social situation women chatting
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Social anxiety can be a subtle beast. There are a great many sufferers out there who may not even realise what is going on. When you are struggling with issues such as lack of confidence, low self-esteem, shyness and social awkwardness it is natural that you are going to be anxious in social situations. There can be various causes for this and there may often be several reasons why you are worried about interacting with others. But whatever your situation, there are things that you can do to help yourself deal with social situations better. Below, I suggest some specific social anxiety techniques that can help

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Robert Sanders - my daily routine

Having a daily routine can be a really important part of making the best of life. Everything that you do as habit or routine is one less task your brain needs to do consciously. Steve Jobs was said to have a wardrobe full of identical suits so that he didn’t have to make a decision every day about what to wear.

If you do have a routine, it can be a good exercise to write it down and unpick it a bit. Challenge the ‘stuff’ you don’t need to do, and find ways to make the banal and routine more enriching.

6.00 I get up and have a good breakfast. Sometimes just cereals and toast, but I find it easy to cook up a few poached eggs – just pop the bread in the toaster and the eggs in the boiling water and their done about the same time.

6.00 I spend some of my day working with kids at a breakfast club nearby. It is a matter of hopping on my bicycle and I’m there in three minutes. All of the work I do is local or home based.

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woman thinking styles

Whether in a relationship, your career, financially or personally, bad thinking habits can really slow your progress, create conflict or knock your confidence. So, I thought I would present a list of my top 7 deadly thinking styles. I’ll explain a little about each, and give some suggestions to help avoid them.

Thinking styles

1: Think the worst

When making decisions or wondering about an event in the future. Many people naturally worry that things won’t turn out well. Focusing on bad outcomes, however, is a recipe for increasing your anxiety.

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Diverse range of people

When I first started as a NLP practitioner in 2012, I expected to have a whole range of clients. I thought there would be some amazing clients that I really liked working with. There would be some I found a bit ‘run of the mill’. I braced myself for the possibility that I would even find a few that were downright annoying!

It even seemed likely that I might occasionally have to have some very frank conversations and refer some people on to another practitioner.

To be fair, that has happened, once.

But what I actually found, was what I should have known from the start. Every single one of the people I have worked with over the years has been amazing.

Like the mother of three who runs a successful design business from home and wants to write a book.

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Spilt milk

Sometimes a person will reach a point in life where they come to a devastating realisation. ‘It’s all my fault’. In any aspect of our lives we may spend a considerable amount of time feeling that we are the victim and blaming others for our bad experiences, and then suddenly we reach a certain breaking point and it hits us that we are the cause of everything we are experiencing.

It often happens after things have been piling up over a long period of time. You gradually become overwhelmed with all the choices you have made and the path you have found yourself going down.

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freedom - represented by a barbed wire fence and a plan in the background

As I write this I’m stuck in a prison – the prison of the mind. A lot of people run aground in their lives and stay in that place most of the time. I am determined to break free and live a life of freedom. Sure, things, or should I say, circumstances, happen in one’s life but the most important emotion is our reactions to these. We can be negative and feel sorry for ourselves or get into a positive state of mind and ‘tighten our belts’ and move on to the next chapter. The most important piont in your life is to not compare yourself with others.

You have been given a blank canvas and it’s up to you what you’re going to paint on it. My own life has had its ups and downs and most of my life I’ve let the downs keep me from experiencing the joys that life has to offer: low in confidence; feeling worthless; lack of self-esteem and hiding away. My aim is to break free and break these chains, start a new journey and use every part of the canvas to paint my picture.

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Controlling anger isn’t something tigers have to think about. These are incredibly beautiful creatures. They represent concepts of pure wildness, untamed beauty, strength and power. Tigers have a reputation for being unpredictable and incredibly dangerous. Keeping a tiger as a pet is definitely inadvisable. It is their wildness that we admire most. A tiger doesn’t need to apologise for being a tiger.

Unlike tigers, we sometimes need to be able to control our anger. Anger is sometimes a perfectly natural response to a situation. Like all emotions it is a signal that something needs to change, and there is something new to learn.

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three men - see no evil hear no evil speak no evil

The murder of Sarah Everard, is still a raw and painful memory as I write this. Rightfully, the subject of women’s safety and male behaviour is an incredibly touchy one. I’ve joined in a few discussions on social media and quickly seen how emotive people naturally are on this subject. I know it might be safer to keep my head below the parapet, but one woman in just such a group pointed out that it is men who need to sort the problem out. So keeping quiet is not really an option.

At the same time, I’m not going to be able to change the world in a blog. This blog is aimed directly at men only. I would like to suggest a few small shifts of thinking and attitude that, if every man were to make them, might help improve the situation.

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In this, the first ‘Inspiring Success’ video I interview Professor Alyssa Westring, Vincent de Paul Associate Professor of Management and Entrpeneurship at DePaul University’s Driehaus College of Business. We talk about how to create more successful lives as parents.

Juggling work, home, well-being and community life can make life incredibly challenging – even more so during Covid-19. Alyssa’s book ‘Parents Who Lead’ gives a practical framework for creating greater synergy within our lives.  She talks about her focus on Values and the Four-Way view used in her work with families and she explains her research into the impact of Coronavirus.

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In this ‘Inspiring Success’ video interview, I talk to actress, performance coach and author, Sarah Thurstan. We discuss story-telling, authenticity and disclosure as the keys to effective presentation. Sarah shares a range of techniques and approaches to speaking out, whether on a platform, via video or within meetings. We also explore some of the changes that are being brought about by the current pandemic.

Book - Personal Presence, By Sarah Thurstan

Sarah Thurstan is author of ‘Personal Presence – How Speakers Authentically Engage”, published by Novaro Publishing.

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