I've been recently feeling like my social anxiety is really holding me back from making progress at work.
I find myself avoiding sharing ideas in meetings, not wanting to make presentations about the work that I am actually doing, and even casual conversations with my colleagues can make me exhausted on some days. Like I am constantly wondering what they really thought or how I made them feel.
Something that I've come to realize more recently is that perhaps the worst fears that I have about what others think of me, are actually just my own worst fears about myself.
A couple of times I noticed that people actually just act much more nicely than I expect and I guess this makes me wonder. Now each time that I catch myself expecting the worst, I try to ask myself - do I have evidence that this person expects this of me? Am I imposing this expectation on myself? Can I somehow check this with them and relieve myself from this stress?
I just wanted to share this because it's been helpful and made me more open to experiment with more social exposure recently. I guess one struggle is that I don't want to fall into self-criticism now and I want to be kind to myself as I am in this process.
I try to remind myself that I am just human and I am learning and in fact noticing this pattern and considering that I might be limiting myself in some unnecessary ways is a big win.