According to Google: Shyness is the tendency to feel awkward, worried or tense during social encounters, especially with unfamiliar people.
Some people’s shyness is so intense that it can keep them from interacting with others even when they want or need to—leading to problems in relationships and at work. I have dealt with this and have seen great improvement after understanding the dynamics I am about to share.
Many of my high-achieving clients suffer from shyness and can prevent success both professionally and personally if left unhealed. I also have come to realize that shyness is also a fear of being seen a certain way. Sometimes we don’t want to come across as stupid, insecure, or as fraud.
For example, we might shy away from an opportunity to give a presentation at work because we don’t want our colleagues to judge our appearance, our lack of expertise on a topic, or come across as boring. We don’t raise our hand to take part and we lose an opportunity to be seen.
The instrumental factor in overcoming shyness is to really understand what you are specifically scared of and why. Once we understand what we are specifically scared of, we can ask ourselves, how would I feel if that actually happened?
The interesting part here is that we are most likely already feeling that feeling right now while we hide and pass up opportunities to be exposed. What we are really afraid of is a feeling maybe one of embarrassment, anxiety, or just fear itself.
In addition, we probably already believe that our appearance is less than, or that we are boring, insecure, or fraud in some way, so what we are really scared of is having someone see that and validate it.
Now, to overcome shyness, you must simply nurture the part of you that believes this. You need to be curious and compassionate with this shadow side. Instead of pushing it away and fighting against it, you learn to nurture it, love it, be gentle with it and eventually it will fall away.
We also need full acceptance that we all judge and we will be judged anyway, so what do we want to be judged for? Do we want to be judged for hiding, running away from opportunities to be seen? Or do we want to be judged for the person who goes for it, no matter what?
Lastly, the reminder that you will always love yourself and not be judgemental. The world can point fingers and make judgements, but it doesn’t matter if you always love and accept yourself.
If you struggle with some form of shyness and it holds you back from some level of success I invite you to reach out for a connection call to see if coaching can help you heal from it.
Mind Your Strength,
Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.