Dealing with social anxiety is not an easy task. Social anxiety can affect your performance, whether it’s in sales, sports, or any industry. Take a deep dive into what causes social anxiety and how you can fight it. Join Samuel Gbadebo as he goes one-on-one with Mark Metry on social anxiety. Mark hosts the Social Anxiety Society podcast. He is also the bestselling author of Screw Being Shy: Learn How to Manage Social Anxiety and Be Yourself in Front of Anyone! You don’t need drugs or medication; sometimes, you just need to identify who you are. Tune in and earn how to deal with stress and anxiety today!
We have with us a unique guest. His name is Mark Metry and what’s unique about Mark is he does not come from medical sales. He was never in sales. He is a social anxiety expert. You’re asking the question, “Samuel, why are you doing an episode on social anxiety?” Social anxiety is something that’s a lot more prevalent in sales and people realize.
Sales consist of all types of people, especially introverts and extroverts. I think that when people hear the word sales rep or sales professional, even sales leader. They think, “That has to be the ultimate extrovert.” What a lot of people don’t realize is that quite a few introverts are sales reps and social anxiety plays a role with some of those introverts but it also plays a role with some of those extroverts.
You might experience something, even you, that’s reading now in the field or with your team or as a leader. You’re not sure what it is but it’s getting in the way of your consistent performance of you being able to deliver consistent performance. It might be social anxiety but the thing about it is people don’t recognize it unless you’re trained and people don’t understand how insidious it can be in your performance but we’re lucky to have someone that does. His name is Mark Metry and that’s what we’re going to get into this episode. As always, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy this episode.
How are you doing, Mark?
I’m doing excellent. How about you?
I am fantastic. I’m so glad you can join us. This is going to be a little bit of a different episode. Right off the bat, tell people who you are and what you do.
I’m an author, podcaster, coach and advisor. I do a lot of things, but it’s centered around mental wellness, helping people with social anxiety. Helping people that feel like they’re super-shy or they’re nervous or they can never be themselves in front of people. How do you comfortably do that and address the root cause? I help leaders, companies, schools and organizations deal with this fact that a lot of people don’t unless you have this issue. It’s like an invisible issue.
No, it’s real even in the mental health space. It’s coming more to the forefront these days more than I’ve seen ever. Let me ask you this. Do you train sales teams as well?
What do you specifically train them on?Often, if you don't choose who you are before you start the day or walk into a room, your brain goes into this fight or flight state of mind. Click To Tweet
I think about towards the end of 2019, I got invited to go to this conference. I believe it was a sales conference. I go there and I start talking with people. I talk with everyone at the conference. Basically, I talked to this person. There are all these companies that have all these sales teams and have these training on how to train people on how to go through a script and how to do sales, but then he goes on and tells me. He’s like, “A lot of these people who have trouble dealing with that social pressure to either perform or when you’re in the sales call, a lot of them are on drugs. A lot of them have all these different addictions that they use to cope and to deal with stress.”
I remember ever since I learned that and I heard that I started to get invited by a few different CEOs, heads of sales and they would tell me like, “Mark, we have like maybe a handful of people on our team who are more on the introverted side or maybe they don’t even look like introverts but they still have social anxiety deep down where they hop on a sales call and immediately their mind goes blank. They stick to the script or they start sweating profusely or they got a headache or after work, they get a little too drunk.”
Basically, sales is a very difficult job. Companies bring in people on the team, their individual well-being and also those who face social anxiety where they can still do their job but it also feels like they have a mountain sitting on top of their shoulders, filled with pressure which then makes them either not perform as well or makes them not be themselves and stick to the script.
A lot of times, clients and prospects can see through that and it creates this vibe of very low confidence when it has nothing to do with the product. It’s a person. A lot of people who get into sales, a lot of them don’t have social anxiety or are shy because it’s not necessarily the best career path, at least to the untrained mind. That’s where a lot of my work.
There’s more to that, though and you nailed it. The assumption is that if you’re in sales, you’re an extrovert. You’re out there and the gift of gab and you can talk and you can get with anyone. I think that there are a lot more introverts in sales than people realize. To your point, those people can be as equally effective as any extrovert if they can get in front of whatever social anxieties they may have. Let me ask you this. Would you say that you can start out as this big, confident extrovert but if you’re not performing so well, you can start to develop some social anxieties? Is that a reality or something you see?
For sure, the way that I think about it and begin this conversation is like there are two kinds of people broadly speaking in this category. There is person number one who, when they were a kid, was always super shy. Even when they become adults, they’re still shy, which is social anxiety. There’s a second person where maybe they were shy for a very short period of time but not as a kid. They’ve tried to figure things out as they go. They have a general sense of anxiety in regards to external factors similar to what you said of, like if there’s something going on in between their relationships or at work or their boss.
