Shyness is an interesting characteristic that is nothing to be ashamed of. There are a lot more people who would consider themselves shy than you may realize. They’re hard to detect because they’re better at hiding it, but on the inside they might be feeling the exact same emotions as somebody who is obviously shy. A lot of people beat themselves up over their apparent inability to break out of their shell, and this can definitely lead to a self-perpetuating cycle that damages esteem and confidence.
Shyness and confidence are two attributes that are interwoven and intimately connected. Shyness is related to a lack in confidence and a constant worry of being perceived in a negative light. This is why learning how to be confident will go hand-in-hand in helping to overcome shyness. It can take a bit of effort to gain self-confidence and counteract years of negative self-talk. But rest assured it can be done and you can definitely experience constant improvement over time.
It might help to use the analogy of working out and getting fit. In the beginning, if you’ve lived a sedentary lifestyle and are not used to daily activity, then exercising is going to seem like a daunting task. It’s a bit like a shy person trying to make conversation with a total stranger. But over time, if you start off with daily walks and build up your endurance, you’ll be able to handle more intensive types of exercise. One day you may find yourself in peak physical condition being able to easily handle all of the exercises that gave you problems in the past. It’s not going to be an easy road by any means, but dedication and constant effort will pay off. The good news is the same thing can be said about building self-confidence and improving shyness.
Learning how to build confidence takes time but you already have everything within yourself to tackle this goal. Here are some self-confidence tips to stop being shy.
Appreciate yourself – everybody is their own worst critic, but this is never more true than when it comes to shy people. Quite often we internalize negative thoughts and perceptions to the point where we don’t need anyone else to say them for us to hear them. So while you might have grown up with people criticizing or making fun of you, there’s a good chance you have taken that role on yourself. Nothing could be more damaging than your own mind and spirit telling you that you are not good enough or flawed in some way.
It’s essential to start appreciating who you are and recognizing your good qualities. And make no mistake – you definitely have some. Whether it’s something as simple as being a good listener or having a recognizable artistic talent, everybody has something about them that can be admired. Focus on these things and stop obsessing over your perceived negative traits.
Match Your actions to your thoughts – thinking good thoughts is one thing but you can make them even more concrete by matching them with real-life actions. That means following through and improving yourself in a variety of ways. It might mean developing your talents, pursuing further education, or taking up a new hobby. Even if you are in the initial stages of learning how to gain self-confidence, there are many things you can do that will require you to stop being shy right away.
Let go of the Past – the past plays a powerful role in our lives, so much so that it can deeply impact your future. You have to be careful about letting the past dominate your life because it can definitely stunned your progress. There is a huge difference between treasured memories that should be held onto it all costs and bad experiences that we have to move on from. Treat them as learning experiences but don’t let them continue to damage your self-esteem. There might also be people or places that will have to be avoided if they only serve to continuously trap you in bad thinking patterns. Boosting confidence is all about learning from the past, maximizing the present, and looking forward to the future. Make sure that you don’t get stuck on only the first stage of this process.
Expectations – it can be hard to differentiate between having positive thoughts and I hear in too high expectations. A lot of people who lack self-confidence are also perfectionists in some areas of their lives. This is a way for overcompensating for feelings of inadequacy and it can definitely result in case I really lack of control. It’s important to know when to strive for realistic expectations that will make your life better and when to cut yourself some slack. Again, you want to avoid the critic inside you while being able to be content with what you can achieve on your own. Also be careful of comparing yourself to others because their situation is rarely what it seems either. The grass is always greener on the other side so striving for someone else’s life might not yield the results you expect.
Goals – goals are very important in life for a variety of reasons. They give us motivation, keep us on a clear path, and give us something to be proud of when we achieve them. Sometimes when people lack self-confidence, they stop setting goals for themselves and this can have a dramatic impact on many aspects of their lives. It’s important to remember that schools don’t have to be outrageous or impressive to a large amount of people. They can be simple things that you can do on a daily basis, and they can be easy as well. It’s nice to be able to set goals for yourself and put effort into achieving them because it reaffirms the fact that you are indeed capable of succeeding. Go ahead and set goals in different facets of your life, and feel good about yourself when you achieve them.
