21 Feb Believe it’s possible to break through shyness
Q: “I am extremely shy and was wondering if you know any way to help me out?”
I am not normally a shy person, but I have had moments where I feel shy.
When I look back on those moments I can see that I lacked self-confidence, and that I didn’t feel completely comfortable with my surroundings.
By being shy, people don’t get a chance to know the real you. Shyness can also result in being left out or overlooked. Being shy can at times be misinterpreted as being rude.
7 ways to help you break through shyness:
1. Believe it is possible for you to be confident
I put this point first because if you choose not to believe in the possibility of who you can be then there is no space for change or growth.
2. Build up your self confidence
When you like yourself and feel comfortable in your own skin it is much easier to take on new situations. One activity that has really helped boost my self confidence is affirmations. Affirmations are words or phrases that I write on a sticky note or piece of paper and place somewhere that I will see them every day.(e.g. ‘I choose to believe in myself and love who I am’) At first, when you say this to yourself, your brain may say ‘Yeah, right!’ – mine did. But it is up to us to choose our thoughts. Keep replacing any negative thoughts with uplifting, UPowering thoughts about yourself. Stay committed to it and it will start to become a habit and a way of thinking for you. You may have moments when your mind wanders into negative territory, but choose to bring it back to where you want it to be.
3. Visualize yourself in different life situations acting very confident
See how it looks – how does it feel. When you visualize, it’s like giving your mind and body a blueprint or a map of where you want to go and whom you want to become. I do this every time before a performance. I visualize how I want to feel and present myself on stage and how I want to feel when I am exiting the stage.
4. Get involved in activities, groups or sports that you enjoy
You will meet like minded people which will make it easier to break through your shyness. Sharing something in common with others is a great way to get to know new people and make friends. When you surround yourself with like minded people, your self esteem will benefit.
5. ‘Fake it ‘til you make’ is a saying that I have used to help me through tough moments
For example, I may not be feeling confident in a certain situation so I think about how a confident person acts, how they hold themselves. Their head is high, their shoulders are back, and they speak with strength. You can emulate that. Act like a confident person would act. Put your shoulders back, hold your head high, even if you feel out of your comfort zone.
6. Surround yourself with people who are similar to how you want to be
There is a saying ‘You become who you hang around’- very true. The people we hang around rub off on us. Choose your friends carefully.
7. Push yourself to be the person you want to be
One day you will realize that you have grown into that person.
There are times in life where, even the confident people act shy. But is that them being shy or just acting quiet?
To me being shy and being quiet are two different things. Someone who is shy, is timid, and easily frightened away. Being quiet is choosing, for that moment or for that setting, to sit back and be an observer, a listener and take it all in.
Different circumstances, in life, will call on different personality traits to shine through. Having the ability to choose which one shines bright is up to us. We all have the ability to learn, change and grow. Just because you feel like you are shy now doesn’t mean that you have to choose to be that your whole life.
It will take some work, but the benefits of believing in who you are and what you have to offer will be worth the effort. Self confidence is just a thought away.
Until next time…