It takes deep courage to take risks in social situations, especially when the stakes are high, or you are battling fear or doubt. For instance, how comfortable would you be in the following circumstances ?
One of the reasons these actions can be so challenging is that social rejection can make us feel very unsafe. Humans are a social species, so this makes complete sense. This said, this biological fear is irrational in that we will be completely ok if a complete stranger judges us or considers us stupid.
In order to develop your social courage, you need to first develop a sense of self-worth that withstands criticism or rejection from others. That way, when people point and laugh, reject, or criticize you, you are able to hold and support yourself.
While you could reach this deep sense of self-worth through thinking and emotional work, there is fast track that is available. While it is fast, it isn't necessarily pleasant ! Essentially, it involves facing challenging and rejection filled social situations. By being judged, criticized and rejected over and over again, you develop inner strength and stamina, as well as knowledge that you have what it takes to care for yourself, no matter what anyone thinks about you.
As with all things, it is best to start with baby steps. Perhaps talking to someone at the bus stop, smiling at someone, giving a heartfelt hello. Practice makes perfect, and these social interactions can help build confidence. Additionally, make sure to make use of positive self-talk and positive reinforcement to acknowledge all of the beautiful work you are doing.
Finally, it is helpful to realize a few key ideas:
Renée was always the one in the background, never daring to speak up or take any social risks. She was like a shy little mouse, always trying to blend in and never stand out. Maybe it was because of her experiences with bullies when she was younger, or maybe it was just part of her personality. But one Halloween, something changed.