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Let’s talk about social anxiety.

What is it?

It’s awful, you’re sick of it, and you wish that you could get rid of it.

Oh, and you probably have people telling you “Just don’t worry about it” or “you’ll be fine!” or other very helpful things.

What people don’t see though, is that it’s crippling!
Even if we don’t show it on the outside.

You go from being a completely self-assured person into a nervous wreck of nausea in a nano-second, and your self-esteem takes a nosedive that the Top Gun producers would be hard pushed to recreate.

So, before I help you totally bugger it off, I have 2 questions for you.

1. Could it be that you don’t have social anxiety, but you’re just not comfortable in social situations?

2. Could you have been taught that you have social anxiety, when really, you’ve simply never really been taught how to manage these situations?

You’ll know if it’s simply the label that’s MESSING you up … and not the actual condition if you often use these three words.




When you add the my before social anxiety, you’re programming yourself with the belief that it’s a part of who you are, that it’ll be part of you forever and that it’s something that you have to cope with, rather than eliminate.

So, what would happen if you swapped the label?

Not to anything wanky, like “I love meeting new people and being in social situations” because, yeah, that’s sooooo believable!!


Your mind would sucker punch that statement with a big, fat “yeah right” as you roll your eyes, and click the little ‘x’ in the corner of this email, simultaneously deciding that Leanne is full of sh*t.

So, let’s not use that label.

How about this one:

I’m learning how to be more comfortable in social situations.

Notice how that feels better?

Swap my social anxiety which means it’s yours and you own it, want it, claim it and it’s part of you, to …  I’m learning how to be comfortable in social situations.

Your mind will follow suit.

So, if you’re telling yourself that a situation is going to be difficult, your mind is going to help you out by serving up a smorgasbord of nausea, elevated heart rate, sweating, nerve ending explosions and an aversion to eye contact, just to prove you right.

Oh yeah! For the love of God!  Don’t. Make. Eye. Contact!

However, you’re now DONE with that “my social anxiety” label.  OK?

What you’re saying now is, I’m learning how to be comfortable in social situations.

Then, your mind will slap a closed sign on the smorgasbord, grab a notebook and get ready to learn – because learning is what it does!

Until now, when it comes to social stuff, it has simply learned the wrong things.

You are not your behaviour. You are free to change that whenever you want. You have free will to change it.

And now for the fried gold!

You’re about to learn the Fast Phobia Release Process.

*Cue clouds parting and angels singing*

The great thing about this process I’m about to teach you, is that it works on any phobia … but I suggest that you don’t use it on snakes, because well, I don’t want you making friends with snakes.

All you’re going to need for this is three memories.

1. A time when you felt relaxed and safe.

2. A time when you felt socially anxious.

3. A time when you felt relaxed and safe.

Then, you’re going to put them all together to make a movie.




For example, maybe your three movie ‘parts’ could be:

1. You sitting on your lounge, all comfy, watching telly …. then,
2. The social event aarrggh … then
3. Back on the lounge watching telly.


Here’s how it works – in 6 steps.

1.     Imagine that you are sitting alone in a cinema and up on the screen comes a black and white still shot of the beginning of your movie (feeling comfy and safe in the ‘before’ phase).

2.     Now imagine yourself coming out of your body and like magic, you’re up in the projection booth, up high, behind you.  Notice how you are now looking down, watching you, watching the movie.  (You’re now what we call, disassociated i.e. you’re an observer, or spectator.)

3.     Then, you are watching the movie start, and it zips through …. Comfy …. Freak out …. Comfy.  It only takes a couple of seconds on fast forward. Notice how there aren’t any emotions attached to watching the experience like this?

Aha!  The mighty power of a dissociated mind.

4.     Now, you’re going to come out of the projection booth and *click* you’re IN the movie.  But nothing is moving yet.  It’s reality, you’re IN the situation, looking out of your own eyes, immersed as the star. Everything is happening around you, in colour and very real. You can see, feel and hear everything that’s happening.

But this time, we’re going to rewind the movie. 
Feel free to make rewind noises.

In a sec, I’ll count you down, and when I do … you’ll find yourself reliving the experience in rewind – so from the end, back through the situation, all the way back to the start.

5.     Ready? 3, 2, 1 go!  Zzzssshhoooooop!

6.     Now you’re all comfy and safe, back at the start.

So, to recap, so far, you’ve watched the movie play in fast-forward in black and white, then you’ve been IN it as it was rewound in colour.

Forwards, then backwards. That’s one full cycle.

Repeat this 5 or 6 times.

Yes, it’s weird, but it works!

What this does, is it teaches your mind to view the situation without emotion.  Because really, it’s not the actual situation that’s causing the anxiety, it’s the way you FEEL about it.

When you give your mind the tools (albeit, crazy, weird, hardly make any sense tools), it suddenly begins to learn how to navigate it another way.

It acquires more information about how to ninterpret things.

Because anxiety, like fear, is simply a lack of information. You don’t know how something is going to go, so your mind starts to rehearse it … and when you’ve attached an “oh NO!” to it, those rehearsals start to be for the worst-case scenario.

You know this is true, because other situations, that you’re comfortable in, don’t feature a lack of information, do they?  There’s no need to rehearse.

There, my friend … is your key!

Uncomfortable = freak out.
Comfortable = cucumber cool.

This Fast Phobia Release Process, fills up your information toolbox, just like the bowser fills up your car’s fuel tank.

Do it five or six times and you’ll struggle to find that anxious feeling again.

I used this process to get rid of a crippling phobia I had of those big brown moths.  Seriously, I’d sh*t myself if ever I saw one.  Heart palpitations, sweating, erratic breathing, tingling all over, restlessness.

I used this … and even sent a video to my girls of me touching one.

Many of my clients have also completely slayed phobias of heights, driving in the city, wood, cows, feathers, clowns, confined spaces etc with this simple technique.

And now, you can use it for social situations as well.

You can use it any time.  On the way to an event, the night before, a minute before you walk in … or whenever you like.

Your mind is a powerful force. It can enslave you or empower you. It can plunge you into the depths of misery or soar you to glorious heights of freedomThe only thing between the two, is a choice – to control your emotions, or to let them control you.

If you feel a bit overwhelmed by the Fast Phobia Release Process, that’s ok.  But you’re not going to give up … because I know you’re DONE with social anxiety holding you back.

You can watch my video on this technique HERE.

Leanne Shaw
Senior Coach/Trainer
Leanne Shaw

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