How Setting Small Challenges Can Help You Overcome Social Anxiety – with Kyle Mitchell, of Social Anxiety Kyle

Guest: Kyle Mitchell

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Stacie Clark
Hello and welcome back to the quiet connections podcast. I’m Stacie.

Have you ever felt as though you are the only one struggling? Or thought that you’ll never be able to hold a conversation, easily make friends, assert yourself, or say the things you want to? Have you ever cried because you’ve felt broken?

Today’s guest, Kyle Mitchell, has been exactly where you are now. Growing up hearing things like “Oh he doesn’t like to talk, he’s really shy” – Kyle thought this was the way life was going to be, this is who he is, and there was no changing that.

Today Kyle, is a mental health speaker, podcaster, advocate, and social media influencer who is passionate about helping others work through their social anxiety.

I am so pleased to have Kyle joining us on the podcast today to share with you his journey from feeling socially anxious to feeling socially confident – proving that no matter your current circumstances, things can change – that how you are at the moment, is not fixed – that there is so much more to you, and you are capable of anything you set your heart to.

So I hope you enjoy this chat as Kyle talks us through the steps that he took himself-  how he learnt to embrace his perceived flaws, set himself small challenges that gradually eased the anxieties and how he began to love himself.

Hi, Kyle, welcome to the podcast. It’s so great to have you on today. How are you doing?

Kyle Mitchell
I am doing fantastic. Thank you for having me. I’m excited.

Stacie Clark
Amazing. So I watched a couple of your videos on Instagram. I watched a video of your story on your website as well. And from my perspective, it was really, really inspiring.

So, obviously you’ve kind of named yourself Social Anxiety Kyle, which gives an indication as to what I think we’re going to be talking about today. And. From the perspective of like our community and also like my own personal experience says, I know that social anxiety is such a hard thing to experience and to work through and can really impact so many areas of our lives.

So I’m really looking forward to hearing your experiences and how you’ve kind of navigated that and what you’ve done to really help yourself. And now you’re supporting other people as well, which is absolutely amazing. So yeah, like if we start at the beginning, what was like your experience of, of social anxiety?

Kyle Mitchell
Yeah, so, I mean, me personally, I feel like I struggled with social anxiety. I mean, pretty much my whole life. You know, ever since I can remember as early as kindergarten having little episodes that I can kind of look back now, I was like, Oh, I had some social anxiety there, but, it didn’t really like hit me in the face and like a really posed, like a huge, massive problem until I transferred high schools, the end of, or the beginning of my sophomore year.

So I went from a really small private school that had about. 200 kids in the entire high school. And then I transferred to this large public school that had about 1600 kids in the whole high school. So it was quite a culture shock for me. And I didn’t know anybody there. You know, it was the first time I’d been to a school where I actually rode the bus to school.

I didn’t have to wear a uniform. So like there was a lot of like new things coming at me. And so, and I think one of the biggest things and why that hit me so hard in the face was when I was at my private school, I had like a really small group of friends that I was comfortable with. You know, they were kind of like my safe place in a way.

And then when I transfer, like I lost all of that. So then I had no where to go. It was basically like I had to face my social anxiety straight in the face, which I had been kind of avoiding unintentionally for a long time. So yeah, that’s what really started, you know, that kind of impact that I started feeling with social anxiety was that, and, and that was tough.

I mean, just. like I said, like when, I remember that first day of school, like I get off the bus and quickly realized that the bus drops me off, like 40 minutes before my class even starts. So, you know, I don’t have that safe place to go to anymore. And I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to like sit in the corner cause I felt like people would be judging me.

You know, I had. I wanted to blend in and some sort of way. So that’s when I started, you know, just walking the halls, just doing hard circles for like 40 minutes until class started. and yeah, I did that for a long time, probably a couple months until I eventually got called out on, on the bus on the way home.

