Shyness is one of those things that is cute in babies and small children but can hold us back as we grow older. It can stop us approaching people we’d like to meet or even hold us back at work. We all suffer from shyness occasionally but if it’s your default mode it’s worth tackling it head on.
Often shyness is linked to our self image – how we portray ourselves in our minds. Which is often totally unrelated to how other people perceive us but that’s another issue completely!
If you are always thinking of yourself as a quiet person, that’s not going to help matters. But, equally, it’s unlikely that simply trying to change your thoughts will have much effect either.
That said, positive thinking is a contributory factor. Most people find that the best way to turn their mind round to being more positive is with things like affirmations – short phrases that you repeat to yourself regularly throughout the day.
It’s best to choose a handful of affirmations rather than have a pile that would rival the length of War and Peace.
Somewhere between 3 and 10 is a good number to aim for.
Start with something like “Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better”. It doesn’t tackle shyness head on but that is often a good idea as it means that it almost sneaks up on your shyness and is therefore less likely to be bypassed than something more obvious such as “Every day I am becoming more confident”.
That second affirmation is good because it doesn’t mention the shyness aspect of things. Negative words are best avoided anyway and it’s essential that you avoid them in the affirmations you repeat to yourself because our subconscious mind typically ignores the negative words and that can transform the intended meaning of things, often without our conscious mind even noticing.
Another good way to beat your shyness is by practicing at times and places where the result doesn’t matter.
So instead of changing yourself in front of all your friends and colleagues, change somewhere that you rarely (if ever) frequent.
Maybe a shop a few miles from where you live. Cashiers are generally a friendly bunch anyway and they react well to people who do more than just grunt at them.
It also gives you a set time period – generally, we don’t spend hours at the till, so the handful of seconds is manageable and doesn’t give your shyness time to remember that it “should” be making its presence known.
The good thing about this kind of practice is that it builds up over time and, before you know it, you’ll be less shy in other situations.
Another thing a lot of shy people use is hypnosis.
You don’t need to admit your shyness to anyone other than a web site’s checkout process. Then you download an MP3 and play it to yourself to help gradually change your shy ways into more confident ways.
It’s definitely worth investigating!