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Is Overwhelming Shyness Holding You Back?

Is Overwhelming Shyness Holding You Back?

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.

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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?

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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.

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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.  

Embrace vulnerability.

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.

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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!

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy and Become Positive

7 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy and Become Positive

Negativity affects ourselves and everyone around us. It limits our potential to become something great and live a fulfilling, purposeful life. Negativity has a tangible effect on our health, too. Research has shown that people who cultivate negative energy experience more stress, more sickness, and less opportunity over the course of their lives than those who choose to live positively.

When we make a decision to become positive, and follow that decision up with action, we will begin to encounter situations and people that are also positive. The negative energy gets edged out by all positive experiences. It’s a snowball effect.

Although negative and positive thoughts will always exist, the key to becoming positive is to limit the amount of negativity that we experience by filling ourselves up with more positivity.

Here are some ways to get rid of negativity and become more positive.

1. Become Grateful for Everything

When life is all about us, it’s easy to believe that we deserve what we have. An attitude of entitlement puts us at the center of the universe and sets up the unrealistic expectation that others should cater to us, our needs, and our wants. This vain state of existence is a surefire way to set yourself up for an unfulfilled life of negativity.

People living in this sort of entitlement are “energy suckers”–they are always searching for what they can get out of a situation. People that don’t appreciate the nuances of their lives live in a constant state of lacking. And it’s really difficult to live a positive life this way.

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When we begin to be grateful and appreciate everything in our lives–from the small struggles that make us better, to the car that gets us from A to B every day–we shift our attitude from one of selfishness, to one of appreciation. This appreciation gets noticed by others, and a positive harmony begins to form in our relationships.

We begin to receive more of that which we are grateful for, because we’ve opened ourselves up to the idea of receiving, instead of taking. This will make your life more fulfilling, and more positive.

2. Laugh More, Especially at Yourself

Life gets busy, our schedules fill up, we get into relationships, and work can feel task oriented and routine-driven at times. Being human can feel more like being a robot. But having this work-driven, serious attitude often results in negative and performance oriented thinking.

Becoming positive means taking life less seriously and letting yourself off the hook. This is the only life that you get to live, why not lighten up your mood?

Laughter helps us become positive by lightening our mood and reminding us not to take life so seriously. Are you sensitive to light sarcasm? Do you have trouble laughing at jokes? Usually, people who are stressed out and overly serious get most offended by sarcasm because their life is all work and no play.

If we can learn to laugh at ourselves and our mistakes, life will become more of an experiment in finding out what makes us happy. And finding happiness means finding positivity.

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3. Help Others

Negativity goes hand in hand with selfishness. People that live only for themselves have no higher purpose in their lives. If the whole point of this world is only to take care of yourself and no one else, the road to a long-term fulfillment and purpose is going to be a long one.

Positivity accompanies purpose. The most basic way to create purpose and positivity in your life is to begin doing things for others. Start small; open the door for the person in front of you at Starbucks or ask someone how their day was before telling them about yours.

Helping others will give you an intangible sense of value that will translate into positivity. And people might just appreciate you in the process.

4. Change Your Thinking

We can either be our best coach or our best enemy. Change starts from within. If you want to become more positive, change the wording of your thoughts. We are the hardest on ourselves, and a stream of negative self talk is corrosive to a positive life.

The next time you have a negative thought, write it down and rephrase it with a positive spin. For example, change a thought like, “I can’t believe I did so horribly on the test–I suck.” to “I didn’t do as well as I hoped to on this test. But I know I’m capable and I’ll do better next time.”

Changing our self-talk is powerful.

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5. Surround Yourself with Positive People

We become most like the people that we surround ourselves with. If our friend group is full of negative energy-suckers and drama queens, we will emulate that behavior and become like them. It is very difficult to become more positive when the people around us don’t support or demonstrate positive behavior.

As you become more positive, you’ll find that your existing friends will either appreciate the new you or they will become resistant to your positive changes. This is a natural response.

Change is scary; but cutting out the negative people in your life is a huge step to becoming more positive. Positive people reflect and bounce their perspectives onto one another. Positivity is a step-by-step process when you do it solo, but a positive group of friends can be an escalator.

6. Get into Action

Negative thoughts can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate. Negativity is usually accompanied by a “freak-out” response, especially when tied to relationships, people and to worrying about the future. This is debilitating to becoming positive and usually snowballs into more worry, more stress and more freak-outs.

Turn the negative stress into positive action. The next time you’re in one of these situations, walk away and take a break. With your eyes closed, take a few deep breaths. Once you’re calm, approach the situation or problem with a pen and pad of paper. Write out four or five actions or solutions to begin solving the problem.

Taking yourself out of the emotionally charged negative by moving into the action-oriented positive will help you solve more problems rationally and live in positivity

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7. Take Full Responsibility, Stop Being the Victim

You are responsible for your thoughts.

People that consistently believe that things happen to them handicap themselves to a victim mentality. This is a subtle and deceptive negative thought pattern. Phrases like “I have to work” or “I can’t believe he did that to me” are indicators of a victim mentality. Blaming circumstances and blaming others only handicaps our decision to change something negative into something positive.

Taking full responsibility for your life, your thoughts and your actions is one of the biggest steps in creating a more positive life. We have unlimited potential within to create our own reality, change our life, and change our thoughts. When we begin to really internalize this, we discover that no one can make us feel or do anything. We choose our emotional and behavioral response to people and circumstances.

Make positive choices in favor of yourself.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny” ― Lao Tzu

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Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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