And,  you know, I was really embarrassed. I felt so much shame. And I remember just like going to the bathroom that next day. Cause you know, I couldn’t walk the halls anymore. And I would just sit in the stall and I would just cry for like 40 minutes until class started, because I just felt so terrible about myself.

And you asked about like what social anxiety was like for me. I mean, this is what it was like, was these constant thoughts of why am I not normal? Why can’t I talk to people? Why can’t I, you know, make new friends? Why do I feel like this? Like all the time in public situations, when I, you know, look across the room and I see this guy or girl, like having zero problems at all, it’s like, they’re just doing completely fine.

And yeah, that was a big thing. And then one thing kind of looking back now is like, then maybe they were doing just fine, but maybe they weren’t either. I thought I was the only one back then, but there was probably hundreds that were going through the same exact thing, but it’s just, you can’t see it on the surface.

So yeah, that’s pretty much what it was like for me growing up.

Stacie Clark
Yeah. There’s so much in there that I can relate to. Most importantly, I think that point of, we just never really know what anybody else is experiencing as well. And I know from my perspective, I also really felt like I was the only person that struggled to feel like they could make friends or to speak to people.

Then I felt like I was the only one experiencing like these freeze responses and like words just couldn’t connect and come out of my mouth. So. Yeah, little did I know that actually there was so many other people also feeling the same way, and even some of those people were looking at me and thinking that I was okay and that I wasn’t struggling with things like that.

And I was like, I remember when I first started having these conversations with people being like, wow, so you mean I wasn’t alone, but we’re not talking about it. It’s so easy to fall into that place of feeling alone with our challenges and our issues.

And I love what you said there about that transition from one school to the other. And how part of that challenge with that, you moved from having like a safe circle of friends into going into a place where you had no one, because when I look back on my experiences of especially being in school, the thing that I can recognize as being the thing that really helped me to get through my school years was having those few safe people and hiding behind them almost, or feeling only like I could be myself, I suppose when they were around me.

But if any of them weren’t at school, I remember the sheer panic that I had of like, Oh my God, I’m going to be alone. And what do I do now? And just that terrifying feeling. So I think that’s really, really relatable. And thank you for sharing that.

So having like heard some parts of your story before, what was your experience like when you moved to college as well after these, these school years?

Kyle Mitchell
Yeah. So I stay pretty local. I mean, I was still living at my parent’s house, so I didn’t like move across the country to go to college. But,  I mean, my experience was, I mean, things were like, I felt like I was starting to get a little bit better, even though I hadn’t really done anything. Until I actually got into college and started taking classes and then it like started to hit me again.

And I was like, Oh my God, come on, man. but yeah, I think one of the biggest things in college for me that was tough was at least for me in my experience, I think every single one of my classes was set up like this because they had a huge portion of the grade set up for participating. And it was more than just showing up. You actually had to talk and raise your hand. which was something I practiced  avoiding my entire life.

So I was terrible at that part. I mean, it got to the point where I was like, I would like focus so hard on the tests and homework and make sure I did so well because. I knew for a fact I was going to get like nothing, no participation. So I wanted to be able to pass the class.

And, yeah, that was, yeah, that was like the biggest thing for me. And that’s what kind of led me to start taking control because I started to get to get sick of it. I finally got to the point where I remember walking home from class one day walk or walking into my apartment, and I remember just having like this voice inside me and I believe it was God, or maybe the  universe , you know, whatever you’re believing if you’re listen. But it was just telling me like, Kyle, you’ve got to do something about this man. Like, you can not go the rest of your life feeling like this, like stop being blamed, pity on yourself and take some action on it, do something.

And so that was really. What got me going. I mean, because up until that point, I had never even thought of even trying to work through this. It was really just about getting through the day, every day. Like it was such a challenge and that’s when I was like, okay, I’m going to do whatever it takes to be able to take back control. And like, I want to have control. I don’t want my social anxiety to have control over my life. Cause I mean, I, you know, I still got at least like 50 years, if I’m lucky and I do not want to live the rest of my, my life feeling like that. Cause it’s terrible. So yeah, that’s what really got me going on to doing some uncomfortable challenges and stuff that I talk about.