If they have like some a toxic boss or they’re in a career field where they’re not passionate about it and they need to go through like a personal transformation and figure out what their passion or purpose is. There can be some general social anxiety that may arise. Generally speaking, people in that first category, that’s where I don’t want to say more serious issues because they’re different issues but there are those two sides. It’s possible for sure.
Now, we’re talking about medical sales. Most of our audience is in medical sales or their professionals and know sales space or different space altogether that want to be in medical sales. I train a lot of medical sales reps. What I’ve seen is that there are quite a few that because of their performance or because of their boss or because of relationship, they aren’t showing up the way they want to and they don’t know what to do about it. Some of them think, “Maybe it’s not the career for me anymore. I love what I’m doing but for some reason, I can’t get out there.” Some of them say, “Lately, I fall apart in the sales call and I don’t know where to go. I don’t know what to do and I can’t think. I’m not sure what’s going on.”
I know that you deal with getting to the root cause of where that could be coming from for anyone. Also, there are people that want to get into this field that could be very effective but they do have that social anxiety and don’t know what to do about it. They want to get around it. They want to change it but it’s stopping them in their tracks. I want you to go ahead and talk a little bit about what can people do for the first person I brought up and the second person to get in front of this thing, get out there and be their best selves?
For me, I always try to approach this conversation from a neuroscience perspective and not to complicate anything. Basically, what I mean is there is literally a part of your brain that has evolved over the course of thousands of years to try to predict where you are in what they call the social hierarchy of society of an ancient civilization. Maybe you learned about it in school where the King is at the top and the high priests are here and the servants are down here.
Literally, there’s a part of your brain at a neurobiological level that has evolved to try to detect and guess where you are in the social hierarchy. If you are not getting great results or if you are not performing as well as other people, then for some people, I’m sure, what begins to happen is this same part of your brain then controls your mood. It also controls your vision, your appetite and your sleep.
It’s very complex but on a very simple level. We all have this in our brains. It makes complete sense that if someone who doesn’t even have long-term social anxiety, can still start to feel these effects. For someone who does have social anxiety and they’re trying to pop on sales calls and they’re saying, “My mind is going blank. I don’t know how to think. How do I get in front of this? How do I look at the root cause?” There’s a wide variety of places where people can start. I think that the biggest one is your sense of identity. What I mean by that is a lot of us from the moment we wake up, we wake up and jump into the day.
A lot of us don’t get a chance to create our identity. What I’m talking about here is, people who are very shy people have social anxiety. If you can trace it back, what you’ll realize is in their past, throughout their entire lives, people have always said like, “You’re shy. You’re the shy person. You’re quiet. You’re an introvert.” A lot of the time, people with social anxiety, in their heads, they’re not shy and introverted. They are who they are but there’s this external barrier. There’s like an external layer. A lot of that has to do with your sense of identity. It has to do with basically, letting other people choose who you are. You’re letting other people define who you are.
What happens is, you hop on a sales call. You go to the store. You go wherever you hop on a meeting and what happens is, there’s a part of your identity that’s trying to figure out, “Who am I going to be in front of this person?” People with social anxiety throughout their entire lives have had this idea in their head, “Be corrupted.” A lot of times, what happens is they don’t know who they are. They wake up in the morning and what they do is grab their phone, social media and their email. That basically tells them who they should be or who they are. They go downstairs, eat some breakfast. Maybe they don’t talk with their family. Maybe they do talk with their family.
Again, their family is reaffirming this default identity. Oftentimes, what I’ve noticed is that people with social anxiety haven’t stopped or at a more long-term level to choose who they want to be in every situation. For me, when I started to realize that I had social anxiety, this was one of the biggest things that I started working on. If I’m like, “Am I going to let my brain take me through a series of steps in cycles to get me to imagine that the rest of the world thinks that I’m shy or thinks that I’m not confident?” Which has to do with the past and who I was as a kid and any like traumatic events.
A lot of the time, if you don’t choose who you are before you start the day before you walk into a room, then what happens is your brain goes into this fight or flight state of mind where your nervous system shifts from parasympathetic to sympathetic. For some people, this looks like they start to sweat this. For some people, it looks like their throat clenches. It gets tight, they can’t breathe. For some people, their mind goes blank.
What’s happening is it’s not only in your head, like literally, your nervous system is shifting gears. For a lot of people who don’t know this, this happens every single day of their lives. They show up to meetings, situations, rooms and then all of a sudden, this cycle starts where they feel a lump in their throat or maybe their leg starts to tap or maybe their heartbeat starts to beat and they walk away. They’re like, “Why did I say that? Why didn’t I say this? Why did I act like that?”
