“Always be yourself, express yourself and have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” (Bruce Lee)
Shyness is a tenor of feeling worried, awkward, and tense during social encounters around unfamiliar people and places. Chronic shyness may cause symptoms like sweating, blushing, upset stomach, pounding heart, worries, and negative thoughts. The attributes tend them to withdraw themselves from social interactions (Psychology Today).
According to Psych-Central, shyness is a phenomenon different for everyone. For some, it starts in infancy. For some, it is learned, and for others, shyness just grows out of time. Around 10-15% of newborns are inhibited shy, while 40-60% of adults are reported being acquired shy.
Moreover, nearly 10 million Americans meet the criteria for social anxiety and social phobia. The number of unreported individuals who struggle with shyness greatly exceeds the statistics, as reported by Medscape.
Fortunately, there are some effective development strategies to help people overcome social phobia, social anxiety, and shyness. Let us help you to gain confidence and rock the world with ideas below!
1. Engage yourself with others
Start by participating in small talks with people. You may get a chance at bars, checkout lines at stores, gym or sports events. Also, approach to those to whom you are romantically attracted. Initiate a talk; ask them for a dance or a date out. Similarly, check on your peers, friends, and family members with a good conversation. Even if you get rejected by some, who cares? There are 7 billion people on earth, and you are not meant to please everyone. Take chances by putting yourself out there to get to know new people every day.
2. Act confidently
“You are the only person on the planet who can use your abilities and capabilities.” (Martha Lama – Australian Master)
Confidence is not something you learn, and it comes through practice, actions, and mastery. It is just like learning something for the very first time. It feels terrifying initially; however, when you tried it, you got it and went for it, then feel confident. Similarly, social confidence works when you get used to it. Feeling or being anxious is not a significant issue; however, avoiding social interactions is. Eliminate avoidance from your life, and this will help you to overcome your social anxiety.
3. Practice things that make you anxious
Try to do something that gets you out of your comfort zone. As a part of self-development and overcoming shyness, you need to work on different areas of your personality. You need to block fear of failure, rejection, humiliation, and anxiety to overcome shyness and bring confidence to yourself. Get into things that make you anxious and nervous. Join a dance school or a sports club, get admitted into a class, pick a difficult task at work, do a new project, or learn a new skill. Practicing activities will help you defeat your fears, and learning experience will support you in handling anxiety effectively.
4. Be talkative
Confident people don’t bother with what everyone would like to say and think of them. They just speak their minds, share valuable information, and engage others by connecting with them. You can do this as well because being shy is not a reason to stay back quietly. Start practicing presentations, speeches, jokes, or even stories at the possible opportunity. Try to be expressive and talkative in your routine with friends, family, work, and even with strangers. Let your voice get heard.
5. Be proud of yourself
“Self-confidence is the key to success and practice is the key to self-confidence.” (Richard Homes – Academist Help)
Mostly, the fear of being judged leads to shyness and social phobia. Make yourself vulnerable and be proud of yourself. This will help you to overcome fears and insecurities. Practice it with people you can closely trust. This will lead you to feel better in your relationships and increase self-esteem in social interactions. Being vulnerable needs strength and will to let people see the real you. Thus, be proud of yourself because being vulnerable and genuine is a quality that people may like to appreciate the most about you.
6. Practice positive body language
The best way to overcome shyness is to find something that you enjoy doing and not afraid to share. Then infuse it into your body language positively. You can try many YouTube tutorial videos on pros and cons of different body languages as well. Try to make eye contact while talking to people and walk with your head held a high. Shake hands more often, project a clear and effective tone of voice, give hugs, and wear a smile. This will let you stay close in proximity to others.
7. Embrace mindfulness
To embrace mindfulness, you need to get yourself a wakeup call for self-awareness. Be present to your feelings, thoughts, sensations, and memories in a given moment. You cannot run, avoid, or escape from any part of your experiences. Therefore, it is better to appreciate yourself and the people around you. Love everything and everyone without being judgmental.
8. Leave your comfort zone
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can take risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” (EE Cummings)
As mentioned above, leave your comfort zone to achieve what seems to be impossible to you. You may find it difficult to implement the above ideas at once. It is not necessary to get the whole pile done overnight. Take small steps and note down your success every day. The idea is not to get yourself overwhelmed with your nature change; it is all about trying, failure then again trying to get it done.
9. Smile & breathe
There will be times when you will feel that you are good for nothing, and thoughts of being useless and nervousness may get you down. Remember to take a break, breathe, and recharge your batteries with more enthusiasm and positivity. Smile to the person you see in the mirror every day and appreciate his/her efforts. Love yourself and then spread it around you.
10. Don’t give up
Lastly, the central idea of changing yourself for better lies in trying hard and not giving up at all. You know that there is no one who can understand and improve you better than yourself. Respect the inner you, and for the sake of that person, don’t give up on yourself. It’s all about accepting yourself first and then improving for the betterment. You may find many reasons to quit; however, if there is a single reason to stay on, then go for it.
“Each time we face our fears, we gain strength, courage and confidence in doing.” (Theodore Roosevelt)
In a nutshell, when you like to present in a moment fully, you start realizing that social interactions are not something that you need to avoid. Trust yourself that you can perform better. The reason is, you are already paying attention to the people, ambiance, and cues around you. With a will to do and practice of doing so can help to incorporate and improve the social skills that you have learned. By this, you will feel more confident and accomplished, and trust us; people are going to love you more! All the best!