How to Find Inspiration when Dealing with Social Anxiety

Looking for inspiration in all things that in life is a common practice that many people do. They want to find something that is so powerful that it can move them into action despite the odds that may be stacked against them. Inspiration can come in many forms and cause people to do many things. Often, inspiration is found in the most ordinary of places and people often forget that they are surrounded by inspiring things all the time.

When you have social anxiety, inspiration can be as valuable as any other resource. It can be the one thing that pushes you to overcome the odds and fight back against you social anxiety. It can build your confidence, motivate you into stepping outside your comfort zone, and remind you that you are entirely yourself. Understanding what inspiration is and where to find it will allow you to better be able to use it against your social anxiety.

 What is Inspiration?

To say that inspiration is simply a motivational tool doesn't really do it justice. It often goes beyond basic motivation and into an entirely new category. Inspiration often allows people to see the things that they have inside themselves and gives them the means to bring it out into the world. Things happen in life that blinds people to what they are capable of. Inspiration merely allows them to see it once again.

What is inspiring to one person isn't going to be inspiring for another. Someone could be inspired by quotes from their favorite author, yet the person next to them could feel nothing when seeing or hearing those words. Everyone is different and they are going to have different abilities and traits. Think about instances where people have joined movements or talked about what inspired them to do something amazing. You notice that it's never the same thing, even members of the same group will cite something different that inspired each person's involvement. If inspiration is designed to show people what they are capable of, isn't it expected that inspiration will be different for each person?

  • What does inspiration look like?--Inspiration appears in a multitude of shapes and sizes. One of the biggest reasons why people tend to not see inspiration when it is right in front of them is because they have a single image in their minds as to what inspiration looks like. As each person finds inspiration in different things, one could possibly claim that everything you see around you is a source of inspiration to someone and that is what inspiration looks like.

With social anxiety, you will often need to think about what in your life could look like inspiration to you. You may need to keep in mind that it might not have a physical form. For some people with social anxiety, inspiration comes in the form of the positive feeling they get when they are able to socialize without their social anxiety interfering. Others, it's the feeling of success they have when they are able to calm themselves down or withstand exposure to their triggers.

  • What can it do for social anxiety?--For those with social anxiety, inspiration can make a difference in what actions you take. It can be the thing that motivates you to step outside your comfort zone or approach new people. It's what you use to build your social confidence when you need it most. On some days, inspiration is what gives you the energy to leave the house and be around people. A daily dose of inspiration, even a little bit, can be the fuel that a person uses to power past their social anxiety and live without it holding them back.

Inspiration can also help the people around you, especially those in your support system. Social anxiety is taxing on more than just the person who has it. Their friends and family often need inspiration to guide them into saying the right thing when you go to them for help. It allows them to stay by your side even when things get so rough that neither of you have the strength to keep going. For social anxiety, inspiration can be a source of power that knocks it on its ear and tells you how to do it yourself.

 Where can you find inspiration?

Interested in learning more? Why not take an online Social Anxiety course?

Inspiration is, truthfully, all around you. Finding the right piece of inspiration to help you overcome your social anxiety or live your life normally depends on where you are looking. Sometimes, the inspiration that is directly around you isn't enough and you need to go out in search of it. The abundance of inspiration in the world actually makes it easier to find it, you simply need to know where to look.

  • Online--The internet is full of different pieces of inspiration. Some people find it in quotes that they revisit when they need a motivational boost.  They look for quotes that focus on certain topics in order to find the one that is just right for what they need. Sometimes it's a picture, something that reminds them of what it is that they need and where they can find it. Maybe it's a video, a snippet of a news broadcast of some act of heroism that prompts them to make themselves a better person.

People go online to find pieces of inspiration and then they share it with their friends and family on social media and email. They save it away on their computers or phones so they can revisit it when they need the boost or reminder as to why they do what they do. The accessibility of the internet has made it far easier for those with social anxiety to find inspiration, all with the help of typing in a simple phrase in the search bar.

