So, what is it I want to say?

I’m aware that the course is coming to an end and aware that I still feel the pangs of social anxiety thoughts and fears creep up within me and overwhelm my mind and whole being as I move from person to person, interaction to interaction, conversation to chit chat. Words fail me – words, words, words! What to say? How to say it? It is like the words I use and how I say them are the test; they are how I am graded. Say it wrong, say the wrong thing and I’ll be thought less of. I have bracketed myself off to a lower level.  A level that is not as fun, cool, intelligent, an all-rounder, funny, bubbly, exciting, spontaneous – someone people want to be around. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  • I think it therefore I am it.
  • I think it therefore it happens.
  • I think it therefore I expect it.
  • I think it therefore I create it.

Doesn’t everyone think as I do?  Don’t we all have that monkey mind?  I guess some more so than others.  It takes time, effort, commitment, patience and self -compassion to change the thought process;

  • To not expect too much,
  • To be understanding of how difficult it might be.

I have been feeling like this for twenty odd years now. It will surely take time to heal and be turned around so that I am not constantly experiencing low levels of esteem, self-worth, and paranoia. At times, a self-critic.

  • a voice that compares,
  • a voice that judges,
  • a voice that is expecting the very best from me
  • a voice that is harsh, hard, destructive and very difficult to live with

I know that there’s a softer voice there. I have experienced it at times, but it is only heard when I genuinely take the time and take myself off the busy go-go merry go round to hear it and to listen to it. I feel so much better when I do. So why then, do I not take more time to listen to this voice or to allow it more air time? It’s because the harsh tones of this internal critic can be so loud and dominant at the best of times.

He/she turns up

  • When I’m talking to people
  • When I’m speaking/giving an opinion
  • When I’m in a shop
  • When I’m in gym and see someone, I like
  • When I’m in company with people I feel are so much more intelligent and talented……
  • When I’m composing a text or email
  • When I’m talking on the phone
  • When I’m passing someone on the street

ALL the time – He/she will find something to say – And most often, in fact ALL the time, it is not very positive.

How I think of myself?

I’m better off alone!

I’m a disappointment when/if people spend longer than the first initial 5/10 minutes exchanging pleasantries and Hello’s. As in I‘m thinking, “it’s not long before I bore them” and I’m lowering the tone of what should be an exciting night/social gathering. I’m a country girl who does not belong or does not fit in with where I find myself. Perhaps, I‘m just about getting away with it, that I maybe look okay but once I start  talking/interacting I then worry that what people might have thought about me has changed and changed negatively.

I’m better off alone – maybe romantically as well as living by myself!


  1. I do not want to approach anyone I find attractive.
  2. If anyone was interested in approaching me, I don’t think they would because maybe I give off an aloof / don’t come near me demeanour.
  3. Living alone because I think I am odd and that it’s easier to be odd alone than have the added knowledge that people see how I am odd spending more time in my room than out and about.

That maybe I don’t have a life for me. I like to exercise, eat healthily, do my work, prepare for my work, be organised and try to be as good a person I can be. I like people to think well of me, because I find it very hard to live with the concerns that people do not like me.   I am aware that how I think, feel about myself is not good and I have been actively working on improving my self-worth and esteem for over ten years now. It is a constant job and one that maybe I have been coasting with. In order to really get a grip on this I need to not coast and actually put into practice the alternative ways of thinking that the SAI course has been teaching. I cannot expect to overcome this pointed and angular presence within if I do not diligently take the time to apply the methods.

What are the methods? 

They are:

  • To distance myself from the thought
  • Find evidence to support my negative thought
  • Check in with people – inquire and see if I was accurate in my thoughts  
  • Change the wording of my thought  
  • Replace “should do something” to “I would like to do this because”
  • Shift my attention outwards  
  • Give my full attention to those I am interacting with – It is the biggest gift  
  • Observe others – Are they really paying attention to me?  
  • Label the thought  
  • Take demand away to be fully responsible for conversation
  • Awkward, silly conversation can be fun and entertaining too!
  • Having an attitude of acceptance is really helpful with anxiety.
  • Events don’t cause feelings, it’s our thoughts about events that provoke the feeling.
  • Letting go of safety behaviours help Chit chat is good.
  • Be a bemused curious onlooker of your thoughts.
  • Anxiety gets power from resistance – welcome it instead.

I have a very good book on social anxiety. I have read it and highlighted sections, and I think it would be in my interest to read it again, particularly as the course is coming to an end – It will be a support. I have a very good manual from this course. I can also use this to help me continue on this path to developing myself as a person.

To finding that girl within who likes who she is, who does not set out to please everyone around her by being what she thinks everyone else wants her to be.

To finding that presence within that is content, happy, at one, and peaceful; that is not overwhelmed by:

  • self-judgement,
  • harsh criticism,
  • assuming the worst.
  • mind reading
  • catastrophising
  • being awkward
  • saying Yes when No really would be better

To remember that I have a Duty of Care first and foremost to myself and by being

  • my own best friend and
  • a loving warm supporter and
  • guide and
  • compassionate listener to what is going on inside

I will be more present and open for those I meet and interact with day to day. That by paying attention to myself in a positive and loving way, I will naturally send out that love and positivity to others just because of directing that love from myself to myself.

This course has been a real privilege – and I mean that. I know that places are in high demand and I genuinely feel very appreciative to be one of the eight in this group. I know that ultimately it is up to me to change things – with every experience you learn, and you develop as a person. I have been opened up to a whole new way of thinking with this course and it is up to me to recognise that this is important and worth the time and effort to genuinely deal with this and to apply the methods taught here.  It is the beginning of an important shift and a necessary shift. Life is short. It is not a rehearsal and it is a blessing to be here alive. I know that sounds soppy, but it is true. We spend so much time worrying ourselves about things/events that may not happen, may never have happened. Yet we place such importance and credence on them. The time for that to change is NOW. One step at a time


Dylan Thomas wrote a poem called ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ – It implores us to live boldly and to fight. It asks us to not just “go gentle” into that good night,” but to rage against it.  Even at the end of life, when “grave men” are near death, the poem instructs us to burn with life.  It is a life-affirming poem with a message that is both profound and important to hear. It dares us to live life to the very end.


Do not go gentle into that good night – Dylan Thomas, 1914 – 1953

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.




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