I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me – Philippians 4:13
Many people experiencing the symptoms of anxiety can begin to wonder whether there is something really wrong with them and hearing comments from other people such as, “just get yourself together”. “There’s nothing to be frightened of”, are not helpful. You might feel as though you’re alone in your struggle with anxiety, the reality is that many people experience these emotions from time to time or on a regular basis. It is estimated that five people or more experience significant anxiety at some time in their life. Social anxiety is used to describe the anxiety that occurs in response to social situations, whether you are in the situation or thinking about the situation. Many people feel anxious about some social situations, such as public speaking. Worrying about whether the speech or what you’re ministering will go well, or what other people will think is quite common. But for some people, the anxiety may be so distressing that they avoid the situation at all costs.
The problem is that when we allow anxiety to dominate us, we’re missing out on our God-given gifts. Feeling afraid is a part of being human, but it can be conquered with God’s help and as we look at ourselves as someone with wisdom and knowledge that has been given to us by God, it will assist us with public speaking. The majority of the time what causes social anxiety is people think they have to behave a certain way in social situations, and if they don’t they will be seen as stupid, incompetent, and feel embarrassed.
We must always keep in mind, there will always be someone smarter than us, but that doesn’t make us any less than them. Anxiety can become a problem when a person can’t manage to function adequately their daily life due to the frequency symptoms of anxiety. Not being able to interact with more than one person at once can cause poor interviews for employment, because the person is spending more time on thinking how they will make a mistake rather than concentrating on the interview.
Social anxiety can cause one to be overlooked for a promotion because they’re unable to voice their opinions because of fear of what someone else may think of them. Avoidance of social situations may reduce anxious feelings, but this also reduces opportunities to prove yourself that social situations can be a positive experience. The more we don’t do something, the more we tell ourselves we can’t do anything. We must think positively of ourselves, and convince ourselves that we’re capable of speaking intelligently because that’s how God has created us. When negative thoughts try to plague our thoughts, concentrating on what we’re speaking on or what we’re ministering will eliminate some anxiety. Secondly, praying and acknowledging God gives permission to assist us in our efforts. God never goes over our wills.
When we acknowledge God, we’re reminding ourselves, it’s God that enables us to receive the wisdom and knowledge that we have, therefore, giving Him the praise and the honor and as we do so, He will remove anxiety and any other fears we may have when we place our trust in Him and not in ourselves. Social anxiety is focusing on what we think we’re not capable of whether than who we are representing and knowing if He has opened a door for us to speak, He has given us the wisdom and knowledge we need to get the job done correctly. On your next speaking engagement, pray and acknowledge God, focus on your topic, know who you’re representing and watch the anxiety subside, God has given us wisdom and knowledge for both the natural and spiritual, in both realms, we’re representing Him.