As a seasoned socially anxious introvert, the last thing I want to do is put myself on social media.
Well, maybe the idea of throwing myself out of a plane…
Sharing a news article on Facebook always brought me anxiety. What will people think about my stance? What if they disagree with my opinion? OMG, WHAT IF THEY UNFRIEND ME!? I can’t tell you how many times I shared an article, only to immediately delete it because I was too scared to expose my personal opinion.
Panic was strong with this one.
I was terrified to reveal my political inclination or moral beliefs. What if they found out my mother-in-law owns a sex shop… Just the thought of that made me cringe every single time. I had to be especially silent around new friends or acquaintances I wasn’t close to. Something about revealing my true self to others with a different compass scared the breath out of me. Pfff, like, why would ANYONE accept a different point of view? My confidence level was so low that I couldn’t handle any judgmental eye rolls. See how flawed my perspective was? I never once considered that THEY had a shitty moral compass that would make ME not want to be friends with them.
I kept more than just my personal opinion to myself. Anything that involved talking about my accolades was completely out of my comfort zone. If someone asked me about my personal accomplishments, I kept my wins to myself rather than proudly sharing them. Because really, isn’t it better to put yourself down and let others know you’re not good at anything?
I did everything to stay within the confines of my shell.
If you’re like that, I TOTALLY get it. It’s hard to move away from such insecurities and have the mental freedom to not care about what others think. But it’s definitely possible because I managed to with time, and with the help of my action plan, of course.
But just when I felt confident enough to peek outside, my shell pulled me right back in.
Let me explain. I created Honestrox to share my journey and experiences as a socially anxious introvert to help others in similar situations. It just never occurred to me that this meant I had to expose myself in unnatural ways so that people could get to know me intimately.
The anxiety this realization brought on made me want to hide in a cave.
I understood the implication of having a website, of course, but I didn’t know what it took to get followers. So I learned that everyone (all the self-proclaimed experts) advised doing videos. I found a few Youtube personalities and followed them to learn from the best. Because, who was I to not listen to the self-proclaimed experts? So I watched vlogs, courses, and live videos. I put myself in their shoes and pretended that my life was on display for the world to see. But I couldn’t do that for too long before I realized it was unfathomable for me.
I told myself, “I’m not that person…I don’t have the personality…I’m boring.”
All I could do was envy them. Envy their comedy, their skits, and their confidence to be themselves. So I stopped watching because I felt inferior, and there’s no worse feeling than feeling inferior and being helpless about it. But then, just at the right moment in time to get a kick in the ass, an acquaintance of mine did a Facebook Live video, which had a huge effect on me.
She said this verbatim:
I admit that I’m scared. Scared, embarrassed, guilty and ashamed.
Doing this scares me, makes me uncomfortable and makes me want to stop and run away.
This is exactly the reason I need to post this.
I imagined being her, sitting on the floor, looking into the computer camera, and uttering those exact words, with trembling lips and a shaky voice. I finally understood the power of sharing something that utterly scares me. It makes people even more inclined to listen to your story.
After all, don’t we all share the same hopes and dreams?
Seeing her open up to her closest friends and possibly a few strangers made me see her in a different light. I was proud of her. It made me want to be proud of myself too. More so, it gave me a tiny boost of confidence, that I too, had it in me to take that first step and seize the opportunity to put myself on social media.
My one constant motto is, “Every day, do something that makes you uncomfortable.” Personally, opening up to the world is probably the most uncomfortable and unnatural thing for me to do. But I know that if I put myself on social media, I have a shot to take my business to the next level. If I don’t get out of my shell and remain scared to put myself on social media, I won’t follow through with my passion for helping others. It’s a sacrifice I know I have to make.
You either seize the opportunity to expand, or you continue living comfortably within the confines of your walls.
Here are 3 steps I took to put myself on social media
1. I had a goal to do just ONE video
On my life’s top 10 list of “things I’ll never do” was making videos. Once the seed was planted (thanks experts), it took several months before I was mentally ready. Then I practiced until I felt comfortable with the camera. My goal was to post a short video at a time when not many people would see it. I wanted to post in front of a small audience first so that if I looked ridiculous, no one would unsubscribe. Else the world would end, you know. It’s safe to say that I made it out alive. Phew, that was a close one. Then, I told myself to do another one. Then another one. Now I’m comfortable posting videos of myself.
2. I batched my content
So that I would post at least one thing every single day. I knew I had to have a social media presence and that I had to nurture it daily. Instead of getting anxious every morning over what to post and wrack my brain for insightful knowledge, I decided to sit down and lay out all my content for each week. This allowed me to take enough time to think about my captions, themes, and pictures to align properly. I took the guesswork and craziness out of posting my social media content, and it has been a huge help in taming all my negative thoughts.
3. I joined several Facebook groups
To test out my content and designs before launching them. As a type-A personality, I like to make sure everything is buttoned up before I hit publish. I tested all my content in business books to know whether what I created made sense. I didn’t want anyone to misinterpret my thoughts. It gave me an audience and valuable feedback. This lessened my anxiety significantly in sharing my thoughts with the broader community.
My inner struggle to post my personal thoughts while being terrified of the feedback will always be present.
I cannot let that be the reason why I don’t put myself on social media. There’s a strong pull to connect with the right people on the other side, so I need to override my fear of getting (potential) pushback. There comes a time when you have to sit down with yourself and decide what your priority is. Is protecting your ego from being bruised more important than having an impact on someone’s life? Your fear and hesitancy are secondary to the amazing benefits of making yourself known to the world. I know that if I put myself on social media, there’s a great chance that I’ll be able to reach someone that needs to hear what I have to say.
You’re much more capable and braver than you tell yourself you are.
We need to hear what you have to say.