My Triumph over Social Anxiety

These 3 habits were essential

Nicole Linke
The Startup
Published in
5 min readFeb 9, 2020


Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. on Unsplash

I was already half-way through my recovery when I learned about social anxiety.

Until my late 20s, I didn’t know what social anxiety was, let alone that I was suffering from it.

Yes, I always knew that I didn’t have a “normal” social life. Without friends. With being constantly bullied. But I never thought I needed to go to therapy or could experience peaceful relationships.

It’s just how my life has always been.

Kicked around in school and psychologically abused at home, I believed that I was that dumb, ugly idiot my classmates and mum told me I was.

I was not scared of people. I was terrified. And it showed.

I was that girl who blushed when you asked her a question. Racing heart and sweaty palms, she looked down, avoiding your gaze. She was terrified to say something wrong.

I was that girl who couldn’t recite poems in front of the class. Too paralyzed to speak.

That girl who left the dinner table hungry. Too afraid to ask for a second helping.

That girl that peed herself, because she didn’t dare to ask if she could use the bathroom.

Yes, that girl that quit high school only because the mere thought of going on that class graduation trip was terrifying.

I am not that girl anymore.

Over time I became a more socially confident person, living today without this intense fear of being watched, judged, made fun of, and rejected.

The following 3 habits were essential for my progress.

1. Running

When I picked up the habit of running every morning, I lay the foundation for my growth and healing.
But I didn’t know it back then. Back then, I started running to lose weight.

Of course, I wondered what people would think of me when they saw me plodding along the forest trails. I was incapable of running for more than 10 minutes at a time, and I had to convince myself every morning to head out.



Nicole Linke
The Startup

I talk about developing strength in body and mind. | Ultrarunner | Ultrarunning Coach | Newsletter: