A man in dirty clothing, an untidy beard, making erratic movements with his arms and clutching a can of special brew attempted to accost me in the street the other day. I was absorbed in the task of getting my lunch from its packaging, wearing sunglasses and listening to my MP3 player. I was safely contained in The Village. My threshold was formed of the music in my ears, my sunglasses and activity the combination of which allowed me to pretend that I was blissfully unaware of him.
I could have taken a risk and acknowledged this guy – crossing the threshold out of my comfort zone would have been as simple taking away any one of these three things and acknowledging his efforts to communicate. I would have lost a certain amount of control of the situation at this point, but who knows where this may have led? There are many stories in which the first step of the adventure is a Hero’s chance encounter with someone or something. I could have pitched myself into an unpredictable situation where I could have had an experience that added value to my day or his. I will never know.
In terms of Social Anxiety or any fear experience – the choice not to do what causes the anxiety is the same as my choice not to acknowledge the man. Where as mine was a conscious choice, with Social Anxiety it is a choice made by your subconscious before you are aware of it. This choice is the threshold that your subconscious has built around what it considers safe, to protect you and keep the beardy men out.
The feelings that you experience when you try to do these things or even think about doing these things, those feelings are the same as my beardy man. They are reasons not to cross your threshold, reasons not to leave your village, however if you do come out of your village and face them, opportunities will present themselves to add value and change your life.
In hypnosis, I talk directly with your subconscious, the part of you that makes those decisions that keep you in The Village, and I show it that there other decisions to make, better decisions for a better quality of life and then I give you the capability to face your beardy men and see what opportunities they may offer.