by Sebastiaan van der Schrier
(Chiang Mai, Thailand)
My name is Sebastiaan and I'm an EX-social anxiety disorder sufferer. I've suffered from social anxiety for over a decade, and from social anxiety disorder for some 5 or 6 years and today I'm completely free of any anxiety and enjoy a happy and satisfying life; a life I deemed impossible when I was still suffering.
In this writing I'll give you a short insight into how I managed to achieve this - how I managed to become anxiety-free - so you can (if you want) follow the steps and get there too.
When I had SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder) I was desperate to overcome it completely, as I didn't like myself one bit - couldn't look myself in the mirror - and was extremely anxious being around other people out of a fear of embarrassing myself or being disapproved of and becoming ashamed, and I tried to avoid any form of social interaction as best I could.
My inner voice was one of criticism, shaming and judgement; and being around women or the topic of sex or relationships would cause me to become extremely uncomfortable. And I blushed around people at the drop of a hat.
I was a mess. Or, better said, the beliefs through which I was filtering the outside world, myself and other people caused me to feel all these negative emotions all the time. So my beliefs were a mess!
I believed that:
I wasn't good enough
That everyone had to think I was cool
That I had to be perfect to be accepted/loved
That people were mean and out to get me
That the world was a dangerous place...
... And these beliefs caused my life to be a living hell.
Though back then I wasn't much aware it was my beliefs that were causing me to be socially anxious. I had no idea what was going on with me, all I knew is that I hated my life and that I was stuck, both with myself, my relationships and with my life. I was depressed, anxious and unhappy and was too ashamed to tell anyone about it, nor did I have an idea what to tell them...
"Uhhh, I feel like crap, I can't be myself, I feel like a piece of shit and it seems like everyone is out to get me"... is not something I was particularly eager to telling anyone.
What Changed For Me...
What did happen was I stumbled onto a Psychology book as well as some information from the internet which changed my whole perspective on my situation. It taught me that my beliefs feed my thoughts, which in turn determine my emotions and feelings. And that if I would just change my beliefs, my life would change. Awesome!
But then, how the hell do I do that? And what are the limiting beliefs that I have now that cause my anxiety?
I started to read and apply all that I could find to be able to change my beliefs. I studied and applied Psychology, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Hypnosis, Self help etc. I worked with NLP practitioners, had Hypnosis sessions, did all sorts of healing work and slowly I improved. With the emphasis on slowly, in about 4 or 5 years I reduced maybe half of my anxiety at best.
Now because the improvements were so slow, and because I was still in a pretty bad position, I always kept an eye out for "the magic pill".
I tried all sorts of stuff that didn't work. Until, eventually, I stumbled onto EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). When this happened, I at first discarded it as utter nonsense. It looked ridiculously stupid, and the claims the guy was making of the video I was watching on YouTube sounded way too good to be true.
But after a few weeks, I returned to the video as I was simply hoping it would be true.
The First Time I Tried EFT...
I again watched the videos, followed some recommended information, did my research online and found many other YouTube videos as well as thousands of testimonials of people that were cured from their issues. People that had tried it all to no avail and now found their solutions (including people that suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
So this got me really excited! If this works, then I can get a girlfriend, and be my old self again (my anxiety started when I was 12, SAD at 16). There's hope!
So I tried it. And...
... EFT didn't work for me!
I noticed no
difference whatsoever. But since I read so many testimonials, that it worked for everyone given the right approach, and since the creator of the technique gave away the basic manual for free on his website, I decided to persist and get this to work for me no matter what.
So I kept reading and trying and eventually when I took a workshop on the tool in the Netherlands I got it to work for me; I noticed a change!
The thing that happened was that I was at the workshop and the lady I was working with -a newbie- couldn't get me to notice the slightest change. So we called in the workshop leader. When he worked with me, and got me to talk about something at the moment incredibly shameful to me I did the EFT as I was talking about that. And what I noticed is I felt my anxiety and shame decreasing by the second!
I felt a shift inside me. I felt more calm, more accepting of myself and my situation. In about 2 minutes!
From then on I was even more determined than I already was. I now knew it worked, I felt it myself. So I decided I'd do anything I could to get experts to help me overcome my social anxiety. So over the next few months I invested all the money I could get my hands on - I had to turn to credit cards, alas, and borrowing from my mom - and I got rid of my social anxiety disorder.
I still felt some social anxiety, but it no longer was debilitating. I had my life back!
This was such a shift, that I decided to master EFT and start helping other people overcome it. Since then I've continued to work on my own challenges - there was still quite some ground to cover - as you can only guide people as far as you are yourself, and I've been totally free of any social anxiety for a long time now.
Sebastiaan van der Schrier talking on YouTube
I now, after the work with EFT and some other techniques (advanced EFT and Matrix Re-imprinting -a combination of EFT, Inner Child work and Neuro Linguistic Programming) have totally different beliefs. I now feel and believe that:
I'm more than good enough
That what people think of me is their business
That I'm perfect, just the unique way I am
That people are nice and friendly
That the world is a safe and lovely place
... And this causes me to feel calm and at ease around anyone.
I no longer feel a need to prove myself. I like myself, I like me, like who I am. I still have some challenges here and there - though unrelated to social anxiety - as I'm human and we always have our challenges, no matter how much work we do.
I have chosen to live in Thailand and have a couple of amazing, like-minded friends. I travel the world, am single and happy, do what I love and life's truly amazing.
Successfully using EFT is simple, but not easy. It takes some dedication, energy and persistence. And belief in the process. But within a few months you can achieve feeling calm and at ease around others.
You see, social anxiety is there because you are holding some negative/limiting beliefs. And these beliefs are basically lenses through which you perceive yourself, others and the world around you.
They're nothing more than some stubborn thoughts that feel real.
What you can do by applying EFT in the right way is you can let go of the beliefs feeling true. By doing this you will slowly but surely transform your negative/limiting beliefs into positive/supportive beliefs...
It's all about changing your beliefs, there's nothing wrong with you!
Now since this changed my life, I made it into my business; changing the lives of others, assisting current sufferers to feel comfortable and at ease talking to anyone.
I offer 1 on 1 coaching on Skype - or in person in case you live in Thailand - as well as my DIY, EFT based Social Confidence System. You can find this on my site, together with lots of testimonials.