new there for you but even if there’s not, there is knowing with your mind and sometimes, that’s actually worse than not knowing because then we can slot it into, “I know that, I get certainty,” but we’re not actually doing it. So you can say, “Oh yes, I know, do what scares you, yes, I already know that.” But then, we got to look at our lives and say, well how much I’m actually doing that? And what scares you changes because if you live this practice and you start doing it more, then the things that use to scare you won’t anymore.
Keep Growing and Find Your Next Edge
And then you can choose to stop and potentially get stagnant or you can choose to keep growing and find your next edge. I’m always doing that. I’m finding my next edge and it’s like … you don’t have to go crazy. You can take breaks but at the same time, I mean to me, we’re either growing or we’re stagnant. And growth and fear are like two peas in a pod. I don’t know if you can get one without the other. Or some other challenge, growth comes from challenge, facing a challenge, learning, expanding, putting something into practice, taking action, facing fear. So, the question you want to ask yourself is am I doing what I already know. Okay, Ashley’s next question, how to overcome the fear of failing? Fail a lot as fast and as you can and then you’ve got to transform the way you see it. Instead of seeing failure as the opposite of success, see that as a path on the step to success. It’s a step on the path, I should say, to success.
So, we tend to think of it like this, there’s like a desired outcome like I want to meet someone here and have a great conversation or I want to ask someone out and get a date. Or I want them to hire me or I want this project to go well or I want kudos from my boss or I want to sell a certain amount of whatever in my business and make a certain amount of money. We have these goals, we have these desires. We have these outcomes that we want and if we get the outcome in the amount of time that we have arbitrarily decided that we should get it then it’s a success. But if we don’t get the outcome or we don’t get it right away, when we say, “Oh, I should get it tonight or I should get it by next week or I should do it this year.” And if we don’t get it by that timeline even if we get it later, we’re still considered a failure when we didn’t reach it within that timeline. So, it’s the desired outcome in the right timeframe is considered a success.
So here’s the thing, I mean, if you take action, will you always get the desired outcome? Is every step you take going to get you exactly the desired outcome that you made up and exactly the timeframe that you came up with even if it’s totally unrealistic? Absolutely not, we’re going to get all kind of outcomes, desired, undesired unknown, random. And so to conclude, oh, that was a failure or worse, people say, “I am a failure.” And if you think I am a failure and you take that into your identity then you’re toast because you don’t try anymore. And a phenomenal book about this whole subject is, “Go For No,” written by Andrea Waltz, I forget her co-author Roger, anyway, he’s awesome too. But that is going to give you some powerful insight into reframing how you see failure because it is truly. I mean, the people are the most successful fail the most, they fail a lot because you’re taking a lot of action. Just think about this you take massive action, you will succeed. You’re also going to fail a lot along the way so get ready for it and just bring it on, man, embrace it.
All right, how to think positive so you can say, “I’m proud to do that.” I’m proud to do that, I’m not sure what she means there. But here is how to think more positive and feel more proud of yourself if that’s what you’re asking, Ashley. This one took me many years to learn, lower the bar. I know. I know it seems like counterintuitive, it seems wrong especially in the personal development world, right? Lower the bar, no, raise the bar. As Tony Robbins, the self-help stud would say, “Raise your standards, that’s one of his big talking points. He talks about the secrets to success in life and bazillions of dollars and hoards of fans, whatever else you want is to raise your standards. And I get his point. It makes a lot of sense but you know what, I think in terms of perfectionism, self-criticism, if you don’t have all that healed up, you don’t, if your inner critic is still a raging maniac and you haven’t healed that up, then raising your standards is bad news.
Your standards are already too high. You have unrealistic standards. They’re perfectionistic and most people that I talk to and work with have unrealistic standards so I don’t think raising them is a good idea unless we totally change how we hold them. I think we want to lower the bar before we give ourselves credit. So, this is something really big that comes up in a lot of people’s lives. I was actually talking to my brother recently about this, he’s a public defender. Serves the common good and he’s got like any public defender, just crap ton of cases and he’s been working in the field for a quite a while so now, he’s moved up from misdemeanors to felonies. So it’s like more serious charges, more serious jail time and of course, he’s all stressed out because it’s way more than he can manage and he’s like, “But I got to do everything for everyone and take care of every case with all of my time or else something bad is going to happen or I’m going fail or people are going to judge me and think I’m no good, clients are going to be upset with me.”