The internet serves as a catch-all location for many things, not just sources of inspiration. Many places where inspiration can be found offline have a presence online, and from there the inspiration they offer can be stored and shared until the next time it is needed. However, that does not mean that you should narrow your focus to the internet for inspiration.

  • Support Groups--Often, inspiration for overcoming social anxiety can be found in the stories told by those who have it. In addition to being a source of aid, support groups can provide some much needed inspiration for their members. People join a support group to learn about what others have done to overcome their social anxiety in the hopes that they will learn something that they can use themselves. Those stories are shared in the first place so people can use those experiences as inspiration in their own struggle with social anxiety.  How they do so is entirely up to them, but they cannot use that information if it is not made available to them in the first place.

Support groups, forums, and organizations for social anxiety will also compile inspirational material as they encounter it. Members will find it and share it with the group, while organizers and leaders file it away for the future members who have not yet joined. Doing so works because inspiration really doesn't have an expiration date and will last as long as it is needed to.

  • Hobbies and Interests--Inspiration is often found in moments of creativity, leading things like hobbies and interests to be one of the major locations of inspiration. Making something with your own two hands prompts you to think about what you want to make and how you want to do it. The completion of that task tells a person with social anxiety that they can be successful in their actions, which is a powerful motivator. Even watching someone else create something can have the same effect on a person.

People have long been inspired by things that interest them. The arts and all things related to it have been one of the largest inspiration-generating interests for centuries. People look at a piece of art--paintings, sculpture, music, novels, poetry--and they think about what it took to make it. They start thinking about what it would be like to do something like that and they then decide to try it out for themselves. Some interests can be impacted by a person's social anxiety, so things that inspire them to continue with those interests can help them push past it.

  • Other People--People are one of the biggest sources of inspiration, hence why support groups are able to inspire their members. Looking at what other people have done to overcome their social anxiety, the struggles and challenges that they faced, can provide you with motivation to do the same. Those people become role models and they generate a type of inspiration that almost feels different than what other people create. A celebrity who has been successful on such a large scale despite their social anxiety can have a far larger inspirational impact than the person next to you at a support meeting.

Experts will often serve as a source of inspiration. They have seen so much in their efforts to educate and help people with social anxiety that they tend to know what they can say or do to motivate a person. They will look for ways to share their inspiration and knowledge with as many people as necessary. TED Talks are often one such method used to spread inspiration, and they can cover a massive array of topics related to social anxiety.  It's an organized form of storytelling that reaches audiences all over the world and can serve purposes beyond those of inspiration.

What to do when it doesn't work?

Sometimes, your inspiration runs out. You become so desensitized to it that it no longer has any effect on you. If anything, trying to get as much out of a single piece of inspiration can cause it to lose its power faster than casually referring to it could. Rather than becoming dependent on a single piece of inspiration until it runs out, you should try to find multiple pieces of inspiration. Look in different places, in different forms, from different sources. Find inspiration that fits different parts of your life, not just your social anxiety, so you can support the one through the all.

No matter what you do, there's a chance that you might use up your tried-and-true source of inspiration. Going on without it isn't the same and you can feel your social anxiety regaining territory it lost thanks to that inspiration. So what do you do?

  • Revisit your options--Look at where you found your inspiration before and the places you looked before you found it. You had options then, and you have options now. As time passes, more inspiration develops and the probability of finding something that inspires you increases. Think about what that original inspiration ignited for you and use that as a basis in your new search.

  • Try something new--Maybe you didn't find anything similar to what you had before. Trying new things against your social anxiety can be a good thing. If the last source of inspiration that you used slow stopped doing its job as time passed, going back to the same thing isn't going to magically make it work again. Things change and you often need to change your approach in order to keep up with them. Your inspiration pushed you to a new point and you can't go any further with what you had, so you need something new. It's as simple as that.

  • Create your own--As stated earlier, art and creation can be a powerful source of inspiration. You may not be able to find what you need to inspire you because it doesn't exist yet. Creating something with your own hands gets your mind going and distracts you from your problems. Being creative prompts you to active go out in search of inspiration in places you normally wouldn't look at, which can be helpful if your usual sources are not cutting it anymore.