overcoming social anxiety first steps

6 essential first steps for overcoming social anxiety

If you’re at the beginning of your journey from social anxiety to quiet confidence, you might be wondering where do you start and struggling to put one foot in front of the other. We know it can feel overwhelming and there are a variety of puzzle pieces to collect along the way. So, to help you take those first steps towards overcoming social anxiety, we’re sharing our Top 6 tools and techniques to pick up as you get started with overcoming social anxiety. 

1. Knowledge

Understanding social anxiety and discovering that how you are isn’t who you are helps you to reduce the sense of shame that is at the core of social anxiety and shift any old beliefs that you can’t change to a sense of possibility that you can. Download this free report to explore the difference between who you are and how you are today. 

2. Breathing

Breathing well is key! You might believe this isn’t something you need to think about, or even that it’s too simple a solution for you, but as someone who experiences social anxiety, you probably find you most commonly take short shallow breaths at the top of your chest, when really you need to be breathing into your gut -the place from which we access our courage and true sense of self. The way you breathe, too, can have a huge impact on how anxious you feel. Check out this blog post all about the link between our breathing and anxiety.

3. Presence

Taking up space. We can have a tendency to keep ourselves physically small, reflecting how we feel; but research shows that how we hold ourselves affects how we feel. So when you feel like you want to hide away, taking up space is even more important for you. This could be power posing, practicing yoga, expressive art, exercise or (my favourite!) dancing around your kitchen -whatever works for you! Find out more about how leading with your physical presence can alter your emotions here.

4. Self-compassion

Practising self-compassion instead of self-criticism. You might be feeling like you ‘should’ be able to do certain things because other people seem to manage with ease. We know it’s easy to beat yourself up over your social anxiety struggles. But that isn’t motivating you, it simply fuels avoidance. A self-compassionate approach is exactly what you need to take you on the journey from social anxiety to quiet confidence and help you deal with those uncomfortable moments that will undoubtably arise in the name of growth. Discover more about self-compassion here.

5. Thinking

Learning the truth about your thinking. As human beings we’re wired to make up stories -especially when we don’t have enough information about something- but we really believe that they are true! We’re not taught to question our own thoughts. Yet the stories that we tell and the roles that we cast for ourselves and the people around us make a huge difference to how we feel – and how we act in life, with potential to create self-fulfilling prophesies for ourselves. So what should you know about the way that your mind work? Read all about that here and you’ll find a great little activity at the end from Brene Brown to help you untangle those stories in your head too! 

6. A comfort zone stretch plan

Stretching your comfort zone is a vital step because you’re not going to grow in confidence without putting yourself in situations that are uncomfortable. Not panicky, but uncomfortable. We often throw ourselves (or get thrown) in at the deep end and forget to take those gentle steps leading up to the big goal, this backfires as you land up in the panic zone, you aren’t able to function as well as you’d like to, and it becomes just another negative experience. So we have put together a comfort zone stretch workbook to help you begin planning your stretches at a pace that works for you so you can put yourself in the stretch zone rather than the panic zone. Download your free workbook now.


Discover how we can help you to move from socially anxious to quietly confident and live a more fulfilling life -whether you’re looking to progress in your career, go to university, make new friends or simply leave the house more this year



  • Hayley Stanton

    Hi, I’m Hayley - the original quieteer. I, too, identify as a quiet person. I’m naturally a highly sensitive introvert and I love and appreciate my quiet strengths now, but I spent much of my life not feeling good enough and experiencing social anxiety. I missed so many opportunities because I was afraid of being judged harshly, criticised and rejected – and because I doubted that I had the ‘right’ personality to succeed. Quiet Connections exists in part because I had a fantastic coach who helped me to work through old patterns of keeping myself small and hidden so that I could show up and be seen to play my part in creating the more connected, curious and compassionate world that I dream of. Now, I’m passionate about helping quiet people discover their unique qualities, gifts, passions and experiences and explore how best to use these to express themselves more authentically and contribute to the world in a way that works with their quieter or more sensitive nature. Get to know me here.

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