Stacie Clark
Yeah. I mean, that’s really inspiring to hear and. I don’t know if you would agree with this, but for me, I feel like that’s a decision like that we have to make ourselves,  if it’s coming from like external pressures or other people telling us that you’ve got to do something about it. I just feel like from my personal experience, like that almost reinforced some of those behaviors and some of those anxieties and fears.

But the moment that I decided for myself that it was time to start making those changes was really when that change started to happen. Was it kind of the same for you at all? Or was your experience just kind of out of the blue?

Kyle Mitchell
No, that was the same thing. I mean, I definitely had people like. I mean that I can think of just like my parents or specifically my dad, like, Oh, you should do this. And this will help. And like, really like, kinda like what you were saying. It like reinforced me, like not to do anything. I was like, no, I like, I’m not going to do that. I can’t do that. But yeah, I think it really comes down for everyone to like, you have to make the choice yourself to take action. Like I can sit up here and talk to you all you want, and I can tell you what I did, but at the end of the day, I mean, you have to make the decision. I can’t make it for you nor can you.

Stacie Clark
Yeah, absolutely. And. I mean from, you know, that’s such an empowering place to come from as well. Isn’t it? When you start taking those, those first steps and despite the fact that the journey ahead is hard and scary and challenging and has its ups and downs, it’s still your choice there that you’ve made. So let’s hear a little bit about some of the things that, that you started to do to help yourself, like, what was your first step?

Kyle Mitchell
Kind of just following up from the end of what I was just saying. I wanted to start doing some things to like step my toe in the water of anxiety, so to speak. I remember my dad talking to me while I was in high school. And at the time I didn’t take his advice because it sounded way too ridiculous and scary. But, I remember him telling me like, yeah, I had problems with, You know, talking to people and just kind of interacting.

And he said, what he did was he, cause he lived in Las Vegas at the time he learned to become a blackjack dealer. And he actually started dealing blackjack and the Hardrock casino in Vegas. So he was like, maybe you should try to like do something to kind of like kind of expose your anxiety type of thing.

So that’s what kind of like circled back into my head. And like I remembered that. And so I was in college remembering that. And so I was like, okay, I’m going to find something, but I wanted to start small. I didn’t want to take on anything too large. That was going to be like, Way too hard that as gave they’re going to throw me in a downward spiral or that I wasn’t going to ever commit to doing, because it was just way too big on the surface.

So, that’s when I decided, okay, what I’m going to do is I’m going to raise my hand one time and every single class and participate. I’m going to ask a question, answer a question. Which was a great win-win cause this also helped my participation grade in classes. So that’s what I started doing was my, that was my first little uncomfortable challenges.

I would just raise my hand one time and I remember the first time doing it.  I was nervous the whole time. I was a nervous wreck. I remember my heart was just like beating out of my chest and I  procrastinated until like literally the very end of class to actually did it, but I did it and I said something I don’t remember.

And I remember just feeling like so much relief and like, I felt so proud of myself for actually doing it as like, Wow. Like it’s one thing to get called on and you do it and it’s uncomfortable. But like, if you make the choice yourself and you do it, and like out of my own free will, which I believe that was the first time I ever faced my anxiety like that.

I just felt so good about it. And so I kept doing it. And I did it for probably like four, six weeks until I eventually got to the point where I didn’t feel any anxiety doing anymore. I mean, it was just, I just felt, it just felt normal to me. And I was raising my hands several times in class. Um, just because I was interested in the topic or I wanted to ask questions.

And what that really did was just train my brain like a little bit by a little bit to realize like, I don’t need anxiety in this situation. I know you’re trying to protect me right now, but I don’t need protection. And so that’s what that did was,  yeah, just train my brain to realize, Hey, I don’t need anxiety at this moment.

