I still remember walking up onto the stage, ready to play some classical piece on the piano (the name escapes me now).
I had just been sitting down with a younger friend of mine who looked up to me as a mentor.
I had assured her and encouraged her that she could play her piece at this piano recital where adults were watching us and she had seemed super-scared.
And so, she had gone on up, done her bit, done it really well…
And now it was my turn to shine.
I heard my name. I walked up slowly, feeling the eyes on me, feeling the cloud of panic descend on my 11-year-old self.
And I finally sat down at the grand piano, put my very thick and wooden-feeling fingers on the keys — and fumbled.
I could see the piece of music in front of me, but I could not remember any of the hours of practice. I was overcome with shyness, with fear, and I panicked.
I could see the confusion in my mum’s eyes as she watched on. She knew I knew what to do, and she hoped I would not shame her. But I felt paralyzed. My shyness had overcome me at the worst possible time.
Thankfully, in that moment, all those hours of practice came to the rescue.
My fingers gained a life of their own and they played a tune that was not on the agenda but one that they remembered because I actually loved this piece – some rocky, modern tune, definitely not in fitting with the occasion but it meant I played something, rather than sitting there like a fool!
My teacher was slightly confused and looked at the music to make sure I had the right piece in front of me but there was no going back now. I just let my fingers do their thing while my emotions settled down a little and longed to run off the stage.
Thankfully, I finished and none of the audience members guessed that I was so nervous. They even claimed to have enjoyed my rocky interlude, as it broke up the boring classical tunes my colleagues and I had been forced to learn and crank out.
This was just one incident where my shyness reared its ugly head at the most inopportune moment, and more often than not, it didn't turn out so well.
To look at me now, you would never guess that I used to be so shy growing up. Until my early twenties, I wanted to hide, to never ever be seen. Yes, I had all the big dreams and ideas that I have now, but I was too shy to have ever made them happen.
You may be experiencing chronic shyness, too scared to put yourself out in the world, holding back from doing all the things you dream of, staying alone when you would rather be in relationship.
But the idea of being seen scares the living daylights out of you, and so you live a life of longing for more but never quite able to reach it.
Fortunately, shyness isn't a life sentence. You can practice skills to help you push past the discomfort and fear to feel more confident and self-assured.
Here's how to overcome shyness with 7 fear-smashing steps:
1. Remember the bad times.
This is a harsh first step but one that will help you see what shyness is doing to you.
Set aside a little time to remember all the things you want to do that shyness is keeping from you. Let it hurt, cry about it, feel the pain of it, because it is only as you speed your way to rock-bottom that you can start to take steps back up.
And when you hit rock-bottom by choice, guess what?! You do not have to stay there. You can keep following the steps and ideas in this post and figure out a route of escape.
But first face the fact that by remaining shy, you are preventing yourself from living a life of significance and impact.
It may be keeping you from having friends.
It may be keeping you from speaking your mind, so you put up with any nonsense from anyone and go along with it because it feels like a weird kind of safeness.
It may be keeping you from traveling and visiting new countries. You watch it all on TV, but the thought of having to navigate an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people is too hard to contemplate,so life gets smaller and smaller as the shyness takes you over.
It may be keeping you from the intimate relationship your heart craves for. You KNOW you want someone to love and to be loved in return, but the shyness keeps you stuck at home where you cannot meet anyone, so years go by and you are alone.
I could go on, but you know the pain of missed opportunities because of shyness. Feel the pain of it in this moment.
2. Recognize the importance of you.
In this step, I need you to realize something — you are important.
What you feel in your heart, is important.
Your opinions matter.
The big vision you carry in your heart to do something to help other people and to create wealth for you – that is important.
For too long, you have given into the idea that what you want to do, WHO YOU ARE is irrelevant and unimportant. Shyness has got a hold on you, and it keeps you from living out that life, that dream life you see within your spirit and your heart.
Barrie's blog here is about living life and blooming. It is your time to live and bloom, and it begins by you doing this next step.
3. Make a decision.
Everything starts with a decision — a simple internal choice to no longer allow shyness a hold on your life.
You now see just how much it has held you back, and you begin to realize that you are important and worthy.
It is time you make a quiet vow to overcome shyness.
There will not be magic and stars and lightning bolts to herald your decision, but it can be a momentous occasion for you.
If you do not have a journal, today would be a great day to get one and record the day you decided to stop allowing shyness to win. That is all that is required.
