How to Overcome Shyness – Accidentally

If you’re shy, you’ve probably thought about this for years. Why are some people so outgoing and some (including you) so shy? And if you’re the shy one, you’re probably constantly wondering how to overcome shyness. I’ve got to tell you, I did it, but it wasn’t easy.

First I had to forget everything I knew about how I THOUGHT I could get over shyness and instead concentrate on the truth!

I found out that I wasn’t so shy – as I was being controlled by my emotions. That is the basic mistake of many shy people. It’s not that you’re shy, it’s that the emotions are taking over.

Here are some of the things I did wrong, can you relate to any of them?

  • Avoiding people because they make you feel shy
  • Avoid speaking in public – it just makes you too anxious
  • Not doing a lot of great fun things because you’re nervous or afraid.

If you do (or don’t do) these things, you are being controlled by your emotions. So how to overcome shyness boils down to recognizing when your emotions are in control, and then acting on THAT fact. Now, I’m NOT saying that you have to suppress your emotions, you just need to recognize when they are taking over – and at that point, you have a good chance of overcoming shyness.

To quote Mark Twain: “Courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting in spite of it.”

Now your question on how to overcome shyness is changed to how to be confident in your abilities – and act in spite of how you are feeling at that moment. So if you’re afraid to do something, you give yourself a little push and do it anyway! It’ll only take a few times and you will see that you are overcoming shyness.

When I was in school I was very smart! But I’m not really bragging here because no one really knew I was smart. Even in high school I was afraid to raise my hand to give an answer. It seems like every time I thought about doing it, I would start sweating, or be afraid that I had a frog in my throat and would croak out the answer and get laughed at.

But I had a teacher that helped me get over shyness and she didn’t even know she did it! She didn’t allow people to raise their hands if they knew the answer, she pointed at a person and asked for the answer. Even though I was sitting there sweating – hoping she wouldn’t point at me, when she did, I had the right answer – and gave it in a clear, understandable voice – no frog!

Not everyone is that lucky in overcoming shyness. This was just a first step for me, I had many more to come after that, but just facing my fear that once, definitely gave more confidence the next time.

You need to act in spite of your fear:

  • Raise your hand, even if it makes you nervous
  • Talk to people! If you’re in a business, go to networking events where people expect you to talk to them. Tell yourself you will talk to at least one person before you leave. Better yet, pick an event that has a round table introduction routine (like most Chamber of Commerce meetings) where everyone talks for a minute and it’s no big deal (after the first few).
  • Start joining groups and get into the conversation. Maybe even present to a crowd of people – if you know what you’re talking about, they will listen and applaud!

As you begin realizing that your fears are not warranted, it will get easier and easier. Your emotions will no longer control you and you will have a new mindset, and a new, more enjoyable life.

If you’ve tried all this before, and just can’t do it by yourself, you may need to get some advice on how to overcome shyness from a therapist – or try cognitive-behavioral therapy. Your “behavior” needs to change before you can face your fears. Taking one step at a time is a good first start. The ebook below might just help you get where you want to be.

How to Overcome Shyness

How to Overcome Shyness

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