I'm reading this book called Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull, the CEO of Pixar, and parts of the book connect well with my journey of overcoming SA.
In particular, the book talks about failure and how most people don't want to fail. "That's because failure is painful, and our feelings about this pain tend to screw up our understanding of its worth...we have to recognize both the reality of the pain and the benefit of the resulting growth."
Having Social Anxiety, I'm often afraid of failing in social situations. I don't want to come across as too naive, not knowledgeable, not interesting, too immature, etc., and this keeps me from being comfortable in my own skin and saying what's on my mind. Also, it increases my anxiety because I'm so concerned with how I'm coming across to the other person. Perhaps worse, it keeps me from being able to experience necessary growth for becoming a mature adult.
The book also says that failure is like learning to ride a bike; "it isn't conceivable that you would learn to do this without making mistakes-without toppling over a few times"..."fail early and fail fast" and "be wrong as fast as you can."
Just because something is easy for someone else doesn't mean you need to beat yourself up. Instead, be kind to yourself. The book also says "You wouldn't say to somebody who is first learning to play the guitar, 'You better think really hard about where you put your fingers on the guitar neck before you strum, because you only get to strum once, and that's it. And if you get that wrong, we're going to move on.' That's no way to learn, is it?"
In summation, at least for me, I want to be kinder to myself. My anxiety causes me to second guess myself and have very low self-esteem as I frequently continue to experience shame, guilt, and regret from past negative experiences, thoughts and feelings.
As I finish up Week 24 of this program, I am looking at putting behind these thoughts and feelings that keep holding me back and keeping me down. I will try to subvert the negative ANTs thoughts, especially when I'm around other people and start to beat myself up. I am beginning to allow peace to grow inside of me that will instill greater confidence and self-esteem. While I have a lot of room to grow in certain areas, I am going to push myself a little bit each day without getting frustrated at myself, thereby "subvert[ing] the negative connotation associated with making mistakes."
This is all easier said than done, but let's take a small step each day toward overcoming anxiety. Who's with me?
PS - If you're reading a book right now or have read one that has helped you come to terms with and deal with your SAD , feel free to share about it here. Thanks!