And so I just kept doing stuff like that. Another one that I did,  and then I still kind of do, that’s not really an uncomfortable challenge anymore is just where. Crazy goofy looking socks. I was, I was delivering pizza for pizza hut at the time, while I was in college and we got to wear shorts and one thing that I always had a lot of anxiety about was people like judging what I was wearing.

And so that was my next challenge. After the raising my hand thing, I was like, okay, I’m going to wear like goofy, long socks every single day. From that point up until now, I wear goofy long socks and

Stacie Clark
Love it.

Kyle Mitchell
Yeah. That was just a train my brain to be like, See, no, one’s really judging you because no one cares about the socks you’re wearing. Not anywhere to the extent that you think they do. So, yeah. That’s another one that I did.

Stacie Clark
That’s amazing. I love that sock thing.  So what was coming to mind then is, is. That sounds very, very similar to the approach that we like to share with people as well. And also the approach that I’ve taken.  We call that like a comfort zone stretch.

So it’s about taking that safe little space that, you know, keeps us small and keeps us comfortable, even though it also feels painful sometimes being there and then taking those tiny, tiny little steps in order to gradually grow it. But without stepping into that panic, so that, like you said, It makes you feel like you’ll never do it again or can reinforce some of those, those anxieties that can hold you back.

So what advice would you have for someone if they are in that position where they’re like, okay, I want to start making some changes for myself and maybe I want to start setting myself a really small challenge, but I’m also still feeling terrified and anxious. Like what would you say to them to help them? And I suppose  identifying like that first small step or how to start managing those anxieties in that small little challenge?

Kyle Mitchell
Yeah. So this is a good question because I’m actually doing a Ted talk on this and September literally this exact thing.

So I, I basically have three steps to it.  Step one is self-love. Shower yourself in self-love, talk to yourself in the mirror. Do self-affirmations every single morning , you know, use, I am statements, you know, I am confident. I am happy. I am, you know, I am comfortable in social situations. I’m comfortable talking to strangers and you can kind of form these to kind of based on what you’re trying to do in your life.

Second is have a baby-step planned out kind of like what I was saying before. We want these things to be extremely small, especially, especially to start out. You don’t want anything too big? One that, my, my co-host and I talk about it on our podcast a lot, that we kinda like to share is just. Just waving at people. If you’re just like walking down the street, just wave at somebody. And like that’s a, that’s what he uses as his like little warmup as he calls it.

Stacie Clark
Yeah I’ve been practising that with smiling at strangers.

Kyle Mitchell
Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s a, that’s a really good baby step.  And it really just kind of depends on, you know, what you’re trying to do. For me, like a baby step was just, you know, raising my hand.  But yeah, just pick something really small that just gives you the just,  eensy bit of little, like uncomfortableness that you definitely wouldn’t do otherwise. And then a third is, remember reward your effort over your result every time, every time the result does not matter.

It does not matter if you answer the question wrong. It does not matter if you blow this interview.    If it goes completely wrong, like you did not want it to it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you actually did it. You put out the effort and, and re and reward yourself for that. I I’m a big believer in that when I was doing the hand raising stuff, I was in college. And at that time,  I played a lot of video games. So every time that I completed this challenge, I would let myself play video games for an hour before I started on my homework. I gave myself like an incentive program that way it’s not so, just terrible to go through. I mean, it’s not fun to do, but if you give yourself a little incentive like that, it makes a lot more fun and yeah, it just, I can’t stress enough to focus on your effort over the results because the results literally do not matter whatsoever.

Stacie Clark
I love that because I feel like for so many of us who are experiencing social anxiety, a lot of our focus is on results and outcome and whether or not something is perceived as good enough or perfect, or if it’s right. And yeah, we. I, I suppose like it’s, it’s society  isn’t it, there’s a lot of conditioning around that, that focuses on the outcome as opposed to the effort and the, and the process of things. So learning how to rewire our own approach to those things can make a huge difference.

