This is for you if you’ve never posted online, but you want to have an audience (for any reason)
Parachuting out of an airplane sounded more appealing at the time…
Even sharing a news article or personal update on Facebook brought me anxiety. I harbored thoughts such as: “will they tear my opinion to pieces and confront me with it?” and “what if no one cares about my pictures from Greece and I get zero likes?“
OMG, what if they unfriend me?
I couldn’t bear it. 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…
This was the equivalent of inviting conflict into my home and not knowing what to serve it or how to get it to leave politely. Not a position I want to be in. My confidence level was so low that I couldn’t handle judgmental eye rolls.
I looked at it from the wrong angle for so long because I never once considered that maybe THEY had a shitty moral compass that would make ME not want to be friends with them.
Talking about my accolades was entirely out of my comfort zone. If someone asked me about my 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? That’s what people like.
I did everything to stay within the confines of my shell and not make any noise for fear of wrongly inconveniencing the wrong person.
If you’re like that, I can relate so much. It’s hard to move away from such insecurities and have the mental freedom to not care about what others think. I managed to do that with time, and with the help of my action plan, of course.
And when I finally felt confident enough to peek outside out of my shell, I retreated immediately.
Let me tell you why.
I created Honestrox to share my journey and experiences as a socially anxious introvert to help others in a similar situation. 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.
If social anxiety is holding you back in one area of life, you need to grab this social anxiety action plan template. It was the catalyst that started my journey to managing my social anxiety.
Of course, I understood the implication of having a website, but I needed to figure out what it took to get people’s attention. I thought I’d post a few blog posts, and voila! Audience!
Instead, what I found out was that everyone (all the self-proclaimed experts) advised doing videos. And who was I not to listen to the self-proclaimed experts? So I watched vlogs, courses, and live videos. I put myself in their shoes and pretended my life was on display for the world.
It didn’t take long before I realized it was unfathomable for me. I had one thing to deal with that most of them didn’t seem to have…social anxiety.
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 inadequate and helpless about it.
But then, just at the right moment, an acquaintance of mine did a Facebook Live, which had a massive 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 camera, and uttering those exact words, with trembling lips and a shaky voice.
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 differently. 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.
Opening up to the world was probably the most uncomfortable and unnatural thing for me. But I knew that if I put myself on social media, I’d be rewarded in many unforeseen, such as:
I reminded myself, “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 knew I had to make.
You either seize the opportunity to expand, or you continue living comfortably within the confines of your walls. I wanted to expand. If you do, too, then read on.
1. Have a goal to post just one video/post/story
On my life’s top 10 list of “things I’ll never do” was making videos.
Once the seed is planted, it will take several months before you’re mentally ready. You don’t just go from wanting to post to do it. It can get pretty overwhelming fast. Here’s what I think you should do.
Please feel free to use my example below and tweak it for whatever post you have in mind (it doesn’t have to be a video), or add any additional steps necessary in between.
Take some time in between posts. You don’t have to do one every day. What you do need to do is celebrate that you got over the most challenging part!
Getting started is where most people fail. How often have you had a brilliant idea, letting it slip away because you didn’t know where to start? It happens to the best of us.
It doesn’t matter what your first post is about as long as it’s there. A permanent record on a remote server with your name on it.
So that you create consistency and frequency.
If like me, you want to grow your social media presence and online business or reach influencer status, the truth is that you need to post regularly.
This goes for any platform you choose.
If you’re ready to have a social media presence, then you need to find a way to nurture it consistently. This isn’t a one-post-and-done. If you have a vision of getting viral, I suggest you get it out of your head. Even if it happens, imagine the work you need to put in to back it up!
Batching your content will help you because instead of worrying about what to post and wracking your brain for insightful knowledge, you lay out your weekly content calmly.
This will also give you enough time to think about how your captions, themes, and pictures are in alignment. Take the guesswork and craziness out of posting your social media content, and you’ll notice it will help you tame your negative thoughts.
This is not a necessary step but will alleviate much of the stress you have over putting yourself on social media.
To test out your content and designs before launching them.
You can honestly find any medium to do this in. I think you should find a private closed group so that it’s more personal and where the people are prone to kindness.
I do NOT recommend a public discussion board. You might as well post your content directly to your social media account. Both will give you the same level of anxiety.
If you’re also a type-A personality, you probably want to know the peace of mind that everything is buttoned up before you hit publish. The last thing you want to happen is to be misunderstood. To avoid that, seek out initial reactions to your content in a Facebook group to determine whether it makes sense.
My inner struggle had always been wanting to post personal thoughts and stories but being terrified of the feedback (aka trolls). Doing so in a safe space where everyone constantly asked for feedback lessened the blow.
If, like me, you have a strong pull to connect with people on the other side of the screen, then you need to find a way to override the fear and the social anxiety of doing so. This is the time (right now!) to sit down with yourself and decide what your priority is.
Is protecting your ego from being bruised more important than impacting someone’s life?
Your fear and hesitancy are actually secondary to the great benefits of making yourself known to the world. I knew that if I put myself on social media, there was a great chance that I’d be able to reach someone that needed to hear what I had to say.
You’re much more capable and braver than you tell yourself you are.
I’m sharing my personal experience of going from scared to post a personal update on my social media account, to putting myself out there in video form.
Here are the top 3 tips if you’ve never posted online but you want to grow your audience.
Go back up and read why each step is important if you want to put yourself on social media.
I went from being scared to ask a question out loud to hosting summits online. I love coffee, french crepes, and working from home. My mission? Help others build their social confidence to make friends, have conversations, and be comfortable around people!
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As a social anxiety expert I share my best strategies and tips that I’ve learned on my journey to help you manage your social anxiety.
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I’m obsessed with social anxiety. In a healthy way! After a decade of being debilitated by it, I finally have the tools I need to manage it (the journey itself is no joke). I now use my experience to help others.
Coach. Content Creator. Introvert. Mom. Lifelong learner. Psychology lover. Awkward human. Welcome.
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