If fear of standing-up and speaking-out is sabotaging your professional and social life, let’s get busy and start defeating shyness.
In step-groups, the mantra is “fake it ’till you make it.”
We will practice the same concept with defeating shyness.
Defeating Shyness – Fake it ’till you Make it
For our purposes, faking it is where you put on a pretend face, paint a smile on your lips and vow to quit hiding from people. Making it is when you realize that you are a valuable person, with valuable thoughts and ideas to share. Really making it is to truly enjoy the company of other people.
Preparation is instrumental in defeating shyness. In your professional life, always be prepared for tomorrow’s meeting, next week’s conference and when necessary, fake your way through the surprises. Who knows, your innovative idea may serve to accelerate sales or save the company big bucks. And, that “Attaboy!” from your boss is a big help with defeating shyness.
Be aware that your company depends on you to voice information and insights. Hiding behind the mask of shyness is unfair to them and to you.
In social situations, prepare yourself beforehand by jotting down a few news items, the blurb from a book cover or a couple of humorous tidbits. Prior to leaving home, study your list until you are confident you are ready to contribute to conversations.
Make eye contact with people. Strangers trust people more who look them in the eye. Smile a lot, the party people can’t see that your teeth are clenched. Ask questions that require other than yes or no answers. Take a really deep breath and release those annoying butterflies from your stomach. Mingle. Stride with fake confidence toward that clique in the corner. Walking will stop your legs from jiggling. Compliment somebody.
Defeating shyness is best practiced in baby steps. If you can’t do it today, tell yourself that you will say “yes” to the next opportunity. Believe it!
Defeating Shyness – Root Cause
Negative conditioning created false beliefs, that we were worthless, stupid, clumsy, idiots, too fat, too tall, ugly, unlovable, and so on. This is a possible reason, not a root cause.
As an abused child, I never knew what would happen if I voiced an opinion. Would my mother backhand me or beat me black and blue? It became easier to stay quiet. Shyness was a defense mechanism that followed me into adulthood. Abuse is a root cause.
I urge you, to turn heaven and earth upside down until you determine the root cause of your shyness. We can’t heal until we understand what we are healing from. Sound simple?
The difficulty level is high, but if you keep digging back into your past, it is possible. Then, you can start defeating shyness. In the meantime, there are things you can do.
Defeating Shyness – The Jar
The Jar is a tool that my mentor assigned during my studies. Use it whenever you find yourself in a situation where you are afraid to voice your views.
For a long time, it is necessary to practice after the event has happened. Until, one wonderful day you can use this tool during the event.
To begin, creatively visualize that a glass jar is perched on a shelf above your head, but within your line of sight. Begin to see yourself as two people – one of you is in the glass jar, observing the event. Of course, the “real” you, surrounded by a crowd of chattering strangers, is frozen with shyness.
Take your time this is the most difficult part. When you can effectively visualize the observer “you” and you as the real person, reconstruct the event as it happened. Again, do not rush, it takes as long as it takes.
After playing out the event, ask the observer what you could have done to change the outcome.
In essence, you are conversing with your Higher Self. The part of you that is spiritually wise. You may “hear” something as simple as, “I could have eased out of that crowd and looked for someone sitting alone. I could have initiated a conversation with that person, by giving them a compliment..”
Do you begin to see how this practice works?
Now – go out, mingle and express yourself. Fake it ’till you make it! And, give yourself a round of applause. You are well on your way to defeating shyness.