Social Freedom Is Life
Here on the Good Life Guys Show / Podcast, we talk about social freedom a lot. We both really value being able to be free and spontaneous in the world. To truly be ourselves, unencumbered by anxiety, self-conscious, fear and self-judgement, is an ideal that we both hold in the highest of esteems.
For both of us Good Life Guys, social freedom is something that is cultivated gradually over time. And it is cultivated non-linearly. Back-sliding is common. Both of us go through phases of being more or less socially free.
There are so many factors involved in social freedom. Each one is worth looking into. Because, at least according to the Good Life Guys, social freedom is life!!
Avoid Denial, Admit That You Want It
To many people, admitting to social anxiety, or feeling tense in social situations, is shameful. Especially for many men, it seems weak. They want to be macho, and admitting to social anxiety feels like the opposite of that.
If you engage in denial and pretend, to the world and yourself, that you are totally comfortable socially. But in reality, you merely avoid situations and pretend that you don’t want to connect or reach out or ask for what you want, then you are only hurting yourself.
To move forward in this crucial area of life you MUST admit that you feel fear and that you would prefer to feel less fear. You admit that you currently CANNOT be as outgoing and socially free as you would like to be. By admitting this, you clear the way for the important work, and improvement, that needs to happen.
Every skill takes practice. And for the vast majority of humans who were not born with outlier levels of extreme extroversion and self-confidence, social freedom is a skill that requires work practice.
By admitting that you feel some level of anxiety and that you are less socially few than you would like to be you pave the way to establish a deliberate practice regime.
By practicing your social freedom regularly you will certainly get better. This is a Good Life Guys guarantee.
Social freedom is a mindset. And it is a mindset that can be firmly established by engaging in, and embedding in your lifestyle, an array of tiny habits.
Tiny habits are so small that each of them, in and of themselves, is easy to do (and easy to not do!). But when you establish a list of tiny habitual actions and behaviours that will lead you in a direction that you want to go, they can in conjunction with each other, move mountains. And fundamentally change the person you are.
Tiny habits that improve social freedom include; chatting to shop clerks, saying “thank you” to bus drivers, paying random people little genuine compliments, and telling people you find attractive that you find them attractive! (Admittedly that last one is not so “tiny” for a lot of people!)
No skill can be built without consistent practice. Consistency is KING. Momentum can carry you lightyears. And momentum is built by taking consistent actions.
If you can reach out and practice being more socially free (by chatting, saying “hi”, paying genuine little compliments, saying what is in your mind, sharing the funny shit that pops into your head etc) on a daily basis, you will build a head of steam that will soon make being socially free unbelievable exciting, enjoyable.
With momentum, you will begin to amaze yourself!
Take Every Opportunity
To build momentum you just practice consistently.
And with social freedom, this is easy. Because we have constant opportunities to practice!
Every time you leave your house you encounter other human beings. And every time you encounter another human you have an opportunity to practice being more socially free. Take as many of these opportunities as you can.
See the world as your practice ground. Reach out to the numerous people you come across on a daily basis.
Thinking that you need to interact and behave perfectly is a giant hindrance to your building social freedom. If you demand perfection of yourself it becomes very difficult to act. Because perfection is essentially IMPOSSIBLE to achieve., It does not exist.
No interaction, no behaviour, no conversation, no joke… can ever be perfect.
Embrace and enjoy being IMPERFECT. Humans are messy and flawed. Your imperfections make you real, human and likeable.
Jettison perfectionism. Connect with other humans in a deeply, heroically IMperfect way!
Celebrate Every Victory… Big or Small
Be your own cheerleader. Always congratulate yourself on a job well done. And remember crucially, a job well done does not mean a job done perfectly. It often means a job done BADLY… but done.
Every time you deliberately and consciously reach out and connect, and practice social freedom, you have succeeded 100%. Celebrate every success. Encourage yourself ALWAYS.
Love and Encourage Yourself
Always be your own best friend.
Treat yourself in the same way that you would treat your little brother or best buddy.
Love yourself, understand that you are on a tough journey and that you are being brave. Admire yourself for your efforts.
Please be on your own team. Berating yourself or picking holes in what you’ve done is very counterproductive.
Nothing is worth stressing about, nothing is worth disliking yourself for. The most crucial thing in the world is that you are FOR YOU, that you love and are OK with yourself. That is your ultimate responsibility.
Be your own best friend.