[MOTIVATION THURSDAY]

No Live Maxxertainment tonight, having a little night off, so I thought I’d post a little motivational post, hopefully to help anyone that may suffer from anxiety.

On Sunday past, I was taking my first Live home workout from my kitchen. I’m not camera shy at all, but I was still nervous as it was my first live video. In your head, live seems so much harder than just recording a video, cause if you make a mistake, there’s no deleting it.

Anyway, about 10 mins into the video, while I was working out intensely, shouting encouragement in a room filled only with myself LOL, I got a flashback…

A memory of myself 8 years ago flashed into my head, of a time when I was obese, extremely unfit and unhealthy.

And here I was now, making a live workout video for everyone to watch and follow along.

But even more than that, I was confident in front of the camera, and apart from a little nerves cause it was my first live, I felt very comfortable.

Things were very different for me 8 years ago. I wasn’t confident in the slightest. Actually, the complete opposite. I got so nervous in public, and with people, that I self-diagnosed myself with “Social-Anxiety”, after a bit of Googling. Social anxiety is basically where you become anxious in public. And I would often become very anxious and nervous in public. The amazing thing is, you can learn to hide your anxiety, which I did quite well.

I often found myself avoiding things, simple things like going into a shop, in case I bumped into someone, and got nervous talking to them. Getting photographs taken was horrible. My checks would always twitch and I couldn’t smile. Thankfully I married into the most photographic family in Ireland, just to make my life a bit more interesting. On night’s out, I’d always need a few drinks before meeting people, to help me relax and enjoy the night, however this always led me to getting too drunk and never remembering a thing. Weddings were a complete dread, as they involved a lot of socialising, and really awkward moments for me. A social-anxieter’s nightmare. Weddings got so bad, i’d have to take some valium just to relax me through until I got to the bar. Then I’d fall asleep early cause I was sedated.

Thankfully, I found my way back into exercise. I had always been into sports when I was younger, but the stresses of work and life can lift anyone out of health and plunge them into a swamp of obesity and ill-health. As my new passion for fitness developed, I did notice a decrease in my social-anxiety. It didn’t get rid of it, but it certainly helped. As I got fitter and fitter, I become more productive, had more hours in my day, and took more of an interest in other areas of my life.

I remember about 4 years ago, deciding that I was going to get rid of my social-anxiety once and for all. I’d been listening to a lot of motivational audio for a few years before that. And when you list to that stuff daily, you really do believe that anything is possible, and that your mind controls everything, and you have the power to control your mind.

I read several books on how the mind works. It’s really fascinating. And how anxiety works. And I read books on how to be more confident, and how not to give a fcuk about what people think. Very important that one. And I literally trained myself not to have social anxiety. As I slowly got rid of it, I would test myself, putting myself into situations that I dreaded, and see the outcome.

Everything starts slowly. You read a book, and put things into practice, but can’t see if it’s working. But now, so many years on, I look at myself on camera, without a care in the world, not giving a sh*t who is watching or judging, and realise that that yes, them books did work. And self-training does work. And that you can either control your mind, or let it control you.

These days, I can spot Social-Anxiety in a person instantly. It has its own mannerisms and certain tells. And it’s unfortunate how common it actually is. I can even spot famous celebrities that have social anxiety.

If you happen to have an social anxiety, I hope this post reaches out to you, and lets you know, your not alone. You may have it now, but it’s not your label. You just require a little self-work.

I lived with it for about 4-5 years, and have learned a lot about social anxiety. If you do experience social anxiety regularly (I think most people experience it from time to time), here are a few tips.

Exercise, get fit and get healthy. Good health was the number one remedy I came across, and I can confirm that.

Cut out caffeine. Caffeine causes anxiety, and anytime I have a large coffee, I can certainly feel it trying to creep back in, although I’m in good control now.

Listen to motivational audio everyday. I’ve listened to thousands of hours of it over the years, and even went to see some of the speakers like Les Brown live in London. Motivational audio will literally change your life. I’ve linked a few on our home workout page.

Learn that it’s OK to say nothing. I would often freak out about meeting someone and not know what to talk about. My leg often started shaking with nerves when I bumped into people. These days, I stop and talk to everyone. And even go out of my way to talk to people. And it’s so common to spot people going out of their way to avoid saying hello or talking. That’s just the way I used to be. And life isn’t nice that way.

Read the right books. Learn about how the brain works. How we work. And literally, train your mind to think how it want to think. Your mind is like a computer. It is constantly being programmed. Most of the time, not by you. If you have social anxiety and want to get rid of it, you need to program your mind. You need to feed it the right information, and guard it against the harmful information.

As always, I set out to write 3 lines and write a chapter of a book. I hope you find this article useful, and motivating, that if you would like to change anything about your life, whether its fitness, your mental attitude or whatever, you do have full control of yourself, and the ability to change, whenever you are ready to.

And don’t miss out our Live Night At The Races tomorrow night at 7:30pm.

Peace out, Anto.