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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new here and I would like to introduce myself. I'm a 26 year old guy. I have a college degree but is currently not working. I'm a business man at heart but my SA often gets in the way when I need to sell myself or my product. I'm currently trying to start my own IT business.

In thread, I'm going to blog about my four goals in life and how I'm working toward them.

1. Get over my fear of women so that I can get a girlfriend and be in an intimate relationship.
2. Move out of my parents' home and be an independent man
3. Make a good amount of money so that I can have a comfortable lifestyle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Update:

I went back to fry's yesterday and did some more exposure exercise. I chat up an old guy and the cell phone sales man.

Today I got some work done on my car at the dealership and it was perfect time for some exposure. I asked a lady if she is getting an oil change and it turns out she didn't speak english. It was kinda ackward. hehe. After that I went the sales lot and I asked one of the salesman some questions. He answered my questions but the conversation didn't go anywhere.

While I hate and fear rejection, part of me do wish that people just bluntly rejects me. So far nobody got pissed off because I talk to them and I have done quite a few exposures. The problem with me is that I fear rejection so I avoid it. Avoiding it only make my fear grow bigger.

I havre been doing exposure for about 1 year now. Changes in me are very slow but I am changing though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I did some more exposures at the store. I went to Fry's and Walmart. I talked to 3 people at Fry's and one at walmart. I was somewhat anxious and I feel myself trying to pick out people that I think will response positively to me if I approach and talk to them. This is the habit that I'm trying to get rid of. I feel satisfied with my exposure today.

From my exposure experience so far, it seems like most people do not want to talk. Is it because most people are shy or people just don't want to talk? I can't tell. I usually would say something to start the conversation and the other person would respond but wouldn't give me any info to continue talking. People that don't want to talk would just acknowledge me and wouldn't say anything else.

On the other hand, I stopped at a bank of deposit 2 checks and a lady initiated conversation with me. I could tell that she wants to talk. I think now I know the different between people who wants to talk to me and people who don't.

In contrast with 1 or 2 years ago, I've improved a lot. I used to get depressed a lot but I'm a lot better. I still sometime feel down and on occasion depressed. I don't get anxiety anymore when I drive. When I meet new people, I let it "all hang out" more because I'm less afraid of people breaking my heart. I'm a lot more comfortable when I'm by myself.

It seems like I've developed an outer shell and this shell helps me concentrate on me more and keeps external things from hurting me. I'm less reactive to criticism than before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I didn't do much today because I woke up at 10 am and slept again at 3pm to 5pm. I feel like I wasted a day.

For me sleeping is a way to cope and it always make me feel good. I'm depressed regarding my IT business. It's not doing too good and I'm not getting calls. When something doesn't go my way, I usually feel unmotivated and tired. Consciously I know that it doesn't make sense to just sleep and not work on my business but I do it anyway. I correct way of going about this is to seek business advices and find a way to increase business instead of just going to sleep and ignore my problem.

Currently I'm doing researching and developing a computer network for small business. When I'm done developing, I really need to get out there, approach people and sell like there's no tomorrow. If you've been reading this thread, you know that I fear rejection so that's gonna be a problem. I will continue to do exposure exercise to lessen my fear of rejection.

Anyone here into business?
 

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This is interesting to read because it's almost like reading about myself. Mind you I don't have a business or anything like that, but the stuff about exposure is similar to me.. only I haven't really gotten to the stage where I can go up to people and ask the time, ect (though I've thought about it). Out and about, I'll usually just speak when spoken to.

The problem with me is that I fear rejection so I avoid it. Avoiding it only make my fear grow bigger.
I can relate so much. I mean, it's kinda natural to avoid rejection because well, you're stopping yourself from getting hurt, but gah. I just can't help avoiding it. I know that one can learn from rejection but it's still hard.

Good luck with things anyway, I think I'll keep reading this (assuming you keep updating, haha).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is interesting to read because it's almost like reading about myself. Mind you I don't have a business or anything like that, but the stuff about exposure is similar to me.. only I haven't really gotten to the stage where I can go up to people and ask the time, ect (though I've thought about it). Out and about, I'll usually just speak when spoken to.

I can relate so much. I mean, it's kinda natural to avoid rejection because well, you're stopping yourself from getting hurt, but gah. I just can't help avoiding it. I know that one can learn from rejection but it's still hard.

Good luck with things anyway, I think I'll keep reading this (assuming you keep updating, haha).
I started to notice my anxiety when I was a freshman in college in 2001. For about 6 years, I believed that there are mental tricks that I could use so that I can feel more confident when around people. That was not the case! I pretty much wasted 6 years of my life because I was on the wrong track when it comes to solving my problem. I guess I resort to "mental tricks" to deal with my problem because exposure was just too hard for me to do at that time.

