A few years back, my social anxiety was through the roof. My inability to talk to people and be in social situations that I weren't fully comfortable with was holding me back from living my life the way that I wanted. I had to mentally prepare myself before talking to the cashier at the local store, and wanted to disappear as soon as I messed up small things that probably no one else but me noticed.
I only overcame this particular fear because my parents kept telling me that I was being ridiculous when I avoided talking to people that I didn't know and never spoke up for myself. It wasn't the best way to overcome it, but sometimes you are forced to take the rough path. I'm still working on it, but I realized what major progresses had been made when I managed to get up in front of the whole school and lead the assembly for the duration of one week.
You should never let someone force you to overcome a fear that you aren't ready to face. It will help you if you face it, but do it in your own time. Once you have gotten to that point, you'll feel so much better and there is so much you can learn from your fears.