Social anxiety is a very serious issue. It has the power to keep you from living your best life. One of the most difficult aspects of social anxiety is leadership. In some cases, people with social anxiety find it difficult to lead a group or be taken seriously because they think they may not have all the leadership skills needed for that role.
Here are some steps you can take to help increase your leadership skills when you have social anxiety.
Recognize That You Have Social Anxiety
Before you can improve your leadership skills, you need to recognize that you might have social anxiety. Often people with social anxiety will cover up their insecurities by not telling anyone about them. As a result, they often don’t know that what they’re feeling is a consequence of their social anxiety. However, this doesn’t mean that they can’t improve their situation. You still need to be honest with yourself about the true cause of your leadership problems if you want to turn things around.
Be Patient With Your Groups
If you are leading a group of people, then you will inevitably run into problems. As the leader, you need to be patient when your group goes through difficulties. In some cases, this will mean allowing them to hold their mistakes against themselves for a while or giving them support after they’ve made a mistake. However, in most cases, it means being patient with them and encouraging them to keep trying until they succeed at whatever task they’re working on.
For most people, being authentic is the path to success. However, for some people who have social anxiety, it’s difficult to be authentic because they’re afraid of being judged. Luckily there are some steps that you can take to help you be more authentic:
First, step back and ask yourself if the situation that you’re in is really anything for you to worry about. If someone doesn’t want to hang out with you anymore because of something that you said or did it may not be worth getting upset over. It may just be a problem with them and not with something that you did or said.
Next, practice being authentic. The more experiences that are authentic that you have, the easier it will be for your nerves to settle down when a situation calls for an authentic response. That way, you’ll be able to act more naturally when such situations call for it.
Practice Your Leadership Skills
As with anything, the only way to make sure that you get better at it is by practicing. With leadership, this is especially important because there will be times when you can’t rely on your social anxiety to excuse your lack of skill. Even if you’re shy, it’s important that you make an effort to excel at what you’re doing and help others do the same.
For example, if you take on a leadership role in an organization or club, then try your best to lead them well and make sure that they are working hard towards their goals as well. That way, you can build your credentials as a leader and take on more difficult leadership roles later on. A toastmasters club is a good place to start, it was a very rewarding experience for me.
Confront Your Fears
If you’re uncomfortable about being in a leadership role because you are scared that you’ll embarrass yourself or others, then there is no better way to overcome this fear than by confronting it. As soon as possible, find yourself some role to play as a leader and start leading people through a task that’s easy enough to complete but difficult enough to allow room for mistakes. Then make sure that you fully commit to being a good leader while also being are that mistakes are part of the journey. This way, you’ll be able to see first-hand how people view your leadership and what you can change for the better.
Find a Leader to Look Up To
Sometimes, seeing someone that’s already comfortable with their own leadership skills can be just the thing that you need to boost your confidence and learn from their mistakes. If you’re struggling with being a leader because of your social anxiety, then it might help for you to find someone who is an excellent leader and try to learn from them. With any luck, you’ll learn something new about being a better leader yourself.
If there are some leaders at your school or place of employment that are nice people and good at what they do, then maybe it would be an idea for you to follow in their footsteps.
Learn From Your Mistakes
With social anxiety, there’s no such thing as a fool-proof plan. As soon as you figure out how to handle something, your body will start to overthink it and cause you to make mistakes. It’s important that you look at these mistakes as a learning moment and take from them what you can.
You can do it! Just remember that there is no such thing as failure, only lessons. The only way to avoid making a mistake is to never try anything new. However, the more that you try, the more mistakes you’ll have and the more chances that you will have of learning something in return.
Just remember that everything does get easier with practice and time. The more leadership experiences that you have under your belt, the less stressful it will be for you to lead others, even if they are people that you don’t know very well or who are much older than yourself.
Make sure to take the steps that are necessary in order to make you less anxious about being a leader and make you feel more comfortable with your leadership skills. If you do this, then there is no doubt that you will be able to overcome your social anxiety and become an excellent leader in no time.
Being an outstanding leader means that you can inspire and motivate others without forcing them to do anything. Remember that you must set the example for others to follow and help them grow into their own leadership roles.