Posted on October 6, 2016 by Meghan Eggleston
I sometimes experience something I know a lot of people struggle with: the whole battle with social anxiety as an introvert.
It may surprise you to know that I’m an introvert. I know I seem so confident and not at all anxious when you see me day to day. Being an introvert doesn’t mean you don’t like other people, but when you’re in large groups, you find yourself emotionally and mentally drained.
Recently I attended the National Beach Body Conference. Shortly before going on the stage at the Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN, I was feeling anxious, so I recorded my feelings for all of you in a Facebook live session. I wanted to share my feelings in that moment with others who experience this.
I was about to walk the stage for some really big leadership awards and there were lots of people and lots of noise. And this was tough for me! My social anxiety kicked in big time. I was afraid of receiving the recognition and being known by everyone at the conference. I don’t have stage fright. For me it’s an anxiety of putting myself out there and being vulnerable for more critique. Once I walked that stage I knew that more people would know who I am.
When I set my intention of making Super Star Diamond I knew I would have to face this anxiety. I don’t love the idea of having a larger following. Perhaps due to my fear of failure and rejection. However, at the beginning of this year when I made the goal for my team, I had to come to terms with the fanfare and glory of reaching this level. I knew that I could still be really successful and not have all the glory. I struggled with the idea of making Super Star Diamond a goal because I don’t desire to be an idol.
But then I realized how selfish that sounds. Money was never the goal. The money has been a blessing, but I had to remember what my WHY is. My WHY is to empower people. Whether it’s through their health and fitness, or empowering women to succeed even if they don’t love the limelight.
What is the THING you want to bring to the world?
I want to help them realize they can offer something to people, and it’s okay to put themselves out there, but this required me to come to terms with this fear when I decided to go for this goal. I had to acknowledge that this was a recognition level that would put me in the light and bring me onto more people’s radar. More importantly, I had to be okay with being ME in order to help others.
One of the speaker’s at the conference, Traci Morrow, who has an amazing story herself and is a rock star coach in the organization, shared this quote in her speech: “If you don’t do you, you don’t get done, and the rest of the world is missing out.”
That really resonated with me. Because I realized I was not always “doing ME”. I was softening my edges not to offend anyone, not to rock the boat. I was avoiding people and not putting my real self out there. My authentic self. I let my anxiety get the best of me. I didn’t believe I had anything special to offer people, but when I started to taking those baby steps, it was revealed to me. It’s not about me. I now see how I can help others.
These ladies… they truly bring me joy. Encouraging them, helping them. It’s the THING I bring.
When you have influence (and we all do), avoiding situations because of social anxiety robs others of the gift, skill, or whatever God gave you to inspire change and make a difference in the world. My mission, my gift, is to love on people and make a difference.
Don’t let social anxiety and fear of rejection hold you back
I realized I could not accomplish my mission if I was too scared to get out in front of people. Jesus’s biggest commandment is to Love One Another. We can’t do this if we’re avoiding situations in which we have the opportunity to do this. I had to subject myself to it more and embrace the fact that I’m doing this to help others, not just for myself. Over the last 3 years I’ve taken baby steps and opened myself up to opportunities that would allow me to work on lessening my social anxiety. I realized that I was selling myself short and selling those around me short by being too afraid to show up.
This isn’t about me. You might think it is about me when you see me get such a big award. I’m okay with people assuming that that’s why I am doing this. But I have a bigger purpose. I wanted to show my team and those in my circle of influence that you CAN do big things. It’s okay to open yourself for rejection. I can’t tell my kids that they can do the impossible if I’m not doing those things myself. Embrace the fear and do the thing anyway.
I want to give some hope and encouragement to any of you who are introverts and suffer with social anxiety. Give yourself a break if you’re an introvert. It’s not a bad thing. I’m always going to be an introvert, but I’ve made big efforts to overcome social anxiety. I’m going to own my success and hopefully continue to inspire others.
You can too, have faith in yourself.
And remember, we have something special to offer people. Trust God and take those steps so he can reveal to us about what we are capable of and who we can effect.
If this spoke to you, please share your comments. I’d love to hear what resonates with you and what you want to hear more about.
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