Appreciate what you have – sometimes people who are shy or lack confidence have problems appreciating what they have. It’s important to be able to step back and get an overall perspective on your situation. Appreciate what you have in life and remember there are plenty of folks were dealing with problems for more severe than you. Take some time to enjoy the little things and remember that even shyness can prevent you from finding joy in all facets of life.
Get Out of Yourself – shy people often spend a lot of time inside their own heads. When you add in the fact that their mental space might not be all that healthy, it can create a toxic environment. It’s important to think outside of yourself and remember that not everybody is focused on you. In fact, far fewer people think about you and your actions then you think. Ironically, most people are thinking about themselves and how they are perceived in turn. Stepping outside of yourself while thinking about others can be a nice breath of fresh air. You’ll feel a tremendous amount of mental stress being relieved when you stop acting like everybody cares about every little detail of your life. It allows you to be free and this is the type of mental environment where you can learn how to get confident.
The support of friends – related to the previous point, it’s important to think about other people while spending time with them as well. Being shy can be incredibly isolating and sometimes not having to deal with rejection might seem like a reasonable trade-off for being lonely. But when you add it all up, being alone and trapped by fear is probably a lot worse. Make sure to keep lines of communication open with friends and open yourself to the possibility of making new ones. Humans are social animals and we absolutely need human interaction to stay healthy. Other people can be tremendous sources of support, role models for success, or they might also be shy people who know exactly what you’re going through. There’s something about shyness that is also a bonding experience where two people who experience it can relate to each other very well.
Avoid Bad Habits – we all have bad habits that have been ingrained in us and some of them become a part of everyday life. This is why it’s important to take a step back as noted above and try to pick out areas where you are damaging yourself. There are bad habits that we deal with on a regular basis such as negative self-talk as previously mentioned. People who lack self-confidence can also find it very difficult to take a compliment. This is something you can definitely work on because it has an impact on how positive energy is immediately negated by discounting a complement. A lot of people react by knocking down the complement immediately and getting themselves back into a negative frame of mind. You should also keep an eye on your posture because this is both an inward and outward sign of low confidence. There are also physical implications if you have bad posture that can lead to future health problems in certain cases.
Start Small – learning how to get confident to overcome shyness might seem daunting in the very beginning. This is why you should look for small steps that you can achieve because doing something is always better than doing nothing at all. There are relatively easy things that you can do to give yourself a quick boost such as getting a makeover or improving your wardrobe. Physical exercise is beneficial in a variety of ways and you should definitely look into getting active. Not only will it improve your appearance, it can help to keep your mental and internal chemistry running smoothly. Another very easy thing you can start off with is keeping a journal to record your thoughts and feelings. Sometimes people embark on a plan to improve confidence without realizing that they’ve actually made some nice progress. Having this resource will allow you to look back to see how far you’ve come in the future.
Go Big – you probably knew this was coming – you’re going to have to take some risks if you want to work on your confidence. These types of risks are the exact things that make you feel uncomfortable and shy right now. It seems rather unfair, but one of the best cures for shyness is to immerse yourself in what scares you the most. Seems pretty horrible doesn’t it? But the human body and psyche is incredibly adaptable and each experience extends our personal borders of comfort. They key is to extend your borders through a variety of experiences so that things that seemed challenging before will eventually be tolerable. You might blush, feel embarrassed, and there might be times when you wish you were at home in bed. But taking a few social risks is actually something that will play a profound role in building confidence.
It’s a process – it’s important to remember that all of this is a process that takes getting used to. No money masters it right away because if you could do that, you wouldn’t be shy or lack self-confidence in the first place. Boosting self-confidence takes time and mental energy to counteract all of the things that make you feel uncomfortable in social situations. It might also help to stop labeling yourself as a shy in the first place. Think of yourself as a work in progress and appreciate each step you make towards your ultimate goals. And remember, you are definitely not alone nor are you somehow flawed for feeling the way you do. There is help available and when you concentrate your energy in the right areas, you can build your self-confidence on the road to stop being shot.