Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I've got this to do, I've got that to do, I need a labotomy, a holiday, more time, a comfy chair, new beginnings, a top hat...I've had enough of hearing my own excuses for not getting involved in this blog. The truth is, the contents herein are important to my well-being. If I don't give them some time my well-being goes down, my productivity goes down, procrastination, depression, anxiety, well, they go up! The blog's back, for the benefit of myself, and hopefully for the benefit of you. Enough's enough. This isn't something added onto your life, it is your life. Time is a minor discrepancy, we need not be concerned with such things.

I'm sure you've said it before; 'I'll do it tomorrow...' Tomorrow doesn't exist I'm afraid. The only time you can take action, is now. So let's roll.

Come on, this is going to be fun.

Phase 1

I'm going to forget social anxiety for a while, you need to learn to walk before you can run. We're going right back to the beginning here, the priming stages. Many of you, I'm sure, have dabbled in personal development, cognitive behavioural therapy, spiritual practices or something similar. In which case I would have to hazard a wild guess that since you're reading this, you didn't get too far? Unfortunately, not many people do. Then when it does happen, those people are living it up somewhere in the Carribean and they don't want a Mr/Mrs/Miss Negative Pants like you bringing them back down again, so the chances of hearing from them are slim. Unlucky for you, you get me instead. But hey, if I don't provide any useful advice/exercises here, you have my promise, I'll eat my left arm.

There's a real problem with personal development (PD). Go to your local bookstore and take in an observation of how many shelves are filled up with PD titles. Unless you're in Adult Book Universe, or Colin's Comics, there should be a good few rows. The information is there, people are buying them, and from what I've heard, people are reading them too. A lot of people. So why isn't every one walking around with smiles on their faces, wallets bulging and radiating positive energy? Good question.

There are many reasons, and I'm not going to go into them all now because it's simply impossible in the scope of this blog. Neither is it necesarry or productive. What is important, is to take on one thing at a time, and take it on with commitment. Not so much so that it overwhelms, but enough to make positive progress. And I am not talking about positive steps in social anxiety just yet, but positive steps in priming yourself for the journey ahead. I spoke of this when I started the blog, and I'm speaking of it again. It's important. You need to build solid foundations, otherwise your house will tumble to the ground.

First, some reading material:
  • Relaxation is good. Read this
Relaxation is of prime importance. It has so many advantages over the way you feel, your mental focus, your levels of anxiety and even opens up your conscious mind. I recommend you give it a try no matter how useless you feel it is. I know, you tried it on the bus once and it didn't work... This is like your daily push ups. They don't do much on the bus either, other than make your body ache for a few days. It's the same thing, you keep up a regular routine and eventually (it may take a while) you will see the improvements. In fact, do some press ups too while you're at it. Exercise is good for you.
  • If you you haven't read it before, then read this. The Homeland.
Attitude. Like women. Can't live with it, and can't live without it. Your attitude needs to be healthy before you can make any progress.

I think that's about it for now. Much of what I really want to say has been done before in this blog. I will however will be moving on to more specific practices in my next post. Just wanted to give some general reading for now, but remember, if you want to do this, then do it. Read the links provided and concentrate on wat they have to say. Be positive.

If you're having any kinds of problems with depression, Steve Pavlina produced a decent article on the subject here.

If you wern't here the first time round and you're a little confused as to what this blog is, then read this

Contributions, research, articles, techniques, etc are all welcome. I'll try not to bore you so much next time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad its back..L

3:30 pm  
Anonymous Colin Bell said...

Mico I am glad to see the blog is back and while I didn't look at SA UK all that much I will miss your posts there.

I think I wrote in a post to you on SA UK about the danger of looking for the elusive perfect technique or formula for overcoming SA, and so spending too much time researching and not enough living (not those words exactly but those sentiments). I could apply the same advice to myself for all the time I have wasted reading self-help material on the web.

In a review for the famous Gillian Butler book -

- I wrote

" I had the same feeling about completing the CBT exercises as I would about regularly eating oat bran - no doubt good for me but not especially fun. However the more I got into the book the more the tasks required seemed manageable, and believable, and I can see myself applying them in the coming months. If I spent even 30 minutes a day, five times a week, for two months I'm convinced I would progress a lot, so I'm "sold" on the concept of CBT in that sense."

Did I follow my own advice and do those mere 30 minutes, 5 times a week? No I didn't, for the same reason I don't take a brisk walk every day even though I know I should. As Jim Rohn say "Things that are easy to do are also easy not to do". How true that is.

So I would caution against giving too much advice that you find it a burden to follow yourself. I am re-reading the Gillian Butler book at the moment and on my own site in due course I will add a detailed review and some exercise examples. I would love to see your blog including little social experiments you try i.e. behaviour changes not just thought changes. Equally since the Butler book is the bible for SA UK I would be interested in reading examples of exercises you tried and how those change how you feel. Whatever you choose to write about I will be following the blog and look forward to learning from your experiences.

Incidentally what has helped me cure my SA most has been going to SA meets. I have put my money where my mouth is and started up a Shyness Meetup group in Glasgow - see

which already has 31 members and I am looking forward to our first meet on March 10th. I will try to write a contribution article on my meet experiences for your site before the end of March (even if you don't think it's suitable for your site I will add it to my own, You are very much taking an individual self-help approach while I am following the local group approach, it will be interesting to see how we both progress.


Colin Bell

11:09 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad your blog is back, Mico. You are doing a good job and learning as you are going along. From my own experience of overcoming SA (I still am not there yet) I have learned a lot by making silly, embarrassing social mistakes. I don't know it all, so I need to live it to find out the right way. I agree with the second comment that we need to live more rather than focus most of our time on research. I know that you know this yourself as I have spoken to you about it. So, on we go on our journey...

9:46 am  

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