And he was just a nervous wreck because he was taking so much on. And he didn’t give himself any credit for what he was doing. It’s like, well, it doesn’t matter because I haven’t done enough for that person, I haven’t done enough for that person and you do this next and you do that next. And I really talked with him about lowering the bar. Like what can you give yourself credit for right now. What if you don’t have to perform so amazingly that you pull off these crazy one-in-a-million long shots with a guy you win the case. I mean, what do you expect like you know what, with the situation, the way it’s set up, I’m actually set up to lose a lot of time but I’m still going to fight for him. What if you lower that bar? Where can you lower the bar in your life?
Where can you just start to give yourself credit right now? Not when you reach a certain goal or you achieve something else but right now, for what you’re doing, what you’ve already done. Most people only let themselves feel proud when they’ve done something incredible like going to the moon or earning a billion dollars. Instead, what if you committed to giving yourself credit daily? Ask yourself on a daily basis, maybe starting right, what could I be proud of myself for if I wanted to be? Right now, what could you be proud of yourself for if you let yourself, if you wanted to be.
Just breathe in and feel that. I actually like to put my hand on my heart when I do this one. This one helps you if you slow down. You can’t just do it super heady in your brain as you’re buzzing from one thing to the next. Just take a moment right now, just right now with me. And breathe and slow way down. What can you be proud of yourself for? What can you give yourself as gift? Instead of looking for other people to be proud of you, what if you just gave it to yourself? What are your standards? “Oh I can’t give myself credit for that because, oh yes, so I woke up and ate a healthy breakfast, yes, that’s feel great.” It is, 75% of people are not doing that. You’re in the minority and so, give yourself credit. You don’t have to compare yourself to others and say you’re better than them. But give yourself the credit that you deserve and you want to acknowledge that you are better than people on certain measures then that’s fine too, right, hey, maybe I am more dedicated to my health than other people are and that’s good. I’m proud of that. I think health is important to me or whatever your thing is.
So, that is how you can think more positive and feel more proud of yourself. We’re going to take another quick break and then, we’re going to get another great question of hers which is, “How to believe in yourself so you can do whatever you want without being embarrassed or afraid to do it?” Now that, oh, that’s a good question and something I love and the answer is a little different than what you might expect. So stay tuned. We’ll be right back right after this.
I want to take one moment to acknowledge a listener who left me a message through the website, Shrink for the Shy Guy. It was really touching, really compelling and he just shared how much he’s grown and it’s awesome to hear about his progress so let’s jump into that right now.
Ask the Shrink
So, Ashley asked a great question which is, how to believe in yourself so you can do what you want without being embarrassed or afraid to do it. So, this is another … it’s building on a question, how do we overcome fear but there’s a key element there which is embarrassed, right? So one thing that’s holding her back and probably holding a lot of us back is the fear of feeling embarrassed or judged or humiliated like something bad is happening, something bad is coming towards us because of whatever we just did, what we failed or we didn’t or even not just doing something outside of the ordinary for us outside of our comfort zone, we assume other people are going to judge us. And so here’s the thing, one, the judgment is primarily in your own mind. Two, the degree to which someone’s judgment bothers you is based upon how much you’re judging yourself already. So, if you’re okay with it then their judgments don’t bother you as much.
Three, the only way to get free of embarrassment is to embarrass yourself. Now I know that that’s the part that seems counterintuitive. It’s like, no, I want to avoid embarrassment. But when you are able to embarrass yourself intentionally and withstand that discomfort and see through it, you gain super powers. In fact, in my program, 30 Days to Dating Mastery which guides people step by step and there’s like a mission each day. Missions like going out in the world and doing something, I think right on, I don’t know what day it is, maybe like eight or nine, I talk about this concept called Embarrassment Inoculation which is exactly that, it’s like an inoculation. It’s like … you get a shot of mumps or measles or whatever in your arm and then you become resilient so you can’t get infected by that disease, most likely.
And the same thing with embarrassment, you take small dosage intentionally and then you can’t be infected by it, it doesn’t hurt you, it doesn’t make you sick anymore. But I realize it’s a hard sell so in the program, one of the assignments I have people do is write out what I called their embarrassment manifesto where they write out why it is good for them to be embarrassed, why they want to be embarrassed and what they’re going to do to make that happen in their lives. And that’s coming on the tail end of a long strategy session like 20 or 30-minute video where I’m really highlighting the power of this liberation that comes from facing our fear and doing something embarrasses us. So, we have to do it, we have to do a lot and what’s amazing is the people that have done it, I’ve done it and friends I know have done it and also, clients that I worked with, the ones who were bold and courageous will do it.
