365 Days of Self Discovery: Day 92

12.03.18

Are you a good communicator?

  • At a very young age up until late high school, I struggled with my socialization skills & communicating with peers. Especially when it came to voicing my opinion, confrontations, debates, communicating my feelings/thoughts to others, etc. It wasn’t that I was anti-social or didn’t have any friends, I was very outgoing (still am) and had friends, but I was what most would probably consider “awkward”; Having a conversation with someone was harder due to my social anxiety — being a class clown all my life was my way of communicating and making friends, it seemed so much easier to find ways to make people laugh, than it was trying to talk to people in normal day to day conversations. I have many reasons as to why I feel as though I was struggling with this, mostly with other women vs men. I was a tomboy, so being one of the guys and hanging with my younger brother was my way of trying to fit in, vs hanging out with a bunch of girls from school. At a young age, I knew I was different, but it didn’t strike me as hard until I realized that maybe I had an attraction towards the same sex, and this just made communicating / socializing even harder at times. As I got older, I started to learn to open up to people more and had more conversation & my class clown acts weren’t as rapid, but after suffering from  losing friends, and having to move to different states/change schools, my communication skills started to once again dwindle because of my social anxiety from not knowing anyone. At the same time I had a hard time communicating with my own parent, my mom wasn’t the easiest lady talking to growing up (still has her moments now) because she is both stubborn and stuck in her ways and she believes what she says, goes — so I didn’t really have the confidence to speak up to her about certain matters until later in life. I’d say now, my communication skills aren’t perfect & I still have social anxiety, but I am better at voicing my opinion to peers, better at communicating my feelings within relationships and with close friends & I have gotten better at trying to voice my thoughts to my mom (even when she doesn’t seem to want to hear about it), regardless, I am glad this is something I have learned to excel at, and having taken a communication class in college, helped me to be able to talk in front of others with less fear. The hardest thing is keeping in touch with people — I am not good at doing that. 
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365 Days of Self Discovery: Day 87

11.28.18

What would you like to do less of?

  • Less working (make a passive income)
  • less thinking/worrying about what others think of me
  • less self doubting myself
  • less negative thinking towards my body image
  • less time on dating sites/social media and more time going out among other people and talking to people 
  • less of arguing with my mom

What do you want to do less of? leave comments, follow, share and like! 

365 Days of Self Discovery: Day 75

Do you find yourself apologizing a lot? Why do you think you do this?

  • Yes, I am the type of person who will apologize for everything I do, even when it is not necessary nor my fault or if I feel like I am not good enough for someone. This question brought up a good story, because actually my boss from one of my jobs had caught onto this early on and brought it to my attention. At the time he had put himself in my space (assuming he wanted to speak to me) but within in seconds, I was apologizing & this shocked and confused him, he ended up asking me why I was apologizing and I had mentioned that it was because I thought I was in his way (even though I knew I was not, because I was doing what I supposed to be doing and he was coming into my space) well, he looks at me and says “Shay, you were working and I got inside your bubble, don’t apologize for that, you need to work on your self esteem” and when he said that, it caught me off guard because I would have never considered that fact — in fact I told him I was a strong person, and he says “you may be strong physically but mentally you need work, because you shouldn’t have to apologize for every little thing, especially when the apology isn’t rendered necessary and you did nothing wrong; that usually is a self esteem issue, or self worth issue” — well maybe he was right, and with this motivational conversation and wisdom, I try to now make it a reminder to not apologize so much because sometimes I don’t even know why I am apologizing in the first place. 
Do any of you find yourself in the same situation where you are the type to apologize for everything, it just comes as second nature to you? Also, do you agree with my boss, that normally when someone makes this a habit, it is a self esteem/self worth rooted issue? Share your thoughts in the comments, and if you can, share it with your readers so we can really crack this nut open. Thanks for reading!
 
Shay-lon

365 days of self discovery: Day 52

Do you deal well with rejection?

  • Now, sure, I deal with it better; but I still have my moments when it is hard to deal with it. Rejection is hard to deal with, not something most people enjoy; including myself. Learning to be okay after being rejected can be hard at first, but teaching yourself that it doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough helps one to realize rejection isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes rejection leads to one door opening after another has closed.

Do you deal with rejection well? or is there room for improvement. What makes dealing with rejection difficult for you? leave comments & share, follow and like.

BEGREATGUYS Tip #9 Acceptance but not complacent

We have come quite a long ways; to a point where most people on social media seem to be more positive towards others bodies and choices of sport, and their lifestyle choices. Even more beautiful is the self love I see on social media from men and women alike, who have stood up to the bullies and have chosen to speak on how they don’t feel any less self confident with themselves anymore because they have chosen to love who they are — I know body shaming still exist on and off social media; and it probably won’t cease anytime soon, but when I see how people choose to handle it, it makes me smile because everyone’s body and genetic make up is different & we never really know another person’s journey. Saying this, I have decided that there are two things that I believe are important when it comes to the body & how one should treat it. 