I did not achieve lasting results only until 1 year ago when I started doing exposure. Initially I was impatient with my exposure and tried to bit off more than I can chew. This caused a lot of anixety and stress and it didn't work out too well. After that I changed my strategy and started doing exposure more slowly and gradually. It's a slow process but i've made some significant lasting progress!

The lesson here is you have to do exposure. While analyzing your thoughts and negative belief are good, it can only help you so much. You have to reinforce it with exposure exercise. When doing exposure, gradually increase the difficulty of your exposure and don't take a huge jump. From my experience, this will help you.
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exposure udpate:

Regarding my business, I think the reason why I'm not getting calls is because I'm not advertising enough. One of the main pillars of marketing is awareness. People have to know that you exist in order for them to call and buy from you. I'm going to put an ad in the yellow page!

I'm currently enrolled in an IT class at my local college and I went to class yesterday. I talked to two people. The conversation went well and I felt that they really wanted to talk to me. The conversation was good and it made me feel like I'm wanted. In comparison to last year when I was enrolled in another class at my local college, I was really nervous and had a lot of anxiety. I wanted to talk to people but thoughts of how they would reject me because I'm not worth their time flooded my mind.

People still reject me but now it doesn't hurt as much. Because of this, it enables me to move on and talk to other people without dwelling on the rejection. If you interact with enough people, one of those people will response positively to you. For me, the belief that "everybody hates me" is slowly breaking up.

If you don't talk and avoid people, basically what you're doing is not giving them a chance to show you that you're worth it and wanted. This will result in you feeling bad and unwanted and you will avoid people even more. It's a the cycle of pain!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good to know somebody is reading :) Either way, writing a blog helps me think. A lot of time when I read my old blog entries, the thing that I wrote make no sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Over the weekends, I went to the beach and initiated conversation with several people in the water. I usually comment on something or ask them how they're doing. People usually give a one liner respond and that's it. Currently I'm not too concern about why people give one liner respond. I just want to initiate a conversation and that's it. Before I used to ruminate as to why people don't talk back to me and I would come up with reasons such as I'm wierd, ugly etc. Part of me still think that I'm unlovable and that people do not like me. The thoughts still surface but they don't have a lot of power over me when compared to a year ago.

I also went to the gym and I saw two guys that talked to me briefly couple months ago. I approached them and asked how they was doing. I felt that they did make attempts to continue the conversation with me but unfortunately the conversation died. I couldn't find anything to talk about. I was really apprehensive about approaching them because I was afraid that they would not remember who I was and that would be really awkward to me.

I went to target and saw two employees sitting outside. I hesitated and walked by them but then I turned back and asked them about getting a job at target. I don't need a job at target btw. I have a bs in engineering :boogie

These exposures are definitely helping me. The exposures help to desensitize me from rejection. When I don't fear rejection, I'm more relax and could be myself in public. Everyday day I will try to dedicate couple of hours to do exposure so that I can chip away my fear.
 

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I applaud you for being able to do that over and over again. It's like immersion therapy.

I'm able to talk to people briefly, but one of my fears is that the person will ignore me or the conversation will be awkward and die.
 

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I don’t really believe in desensitization. For example I would walk into a bank 10 times in short intervals and not get nervous any more after that 10th time, but after taking a brake and not walking into a bank for lets say 10 days I would start getting nervous again. I don’t think its sustainable there is something broken in the brain…jmho
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I had night class yesterday and I sat next to a lady that I haven't talked to before. During the break I asked her how she was doing. The conversation was short. I don't think she wanted to talk.

After my small chat with the lady, I went outside the class and saw a guy that I talked to last week. He was talking to another guy. I'm a pretty considerate person so I didn't interrupt them. I waited for a lull in the conversation and then join in the conversation. Both of the guys seemed like they wanted to talk.

My night class has about 35 people and so far I think I talked to about 8 person. I have 27 more conversation to start.

So far most of the conversations that I started is either with men or old women. I will gradually attack my fear talking to women that are around my age. I feel confident that I can do it.
 

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Your approach is very systematic and I believe that you will accomplish what you have set out to do. I think you're on the right path.

I'm trying to do lots of exposure as well. I have improved quite a bit in the last 2 years but I'm still a work in progress.

