Are you shy when you are around people you don’t know well and when around authority? I’m sure you don’t want to be, at least, not all of the time. Overcoming shyness is actually pretty easy if you know what to do and you commit yourself. And you can continue to be your real self instead of being someone you are not. And you will really want to overcome your shyness after you finish reading this post.
Why you are shy
You are shy because you fear being perceived as a failure. Now, I am no psychoanalyst so I have no intention to explain why this is so. Sure, understanding the cause can be helpful, however, it will only continue to trap you within your shyness. This is because it is strengthening the habit of hesitation, which shyness is based on. Instead, attack shyness because it is creating the exact habit that helps you overcome it. This is being proactive.
“In the tradition of psychology, what the word shyness basically refers to is if someone is worried about how he or she appears to other people.” Wanda Bethea
“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.” Sven Goran Eriksson
The paradox of shyness
Shyness is failure. I’m sorry for being blunt, but it is true. Take the classic teacher question, “does anyone know the answer?” By not raising your hand, you are failing to show your understanding and you appear as someone who is just getting by. Turn this example around to a work environment and you easily can see how shyness is a way to fail to do your job. Sure, tact is an essential skill to learn and the sooner you do, the better off you’ll be.
There are billions of examples and all will prove time and time again that shyness causes the world to pass you by. Do something about your shyness now.
First, be pleased with the way you are
Every moment of your life has developed who you are today. Before you aim to overcome shyness, the first question you should be asking yourself is whether you are pleased with who you are. If not, then your concentration should not be on overcoming shyness because you will only further deepen the conflict within yourself. Instead, realize you cannot change the past so you might as well accept yourself for who you are. When you can genuinely say, “I love myself even though I have some undesirable aspects” and you have the genuine feeling that you are ready to achieve what you set your mind on, you will be ready to overcome shyness.
Break out of your shell
There are many ways to break out of your shell, however, they all take commitment. If you are not ready to commit yourself to a point of obsession, you might as well stop reading now. If you do choose to commit yourself, here are just a few ways to get you moving forward. [ I hope to turn each into a link so if you don’t see links, add a comment to nudge me along. Go ahead. Don’t be shy. 😉 ]
- Prepare elevator pitches for each of your interests and commitments
- use nervousness to your advantage (you can’t control or cure it)
- Speak as an authority on what interests you
- Speak up when you have something to share
- Develop small talk
Don’t ever give up. Breaking old habits with new habits takes time.
Guts to Glory: Your curse and how to turn it into your gift
“The way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid.” Claudia Lady Bird Johnson
“He who gives up shyness in monetary dealings, in acquiring knowledge, in eating and in business, becomes happy.” Chanakya
“Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform, is truly important to other people.” Andre Dubus”
My first language was shy. It’s only by having been thrust into the limelight that I have learned to cope with my shyness.” Al Pacino
“Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.” Peter T. Mcintyre
“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.” Anonymous
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr. Seuss
“Courage atrophies from lack of use.” Anonymous
“Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.” Alice M. Swaim
“Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.” Edward Vernon Rickenbacker