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Social Anxiety & Remembering Names

Hey family,


I wrote this for anyone who wants to improve their memory, ability to focus, listening skills and ability to recall people's names. I've found that these ideas have helped my social anxiety. Integrating these teachings has been a Game changer for me, so I'm sharing them with you 💚

 

NOTE: This is all in relation to the subject of PRESENCE. Developing the skill of being present (not overthinking, distracted by thoughts) has profoundly impacted my health, lowered social anxiety, improved my memory, my ability to pay attention & focus, transforming my relationship to life and my ability to make wise decisions. If that sounds like something you're interested in learning more about, read on & also check out my Powerful Presence' two part online workshop I'm hosting on the 15th & 22nd of March.


There will be 5 hours of live content recorded to rewatch and for those who can't watch live. Early bird tickets are £33 (regular - £44) information and tickets here - benjam.uk/events Plus, here's a YouTube Video I just uploaded today about this topic! 👇🏼



Here's my story about social anxiety & forgetting names For my whole life I struggled with remembering people's names. It's awkward & frustrating. It became a self fulfilling prophesy as I told everyone 'I'm so bad with names, sorry.'


Of course most people don't mind at all, it's part of life, I was also meeting a lot of people for short periods without much time to connect deeply, but names triggered my social anxiety.


Each time I saw someone I had met before, even a few times, my first thought was... 'f**k, what's their name again? I'm so bad with names, hopefully they've forgotten mine too.'

 

My anxiety was also preventing me from remembering details like people's names, but I didn't know that back then, I was confused and frustrated, which again doesn't help with memory! It feels great when someone remembers your name, doesn't it? I hated that I always struggled with this basic social skill, perhaps you've had similar experiences? Anyway, once I started to do this whole 'inner work' journey I began to take more notice when I felt anxious, investigating what's causing the anxiety and then figuring out how I can improve it.

With mindfulness, I began to pay attention to my thoughts in these social situations and realised I was thinking negatively and assuming worst case scenarios, this causes anxiety. I also realised how powerful my words are, I was casting the same spell over myself by repeating - 'I'm bad with names' - I made that real by keeping myself in the story and creating situations that provided evidence for the limited belief 'I'm bad with names.' When we realise we're the ones creating the experience it's very powerful, we can also be the ones to change that experience if it's not serving us, with awareness comes empowerment.


With this new awareness I could then begin to reprogram my mind, change the story and over time create new outcomes; less anxiety in social situations! Game changer.


THIS is the main code that I want to share with you that has helped me not only remember names more easily, but not be worried when I forget sometimes...

 

Deeper presence.

Self compassion.

Self empowerment.

Change the story.

The ability to be fully here in this present moment and not in my head overthinking is the key to reducing anxiety, which then increases our chance of recalling names.

Self compassion, means we're kind to ourselves if and when we forget things, rather than defaulting to judgmental self talk - 'I'm such a terrible person, they're not going to like me, I should never have come here, I'm so useless...' etc.


Self empowerment, is acknowledging the defect of poor memory, and choosing to take the steps to improve this skill, knowing that no one can do it for you, and no one else is creating the feeling of social anxiety, it's all in your head. It's important to take responsibility for our state of being.


When we are present, we're not overthinking, we are available to connect to the moment. Available to connect with the people around us and to FEEL that connection because we are IN our body, not our busy mind! Turns out, when we're in our body, the feeling of connection with someone is what helps us remember them better, it's then far more easy to recall the moment, and their name.


Presence with people is a social skill we can develop that creates deeper more meaningful connection, improves memory and makes us feel like we can be part of a community.


Almost all of us have some kind of social anxiety, especially since the lockdowns, it's totally normal and I want to reassure you that it's possible to change that, to have more confidence and less anxiety around people.


I also want to mention that there's no need to throw ourselves in to situations that our intuition is telling us not to be in, sometimes the body says go home because you need rest, sometimes our anxiety is actually our intuition saying ' this conversation is not the kind of vibration we want to be around' or 'these are not your people, it's ok to leave.'


Mindfulness means checking in with our thoughts to see if it's our mind creating the anxiety of if it's our intuition causing a slight discomfort to communicate with us that something is off. If it's our mind creating a story, we can breathe and let the thoughts go, using the breath to come back into our body, into presence and self soothe (I speak about this in the YouTube video above).

 

Forgetting names causes anxiety, but it's usually rooted in the fear that people won't accept us, deep down we need to be accepted to feel safe, we need to be loved, this is a basic human need, so forgive yourself for wanting to be liked, we all do.

