Would you say you are shy?
If so, you have lots of company—nearly half of all Americans claim to be shy. And the incidence is rising across the world.
Although it’s very common, shyness can be quite costly. Not only does it create social challenges, such as difficulty meeting people and making new friends, it also causes cognitive problems. Many shy people can’t think clearly when others are around, so they tend to freeze up in conversations.
Shyness can cause you to live trapped between two fears: being invisible and insignificant to others, and being visible but worthless. That’s a painful and isolating place to live.
You can free yourself from this trap
Shyness is generalized fear that is caused by an image we hold of ourselves. Most people don’t understand that we think in images. You do. I do. Everyone does.
If I ask you to think of an automobile, the image of a car will come to the screen of your mind. If I ask you to think of your home, the image of the building you live in will flash across your mind.
Now, when we think of ourselves, an image also comes to mind. What comes to mind when you think of yourself?
If you’re like most people, your physical self and maybe what you do for a living come to mind, and that’s about as far as it goes. But there’s so much more to the image you hold of yourself than that.
If part of your self-image is that you are shy, among other things, you have limiting thoughts and beliefs about your social skills and abilities. You might also feel that others are watching and judging you. Those kinds of thoughts put you in a tiny box that isolates you from the world.
For instance, you might avoid parties because you think you won’t know what to say and you’ll look bad to everyone else. If you’re a current or aspiring business owner, your enterprise probably suffers because you’re reluctant to put yourself out there to do what’s necessary to build it.
So, how do you get past all of this?
You build a new image of yourself.
3 steps to your bolder, more courageous self
To get over your shyness, use your imagination to create a vision of yourself being brave and daring.
As you do this, don’t look at your current or past results. And don’t put much energy into evaluating your shyness or where it came from. I say that because focusing on your shyness is like watering a plant that you don’t want to grow.
Instead, put your power and energy into the person you want to be, how you want to act, and the kinds of traits you desire. That way you’re watering the thoughts and ideas that you want, so they start to grow, and the limiting beliefs about being shy start to die from lack of nourishment.
Here are three things you can do to help you overcome your shyness:
1. Write out a detailed description of yourself feeling at ease in social and professional settings with people eager to talk with you and hear what you have to say.
Then, look at yourself in the mirror and read the description out loud twice a day for 30 consecutive days.
2. Write the following statements twenty times, twice a day for 30 consecutive days: “I am so happy and grateful now that I am confident and calm in any situation, and people always respond to me favorably. I look forward to meeting and speaking with new people.”
3. To remind yourself to hold the new image, set the alarm on your phone. Have it go off every hour, but not on the hour. For example, at 12 minutes past each hour (during your waking hours), your phone will ping. When you hear the sound, reset your self-image. Sit or stand taller. Have a particular image that you recall each time the alarm sounds.
And here’s the most important thing to do to free yourself from being shy…
Act like you’re already the person you want to become
At first, you will feel like a three-dollar bill. It will be tough to act like you’re confident and calm because all the while you’ll be thinking, “Everybody can see through this, and they’ll know that I’m being phony.” Do it anyway.
This will take a lot of guts, but it will work. The more you act as if, the more comfortable you’ll become with it and that’s who you’ll become.
That’s exactly what I did when I wanted to get rid of my shyness. When I was in my car, I would act like I was speaking to a group.
Even though I had never stood in front of anyone in my life, and I was scared to open my mouth in front of more than two or three people at one time, I saw myself up on the stage talking to thousands of people and driving my points across. I did it over and over again.
And you know something? That’s who I became, and it’s who I am today!
And, if you use these techniques, you’ll be who you want to be too.
Decide to change your image, then start working on it today. As your image changes, so will your results. Guaranteed.
To your success,
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