The Shyness Project

The Path is Not a Straight One

As much as it makes for a simple, happy story, the road to battling social anxiety and shyness is not a straight one. Even when you’ve had many accomplishments in overcoming obstacles, there is no guarantee that you will never face hard times again when you don’t continue to face those fears and challenge yourself.

In my year in San Diego, I definitely found myself falling backwards several times. This caused me to feel a lot of shame, because I knew I’d been able to do a lot in the past that I was now finding myself struggling with again. I am not sure why, but my social anxiety really took a physiological toll on me this past semester in particular. Maybe it was because I was facing a lot of new situations, or maybe sometimes anxiety just decides to rear an uglier head at some times more than others. Whatever the reason, it was more intense than I had experienced before, and I suffered a lot despite having a lot of amazing times as well.

Luckily the story has a happy ending, as I managed to face my fears and come out stronger through it all. It took some scary lessons with my health, but it required me to face the fact that I needed to build better mental barriers to keep myself from getting in that state again. Stress and anxiety is serious business, and I’m still learning how to keep both at a lower level, but it is something that has to be worked at continuously. You may find yourself overwhelmed at times like I was, but know you’re not alone and that it can get better if you are determined to make things better. More to come soon on what happened during the year, and please hang in there if you are going through a rough time as well.

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4 thoughts on “The Path is Not a Straight One

  1. thank you Brittany for your update from “Realville” iI makes what you write even more credible, as if you are not credible enough already :-)
    Have you ever taken the Holmes and Rahe Stress assessment test? I didn’t hear about it until I was in my late 20’s…thought about it as I read your post. Here’s a link if you are interested: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTCS_82.htm
    I was thinking about you last week, wondering how you are doing…so good to read your update! take care. DM

  2. Like you I’ve also found that my social anxiety flares up when I’m in a new environment. It is frustrating and stress inducing.

    Someone recommended that I read The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown to work through some of these things and to have more self-compassion instead of shame, so it’s not just putting up mental barriers but moving with it. And here’s a great interview about overcoming shyness and fear that I’ve been thinking over. Maybe you’ve already seen it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NaUS6iDFeM&feature=share

    You’re definitely not alone!

  3. Wishing you well, Brittany…yes….”hang in there…. “….
    ( here you go…a few cards that seem to help me… http://pocketperspectives.com/2013/11/20/hang-in-there-not-stopping-now-humorous-pocket-cards-supporting-patience-and-persistence/ )

  4. Brittany, I too understand the essential need to build better mental barriers to keep myself above water. I find teaching Middle School especially challenging. Even the thought of it depletes my energy. Thanks and cheers.

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