And what they all will tell you, what I will tell you is one, when you do stuff that’s embarrassing, like go ask am uncomfortable question at a store or ask someone for a sandwich or $400. One client of mine would ask people like, can I have a breath mint? Anything, dancing on a street corner, whatever it is. What you’re going to find is Al the vast majority of people don’t notice or don’t care, that’s liberating. Now, me telling you that is not liberating, doing it is liberating. You got to do it, you got to see it for yourself, you’ve got to face that fear. And you’ve got to do it, again and again and again and again. And the more you do this stuff, the more you realize you can handle it and it doesn’t matter. You become fearless, people’s judgments don’t bother you and that, and so here’s the thing, when you’re able to embarrass yourselves in those small little situations like that, then when it comes to asking someone out or speaking up in a meeting or anything that’s more serious in your life, that embarrassment is holding you back from, it no longer will. And you become more free in all aspects of your life.
So, the key feature in overcoming shyness and social anxiety is sticking with the process, doing these things, doing what scares you. Learning to work with the negative stories in your mind and challenging what makes you scared in your own head. And then working with your inner critic, getting on your own side and staying in this process, learning, surrounding yourself with information that helps you, that serves you, that’s why I created this information. This podcast, I have a book, I have training programs, coaching weekends, whatever it is, like if people want to surround themselves with that information and then experience that transformation, that’s what I’ve seen work and that’s why I’ve share that with the world.
And whatever it is for you even if it was just my book, “The Solution of Social Anxiety,” start with that because you’ll be able to get a ton of exercises but you’ve got to engage in this process and here’s the thing; don’t stop. Most people don’t make the progress because they do it for a week or a couple of weeks or maybe a month. And they’re like, “Man, this is hard, forget that.” And they stop and then they settle into a story that says, “Well, this is just how I am and it’s not going to work and I’ve tried other stuff before and that didn’t work so don’t even try,” which is just the call sign of a stuck human. “I’m not going to do it, it’s not going to work so I won’t try,” and I’ve been there in my life.
But here’s the thing. Everything that seemed insurmountable, everything that seemed like just who I was, was actually just a little shift, a little breakthrough. I mean, after I overcame the fear of talking to women and ask them out and getting dates, that was a big hurdle. Then I realized I had an even deeper fear of getting into relationship, I freaked the fuck out. I would get so weird, I’d get so uncomfortable and anxious, I didn’t know why and I’d have to break up with her and then I feel guilty and miss her and then want to get back together and break up again, it’s like this yoyo. I was crazy balls and I thought, man, after a number of times of doing this and trying to white knuckle through it but not being able to, I thought, man, I’m really messed up.
There’s just something deeply wrong with me. I’m not capable of intimacy, relationships, broken. And you know what? It was just some minor shifts that transformed it all. One of which is I just don’t had no boundaries. I couldn’t say no, I felt too guilty to say no. I didn’t, I couldn’t talk about anything that was upsetting to me or frustrating to me or anything I wanted different in a relationship, I was too nice. That was one small thing and of course, it was a lot of work to overcome those patterns but it was just patterns, these patterns of niceness and not having boundaries and then boom, everything shifted to create an amazing relationship with the love of my life that had nothing to do with who, my inner core or my character, am I a good person or a bad person. It’s just skills, it’s just learning, applying, doing and doing what scares you again and again. So that brings us to our action.
Your action step for today is choose your own adventure, it’s a multiple choice. We have option A or option B. Option A is to do that question, ask that question, that exercise, what could I be proud of myself for if I wanted to be. And ask that once a day. Slow down, just give yourself, I don’t know, two minutes and do it once a day for the rest of the week. That is option A. Option B is to go do some shit that scares you, maybe some embarrassment inoculation, maybe something else, just do something that scares you. Do it. Hey, do it, do it now. Because the faster you start, the faster you go, the more quickly you’re going to get there, the more quickly your life is going to transform. That’s just how it works. And the people that take massive action repeatedly lead extraordinary lives.
So, choose your own adventure; option A or option B or shit, there’s an option C, A and B, right. They always have those in multiple choice. I always hated that multiple choice. It was like A, B, C, D and then like E was A and B but not D and F. I’m like, dude, fucking professor, you have too much time on your hands. Don’t mess with us. Anyway, so that brings us to the end of our episode. It’s been a pleasure to be with you today and for the last 100 episodes the last two years. I’m excited for much more and write in if you have any questions. I’d love to answer them, shrinkfortheshyguy.com. And also go the socialconfidencecenter.com if you’ve never been there, socialconfidencecenter.com. There’s a ton of stuff, videos. You can get to my YouTube Channel from there, so all kinds of resources for free for you to help you overcome anything that’s in your way. Until we speak again, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome. I’ll talk to you soon.
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