Were you one of those shy kids clinging to your mom’s leg? Did you dodge attention, feel inferior and avoid being called out? Still doing that as an adult?
Shyness and overwhelming self-doubt are more common than you think, and they’re holding back millions of people just like you from living more exciting and fulfilling lives. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t destroy that terrifying fear that has been holding you back. You aren’t meant to be shy. And there is no reason you can’t shine in your own way.
From social gatherings, to business meetings, to your one-on-one relationships, if you want to break free from shyness, create better relationships and be more comfortable in your skin when you are around people then read on. There are time-tested techniques that have served me well in my personal life, as well as helping my clients. In a world where relationships are everything, you must set yourself apart and still stay true to who you are. Here is how to break free from shyness:
It’s more of a mindset than what you do.
From someone who has overcome overwhelming shyness and helps people gain more self-confidence to create more connection with other people, I’m about to break it down for you. What you are about to learn is the mindset of people who stand out, go after what they want and have great relationships.
This is a state of mind that if adapted will help you in your love life, your career, your health and your spiritual life.
What are some limiting beliefs about yourself that you currently hold that need to be changed?
Set realistic expectations.
Everyone wants something different. One person may want to be on stage, whereas someone else may just want to be comfortable on a date or in a business meeting.
As you learn these techniques and insights, it is important to be very clear about what you want and what it looks like. The goal here is to get you to feel good about being who you are and connecting with people.
Everyone has a different expectation when it comes to what they want and how they want to feel when they connect to people.
What do you want? How do you want to feel when you are around people? What does that look like for you?
Focus on sharing.
By far, the most effective technique in overcoming shyness is to switch your consciousness from you to them.
Remember the last time you were in a situation and you were nervous or shy? I’d be willing to bet you were focusing on yourself: how you looked, what you were going to say, or how different you were from everyone else.
People that shine are focusing on delivering, serving and benefiting others in some way. They focus outward, not inward. Sure, it’s important to be aware of how you are being perceived, but people always remember how you make them feel. In order to make them feel good you must focus on sharing with them.
Next time you are in an uncomfortable situation, shift your focus to someone else and ask yourself how you can help them or add value to their lives.
Be interested instead of trying to be interesting.
Make the focus of every conversation about someone else at first. This will take the pressure off of you and make them feel significant. Asking questions and genuinely caring about what the person says immediately gets you out of your own head and makes the person feel special.
Be mindful not to interrogate, but simply show a curiosity about their world. Actually listen to their voice and less to that voice of doubt in your head.
Your outcome is to have the confidence to create more authentic relationships with people. In order to do that you must build a comfortable bond with them. When you discover more about someone, connect your similar interests to create that bond.
How will you start to be more interested in people? Will you ask them about their job, their taste in music, or an experience they had? Next time you do, seek for common interests to build a bond. Connect to the actual person as opposed to what you think they are.
Trying to pretend that you are not nervous makes people nervous.
I was in a small workshop one time, shaking in my shoes. I just came right out and said, “You know what, you guys? This is my first time speaking in front of you and I’m terrified! Yikes!” Everyone opened up and started joking around. It broke the ice. I immediately felt more comfortable because I felt a part of them.
Brené Brown, an expert in vulnerability (yes, there is actually an expert in vulnerability), says that courage actually comes from vulnerability. Ironically, people actually find vulnerability endearing. It makes them want to protect you, it makes you human, and it makes you relatable.
Trust me, I hung out with the cool kids and the oddballs, too. They are all the same. Everyone freaks out at some time or another. Be vulnerable. It’s OK!
You can be vulnerable by being honest when you are nervous, being honest about wanting to make new friends, or opening up to someone right off the bat. How can you open up to people?
Start shining right now! Comment below and tell me your story. Like this article? Share it! Here are some more tips on self-confidence!
Confidence is a tool you can use in your everyday life to do all kinds of cool stuff, not least to stop second-guessing yourself, manage your fears and become able to do more of the things that really matter to you. 63 Ways to Build Self-ConfidenceFeatured photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc