10 years ago, I got the help I needed to eradicate social anxiety from my life (and it only took ONE HOUR!).
Very quickly, I went on to create a life that I only dreamed about when I was hiding from the world.
If you were to ask me how I did it back then, I would probably have said:
“Fuck knows! Confidence?”
The truth of the matter is, I wasn’t thinking about the process. I was just getting on with life. I had a new found zest, sparked by self-confidence which I’d never experienced in my entire life.
Instead of sitting around worrying about doing what I wanted, I just did what I wanted.
It wasn’t until last year, following my recovery from a second bout of anxiety (which you can read about here in my free ebook), that I began to look into the reasons why I was able to create a successful life after social anxiety.
I had a job I loved, was building a nice circle of friends, had moved to a much better city where I felt at home and had a beautiful girlfriend. Things fell into place so quickly, it was frightening! Mostly because I didn’t really plan anything:
- I didn’t plan to move to London; the opportunity arose purely because I would have been made redundant otherwise.
- I didn’t plan to become a full-time English teacher in the UK – I was actually going to teach and travel abroad, nothing serious, certainly not a career. But I met someone on my training course who already taught full-time. She invited me to watch her teach and I met her boss through that. He liked me and offered me a job!
- I did plan to become a DJ. But I never thought I’d become one so quickly or through the avenue I took. I became friends with a woman I met randomly in a nightclub, she offered me a job working for her coach travel company and this lead to us putting on club nights through her contacts – which I DJ-ed at.
- The girlfriend I met in London? Not through a dating site or a night out on the pull. I organised my own social events, purely platonic, and met her through a guy I met who attended one of my events. No planning! You can see what I’m getting at here!
The reason things seemed to just fall into my lap were not down to luck or planning.
They happened because I just got on with life! But in a positive manner, where I just did what made me happy, what I wanted to do.
My confidence allowed me to do that and most importantly, it allowed me to meet people. It was through those people that opportunities were created and I grabbed them without hesitation. I didn’t fret and worry and over-analyse and ruminate and eventually say no due to fear.
I took risks and I went for it.
When I heard there was a chance to transfer down to London as an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teacher, rather than lose my job, I didn’t sit around crying about being made redundant. It took me about 10 seconds to say;
“Yes, I’ll move!”
When I had the chance to pitch my club-night idea to nightclub owners, despite never having promoted a club night in my life, did I say to myself;
“I’ve got no chance of this coming off”?
I saw it as an amazing opportunity and worked my arse off to get the pitch right. So I ended up with my dream – becoming a professional DJ. But with the added bonus of, I was DJ-ing at MY OWN NIGHT! Something I never dared to dream.
If you want to succeed in life, you HAVE to take risks.
That’s not easy when you have anxiety because the last thing people tend to do when they are anxious, is dive into things without weighing up the situation for weeks!
But the best things in life almost always come when you take a risk and just go for it.
My life has been peppered with moments where I regret not doing things. It’s the worst feeling in the world because you can never get those moments back. But here’s the thing;
There will ALWAYS be more opportunities. You just have to put yourself in a position to receive them and then GRAB them. That means being open, sociable, positive and confident. Then just go with the flow of life.
Because shit will still hit the fan!
Just as it did when I lost my DJ job AND my teaching job. But instead of seeing just the negatives and receding into my shell, I picked myself straight up and took action to sort myself out.
After losing my job in London, I had a nice redundancy pay – more money than I’d ever seen in my life. I didn’t sit around moping about losing work.
I booked a round the world trip!
I was scared about going, I’m not gonna lie.
But a few months later, I was sitting in Delhi fresh off the plane, eating a chocolate and banana pancake at midnight whilst a huge cow was right in front of me being fed offal by a restaurant manager shouting “HAPPY, HAPPY!” to everyone who entered his diner!
Another dream come true.
But you want to know the reason why I always seemed to fall on my feet during this period of my life?
It wasn’t just because I always reacted positively to even the negeative shit.
It was because I was following my heart. It’s so much easier to bounce back when you are able to put your energy into what you love.
In hindsight, I probbaly gave up too soon with the DJ-ing. I had confidence compared to when I had socila anxiety but still not at a level which made me keep going and bleiev I could still make a success of it. That was my real love at the time and I hope to go back to it in some capacity one day.
But I loved teaching EFL and grew so muich as a person doing such a challenging and social job. It also got me to London quicker than I expected, so I can’t complain. I loved my time there.
Follow your passions. They might not always work out perfectly but at least you’ll have fun along the way. And I guarantee, things will magnetically be drawn into your life when you are in that good vibration.
Hey Timothy! Love this post. Life is all about taking risks and anxiety definitely holds you back when it grips you. Glad to see you’re doing well and you’ve got good things coming to you!
Thanks there Modern Day Girly 😉 Appreciate the kind words. I read a quote once that went “Risk is the currency of the gods” – but can’t remember where! I always remember that when I’m umming and ahhing over doing something.