Do you dry up, go blank, or get tongue-tied in social or professional situations?
Have you decided, as a result, that you have social anxiety and that you really do have a problem?
You may be fine when you’re with good friends, family or people you trust. You look around you and see everyone else talking to each other, laughing and joking and “getting along” – and you are at times rather amazed about how much other people have to say about absolutely nothing!
You are probably someone that tends to listen more and think deeply about what other people are saying – you only speak when you really have something to say.
Are you socially anxious, or are you socially awkward?
Until a few years ago, there was no stigma in being shy or socially awkward. But since the medical profession put social phobia on the map, many people began describing themselves as socially anxious. They began to believe that there was something wrong with them mentally or emotionally.
But there’s a huge difference between being someone with social phobia and someone who is socially awkward or anxious. Most introverts experience challenges in their social interactions.
Can I suggest you start thinking of yourself as socially awkward – even if you’ve been diagnosed with social anxiety? It is a doctor’s job to diagnose, and this is one area where a diagnosis can seriously undermine your confidence.
Just because you feel socially awkward doesn’t mean you ARE socially anxious.
Social chit chat, parties, any kind of networking or teamwork used to excruciatingly uncomfortable for me. I’d avoid it if I could. And I really did believe there was something wrong with me. It seemed that everyone else was having a great time except me.
And I could see quite plainly that the socially confident people were achieving things that were a hopeless dream for me.
How I gained social confidence
But this changed overnight when I learned that I had a creative brain that I wasn’t using. This was why I couldn’t respond naturally to what others were saying and why my mind was going completely blank.
I discovered that because I was an introvert, my default mode was to overthink everything. I had this internal critic that never let up and was constantly criticising everything I said or did.
I didn’t know how to access my creative brain that would stop me overthinking and enable me to access the far wiser intuitive intelligence that lived within me.
When I discovered how to use and balance both my creative and analytic brains, then I really began to “make moves”! (This is what eventually became the name of my company to help other people achieve the same.)
I was amazed at how magical my life could be when I learned how to use my creative brain.
Much to my surprise, I even found at times I could be the life and soul of the party. I stopped being over-serious and started to have fun. I discovered much to my surprise that I had an enormous capacity for having fun. It was an essential part of me.
At the same time, I started feeling happier and happier. The more I operated from my creative brain, the happier I got. Depression and anxiety melted away because I was expressing more of my true self. And other people seemed to like the outgoing Claire much more than they liked the Wallflower Claire. I started to attract the kind of friends that I really wanted to have and live the life I’d dreamed of living. See my book: From Wallflower to Sunflower for my full story.
How you can say goodbye to social anxiety and awkwardness
And you can achieve this too.
It will take work, and you’ll feel very uncomfortable at times. But it is moving through this discomfort in a safe environment that will enable to overcome your social awkwardness.
The Sunflower Effect, the confidence system I have developed using an adapted form of drama, will enable you to achieve this. Whether you would define yourself as a social wallflower or it’s just certain situations where you become socially awkward. This is usually when you are under pressure and feel afraid of making a mistake.
BECOMING SOCIALLY CONFIDENT: HOW DO YOU GET STARTED
I have designed a number of different courses for building social confidence, depending on what level of social anxiety or awkwardness you experience.
The most effective course for overcoming social awkwardness is the I Don’t Know What to Say Improvisation course for social confidence course. It is fast and great fun. It draws heavily on Keith Johnstone’s original improvisation method (very different from comedy impro) which I have adapted for quieter people who feel socially awkward.
It will take a little while to unlearn your ingrained habits of operating from your logical left brain, but with practice and with the support of other people, you will be surprised at what starts coming out of your mouth.
When you learn how to get out of your head and start accessing your natural instincts and intuition, you will discover the deeper intelligence that lives inside you, which is far superior to your logical left brain.
And my participants tell me how much fun it is:
A brilliant way to get more confident socially.
Thelma, former teacher
This environment is unlike anything you will find in everyday life, and the freedom you are afforded is completely transferrable. Put, I give much less of a f*** now than I did 12 weeks ago, and this is infinitely more than I could have hoped for when tentatively enrolling. I would do it again without hesitation as it is easily the best decision I’ve made on my self-improvement journey.
Colin O, legal writer,
It’s six months since I did the “I don’t know what to say” course, and I’m still seeing the benefits, thank you for the whole experience. I surprise myself sometimes as to where my confidence comes from in relating to people.
Peregrine C, healing practitioner
However, the course is challenging and is not the best first step for everyone.
If you feel fairly confident in most other areas of your life, want to learn how to think on your feet or feel you need this level of challenge to overcome your inhibitions, I Don’t Know What to Say, could be a great place to start.
If shyness, self-consciousness or social anxiety are strongly on your radar
You would be better to start off with the Breakthrough Group, or the Express Yourself Workshop before moving onto I Don’t Know What to Say Improvisation course, particularly if the prospect of doing drama gives you the complete heebie-geeebies.
Starting off with Breakthrough or the Express Yourself Workshop will enable you to overcome the acute aspects of self-consciousness and the blocks that are causing your social anxiety. It will also ease you gently into the drama, build your confidence, so you can be ready to meet the challenges of the I Don’t Know What to Say Improvisation course
It also can be useful to sign up for Introductory Evening. That way I can see you in action and recommend the best course for you.
Book a time to speak to me
If you’re not sure which course is right for you, you can set up a time to speak to me, (it’s free) to get more of a sense of what challenges you are facing, and which course will serve you better.
Sign up for Three Chapters from my book
Subscribe to the Making Moves newsletter and receive 3 free chapters from my book: From Wallflower to Sunflower (£14.99)
In these chapters, you’ll discover:
- Why you’re not alone, and why more people are identifying themselves as wallflowers
- The biggest mistake that wallflowers make when they’re trying to build confidence.
- Discover the magic power to break old habits and create new patterns of confident behaviour you’ve had the whole time – but you didn’t know it.
You’ll also receive regular free resources, tips and support for your journey to greater confidence, as well as information about my highly effective confidence courses.
Subscribe now to receive your free chapters emailed straight to your inbox, and join a community of people like you, who are ready to change their lives.
More about the book
From Wallflower to Sunflower breaks new ground in the field of confidence-building. A former wallflower, she stumbled by chance on a very simple and effective way to build a natural and lasting confidence.
Claire Schrader has developed the Sunflower Effect, a proven confidence-building system using an adapted form of drama, that has assisted many hundreds of people to move from “Wallflower to Sunflower” (to becoming naturally self-confident).
The book is highly practical, grounded in psychology and scientific research and offers a step-by-step guide with proven strategies, practical tips, exercises and free online resources.
Reading the book will enable you to get more out of my courses because you will understand more about how the Sunflower Effect works.
From Wallflower to Sunflower – the quiet person’s path to natural self-confidence by Claire Schrader