Shyness may not only ruin your social life, but it can also hold you back from achieving your full potential. You may miss out on opportunities that come across your path because you choose to let shyness control you. While you think you are in full control and it is your choice to ignore the opportunity, it is actually the other way around. Shyness is taking control over your life.
Think of all the possibilities in the past that you missed because of shyness. Remember that college party you refused to go to because you were not comfortable with the people attending? Somebody in there may already be a big shot CEO today that you may find useful and can boost your career. How about that pretty lady you keep riding the elevator with? Or did you miss out on the opportunity to take a picture with your favorite band because you were too shy?
According to livescience.com, 4 out of 10 adults consider themselves shy. It means being shy is normal. The good news is you do not need to undergo therapeutic treatment. If your shyness is extreme, however, you should seek a counselor or therapist.
Here are 5 ways you can do to overcome shyness.
1. Tell yourself you are not shy.
“When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.” – Honore de Balzac
If you believe you are shy, then you are shy. First and foremost is to reverse this kind of thinking. Think of yourself as a confident person. Lie to yourself if you have to. It is all mental.
Whenever you think shyness is trying to control you, think to yourself you are not shy. Believing in yourself inspires you to take action. It forces you to do the thing you are shy about. You take control of yourself instead of shyness trying to control you.
Along with believing you are not shy, combine it with positive body language. Telling yourself you are confident plus accompanying it with body gesture tricks your brain to believe you are confident.
2. Forget about ego.
Most people are shy because they are afraid to bruise their ego. They are afraid to get embarrassed.
According to Eckhart Tolle, shy people are proud people. Seems contradicting, but there is a rational explanation behind this.
Shy people are afraid of damaging their ego. While suffering from a sense of inferiority, there is a hidden desire to be superior. They think they are better than people’s disapproval and criticisms.
“Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty.” – John Lennon
On the other hand, confident people seem arrogant, but there is also a hidden fear of not being good enough. It is just that confident people are not afraid to bruise their ego and go for it. Behind every positive self consent, there is a fear of being inferior. Even John Lennon said, “Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty.”
Let go of ego. Nobody cares about your ego but yourself. We are but a tiny speck in this universe and nobody cares about one person’s damaged ego. Do great things. As long as you meant well and mean no harm, just do what you want to do. Go for it!
3. Stop comparing yourself to others.
One major confidence buster is comparing yourself to others. You try something new, like photography, and enjoy it. Thinking you may be good at this, but then you look online and find millions of beautiful photographs. You feel small and worthless, afraid to show the world your work.
Realize that the talent of photographers are not innate. While there may be some people that have easily grasped the lessons of photography, majority spent thousands of hours practicing before they can capture amazing photographs. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers,” he stated it takes 10,000 hours of practice before someone gets good at something.
“If you do or show what you are capable of and failed, worst thing that could happen is you feel temporary embarrassment. Then the world moves on.”
Do not be disappointed if you think you are not good enough to do what you have to do. If you do or show what you are capable of and failed, worst thing that could happen is you feel temporary embarrassment. After a short while, you move on. The world moves on as if it did not happen. And if you continue to do this, you get used to it.
4. Do not worry about saying the wrong words.
If you are conversing with someone you have just met, do not worry about saying the wrong words. You have just met and know virtually nothing about each other.
Condition yourself to like the person you are talking to by telling yourself you like the person, even if it means you are lying. When you tell yourself that you like the person, you set yourself up to say the right things and exhibit positive body language.
Most people will not remember what you conversed about, but they will remember how you made them feel.
Even if you accidentally say something embarrassing, most people will understand that you did not mean it. It is just that you do not know each other well enough. Or you could just simply say sorry.
Most people will not remember what you conversed about, but they will remember how you made them feel. Making them feel important is the secret that makes you a good conversationalist.
Smiling is a great tool to have in your battle with shyness. It is the cardinal rule for being likable! Use it genuinely or it may backfire.
Before approaching someone, smile. It tells the other person you meant no harm, you are trustworthy, and you are likable. You got embarrassed? Just smile about it. It happens. There are worse things in this world that could happen besides embarrassment.
“Before approaching someone, smile. It tells the other person you meant no harm, you are trustworthy, and you are likable.”
When you want to approach or try to talk to someone, you need to exhibit kindness to lessen the chance of being rejected or receiving a negative reaction. What better way to do it by showing the person the universal language of kindness – smiling.
Remember that shyness can hinder your potential. You do not know what opportunities in the past that could have change your life for the better. Open your eyes to opportunities that may arise, and do not be shy in grabbing it. Do not be afraid to be embarrassed in this life. Do not overthink things. Overthinking is just the art of creating problems that were not even there.
Have anything to add, comment, or suggest? I would love to hear it. Comment it below.
Image credit: Shyness by Scott Butler, Flickr, CC.