Also, I want to touch a little bit on what you said. there about showering yourself in self-love because, I know from clients and stuff that I work with that can be particularly challenging for some of us. So how would you suggest you start to approach that, that sense of self-compassion?

Kyle Mitchell
Yeah, so I mean, affirmations are a really good thing to use, especially when you’re trying to kind of like recondition your mind or train your subconscious mind to believe something.  A good example is, a lot of people ask, like, how do I be confident? Like, well, confidence is really just a belief system.

It’s not really like anything like set in stone. Like you need to have this, this, and this it’s really just, your, your mind believes that you’re confident. Therefore you are  confident. If I believe I’m not confident and therefore I’m not confident. But, that, yeah, self-affirmations are really good.

Another one for me, I mean, just talking from personal experience, I did not like myself growing up. I did not like my physical appearance. I did not like my pale skin. I did not like having blonde hair. And I remember just like growing up through elementary school, middle high school, just like hating that stuff about myself. And what I always like to tell people is like, embrace your quote unquote flaws, as you may see them and just like, learn to love them.

Like I learned to love my pale skin. Like I learned to love my blonde hair. Like. I’m unique as heck for it. Right? Like that’s how I see it. Like I got, I just, I just learned to embrace it. Like I love myself. That’s, that’s an affirmation also that I tell myself every morning, it’s like, I love myself. And that’s just something that has been so strong for me.

And. Yeah. I mean, just embrace your flaws. It’s just been, that’s been one huge one for me. I mean, I’m not a, I’m not a, a, you know, a self-love expert by, by any means, but,  affirmations and just embracing your quote unquote flaws. that that’s a huge one. And when you can learn to actually love yourself, guess what?

People’s opinions no longer matter. I guess you don’t care about them all as you care, all that matters is like, I love me. So I don’t really care if Stacie doesn’t like this hoodie or I don’t care if they don’t like my, you know, what my hair looks like. It doesn’t matter. Cause I love myself. That’s all it matters.

So yeah. If you can learn to love yourself. Oof, you can see some huge changes in your life and how you feel.

Stacie Clark
Yeah. Where did , like at what point did that start becoming part of your journey? Cause you mentioned that you started with these small, challenges that you set yourself. At what point did it start reaching that stage of starting to bring in those affirmations and working on your sense of self-love and learning to embrace your flaws in air quotes?

Kyle Mitchell
Yeah. So.  I think I kind of unintentionally did self-affirmations when I started doing these uncomfortable challenges. In the beginning, I didn’t really know the power of them, but I would kind of like hype myself in my head as I’m like walking to class, like I can do this, I got this and I’m just going to raise my hand, like that type of thing.

But kinda as I got more and more into the mental health space is when I just started really picking up more and more of this stuff.  You know, even though I got to the point where social anxiety wasn’t in control of me, it was still like, I still want to optimize my mental health and feel as good as I can because there’s still days where like, I’ll feel anxious about something or, you know, I still go through periods where I, you know, I I’m. Yeah, I had some depression or whatever it is, and I think everybody will and does forever. I mean, we just all have those little periods in our life that happened, but,  yeah, I mean, as far as like embracing my flaws and stuff, when did that come about?

I think that kinda came about when I started working out with my brother.  I guess that was kind of some unintentional self care that I needed as well.  But yeah, just doing some self care for my body. And honestly, my brother was a huge influence in my life.  He was definitely a, he doesn’t, he didn’t know it at the time, but he was definitely a teacher for me.  Because I could, I, and he’s my little brother, he’s about four years younger than me, but my brother has never, ever cared about anything anyone ever said to him.

