Coping with Social Anxiety

For years, I had suffered with social anxiety. I was afraid that others simply would not like being around me. When in small groups, I would panic. Scary thoughts would would run through my head and I'd break out in a cold sweat. My gosh, what if she notices my blotchy skin? What if I say the wrong thing and look like a dork? Thoughts of me stuttering all over my words haunted me. Oh Lord, why did I have to be the insecure one in the bunch? 

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Throughout my teen and early adult years, I panicked whenever I had to go out in public. The spirit of fear had latched itself onto and held on tightly. I desperately wanted to be like everyone else, but there was always a blockage. Everything I did always resulted in me being uncomfortable because I was never able to be myself. My insecurities ate away at me like, and I became a recluse. Later on I discover the verse, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7, KJV. Nothing about me was sound! I was a total wreck!!!! 

God begin to deal with me concerning fear. He revealed to me that He was never involved in any of the anxiety and panic attacks that I had gone through. It was the enemy of my soul, Satan. The main goal of Satan was to stop me from reaching others for the Kingdom of God. I knew God had a calling on my life, but my insecurities prevented me from pursuing ministry. For years, I would shrink back when asked to speak or teach on a subject that I felt I was an expert in. I knew the answers, but was afraid that others would not accept me. All my talents were going to waste. I knew there was something I had to do.  As a result of this revelation, I came up with three simple ways to overcome fear. 

1. Pray. When faced with fear, immediately start praying. Pray for peace and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will start to soothe you and calm your anxious heart. Whenever I would get upset or full of fear, my heart would beat so fast that I thought I was having a heart attack. I would break out into a cold sweat and immediately seek cover. The Lord did not give any of us a spirit of fear. So immediately, start praying. Ask the Lord to give you serenity. 

2. Analyze.  Ask the Lord to show you the situation from His perspective. What exactly is going on? Are you in any immediate danger? Is there any help readily available to you? Calm down and take a deep breath. Monitor your surrounding. Pace yourself and realize that the Lord is right there by your side. He said that He would never leave nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5); therefore, you need to trust that He is there. Analyze the situation. Are you overreacting? Did you drink too much coffee or have too many sweets? Did you get enough rest last night? Many times, our habits can cause us to become jittery. 

3. Retreat Remove yourself from the situation if it seems to overwhelming for you. I know that I have had to remove myself from social gatherings in several occasions because I could not deal with the fear of not being accepted by others. At the time, I had not been taught how to deal with fear. I was simply going through the motions. If you do not feel the need to remove yourself, give yourself a quick motivational pep talk. Tell yourself that you are an amazing person. There's nothing wrong with boosting your own self-esteem. Now when I am faced with fear of being around others, I tell myself, "Hey, how can they not like me? I have the favor of God all over me!" 

Practice speaking positively to yourself daily. Write Scripture, affirmations, pep talks and more on sticky notes and place them around the house, in your purse, locker and/desk. When faced with fear, pull out a note and say it to yourself over and over again. Repetition is key to getting these thoughts and Scripture in your head. Once you realize how special you are to the Father, you will be less fearful and more wonderful than ever. 

*Anxiety can be caused by a medical issue, also. Please check with licensed professional. 

 

Broken Vessels Made Whole

If I had of listen to the vile things spoken against me my entire life, I would not be here right now. People often say "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." This is a lie. Words can hurt more than sticks and stones ever could. Once the pain goes away from being hit, it is over with. But the scars that are left from words can hurt you for a life-time.

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Being made fun of or ridiculed for your appearance, flaws or something that you have done wrong in the past can scar your present and your future. People can be horrible and will go out of their way to "remind" you of your shortcomings. You could have deeply repented for a sin that you have committed against a person and received forgiveness from God and that person, but others will still bring up the sin. That then triggers a reaction in the person you sinned against and they start to rehash old feelings...only to start hating you all over again.

The enemy is very crafty. He will stop at nothing to damage the Kingdom of God. If that mean constantly reminding you of your flaws and failures, he will bring them up every chance he can get. You could be feeling fine and going on about your life. Then all of a sudden, a friend will come to you about something that she heard someone else say about you. Satan will find any loophole he can so that he can do his job...to steal, kill and destroy.

Listen, don't give up on you. God has invested too much in you for you to quit now. I am saying this because it is on my spirit this morning. There are many of you that are facing this same situation. You feel as if you need to throw in the towel. Your past is taunting you. People are talking about you. Your mistakes are haunting you. Well...every week I hear something about what I USED to do. I hear gossip about things I used to say, places I used to go and people I used to associate with. Am I going to let it stop me from pursuing the Kingdom and doing God's work??? NOPE! God's angels rejoiced when I came to Him. He saw something in me and decided to use me for His good. He sees something in you, too. God has no use for the perfect people....Jesus died for the sinners. So let Him use you!!! BROKEN VESSELS CAN BE WHOLE AGAIN.

The Comparison

"Comparison is a thief of joy," said Theodore Roosevelt. This is so true. I would pour over the success of others for hours...comparing myself to anyone that seemed to have it all together. I would stare at their shiny photos and unrealistic happiness into the wee hours of the night. "Why can't I be prettier?" "Why am I not as smart as she is?" "Why don't I have as many fans as her?" "Am I doing this right, because she looks way more successful than me!" Those were just a few of the comparisons that I made over and over again. I had to stop and ask myself...1.) Why are you looking at what someone else is doing? 2.) How do you know if that person is actually successful? 3.) If God called you...like you claim He did...why are you worried about what someone else is doing? Utter reality check!

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You see, I was not content where I was. I was so busy searching for a spot in the WORLD that I was missing out on the KINGDOM destination that the Lord had already prepared for me. I was called by the Lord....but He never promised me that I would be popular, rich or noticed by the fancy people that I was staring at. He called me to help win souls to Christ...not make a million dollars and drive around in a fancy car. If He blessed me with those material possessions, it would only be an added bonus to the Heavenly blessings that He had already prepared. I knew then that I had to cut out the comparison game. It was destroying my spirit!

Maybe you are fighting with discontentment or comparison. You are inviting a spirit of rejection into your life that seeks to control you. You will never be good enough...and this spirit will remind you of it daily. Go before the Lord right now and cast out the spirit of rejection before it destroys your life. You can be free. You can have joy. Make the decision right now that you will not accept discontentment and comparison anymore. 
©Lukizzy Moton