Too many wait for a voice from the heavens telling them to what to do or some magic bullet to create change, but you…
YOU begin to understand that the magic is YOU!
And so you make a silent decision that you will win.
4. Reinforce it daily.
How do you do this? You use affirmations.
Yes, you may have heard it before and maybe even tried it, but this is the thing — you have been affirming your shyness for far longer than you have been affirming boldness.
And if you have tried to write out affirmations in the past and then quit, then you must see that the only reason it did not work was because the affirmations of shyness have been with you for a lot longer.
Each day, before you begin, create a little space to be alone and silent and decide again what you will do that day, who you will be.
“I am getting bolder and bolder every day.”
“I choose to assert myself with my work mates today. My opinion matters.”
“I am going to go to that party tonight.”
“By this time next year, I will have visited two more countries abroad. I choose to broaden my experience of life.”
These are examples that may work for you, or write out your own powerful affirmations.
Then practice them every day. Use different words each day, but just commit to continually reminding yourself of your plans and decision to overcome shyness.
5. Remember the work always works.
As much as I would love to say that all you need to do is affirm your decision, we all know that something more must be added to the mix – ACTION!
And this is where the darkness will threaten to overtake you, if you let it.
But every day, you will remember and reinforce your decision with affirmations, and then you will choose some action, some small action to help you move forward.
You will choose to refuse to go to bed without doing something little to push you out of your comfort zone. Something teeny-tiny.
Something, anything to help your affirmations and your decision to overcome shyness. There is no transformation until there is action and honey, the work ALWAYS works!
So, daily, think of something you can do to confirm to yourself that you are indeed getting bolder and bolder.
Speak to a new person.
Say “yes” to the invitation.
Share your ideas in the meeting.
Start planning your vacation.
Don't let the internal discomfort stop you this time. Discomfort won't kill you. It can't even stop you unless you let it.
6. Ignore the critics.
Let me warn you now. There will be critics who seek to keep you in what they think is your place as you start to assert yourself and become the person you are born to be.
Some will be uncomfortable with the new you and will try to get you to remain the same.
Some will be people who don’t care about you at all and those are the ones who are easy to ignore – so ignore them!
Some of these voices will be people who absolutely love you. They will see you pushing past your comfort zone, and when they see your discomfort, they will want to help you.
Unfortunately, their help feels like an attempt hold you back because they don't want you to get hurt.
You have to learn to ignore them too.
Do not get angry – your loved ones mean well. They just do not understand that you have to walk through what may feel like fire at times, in order to rise up stronger then ever before.
See the love behind the annoying behavior and the lack of belief in you and keep moving forward. Keep expanding. Keep being more!
7. Tap into love, tap into spirit, tap into sexuality.
I want to share three key ideas to end this post.
Whatever your story happens to be, you may feel unloved. It's hard to come from that place and win against shyness.
All around you, I can assure you that universe, spirit, higher power, or your own inner wisdom, has been trying to remind you that you are loved. It is a simple decision to begin looking for that love everywhere.
As you have sunk deeper and deeper into a crippling form of shyness, you may have felt that everything was against you.
Now, actively choose to look for love. Love is a superpower that not many coaches like me would mention in this way, but it is essential that you KNOW you are loved.
There is no mistake about you. There's nothing to be guilty or ashamed of. There's no mistake too big that love cannot cover, no fear of punishment from some higher power…
None of that – YOU ARE LOVED.
And when you choose to see and believe that, it empowers you greatly.
If you are spiritually minded, reconnect with higher power and feel that flow of energy coursing through you. Realize just how much you are cared for, how connected you are to the bigger plan.
Allow that feeling to convince you to continually do the work to win the battle with shyness.
And this is a strange reminder, I know, but your sexual energy is a power like nothing else – it literally creates life.
If you can learn to tap in to your sexual desire and energy, and focus it on the steps outlined above, you will find it a whole lot easier to get into action.
I know it all sounds a little weird, but if you have read the awesome book, Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill, you will see that this is not a novel idea. Sexual energy is powerful and can propel you like nothing else.
And there you have it – a comprehensive plan of attack to overcome shyness. There's no better time than right now to get started.
Rosemary used to be a pharmacist feeling her life force draining out of her, so she made the successful transition to setting up her own property business. She now works with men and women to raise their visibility online and get more clients. Get the free report on getting your message out, raising your visibility, and attracting in your ideal customers and clients here: 21 Ways To Get Your Message Out