And I remember just like, kind of like looking at him and being like, how does he do this? Like, and that, that’s what it is. Like, he just loves himself. Like, that’s, that’s all there is to it. And that’s kinda where I picked that up. And I started to slowly incorporate these things into my life. But yeah, kind of around the college years, high school, I mean, it kind of like just kind of blurred in as I went.

Stacie Clark
Yeah. It sounds like you surrounded yourself with people that had a positive influence on you? As opposed to,  I’m just thinking about in terms of, I think so many of us are, we continuously keep ourselves around people who reinforce,  I suppose limiting beliefs about ourselves or negative things about ourselves. And we start to take those on as truth.

Sounds like he was someone who showed you by demonstration that,  you know, how to love yourself and you just kind of naturally started that as a result of kind of being shown, I suppose, how to do that quite naturally, which is really quite amazing.

I think to me that demonstrates the importance of being with the right people and with people who feel more supportive and feel like they’ve got your back.

Kyle Mitchell
Yeah, yeah, yeah. A hundred percent. I mean, I talk about that a lot is. Surround yourself with people who lift you up. If there’s anybody in your circle that you spend a good amount of time with that like brings you down, makes you feel bad about yourself. Like. Yeah, get them out. Like, it’s try to make this and like, if it’s, it’s a little bit harder, if it’s like a, unfortunately people have like parents or family members that are, you know, that, that bring this to them. I, I fortunately didn’t have to go through anything like that.  If you are in that situation, cause I hear that kind of rebuttal back a lot, just kinda, just distance yourself, as much as you can type of thing.  You know, wear headphones in the house if you have to, but, and just honestly, keep, keep talking to yourself too, and don’t let those words of others bring you down.

And just, if somebody is telling you, you can’t do it, then constantly keep telling yourself you can do whatever they say. Say the opposite four times in your head.

Stacie Clark
I love that. That’s so good. So, where are you kind of now? Cause you said that like social anxiety doesn’t control you anymore. So what’s your, I suppose like your view on the world now, your view on yourself, how you’re showing up?  Do you still, well, I mean, you did mention that you still have experienced some anxieties and stuff. Do you experience those when doing things like this, like podcasting and being interviewed, is that still something there that you experience?

Kyle Mitchell
When I first started doing it, I mean, cause I, I host a podcast myself. So then the beginning of that, when we, especially when we started having guests on, I definitely had some anxiety with that.

Cause it’s something new, it’s something I’ve never done before and I’ll continue having stuff like that too. And I love that because that just means like I’m growing like, Oh, okay, cool. Like do something uncomfortable today. Like, and then you feel good once you like. Put in some reps and then you’ve, you know, you’ve built that social anxiety muscle to where it’s like, okay, I feel good. I feel comfortable doing this.

Sometimes I get on these interviews and I, I do come on getting a little nervous.  Today I feel pretty good. I mean, I don’t have any anxiety. Didn’t have any anxiety about coming on here at all. I mean, but sometimes it does creep up. And , maybe there’s just like some little things that I’ll do to kind of hype myself up.

Sometimes I’ll just play some music to just like, raise my frequency or I’ll just like do some jumping jacks in my room before, before I get on the podcast, it’s like, get my blood flowing. But, I mean, number one for me, it’s just, just like , I don’t really care if I suck in this podcast. Honestly, it’s just all about my effort.

I really don’t care about the result. I mean, I want to give you the best podcast  episode possible, but,  I’m not going to focus on, like I got to just nail this interview. I’ve got to blow Stacie away. Like I’m just gonna be a hundred percent me. I’m going to try be as authentic as possible and just go from there.

But you’re talking about kind of where I see like, like mental health in the world now, and just kind of where I am.  So I mean, one really big focus point for me is getting more information about mental health and to schools.  I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that I got through. You know, kindergarten to senior year and all of college. And I didn’t know what anxiety was.

No, I don’t ever remember hearing about mental health. I think that’s absolutely crazy. and actually in schools around here now for health class, they have one day of the year in health class that they dedicate to mental health. And I’m sorry, that just seems like completely ridiculous to me one day for mental health.

