My social anxiety can be pretty bad sometimes (something I’m actively working on). Some things more than others make me really uncomfortable. Like going out to eat by myself. This is something I would never do. I don’t know why the mere thought of it would cause my anxiety to rise. But it did. And it kept me from enjoying tons of yummy meals. Sometimes you’re craving something in particular and you can’t find a friend or family member to go with you, ya know? One day a few months ago, I decided to kick this fear in the ass. I said “no more!” Plus, I really wanted some freaking guacamole. Guacamole (and sheer willpower) has the power to make people to incredible things. So I drove to the Mexican restaurant…alone. I took some deep breaths and I walked into that restaurant…alone. So far so good. The hostess greeted me and asked how many, to which I sheepishly replied “just one”. I took some more deep breaths and kept my head held high. I felt a little more at ease once seated at my table. I ordered my guacamole and chips and played on my phone. After eating the delicious goodness, I proudly exited the restaurant. I had done it! I had gone to a restaurant all alone. It really is the little things in life. The little steps towards facing your fears. No matter how big or small.
A month or so later, I went back to that restaurant and ordered and entire meal…alone. Yes, guacamole was involved again. I was still a little nervous and anxious but I was a heck of a lot more comfortable this time around. I left again, feeling even more proud than I had the last time. Then today, something really incredible happened. I went to this little taco restaurant near my house…alone. Walked right in, ordered, sat down and started to eat…alone. (And yes, guacamole was involved yet again.) I was halfway through my meal when it hit me “I’m eating alone!” I was out at a restaurant eating alone and it hadn’t even phased me! I didn’t even have to think twice about it. No anxiety, no deep breaths, no self encouragement talk. I wanted some food so I drove there and ate it.
Facing our fears can be scary. But this moment today made me realize that as long as we have the willpower to take that first step and stare our fear in the face, we can accomplish anything. We can conquer any fears, self doubt or anxieties that come our way. Of course, a little guacamole can always help.