When you know what is rational, it is important to ACT on what you know.
If you're scared to talk to people start slowly and easily (as with any other strategy). Pick someone who you are not afraid talk to. When you realize you are fine talking to "easy" people, then determine who causes you the next least anxiety -- and choose them to talk to. You will have a little "nervousness", but you will be able to be rational about it: before, during, and after the exchange.
1. Know the cognitive (rational) therapy.
2. Believe that the cognitive, rational thoughts and beliefs are probably true.
3. Act on what you think is rational.
You won't feel differently until you act and do something.
Be nice to yourself for taking action and doing something that used to cause you anxiety. Give yourself credit.
Wave hello to someone if a conversation seems too scary. If you are walking past someone, say "hi" and nothing else and continue walking. Acknowledge people when you can, but always start with the easiest people and gradually work your way up. One small step today turns into a big step for the future.
One of our social anxiety therapy group members is working on being more friendly at his retail job -- where it is important to greet the customers. He had trouble with this at first, but gradually got better as he worked on slowing down his thoughts, and not trying to force himself to say hi to every customer.
When he pressured himself, his anxiety came on stronger and made it more difficult to greet people. His next step was to work on asking people how they are doing, or if they need help in finding anything.
He knows the truth now: that he is capable of carrying on a normal conversation.
He begins to act on the truth: he finds the easiest person (when possible) and talks to them. Sometimes, he waves or simply acknowledges them.
One small step at a time adds up very quickly. Being consistent with this process guarantees that you'll make fast and effective progress against the things that scare you today. One step today changes your life in the near future. Your whole entire life will be different.
Ask me. It happened to me.