First of all, you’re saying that this is something that people that have had long-term social anxiety have but I don’t know. This sounds like it can be for a lot of people that don’t have identified social anxiety.
Again, I’m not like a doctor or anything, so I can’t diagnose or say anything like that. If people are reading this, they have to figure out what applies to them or not. This oftentimes happens a lot. I’ll tell you for example. One time, I was at the grocery store. I was doing some shopping and this was early on in my social anxiety recovery. I had my headphones and I’m like blasting full music. I’m paying attention to the music. I have no physical, situational awareness whatsoever. All of a sudden, I very quickly glance up. I noticed like there’s a grocery store employee wearing the grocery store uniform.
He looks at me and all of a sudden, I get nervous. I feel like this fight or flight, my heartbeat increased to start to begin. I walk away and I’m like, “What happened?” What I realized at that moment is that and everyone has a different version of social anxiety but for me, I developed a sense of social anxiety around people who are in uniforms for whatever reason. Whether it was due to me growing up in school, seeing certain people were wearing uniforms and them yelling at me or intimidating at me and so on and so forth, everyone has different layers of social anxiety.There are these hidden bugs in your brain that get you to imagine certain things. Click To Tweet
There are four different layers of social anxiety. I can go into them if you’d like me to but basically, everyone’s social anxiety monster is different. It may be triggered depending on different layers, different experiences in their life but it is this internal algorithm, so to speak, in your head that basically gets you to not be yourself and takes your brain away and hijacks your mind that you cannot be yourself.
That’s what I want to ask you about. Let’s put it back into the terms of a medical sales rep. You’re about to go into an office, an account. You go into the account, you meet the provider and you start sweating profusely. You start falling apart. You’re saying that happens because you didn’t take the time to identify who you were before you stepped into that account.
There could be many different reasons. One reason could be maybe, you didn’t do your homework, so maybe you feel like you’re not prepared. A lot of times, too, there are these what I call magic tricks that your brain can play on you. Especially a lot of times, people will have social anxiety. For example, a very common magic trick that your brain plays is that no one else ever gets stressed or nervous or anxious except for you. Basically, you walk into the account and you think like, “What if this guy doesn’t like me or what if he doesn’t like the product?” A lot of times, we don’t imagine the other person or if we do, it’s in a more negative way.
When in reality, for all you know, maybe that person is also anxious to meet you. Maybe they also have social anxiety. Another one too, is having the mind-reading bug. Basically, what that means is that people who experience social anxiety, they’ll look at someone based on their facial expressions or based on their overall demeanor, behavior and they’ll think that they can read their minds when that’s probably wrong. It could be true. It could be wrong. The way that I think about social anxiety is there is that identity piece.
There are these hidden bugs that are in your brain that get you to imagine certain things. There’s also the biochemical piece too of, “If you have this underlying issue and you didn’t sleep well the night before.” You’ve drinking six cups of coffee and you have any breakfast or maybe you ate a bad breakfast. All of these things also begin to contribute towards your mental state. I’m not saying these things can cause social anxiety but if it’s already there, it makes it a lot worse. There are many different angles but I think those are a few, if any of those sound interesting to you.
A couple of different things. I do want you to break down the four levels but before that, I do want to understand what someone can, that has this and I want to say that I bet people are reading this now are thinking, “I might have this.” The things that you’re talking about, I’ve heard before that social anxiety wasn’t even a part of the conversation as far as their training and what they wanted to accomplish but the telltale signs of the things that you’ve described were there.
What can someone do and think in terms of, again, someone’s going through an account or that medical device sales rep that’s in the OR. They’re responsible for a lot. They got to manage the room, take instruction from a surgeon, from tech and if something goes wrong, take the blame and still be able to manage the room. Speak to that. What can someone do to get in front of all those experiences and still hold their own and do what they got to do?
We left it there a little bit of a cliffhanger. Make sure you read the next episode for part two, with Mark Metry. This is going to be a three-part series. You’ve heard part one. The next episode is part two, then, of course, finally, part three. What do we talk about? We talked about what sales reps can do to get in front of any social anxiety they might be harboring, whether it’s budding social anxiety, something they’ve normally been dealing with or something they could start to deal with because things aren’t working out the way they want to. He’s going to tackle it in part two, so make sure you read that.
If you’re reading this and you’re thinking, “I want to know more about what Mark Metry is doing.” You can look at that on iTunes on Spotify or you can go to our website, EvolveYourSuccess.com. Go to the podcast page and look up his episode. It will be the latest episode and he has books he’s written. He’s on YouTube with his TEDx. He has a very significant following on LinkedIn. I believe he has over 100,000 followers. This guy’s making things happen and I think it’s because he’s addressing something that’s not often talked about but yet, a lot of people experience. Make sure you check them out and make sure you’re here for part two.
