How to Use a High Performance Coach for Social Anxiety
I’ve been hearing a lot lately about what’s known as a high performance coach. At first, I had visions of elite athletes meeting with thousand-dollar-an-hour coaches to perfect their sport. Then I thought of high-flying business executives being trained to lead Fortune 500 companies.
While those images might be accurate, they aren’t a complete picture of what high performance coaching is all about. In fact, high performance coaching is simply aimed at helping all people reach their full potential – in any area of life.
While it borrows techniques from the sports and military, it also relies heavily on psychology, including managing emotions and fear and finding your motivation.
So how could a high performance coach help with your social anxiety? I’ve listed six ways below that I can envision a high performance coach could make a difference in your life.
One role of the high performance coach is to help you identify your vision or life ambition. What is it that you really want out of life or want to achieve?
I think for so many people who live with social or performance anxiety, this vision becomes clouded, obscured, or completely disappears due to anxiety. A high performance coach could help you identify your values and goals in life and what steps you need to achieve them.
Are there things that are holding you back from overcoming social anxiety? If so, a high performance coach could help you with that too. A coach’s job is to both support you and challenge you to set goals and plan your life.
For example, perhaps you really want to hold down a regular job but your anxiety is getting in the way. A coach would help you to set goals that are challenging but also achievable for you. Perhaps you aren’t ready for a job and need to work on overcoming your anxiety first. A coach could help you identify that.
A high performance coach could also provide constructive feedback on the process of finding a job. A coach could help you to break bad habits and learn basic skills that will help you with whatever challenges you are facing.
While a coach is not a therapist and cannot help you manage anxiety per se—working with a coach could put you on the right path to better managing your mental health in ways that help you move forward rather than keep you held back.
A high performance coach could also help you to build your self confidence! Coaches will work with you to develop skills necessary to achieve your goals including stretching you to do more than you might think you can do.
What holds you back from performing at your highest level in life? It’s likely your emotions that interfere, specifically fear, guilt, and worry. It may feel like these emotions are keeping you safe somehow, but they also may be leaving you in a place of stagnation. If you’re never challenged, you may also be unfulfilled.
A high performance coach can talk with you about your fears and worries and find ways to weaken the power that they have over your behavior.
One way to build self confidence is to recognize things that you have accomplished and integrate them into your identity. Make a point of setting three small goals for yourself each day. At the end of each day, take note of three positive things that you did regarding your social anxiety. Over time, your confidence should grow.
Let’s talk about fear some more! If you live with social anxiety your fears may center around the worst-case scenario in every situation. People won’t like you, your speech will be a disaster, you’ll have a panic attack in public and everyone will see… etc.
A high performance coach can work with you to play out those worst-case scenarios all the way so that you can figure out how bad they would really be. And then work backwards from there.
High performance coach Brendon Burchard argues that most people fear loss, hardship, and disappointment or disaster.
(read more about Brendon’s book High Performance Habits or watch him talk about high performance habits in the video below).
In terms of loss, he states that people fear the loss of status, power, relationships, and comfort.
Regarding hardship, we fear struggle, doubt, and overwhelm.
And regarding disappointment or disaster, we fear that the outcome of our efforts will not be what we hoped for.
So in essense, our fear is the worry that something bad will happen if we try to do something.
And the antidote to that fear is to do that thing anyway and focus on the good things that could happen.
It’s easy to see how this relates to social anxiety: In order to move past fear and anxiety, you need to accept that things might not go well… and then work on how to make them better.