Mind Over Matter: 10 Powerful Techniques to Overcome Shyness

By Lisa Franchi on November 12, 2012

Do the butterflies in your stomach rumble every time you speak in front of strangers, or propose a project to your boss? Do they become uncontrollable whenever you ask someone for a date or meet a new friend that interests you a lot?

We all experience shyness at one point or another. It is a normal feeling that occurs whenever we experience something unusual or try something that’s out of our comfort zone. But the inability to overcome shyness can prevent you from achieving your goals and attaining happiness.

Here are powerful tips that can help you overcome shyness:

1.  Understand your shyness.

The first step towards overcoming shyness is to understand what causes it. What triggers your shyness? Can you relate it to a past experience? To what extent does it affect your life?

2.  Appreciate yourself.

“Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all”, so goes a popular song. It’s true. Because you can never give something you don’t have in the first place. Learn how to appreciate yourself. Do the things you enjoy, pamper yourself, identify your strengths and be proud of who you are. These things will boost your confidence!

3.  Visualise a more confident ‘you’.

Go somewhere relaxing and quiet. Sit back and close your eyes. Imagine yourself in a situation that usually triggers your shyness. This time, visualise yourself of being more in control of the situation. Feel how it’s like to be confident.

4.  Be mindful.

If you let your thoughts and emotions overwhelm you, you can never overcome shyness. But if you will free your mind and focus on the situation at hand, you can deal with it more effectively. When you’re having a conversation with others, focus on your words and become absorbed by them. Forget about how you look or how people might think of you.

5.  Relax.

If you are tensed, your body reacts differently. Your blood pressure increases, and your brain stimulates the production of stress hormones. You start to stutter and you find it hard to organise your thoughts. So stay calm. Otherwise, you let your shyness take control of your mind and body. Before speaking in front of a huge crowd, approaching your crush, or joining a conversation, breathe hard. Allow the oxygen to enter your system and your blood to circulate properly.

6.  Practise makes perfect.

Are you so shy of speaking in front of many people? Why not spend time improving your communication skills? Social skills are something that can be learned and mastered in time and with constant practise.

7.  Stop labelling yourself.

If you have watched the movie “The King’s Speech”, you will understand how putting a limitation to what you can do prevents you from doing better. Don’t think that you are a shy person. You are a beautiful person who has unique strengths and capabilities. You are more than what you think you are!

8.  Self-awareness is the key.

Shyness is self-critical and rejecting, whilst mental awareness is compassionate and accepting. Self-awareness, not self-criticism, is the key to overcoming problematic shyness. When you are deeply connected to other people, you become an excellent communicator. You stop thinking about yourself, instead, you focus on other people and how you can be of help. This sparks confidence.

9.  Stop comparing yourself to others.

When you compare yourself with other people, you set high expectations. And if you do not meet such expectations, you get nothing but disappointments. This ruins your confidence and makes you feel like you are a failure. Never compare yourself with others. As mentioned, you are unique. You are incomparable.

10.   Don’t be afraid to fail.

Accept that sometimes, you will encounter failure. Instead of feeling bad about it, why not make it your stepping stone to success? Surely, some people will make you feel rejected. But you have to use the odds in your favour. Learn from their criticisms, move on, and become a better person.


Dear readers,

What techniques help you overcome shyness or lack of confidence? Are they effective?

Share your comments below!



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