  1. Acceptance – In other words accepting your body for all the flaws it may have, being able to accept the fact that we are all different & unique; that we can’t compare ourselves to others because each journey is different & each person has their obstacles. Our genetic make up can be a curse or it can be a blessing/ or perhaps a mix of both but it is who we are before we work towards changing it. Accepting your body today, tomorrow and in the future will bring a more positive perspective & learning to accept someone else’s body is showing that you respect their choice even if you don’t agree with it. 
  2. NOT staying complacent – This is where you change what you want to make better & learn from trial/error what works best for your body. While you have accepted its flaws, does not mean you cannot work towards progress and make new results that will make you feel much more confident inside & out. Choosing to not be complacent means you want growth & growth means you constantly want to be the best person you can be. Success is golden if you aim for better but not perfect & sometimes even if results don’t come when you plan on it, they come when you least expect it and challenge you to keep pushing even when the odds are stacked against you. While accepting another person’s body flaws and lifestyle choices is respectful, it doesn’t mean you can’t motivate them to want to better themselves — maybe a simple understanding of where they started and where they are now & where they see themselves will be enough to encourage them to keep going. 

As a personal trainer & athlete, I have taught myself to love my body even on bad days but to always seek for improvement — because improvement is possible. If I want something bad enough, I work towards it at a reasonable pace that works best for me. I have taught my clients to say positive things about their bodies but to demand the change they want to see by working towards their goals with my help. The more we teach ourselves to accept the flaws but go after changes that allow us to grow; I believe it will create a body positive experience. 

Thanks for reading, comment, like, share and follow! 

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Shay-lon 

BeGreatGuys Post #4 — Being Average is Okay

Nowadays, people are striving to be the “best”, the best at sports, work, parenting, school, etc. It seems people steer themselves in the direction of competition in order to come out first, to be granted a reward, to be applauded, and to be remembered as someone with importance. In my opinion, the best thing to do is “be your best self” and that doesn’t mean winning at every sport or getting straight A’s in school; it means living life trying to have a good character, to stand up for what’s right when necessary, following your values/morals that correlate with who you are & choosing to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who don’t want to see you mentally exhausting yourself to be first place ALL THE TIME , but will also be there when you lose. 

 

Being average, doesn’t have to mean being complacent, or going through life with no aspirations — all that average means, is being okay with not being perfect in every aspect of your life and being okay with making mistakes, with losing a game, with getting a C on a test and studying hard next time to strive for that B+ & not weighing yourself down with comparisons to others, and obsessions of winning or being known by many. If all that attended your funeral were your family members and 3 close friends, would you be okay with that? or would you be the one to say, “nobody cares about me, only this many people attended” .. does the number that attends your funeral make a difference in how you feel about yourself? because if you think that having 100 people at your funeral is any better, try having 100 people at your funeral but only 5 of them actually care and have something they can share; memories, pictures, stories, and friendships — all the while the other 95 people attended just because they felt bad and didn’t want to be mean by not attending and didn’t even know who you really were (they liked you because you always won first place) but the second you lose first place, you lose those 95 people who you thought cared. 

 

Yes, strive for success and be great at things, excel in school and work. Compete in sports, be nominated for a prize for your efforts and continue to dream big — but don’t forget that being average doesn’t mean you suck, or that you can’t win, or that you are 2nd place loser. Being average is okay, because being average awards you the same gratification; you made progress, you did better and you might not have won every race or scored more points than your opponent but you tried and trying is way better than wishing you had. Being average doesn’t make you weak, fat or ugly, it means you are perfectly okay with being who you are because you love yourself and don’t need the audience to validate your worth; you don’t need a trophy, a fan club, a billboard in order to know you have a good character, you have flaws but don’t use them to weigh you down and that you put your effort into something you love- win or lose. You don’t need to know you are the best, to feel your best. 

 

I would know what being average is, because I am average and I love it all the same. 

 

“The best part about not winning all the time, is being able to lose and still walk away with a win; you kept the same attitude as you would have winning” -Shay-lon 

 
 

I have Social Anxiety (Mental Health Awareness)

I will be first in line to admit that I have social anxiety (I believe I have mentioned this many times before) and while many people are in shock when I tell them this, because I come off outgoing and very talkative – this doesn’t mean anything, just means I mask it fairly well – not to mention, if you don’t understand social anxiety and what it means, you might not know what to look for when I am put in situations where I react. Now with this being said, this post will be both informative and yet, I will speak from my own experience as well, so hopefully you enjoy stories and perspective. I will start with the basics, what does it mean to have “social anxiety”?

 

Social anxiety is fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people BUT,  it stems from having a fear or anxiety of being negatively judged or evaluated by other people. —- I have dealt with this fear ALL MY LIFE and it sucks because I wanted to be more like the ones who “don’t care what others think” but even when I try, I know deep down I still care (even when I play if off like I don’t) now with this being said, yes, there have been times where I literally do not give a shit about what others think of me, or how they perceive me, and that usually is when I am at the gym or grocery store because I just feel like I have built confidence in those scenarios/environments. Although if you put me inside a new gym or a grocery store in a different town or area, my social anxiety will kick in because it is a new surrounding with new faces and I don’t know how to handle it.. so I just freak out in my mind. For some people they avoid situations like so, but I have learned to force myself to step outside my comfort level and make myself intentionally uncomfortable in order to fight my anxiety. 