Back in the hunter gatherer days, if you weren't accepted by the tribe, you'd be cast out and die, so that instinct to fit in and be part of a tribe is very real.

 

Another interesting thing I discovered as I went down the social anxiety rabbit hole, was that I was a people pleaser, which is a problem rooted in a deep fear that I'm not lovable. Somewhere in my childhood I learnt that being myself wasn't accepted, so I was on a mission (subconsciously) to become someone that everyone would accept, so I could be loved.


There's a lot to get into around people pleasing, which I'll save for another time, but essentially we get very good at sensing other people's feelings about us, so we can adjust and change and become what we think they want us to me. People pleasers need others to love, accept and validate them, because they don't know how to love, accept and validate themselves, it's strange, exhausting and quite manipulative dance.

Anyway... I was constantly worrying about how others perceive me, constantly needing to be liked so that I could feel good about myself... This was because my sense of 'self' was predominantly created from the outside in, through the reflections and opinions of others, which is why I tried to be the nice guy, liked by all. As a coach I help people recover from people pleasing, to develop a sense of who they are from the inside, so now they don't need others to like them in order to feel good! GAME CHANGER!

How the subconscious mind works is that it creates and finds evidence in the world, for whatever beliefs (programs) we are running in our mind (our super computer) i.e. 'I'm bad with names, and it's going to be awkward.' Our minds are incredibly powerful, it's a good idea to make sure we're installing programs that serve us.


How can I fix this old program? - Notice the story, change the story, create new evidence.

 

I decided to intentionally let go of the old story and begin thinking, and speaking out loud a new more empowered story that actually serves me.


I began to reprogram my mind with a more empowered story by intentionally thinking and saying -

'I'm getting better at remembering people's names, my memory is improving, it's all good.'

Rather than the old disempowering story - 'I'm terrible with names, I never remember.'

 

The quality of the vibration of the two thoughts is clearly very different, and so the quality of the vibration of the experience in reality will over time become very different too.


It might seem trivial to be concerned with people's names, but this journey has been a very profound experiment for me in reprogramming my mind and changing my reality, I can highly recommend embarking on a little mission like this, to discover how powerful you really are and to really awaken to your power as the creator of your reality...


For those on a spiritual path, this kind of work is very enlightening, for those who don't like the word spiritual, this is about self mastery and realising you're the creator of your experience, developing the skill of presence is about being able to choose what we focus on, through a spiritual lens you could say what we focus on is what we're worshiping, so make sure it's meaningful and worthy of your powerful attention and energy.


These codes have been truly transformative for my social life, making it much easier for me to stay grounded and flow through social environments with confidence. It all started with me learning to being PRESENT to the thoughts that were creating my anxiety, most of the time the thoughts aren't even true or helpful, they only become real in my experience if I choose to believe them! (Don't believe everything your mind tells you!) Take a breath, come into presence with my inner landscape, my mind, my feelings and then make an empowered choice of a new story that feels better and continue to commit to changing and reprogramming my mind with the power of my focused intention. Game changer.

 

A few other big realisations that helped shift my experience... What people think of me is out of my control and really none of my business! If someone is upset with me or thinks less of me for forgetting their name, that's not a true reflection of who I am. I'm a human being, I forgive myself for not being perfect.


Again this is people pleaser territory, the truth is; who we are is not what others think of us, and healing this is about developing a concept of ourself, our identity from the inside, as opposed to only through our external reality and the (often crazy lol) people in it.


I'm still forget names sometimes, but I don't feel anxious about it, I ask people to remind me and often they're happy that I care enough to ask! Since learning to be present my short and long term memory has dramatically improved, my social anxiety is 95% reduced since I no longer let lost in my mind and the negative stories. Connecting with people in a more meaningful way has opened me up to receive the gifts they are offering me, and for me to share mine too, like my ability to compassionately listen & hold space.


These are just a small selection of examples of the power of presence to increase the quality of our connection to life, our ability to focus, to love deeply and to hear our own intuition.


If this resonates with you and you like to dive deeper, come join me in the Powerful Presence Workshop on the 15th and 22nd March - claim your ticket here - benjam.uk/events 


Perhaps you feel called to do some coaching work with me around recovering from people pleasing or deepening your connection to life through presence? You can book a 1:1 call with me HERE (if you don't see availability, message me here) I also have very powerful 6 week group coaching programs call The Shift running all year that are super fun, affordable and incredibly transformative, you can message me HERE to get involved.

 

With Love & gratitude,

Ben 🤍



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