Step Five: Use a Spotter
As you push against your social resistance in small ways, you'll find yourself gaining confidence in new situations. Small events that once hovered near the top of your Index of Dread will become less frightening. You may have a hankering to take a big risk that can't be divided into small steps. In that case, consider using a spotter.
At the gym, of course, a spotter is the trainer who cheers you on, corrects your form, and grabs the barbell in the instant you reach muscle failure but before the weight actually crushes your skull. In social situations, your spotter should be someone honest, observant, and willing to help you through the moments when your courage fails.
Employing scientific observation methods, a little courage, and a friend to help you through the rough spots, you too can expand the range of activities you enjoy. Honoring your personality—gregarious, solitary, or in-between—becomes steadily more rewarding as you get better at differentiating between your inborn aversions and places where a lack of confidence might be holding you back. Resistance training can get you to a place where being alone isn't lonely and joining a crowd doesn't crush your psyche. In short, it can lead to a life designed not by fear but by the person you were always meant to be.
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We Hear You!