You will be shocked by one of my points on overcoming shyness.
I was always a shy person from the time I began going to school. Everything was challenging for me – I didn’t know how to speak up or verbalise how I felt or what I thought. During my early years, I would get lost in creative pursuits to express what was going on inside of me. I wasn’t unhappy, and I was scared and too vulnerable to show my true self to others. My shyness continued as a teenager and adult. I was petrified of being an outcast due to my own beliefs and wishes. Catering to everyone else seemed to be the easiest option. What seemed to be accessible at the time suffocated my voice. I began to forget who I was. Even now, as I’m heading over 40 years of age, it has taken me a very long time to express myself and allow those feelings to come up and through me via my writing. Writing has become the doorway towards achieving openness that cannot be expressed via words or deeds as much.
Here is my slow yet progressive 4 step plan towards opening up and flourishing as a shy person
One: Taking small yet significant steps
I know it’s hard, but when you think about what you love doing, taking a step in the right direction will become a lot easier. I, too, find it hard at times, constantly second-guessing myself. It takes courage to rise above what’s going on in your head. Sometimes leaps aren’t for all of us, and I always believed it’s the little things you do every single day which leads to success. Everyone moves at their own pace – and taking it slow can be very beneficial. For example, small steps are less overwhelming than giant leaps. You might scrape your knee a bit, but you won’t need stitches. Don’t forget to keep these feelings silent unless you have a friend with similar. I have found it helpful to pursue those things quietly, eliminating the need in discussing them with anyone. That may seem a little strange, but it’s part of my discrete nature. When you are good and ready, then you can go ahead and sing it to the world (although I believe there won’t be any singing on our part).
Two: Lifting weights (surprise!)
Self-belief starts with being active. It may be a particular sport for some, although I strongly found myself attached to bodybuilding. I loved the way it altered my body shape as well as increased my capacity for self-belief. Slowly over the years, I grew more and more confident within myself. Limitations of what I could lift and how far I could go somehow melted away. Still to this day, I’m discovering something new. Keep on pursuing something that lights you up inside and makes you feel and look good. I guarantee that will have an effect on your personality for life.
Three: Forgiving yourself when you need space
There are times shy or introverted people need space. I know I’m someone who needs to turn away from people, to stop listening and talking for a short period. Going into myself helps me to regenerate and rejuvenate my own inner space. That may be not very pleasant for some, and perhaps it’s not a great thing being in a busy office. So I actively leave during lunchtime to gather myself into a quiet space – such as a park, to unwind and break the chains of other peoples energy. If you are like me and work with very verbal people, and sometimes quite aggressive, you should know that just as you are who you are, so are they. Don’t judge too much, just let them be themselves, and you take the time needed to do what’s right for you.
Four: Explore what strengths you possess
We all have a special gift – or two, which lights us up inside when we actively pursue it. For me, it’s in a creative space – be it cooking, design or writing. What is the one particular thing you love the most? Spend as much time during the day flourishing and growing it to germinate into a beautiful tree with roots that will always hold the ground. Explore the possibilities of expanding your strengths by taking them into the world, one step at a time. Thankfully, the internet allows us to open them up to people without overexposing ourselves initially actively. Once you start to gain confidence, then slowly keep taking those baby steps to make it even more abundant in nature. Soon enough, you will grow in confidence knowing that there is a small portion in the world you are serving at a higher level. When we take the emphasis off ourselves, it makes it a lot less self-inflicted. Although we quieter people may seem to be on the sidelines, we know enough to keep our nose to the grindstone and work away at those things that produce a meaningful life. Shy people don’t like talking too much; they prefer to get on with it and keep working on the sidelines to make their dreams a reality. Embrace your wonderful nature, as it’s given you many gifts, and most of them you’ve not even had the chance to master – keep going and stop stopping.