I mean, I think it’s one of the most important topics that we can be teaching kids is how to manage, how to, how to manage when these anxious times, you know, about being where when you start to feel depressed, what can you do to come out? I mean, we all want to feel happy. And if we, you know, if you want to be happy in this life, like you have to put some effort in your mental health or you just can’t get there.

So why aren’t we teaching this to kids like that? I just, I’m just mind boggled by that.  So that’s why I’m doing this. My TEDx talk is actually specifically for teens, how to be, socially anxious to socially confident. And I felt, actually gotten a few opportunities to speak at some schools locally around here. Which is awesome. It’s as, I mean, I get such a high up doing that stuff. It is so fun and I’m just always like blown away by like all the people who messaged me afterwards. And they’re like, Oh, you know, I’m struggling with that too. It was really nice to, you know, I just get all this like love and I just want to do that as much as possible.

I honestly, I just want to help everyone. That was like me, that is in school right now. Does that make sense? I mean, I can just imagine what that would do for me. If, when I was in high school, someone came in and shared their story about social anxiety or just really any type of mental health struggle.

Like that would have done so much for me because I thought I was alone the whole time I would have been like, Oh really, me and this guy, like, yeah, that would have brought so much relief. So. That’s kind of where I’m at now and kind of where I see,  mental health and then kind of, like I said, I mean, mental health is something that I practice every morning.

I have a morning routine is just like dedicated to keeping myself at a, my most optimal mental health level. I think it’s the most important thing.  that’s why I start off my morning, very intentionally. And I do meditation. I do prayer. I do gratitude journal.  I do self-affirmations in the mirror with some music.

I’ll do some reading and then I start the rest of my day, but I can tell you on days that I don’t do that, which there are days like that. Including today. I didn’t do my morning. Yeah. And it’s all about consistency, not perfection. But anyways, if I compare a day that I did do it today, that I don’t, I definitely feel a big difference. So I try to do it as much as possible.

Stacie Clark
There was so much good stuff that you just said there and things that I completely agree with. And I think from like mine and Hayley’s perspective, we also would love to see more schools and stuff, talking about social anxiety and mental health in general, and understanding that, you know, some of the behaviors that they see within students that there’s more going on beneath the surface. And actually those of us who are experiencing social anxiety or who are quieter quite often get completely overlooked and not seen or recognize that actually there could be some, some challenges going on there and a lot of anxiety that we’re just pushing through day after day, after day, after day, just to get to the end of the day.

And yeah. A lot of work to be done. A lot of work to be done. so it’s great to hear that you’re also taken up this challenge and getting yourself out there to raise awareness around it. Love it.

The hoodie that you’re wearing, although people can’t see it.  Could you just say what it says?

Kyle Mitchell
Yeah, it says mental health equals physical health.

Basically meaning mental health is just as much or should be just as high of a priority and as, and is just as important as your physical health.  I hope to see in like five, 10 years from now that like, you’ll go to the gym and you like talk to somebody that’s like working out and it would be weird to talk to them and then also say like that they don’t work on their mental health. You know what I mean?

To me, it just doesn’t make sense to only work on one of those things and you should be working on both. Cause they really coincide with each other, like. You know, working out makes you feel really good mentally, like, I don’t know, it releases some sort of chemicals. I don’t remember the name. I’m not going to try to remember it, but just makes you feel good and that it has a direct relation into your mental health and it’s vice versa at the same time, but I think we need to, you know, we, we’re really focused on,  you know, working out and eating healthy so we can feel good and really.

It should be the same way with mental health. And you know, there’s a little bit of a stigma there too, right? I mean, you can go to the doctor because you’re sick, but I think a lot of us feel really uncomfortable if we like tell our boss that we need to take the day off because we need to go to our therapist cause we’re feeling depressed. Like that’s, that’s a lot harder to say for a lot of people, but it shouldn’t be, but it is.

