Growing up, I never thought it would be possible to go from shy to confident – but I managed to do it! You can too and in this post, I’ll show you how.
Shyness can be a real barrier to success. It can keep you from speaking in public, from meeting new people, and from enjoying life to the fullest. But there is hope. With a few simple changes, you can overcome your shyness and become more confident.
What is Shyness?
When I was a kid, I was the textbook definition of shy: “1. easily frightened; 2. disposed to avoid a person or thing; 3. hesitant in committing oneself.” (thanks Merriam-Webster!)
I was ALL of these – I was constantly anxious and I lived inside my head. My mind was both my home & my prison – only I didn’t realize that it was also my prison until I was much older.
It was so bad that it would literally affect my grades! My 3rd-grade teacher – who was lovely – pulled my parents aside to let them know that my grade was lower in one area because he couldn’t grade it – because I never talked in class!
Now, you might think that this was just a thing when I was a kid – nope! Even as an adult my social anxiety was affecting my life.
I (meaning my thoughts) made everything a bigger deal than it needed to be.
“What if I said something that people thought was stupid?” “Should I say this?” “Should I do that?”
I second-guessed and overthought every.single.thing. My inner critic would show up and my social anxiety would take whatever was happening and turn it into something WAY bigger than it needed to be.
Turns out speaking to strangers is not actually gonna kill you – but my social anxiety sure thought it would.
Now, if you’ve been around these parts for a while then you already know why this is.
But back then? I had no idea. Not only that but I thought that I would always be this way. That this was it and that there was nothing I could do about it.
Well, thankfully I was wrong and there are FIVE things that you can do right now to go from being shy to confident.
From Shy to Confident
I know what you’re thinking – “mindfulness meditation, she always says that!!” Sure, I say it all the time, but that’s only because it works and it’s THE THING that I did that took me from shy to confident.
So, if you are looking to change your life then it’s time to get your meditation on…
Because, when we know what’s here we can work with what’s here.
5 Ways to Overcome Your Shyness
1. Be Confident In Your Own Skin – I know, this one can feel the hardest especially if you’ve never felt confident in your own skin. Where does confidence come from? And how can we learn how to be more confident?
First, by recognizing that a lack of confidence in yourself is often fueled by your thoughts about yourself. I can’t tell you how many times I thought something negative about myself and instantly believed it as fact with nothing to back it up to other than my brain told me it was true. So, the first thing that you need to do is start changing your thoughts about yourself. Instead of thinking “I’m shy” start thinking “I am a person with strengths and weaknesses, just like everyone else.” This change in perspective will help you to be more accepting of who you are and will help you to build confidence in yourself. Get to know your thoughts and learn the practice of acceptance now with my 7-day mindfulness challenge.
Second, learn how to be confident in your own skin by practicing self-love. We often think that being confident means putting ourselves up on a pedestal and not caring about what other people think, but that’s not actually true. What we need to do is accept ourselves for who we are and love ourselves for who we are without condition. Being confident doesn’t mean being an egocentric jerk all the time, it means having realistic expectations for ourselves. It means accepting yourself, zits and all, without mentally beating yourself up.
2. Talk To People (Even If It Felt Embarrassing) – as someone who struggled with talking to people this is something that I never thought I could do – there’s that inner critic again. The thing is, if you want to overcome shyness then you’re going to have to start speaking out. Whether that’s in your personal life, at work, or in social situations – the more you talk, the better. The more comfortable you become with talking, the easier it will be for you to branch out and make new friends. If the thought of speaking to someone feels you with anxiety you might want to check out my program STOP the Panic – it’s a 3-part program filled with proven therapeutic & mindfulness strategies to help you feel calm in a crisis.
3. Practice Being Bold – one of the best ways to overcome shyness is by taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone. It can be really scary to try something new, but if you force yourself to do it then eventually you’ll start enjoying it and becoming more confident as a result. Be bold when it comes to making conversation, trying new things, or even dating – there’s no such thing as too much risk!
5. Stay Positive – one of the most important things you can do to overcome shyness is to stay positive. If you start thinking negative thoughts about yourself (like “I’m too shy to talk to people”), then that will only lead to self-doubt and anxiety. Instead, try focusing on your strengths and positive qualities – that way, you’ll feel more confident and capable in any situation.
How to Stay Confident When Times Get Tough
Life is full of difficult moments and when you’re at your most vulnerable it can feel especially hard to stay confident. In these times it’s important to remember to practice some self-compassion and to be a little extra kinder towards yourself.
Indulge in some self-care, practice saying some positive affirmations to yourself (I like “everything always works out well for me” and “this too shall pass”) and remind yourself that thoughts are just thoughts.
Inside my program Silencing Your Inner Critic, I break down how to turn your inner mean girl into your own personal cheerleader. Imagine how it would feel to have your thoughts be as kind and as encouraging as a dear friend would be?
As someone who thought that I could never be confident, I know how limiting being shy and socially anxious can be. That’s why I created this program because I am passionate about helping everyone learn how to get out of their heads and into their lives.
If I can transform my life and go from being shy to confident I know that you can too.
With this program you will learn what to do when your inner critic shows up so that you can continue to take action on your goals and create the life of your dreams.
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Hey there, I'm Charlene!
I help creative entrepreneurs with chronic illness create a sustainable business that fits their lifestyle without letting imposter syndrome take over.
Charlene is an entrepreneur, psychotherapist and mindfulness coach living with chronic illness after she was hit by a bus.
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