How to Overcome Shyness
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How to Overcome Shyness

Shyness can hold people back from reaching their full potential. It affects millions of people. How can you overcome shyness?

"I’m shy!"    -----  How often have we heard that said? Yes, many of us are shy and from an early age many children are told that they are shy as they try to hide their faces from onlookers.

Shyness can be quite debilitating. It stops people from reaching their full potential in many areas of life. A person’s social and work life can be severely restricted because of shyness.

Shyness Can Be Overcome

Shyness can be overcome and I am living proof of that. For most of my childhood and on into young adulthood I used to hate having to do certain things because of shyness. That included answering up at school, going out to new places, facing job interviews and talking to people that I did not know well.

I am sure that my shyness was not as bad as some others endure but I would like to share with you some ways that you can overcome shyness. My shyness has not completely disappeared although if you asked people that know me in daily life they will declare that I am not and won’t believe that I ever was shy. Occasionally it resurfaces particularly for some reason when I am shopping and need to ask for assistance. I have to force myself to ask!

Key ways to overcome shyness

There are some key things to think about if you are shy. By remembering these points you can put shyness into perspective and control your feelings.

Firstly remember that as people to some extent we are all the same. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Those that appear to be able to talk to anyone and face the world full on will have failings somewhere else. They are not better than you, just a little different.

Shyness is a form of selfishness. We are too concerned about ourselves, how we appear and sound to others. Be more concerned about others and that will help you. When we are thinking about the welfare of others it’s easier to talk to them, starting with simply asking how they are. Shy people generally expect everyone to come to them.

The next stage is to think positively. Imagine yourself talking to someone. Paint a picture in your mind of walking up to a particular person and starting a conversation. Decide in your mind’s eye what the subject is. Imagine them talking back to you and you speaking back in reply to their words. Next find that person for real and start that conversation. Choose someone that you feel more comfortable to talk to and then each day progress with someone else. It can be someone at work, school in a local store it doesn’t matter just imagine it first and then go and do it for real.

You will need to be tough with yourself. You may have to force yourself to carry out these tasks. Don’t change your mind. When you have made steps to go to speak to someone don’t start looking for reasons not to. Your mind will play tricks to pacify you. You might think, “Oh she looks too preoccupied and won’t want to talk to me.” Carry on don’t stop - ignore the voices!

The next step may sound really daunting but it does work. Find opportunities where you can speak to a group. At first it may simply be a few words in your class or maybe at work in a team meeting. Be prepared to stand up and look at the group and speak. Rehearse in your mind once again before you do.

To really overcome shyness I have always found that looking people in the eye and smiling at them before speaking works well. It relaxes both them and me and a smile releases those qualities in us that make us relaxed and more confident.

So please if you are shy start to work on it now. It will improve your life considerably when you control your shy tendencies. Above all don’t give up or take a break! If you do you will soon go back to square one.

With effort you can overcome shyness!

Image: graur codrin /

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Comments (4)

Good and practical tips. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks Rana

An inspiring read to overcome shyness.

This is very true. Although outwardly I appear not shy, in reality I find myself struggling at times to overcome my age-old shyness.