Welcome to Anxiety Takedown! :)
In this community, weekly or biweekly (depending on our time constraints) social anxiety challenges will be posted for members to complete.
After attempting a challenge, members will post their reactions, difficulties and all.
The purpose of these challenges is this: we spend a great deal of time beating ourselves up for what we can't bring ourselves to do. It is my hope that we can gain confidence after intentionally committing ourselves to doing an activity even when knowing it might make us anxious. Regardless of whether you're able to entirely complete a challenge, you can still feel proud of pushing your boundaries. I'm sure everyone's heard the method of exposure as one of the more successful ways of overcoming social anxiety. By repeating an anxiety-inducing activity and forcing yourself to stay in the situation, you gradually become more and more desensitized, especially as you realize that hey, you're still standing by the end of it. Ideally, you get to the point where the activity no longer provokes any anxiety at all. The community isn't an official replacement for exposure therapy (or any therapy at all, for that matter!), but it's based off that concept.
I want this to be an action-oriented community, committed to DOING, so we can find our way out of the cycles of obsessive, self-criticizing thoughts and mental ruts. Hopefully, knowing that others are attempting the challenges along with you will help and provide a bigger incentive to complete those tasks. There should be plenty of encouragement, compassion and support for others and ourselves. We all intimately understand what it means and how difficult it can be to endure social anxiety, and there's no need we have to feel like we're alone :)
Write your reaction in a separate post when you complete the challenge. Please tag it and title it properly (it'll be noted in the entry what you should have). In your response, include:
-how you did the challenge (who you called, what was it about, etc.)
-your initial rating of the task's difficulty (1-10)
-your reactions before, during, and after the challenge, and whether you would change your challenge rating. what did you think would happen? did it happen? was it as bad as you thought it'd be?
-how you would feel about trying it again
And if there's anything else you'd like to add, go ahead! This isn't that strict, just a format to get you thinking about all the thoughts that elevate your nervousness.
Remember, don't feel down if you struggle more with a challenge than someone else. We're all at different stages of our anxiety and lives, and our goal is not to compare our progress against others' but our past selves'. I think just the attempt of something you've been afraid to do means you're already making progress.
Also, feel free to recommend suggestions, changes, additions - this is a new community and hopefully we can all get involved in making it helpful for everyone. I look forward to reading your reactions and getting to know you! :)