Do you get nervous about speaking to someone or to a group of people? Do you freeze up, stutter, or start sweating the minute it’s your turn to speak, even if it’s just to give your opinion? Do you prefer to avoid conversations with people altogether?
Growing up with low self-worth and self-esteem, I shied away from a lot of opportunities to socialize. Back then, I don’t know if I had social anxiety disorder, lacked communication skills or just lacked self-esteem and confidence. But, I clearly remember not feeling at ease around others while others seemed to thrive. So, I would cover up my discomfort by smiling a lot or being funny.
Social anxiety disorder is when a person feels symptoms of discomfort, anxiety or fear in social situations. These situations can range from meeting new people at a party or work function and being interviewed for a job to asking someone out on a date, answering a question in class, or having to stop for directions.
On the other hand, glossophobia is the medical term for the fear of public speaking. It affects as many as four out of 10 Americans. For those affected, speaking in front of a group can also trigger feelings of discomfort and anxiety.
As I got older, being shy and lacking confidence made me even more unhappy and depressed. I noticed that people were quick to take advantage of me. Eventually, I knew it would only hold me back from reaching my full potential and from realizing my dreams. And, I didn't want to miss out on all the good the world had to offer. That’s when I started to work on my mindset.
See, it's normal to get nervous. But, it's not normal to let it rule or ruin your life. Whether you suffer from these health conditions or are just shy or afraid of sounding foolish, you can build your own self-esteem and confidence. Try using this affirmation to start! It’s a long one, I know. But, I’ve used it many times in my life to help keep myself calm, to gain focus, and to overcome anxiety.
I used it every time I knew I would be speaking to someone in a higher position than me or with someone I found threatening. I sometimes used it when I knew I was meeting someone new. I even used it to improve my relationships with others. In fact, I still use it today to help keep me grounded and focused on my work as an empowerment coach.
If this affirmation can work for me, I feel confident it can work for you, too!