Someone else that I want to mention. You might’ve heard me mention him before, is Chris Larsen. Chris Larsen wrote a book called Next-Level Income. He’s interesting because he was in the medical sales space. He was making $300,000 a year and he walked away from all of it to throw himself full-time into his lifelong dream with real estate investing.
Financial freedom was always a goal for Chris and he found a way to create it. All he wants to do is dedicate his life to helping other people do the same. Ultimately, what it did for him making that type of transition is it has allowed him to spend more time with his family and buckle down and focus on his goals of creating financial freedom for other people.
If you’d like to learn more about his secrets and how he became financially independent and how you can become financially independent as well, then you got to get a copy of his book, Next-Level Income. You can get a copy at NextLevelIncome.com/book. What he’s doing is he’s truly helping people become financially independent. In his book, you’re going to learn so much. I learned so much when I read it.
One of the things I love about it is it’s such an easy read. One of those simple weekends reads that’s packed full of information. You’re going to walk away saying, “The things I didn’t know,” and everyone’s on board. Doctors are on board, medical sales, executives are on board. Sales reps are on board. I am on board and it’s because we see the value in what he’s doing. He’s literally helping all of us become more financially free.
I’m not making this stuff up. The numbers are real. The investments are real. When you see it work, happening, the dream of being financially free quickly becomes real. Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that? If you have money to invest and you want to put it into action, then you got to do it with Chris Larsen. Again, you know what we do here at Evolve Your Success. Me, Samuel, know what our program entails. We have a program that helps you get into medical sales. That’s called the Medical Sales Career Builder. Those of you have been reading. You’ve been hearing me talk about this. You’ve been hearing our guests. You’ve been saying, “I think I should do that.”
Don’t think about it anymore. If it’s been on your mind for this long, schedule the time so you can have a call with us. Don’t let anything get in your way. Take action because your career is right around the corner. The easy way to do that is to visit our website. Click on Attain Medical Sales Role and follow the prompts. We have a very short application. To get a few tidbits of information about you and what you’re trying to do, then you’re going to have a nice call with us and myself or one of our sales reps is going to talk to you about how our program can literally change your life.
Another program that we have that I want to talk about is our LinkedIn Branding Program. I think everyone’s seen it now. LinkedIn is no longer the, “I want to get a job site.” It’s the site for almost all types of professional interaction, whether you’re selling a product, trying to build a brand in your space as a thought leader, trying to have an extensive network that takes all these thought leaders within your space and utilize those relationships to be more effective in your own business. LinkedIn is the place to do it but in order to truly make that happen, you got to have a brand. You got to have a presence there that helps people understand the value you bring to your space. That is now what we are helping people do.
Again, visit EvolveYourSuccess.com, go to the LinkedIn Branding tab and take a look at our program. All you have to do is look on there, fill out a quick little snippet of your information for us to contact you. Let’s have a conversation about how you can change your career trajectory, how you can change your business, how you can change your sales performance through this amazing social media platform.
We thank you so much for taking the time to read. We do nothing more than try to find more effective innovative ways to provide value to you as the person trying to get into medical sales, you as a sales rep and you as a sales leader. Check out those resources we mentioned and make sure you read another episode of the show.
Mark Metry is a 24 year old entrepreneur, author, creator, mental health advocate, coach, teacher, keynote speaker, podcast host, and loving human being.
Mark has interviewed over 300+ top leaders around the world from billionaire philanthropists, to neuroscientists, professional athletes, New York times bestselling authors, philosophers, and innovative disrupter’s on his Top 100 Humans 2.0 podcast, which NASDAQ, and Yahoo Finance placed in the “Top 21 Growing Podcasts you must listen to..”
Now, Mark hosts the Social Anxiety Society podcast, and is the bestselling author of Screw Being Shy: Learn How to Manage Social Anxiety and Be Yourself in Front of Anyone!
Mark has been featured in Forbes, TEDx, HuffPost, Mindvalley, Inc and many more. Mark‘s been mentioned alongside Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos and can be found speaking at Universities like Rutgers to Nonprofits like Coptic Orphans, to conferences and high schools across the nation.
Mark has spoken alongside Olympian Athletes, New York Times Bestselling authors, and Fortune 500 CEO’s.
Mark’s story has been featured in 3 books, including Ditch the Act by McGraw Hill, Standing O! alongside Billionaires and other mavericks, and We’re All Marketers. Mark has also been a guest on over 250+ podcasts, radio stations, and television.
Additionally, Mark advises startups, and volunteers his time as an advisory board member at an education based nonprofit.