Stacie Clark
I remember when I was 21 and I booked a doctor’s appointment to go and talk about, you know, anxiety and feeling depressed. And that in itself just booking the appointment was a huge success for me, but the, that I got to the doctors, I sat there and was just like, Oh, there’s nothing wrong with me I don’t why I’m here? And just looking back on that, I think, wow, like The fear of even just sharing that or asking that I need some help or I need some support because I was so afraid of being judged or someone telling me that I was being overdramatic or over-sensitive, which was a huge, like shame trigger for me throughout my life was, Oh, you’re just too sensitive, stop taking everything so personally,  So like these, these things that we experience throughout life that create all these barriers for us to actually be able to move forwards and look after ourselves and nurture ourselves and do the things that we want to like there’s. Yeah. A lot of work there that needs to be done.

We’re kind of coming to the end now , just as some like final words that you could share with our community and for all of these people who are listening, who are perhaps quite early on in their journeys or feeling like they’re really still struggling with,  social anxiety, what words of kindness do you have to offer them?

Kyle Mitchell
Words of kindness.  I would say don’t be so hard on yourself. And just take one, take one small step. Don’t focus on getting 50% better. 90% better, focus on getting just like 1% better every day. Like if you can just do like these little things and don’t even really think about the angle, just focus on the process and learn to have fun with it and make it fun.

Kind of like the incentives and stuff that I was talking about. If you can do that and just over time. At least for me over time, just doing these little 1% changes all of a sudden, like it’s not taking control of your life. And you’re like, Whoa, when did this, when did this become my reality? And it’s, it’s a really cool feeling and I believe anybody can do it amazing.

Stacie Clark
And if anyone wants to reach out to you or get in touch with you, where can they find you? Yeah.

Kyle Mitchell
So primarily a hangout on Instagram. You can find me at Social Anxiety Kyle, as I have deemed myself.  I also, co-host a podcast about mental health called the Social Ninjas it’s  for me and my buddy, we started it. We both struggled with social anxiety in the past. So now we kind of ironically interview people.

So, yeah, I’d love to hear from you. Anybody wants to message. I reply to all my messages, so yeah. Hit me up.

Stacie Clark
That’s great. Well, thank you so much for coming on Kyle and for sharing your experiences with us, it’s been really inspiring to hear, and I know it’s going to offer so much help to those who are listening. So thank you so much.

Kyle Mitchell
Yeah. Thank you for having me on Stacie.

Stacie Clark
If you’ve been inspired to have a go at setting yourself small challenges to help rewire those anxious feelings – just like Kyle did, just like I have, and like so many others within our quiet community – then you might want to check out our free workbook – How to get more calm and confident in social situations, a quiet persons guide to gently stretching your comfort zone at your own pace.

With this workbook, you will learn:

  1. Why avoiding social situations is the biggest mistake you can make if you want to grow your confidence
  2. How a comfort zone stretch can keep you out of the panic zone
  3. The 5 foundations of setting an intention that you feel motivated and capable of achieving
  4. How to create your own 6-week plan in 4 simple steps

Download your Free Workbook Here: Free Workbook: How to Get More Calm & Confident in Social Situations

Be sure to tune in again next week, for our final episode of season 1 of the Quiet Connections podcast!! I can’t believe it! It’s gunna be a good one, I hope you join us. And in the meantime, stay connected.


  • Stacie Clark

    Hello! I'm Stacie... I was the girl who awkwardly blurted out half-formed sentences. Pretended to not know much - about a lot of things! Would go on a date to sit in silence. And nervously laughed to hide the fear of speaking. I support people like yourself, who feel anxious in social situations, because I’ve been there too and I know it sucks. I believe we all have amazing gifts and qualities within us, waiting to be expressed, and I love helping individuals like you, find your own quiet ways to let them shine.

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