 

Now let’s discuss some of the symptoms & I’ll share which ones i have, if any:

 
  • Rapid heart beat- this is another one I experience
  • blushing or sweating- sweating is one for me
  • feeling of mind going blank – I have this one
  • makes little to no eye contact 
  • speaks with overly soft voice
  • self conscious in front of others, feeling of embarrassed or awkward – This one I have
  • Being very afraid that other people will judge them – this one I have
  • Stay away from places where there are other people

Now, as you can see, I have quite a few signs/symptoms and some people have more or less, and not every situation do all these sign/symptoms display themselves. I personally know another sign/symptom that people I have dated have noticed and even people I have talked to, I tend to ramble when I speak in a conversation with someone, especially if I am interested in someone, or if I don’t know how to end a conversation, or if my nerves are all over the place. I know my ex used to mention that I ramble a lot on and off the phone and she would make jokes about it and I knew that sometimes it was awkward but since that relationship, I have been trying to get better at catching myself ramble and doing it less often. I guess for me, it is really tough to not ramble, because it is my way of comforting my anxiety or “hiding” it, but when people notice and make light of it, it makes me feel a little discouraged at times or feel insecure or puts me in an awkward position where I don’t know what to do or how to handle it – and that just means I went from social anxiety to now I am upset with myself and feeling really embarrassed by my actions. None of my friends or family have ever made comments on my rambling and that might be because I don’t ramble with them .. it’s weird, but also I am comfortable with them. I never notice other’s with social anxiety, it goes over my head if someone does and they are talking to me, because I am so focused on my own response and reactions & trying to come off less awkward that if anything I just assume you are shy and nothing more. 

 

Another thing I have noticed is, depending on the person and type of compliment they give me, I tend to get weird and say quick thank yous without even looking in your direction or I am pleasant and want to connect with you and my thank you comes off more friendly. I handle compliments better coming from females vs males as well. For some reason, I have yet to ever be awkward with a female who compliments me, but when it comes to males, it happens often unless I am comfortable with the male figure. Growing up, it wasn’t always like this but as I got older, it started to make sense as to why (& we won’t get into that at this point) but regardless I love compliments but handle them differently depending the nature of them, the sex and how comfortable I am with that person. I have known both, people who are flattered by compliments and others who get really tense and don’t like them.   

 

Causes:

There is NO one cause of it, but many factors that can lead to one possibly having social anxiety – but doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to get it just because you happen to have these issues but the chances could be greater. 

My mom has social anxiety and her’s is worse than mine, I would say, but she reacts to it differently than I do, on the other hand both of my younger siblings don’t seem to have it from the outside looking in, but I am not a professional so I wouldn’t actually know if they did unless they told me – so families can carry this trait. 

Misreading people’s behaviors toward you can be another cause of social anxiety- and I think I am decent at reading people, but I do tend to over analyze at times.

Underdeveloped social skills – this is a possible cause for myself. Growing up, I had friends but I was always the awkward duck, I didn’t know how to properly interact with others and not feel like an outcast and I think because I lacked some self confidence at times, I was always doing weird shit or saying weird random shit that in my mind was my way of trying to fit in but in reality was probably causing people to think I was weird or pushing people away. I developed a more comical personality in order to handle social situations and instead would always be the class clown and make people laugh and that is how I combated my own issues. 

 

As far as treatment goes, I never saw a professional for it, never had therapy or medication for it, and I refuse to go that far for myself because I think I have more of a handle on it now than I did in the past and I don’t feel like mine is very severe compared to other cases. I have learned to mask some of it, in order to push through and I have learned that if I force myself to confront my anxiety by stepping outside my comfort zone, it helps to build my confidence and encourages me to find ways to manage it better. For example, last year and previous years, I would go to Columbus here in Ohio for a weekend and stay in a hotel by myself and explore the city – downtown area, just walk and explore the stores, bars, etc all alone and  by doing that, I met people, I learned to find my own way and to handle situations that would make me uncomfortable and I loved doing that. This year, I went to a bar in my town alone, and the first time it went well, but the second time it went horribly and so I haven’t done it since then but I might consider doing it again at a different point in my life. My new goals to battle my social anxiety is to attend a movie alone and to eat at a restaurant alone because I am so used to doing them both with friends or family, so I want to step outside my comfort zone and do them by myself – also, I would like to attend a concert by myself and would love to drive out of town by myself again and explore another area .. so those are all goals to help me. 

 

I would love to hear from all of you with social anxiety, speak on what helps you, or try one of these ways of coping and let me know if it worked. If you enjoyed this post, like, comment, share and follow! 

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon xo