I'm going to school and my biggest problem right now is school anxiety. But if this was me 5 years ago, I probably would've quit the second day. I know I have improved because I have survived several weeks already and I am determined to face my fear and go to school each day. That's my exposure therapy for now. Also, I'm slowly attend meetup.com group meetings for more social exposure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Your approach is very systematic and I believe that you will accomplish what you have set out to do. I think you're on the right path.

I'm trying to do lots of exposure as well. I have improved quite a bit in the last 2 years but I'm still a work in progress.

I'm going to school and my biggest problem right now is school anxiety. But if this was me 5 years ago, I probably would've quit the second day. I know I have improved because I have survived several weeks already and I am determined to face my fear and go to school each day. That's my exposure therapy for now. Also, I'm slowly attend meetup.com group meetings for more social exposure.
Good for you. Action is key. If you have anxiety for the last 10 years and you're doing the same thing that you did yesterday, you will continue to have anxiety. I learned this the hard way.
 

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I think the key to overcoming SA is taking baby steps. I've tried to take giant leaps before but I always fell on my face.
This is a great cliche to keep in mind, and your personal plan for recovering from anxiety is an excellent one! While dating is very intimidating to you, if you keep taking baby steps, like talking to this girl or that girl, you will eventually find yourself with a great girl, and you have plenty of time to do it! You are confident enough to take risks (evidence by your desire to start an IT business), so I am confident that you are confident enough to take dating risks as well.

Keep taking small risks over and over and over again until you get a risk to work out...and one eventually does no matter how hard it seems!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yesterday wasn't a good exposure day for me. I went to a shopping center to buy some snack and to do some exposures but I couldn't. I felt kinda bad but I accept the fact that I will have good days and bad days. The most important thing is that I make forward progress. Some day I feel like I take two steps back but it's ok as long as I take three steps forward in the near future.

I'm about to head out to same shopping center to get a coffee drink and to do some exposure. I'm not going to sit here to complain, feel sorry for myself or be discouraged. I did that a lot in the past but now I realized it's pointless to do it.

I'm starting to look for a job. No I'm not giving up on my IT business. It's a tough economy and it will take a while for my IT business to gain speed. The best thing to do now is to get a part time job. A part time job will give me income and relieve some pressure from my IT business (the pressure of getting business and making money).
 

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Good for you. Action is key. If you have anxiety for the last 10 years and you're doing the same thing that you did yesterday, you will continue to have anxiety. I learned this the hard way.
if i may throw in a quote that's similar that has helped me: "there can't be change, without change."

unless you change your actions, the results will never change. i think you're doing great Daveee and i read all your updates. keep up the progress!
 

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Yesterday wasn't a good exposure day for me. I went to a shopping center to buy some snack and to do some exposures but I couldn't. I felt kinda bad but I accept the fact that I will have good days and bad days. The most important thing is that I make forward progress. Some day I feel like I take two steps back but it's ok as long as I take three steps forward in the near future.

I'm about to head out to same shopping center to get a coffee drink and to do some exposure. I'm not going to sit here to complain, feel sorry for myself or be discouraged. I did that a lot in the past but now I realized it's pointless to do it.

I'm starting to look for a job. No I'm not giving up on my IT business. It's a tough economy and it will take a while for my IT business to gain speed. The best thing to do now is to get a part time job. A part time job will give me income and relieve some pressure from my IT business (the pressure of getting business and making money).
All great words and you really are thinking through things very well. Yes, you will have a bad day where you feel like you're going backwards, but as long as you don't go off the deep end and give up together, you'll be okay and things will continue to get better. Great work! Keep it up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
if i may throw in a quote that's similar that has helped me: "there can't be change, without change."

unless you change your actions, the results will never change. i think you're doing great Daveee and i read all your updates. keep up the progress!
Good to know that somebody is reading :) .

Update:

I had night class yesterday and I did some exposures.

While walking to the class I saw a guy who I talked to last week. I greeted him and we talked for a while. He seems like a really nice guy.

It was a 4 hour class so there was a break. At the break, I walked to a Starbucks that was on campus and I saw a classmate. I walked up to him and just said "Doing ok in the class?" We talked all the way to starbucks and back. I felt that he wanted to talk. When I got back to the class from Starbucks, I asked a guy who sat behind me if I can compare answers to the practice exercise. We compared answers and talked a little bit.

One of the challenges that I'm trying to overcome is talking to a complete stranger. It's easy for me to talk to people that are in the same classroom because I have an entry point to start the conversation. For example, I can ask him how's he doing in the class. If I see a person that's on the street or in a supermarket, it's hard for me to talk to him because I have no entry point. What can I ask him? I don't know what he likes or dislike. Anyone have the same problem? I don't know why I can't do it.
 
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