According to Mental Health America, social anxiety affects 15 million, or seven percent, of adults with more than 75% of them experiencing their first symptoms during their childhood or early teenage years.
Social anxiety is characterized by extreme fear or anxiety in one or more social settings.
Being the shy girl she was before, Marissa Nasto knows how it feels to hide from everyone so she’s safe from judgment, rejection, and being the subject of ridicule. However, this safety blanket she created for herself caused her to become close-minded and confined within the limits of her comfort zone.
“I felt paralyzingly anxious, nervous, and scared of anything that took me out of my comfort zone. I was so nervous in social situations that I was too scared to raise my hand in class. My face would turn bright red and my heart would race if I got called on to speak. And at other times, I pretended to be on my phone because I felt awkward that I wasn’t talking to anyone or because I didn’t want to be approached by someone. And then there were moments when I started a sentence only to be cut off by someone louder,” she shared.
Yet even though she was stuck inside her own shell, a part of Marissa was craving for social interactions and being able to capture everybody’s attention when she talked.
Finally, the day came when she grew tired of being overshadowed repeatedly. She was done being left out, uninvited, or asked. Marissa was done missing out on opportunities and experiences that her shyness has prevented her from taking.
It was time for her to step out of her comfort zone and let others see what a livewire and exciting woman she can be.
“I realized I wasn’t born this way. I was conditioned to be shy by experiences and seeing how others were treated around me. It was time to make a shift in my mindset,” she said.
Investing in People Who Could Help
“I was in a toxic relationship with myself, my insecurities, and it was time to break up. I had to unlearn what I was programmed to be for the last 25-ish years. I needed to start loving myself unconditionally and show the world who Marissa truly is,” she said.
To get her started on the right track, Marissa invested in a mentor and a community so she can be given the proper coaching and knowledge, as well as hold her accountable for her actions so she can slowly shift her actions and mindset into one where she doesn’t shy away.
“It forced me to do the inner work, to open my video on Zoom calls, and if I didn’t show up for a little bit my mentor and the other women in the community reached out to me. Having them in my life held me accountable and I felt loved and accepted knowing that they were checking in on me out of love,” she said.
By taking baby steps to free herself from her comfort zone and the clutches of social anxiety, Marissa was able to develop her confidence, unleash her voice, and show her true self.
Helping Others Who Felt the Same
Now that Marissa has developed her self-confidence, she’s on a mission to help other women who felt limited by their shyness break free from the social anxiety, shyness, and insecurities that are weighing them down.
She founded and created The Codes of Confidence Academy, a live 8-week interactive program that features community engagement, group coaching, and one-on-one guidance to help clients along their journey to self-love, confidence, and slaying their social anxiety.
“I’ve literally poured my heart and soul into creating this online space. The Codes Of Confidence Academy is an eight-week online program with recorded lessons, assignments, live coaching calls, 1:1 support, and a sisterhood community. I created this specific program for women desperately looking to slay their social anxiety, shyness, and insecure identities, upgrade their communication and social skills, love themselves unconditionally, and be unapologetically them with the entire world,” Marissa said.
Marissa uses a holistic-driven approach that allows her clients to truly understand, heal, and unleash themselves, allowing them to heal fully and not in fragments.
The phases of her process are psychological, emotional, and behavioral. The deep psychological work which is the awareness and understanding focuses on people’s mindset, beliefs, and understanding what they actually cost a person. Then, the program works on the emotional level by fostering acceptance and self-love. Lastly, the behavioral level works on communication skills and expands the comfort zone with actionable and practical exercises and practice.
Because she was once that shy girl, Marissa knows that there are many other women who are struggling like she did, and leaves an ache in her heart especially now that she knows how that situation can be overcome.
“That is why I decided to help women overcome shyness and social anxiety — so I can share what changed for me and empower them to step into their confidence,” she said.