As I promised in episode 2, in this episode we are going to release you from the illusion of control. If you recall from episode 2, one of the myths surrounding social anxiety (or any fear or anxiety for that matter) is that you should be able to control what you think and feel.
It’d be nice if life were that simple, but that’s actually a complete fallacy. This myth, this illusion of control is so prevalent in our society (it’s even touted by many of the so-called experts and gurus) … so I wanted to devote this episode entirely to shattering this illusion.
Because as long as you’re wrapped up in the illusion you’re caught in a vicious cycle. You tell yourself, “I have to fill my head with positive thoughts. I have to get rid of the negative thoughts.” Sure, you can do that temporarily, but the so-called bad thoughts eventually come back.
Then what happens? You feel bad about having the thoughts. You feel like you failed at getting rid of them.
You see how it becomes this vicious cycle?
Well, I say ENOUGH of that.
- Even though your life depends on it, you can’t control the anxiety.
- We equate feeling good with the idea of happiness. And if you believe that illusion of course you are going to invest a lot of time and energy in trying to decrease the bad feelings and increase the good feelings in order to be happy.
- Examples of control strategies can include everything from the use of alcohol or drugs and suicide attempts to comfort foods, exercise, prayer, and meditation.
- First you ask yourself, “What have I tried doing to get rid of these difficult thoughts and feelings?”
- Next you want to ask, “How has it worked in the long run?”
- Finally, you ask, “What has it cost me when I have over-relied on these strategies?”
You can download a copy of this episode’s transcript by clicking here.
Notice when you are “tugging on the rope.” When does the tug of war happen? What triggers it? What are the consequences?
Ultimately, it’s about taking a good, honest look at how control is working in your life – is it taking you in the direction of the meaningful life you want to live or is it taking you in a direction of struggle and suffering?
You can download a worksheet that will help you do this by clicking here.
Next, head on over to episode 4 to discover how to unhook yourself from the very thoughts that are controlling you…