I first want to thank Chris Brogan for the topic of this blog post. He gave bloggers 100 topics he feels bloggers neglect so I’m attempting to offer my expertise on one of the subjects I so dearly relate to, shyness. Hope this helps.
Looking back on my life I have always been shy. Science will tell you nurture and not nature attributes to many of the traits people exhibit, but as I grew to understand and know more about my mother and father, I realize much of the way I am came from the way they were. Most of the way I behave comes from my mother though. But I refuse to go on about why myself or other people end up being shy. This blog is about how I’m overcoming major shyness to become the kind of person I have always admired, those darn extroverts.
You must first decide you do not want live shy
I once received a promotion on a job because the District Manager loved my answer to this one question: “What is one thing you want to change about yourself and why?” Okay that’s two questions in one, but I recognized then, in my early twenties, that people who were not afraid to exert themselves went further faster than those who were always afraid to step forward and be noticed. So as she respected my answer so much she gave me the promotion, I decided to come from hiding and take a position of power and responsibility at an early age, which was the just the beginning of my walk AWAY from shyness.
You have to learn from previously shy people or experts
Although I was the kind of person who was fine living in my world not bothering with people, deep down I didn’t want things that way. I always admired the outgoing and I think that’s the main thing that attracted me to my husband. Yet, although I realized I didn’t want live shy, I had no idea how to “come out” of behaving that way, that was the only way I knew how live. So, as they say, when the student became ready, the teachers began to appear. Much of my recent evolution into a less shy person has come from seeking business opportunities and being mentored by a person who has a more outgoing personality, but here are a few books that give a shy person a chance at diminishing the shyness: “Smashing the Wall of Fear” by Sean Hockensmith and “Reinventing Yourself” by D. Barnes Boffey. A more popular book I have heard of for a long time but have yet to read is “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. Of all the books one can read to help reform shyness, the most important book anyone can read is The Bible. Now if you’re not a spiritual person that’s fine, but if you are, and you begin using The Bible as a floor plan for living, you quickly learn shyness takes you nowhere, gives you nothing and is not a Godly characteristic. As a matter of fact everyone you read about in the bible who God chose to do a great work was either not shy or had to quickly throw away their shyness, doubts and inhibitions in order to do their great works. Learning from other people how to transform your character means you begin to define who you want and need that character to become. Many times a good book or mentor will help you figure out who that person you’re looking for is.
You have to get ready to make a move then make it
The biggest fear I ever had in my life (bigger than heights and snakes) was standing up and speaking in front of people no matter how big the group. I’m talking heart palpitations, heavy breathing, high anxiety, sweaty palms, near hyperventilation type fear. My fear was vicious, so I spent a great deal of my life shying away (pun intended) from all situations requiring all eyes on me. It was only in the past few months I actually decided I would come from under my rock and make moves that would normally scare me to death. That included initiating or participating in conversations with unfamiliar people, speaking in front of groups no matter the size and most importantly, letting people know I exist i.e. blogging and sharing my poems and songs ( leaving me to only be deathly afraid of snakes). I recently saw a billboard saying, “Do one thing a day that SCARES YOU”. A scary enough thought in its self, but the more actions you take against your shyness the less shy you become.
This year my plan is to share more of my world by reading my poetry out loud (yes, in front of an audience), everything I write (almost anyway), and running toward, not away from people and life.
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