Everyone wants to radiate confidence and walk through life with ease and panache. However, many people do not have this natural ability and can struggle with shyness on a daily basis. Are you shy frequently or a lot of the time? Would you like to be more confident and overcome this issue?
To become less shy means you have develop the ability to stand back and reassess your situation. However, the good news is that anybody can do this, no matter how bad you feel that your shyness has become. Hopefully, these five tips which are designed to assist with mild to moderate shyness could be of some use. Whilst they certainly do not offer a comprehensive solution, they will hopefully give you more of a 'confidence edge' or boost. So that today and tomorrow you can become more like the outgoing person you want to be.
1. Stepping Outside Of Your Comfort Zone
Starting small is the key to successfully stepping out of your comfort zone. Rest assured that this cannot suddenly happen overnight. It can take time to build yourself up and to take on new challenges. The best way to encourage yourself to do this, is to do one thing at a time.
For example, if you do not go swimming then give this a go once and see how you find it. If you have never gone to the cinema on your own, then give this a try too. Little steps where you have initiated the action will boost not only your confidence, but your sense of independence too. Build this kind of action up perhaps a few times a month at first, to once a week gradually after two months for example. This way you will slowly be chipping away at that wall of shyness and revealing the more confident you beneath. Remember to always work at a pace that you feel comfortable with because this way you will be more likely to stick with it.
Although this tip is regarding a physical action when shyness is of course an internal mental issue, you will actually be working on your mental attitude at the same time. This is because it takes strength, courage of mind and confidence to really move mountains in life and there is no other way to find this type of strength than to go out into the world and seek it out. Remember that the body is linked to the mind.
2. Eye Contact And Body Language
In order to be less shy, one has to engage when in conversation with others. To start with this could mean making and maintaining eye contact more regularly. You do not have to stare, but glance away from the other person in the conversation every few sentences and look into the distance. This will help you to portray a more natural air of confidence than if you look at your feet or the floor the whole time.
Posture also plays a huge part, and having your arms crossed for example, tells people to stay away because this is a self defensive position. Instead, why not have a more open gesture. If you are struggling with this then try keeping one hand in your pocket or holding a drink, and try to use the other hand to gesture in your conversation naturally. Practice this at home in front of the mirror yourself too.
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In terms of body language, face towards the person you are talking to and use your knees to bend naturally and lean where you feel comfortable. Try not to keep your feet together because this could look forced and too formal. If your feet are roughly position in a ‘two o’clock’ shape towards someone then this will look more natural as well.
3. Getting Social
When you are a naturally shy individual, the very thought of attending social events could make you panic and worry. You are concerned about how you will look, what you will wear, who you will talk to when you arrive and even how you will travel there and back. These sorts of concerns can hold a shy person back. This is because often it is not just shyness that is the issue, but an underlying lack of confidence and self esteem in some cases.
Starting small is again the key, so just go with one friend to an event for a little while and build upwards from this. The next time perhaps go with a group of friends and finally, attempt to engage in conversation with someone new at the event if this is appropriate. Imagine that group conversations are really just lots of one-on-one conversations to put yourself more at ease.
Eventually your confidence will grow, and you will become more independent from relying on other friends to help you out and attend. Remember to reward yourself by noting these huge steps that you are taking to grow in confidence. Each step forwards is one more step towards the new, confident you. Keep a chart or note in your diary too to help boost your sense of achievement.
4. An Inner Critical Voice And Perception
When someone is shy, they often have a very inwardly critical view of themselves. Tending to look down upon and judge all that they do, wear, eat and so on. This overtly critical way of looking at the world can be detrimental because it ultimately lowers ones belief in themselves and their self confidence and feelings of self worth.
Therefore, to address this, the individual needs to constructively praise themselves instead. This can be very difficult, so small steps will make a difference at first. When a shy person says ‘I should not go to the party, I will not know anyone’. They need to turn that around into thinking ‘it is nice to be invited to a party, maybe I could stay a little while and see how I feel. I may possibly meet new people too’.
One way to turn this kind of thinking into a reality is to keep a ‘positivity journal’ and to write down each time you can turn these phrases around into a more positive and optimistic thought. Only write down the positive versions.
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You may be surprised at just how many times in a day you think these thoughts. The next time that you are feeling shy, worried, anxious or negative, then open up this journal that you have created with all these positive phrases and read through some of them. You will feel more confident and realize that inside, you have the potential to be really positive and strong and less shy.
5. Being Less Sensitive
Shyness can often go hand-in-hand with a lack of self confidence and also an increased level of sensitivity. This can be to criticism, emotional sensitivity and so on. However, learning to be less sensitive and stronger mentally can be a huge aid to overcoming shyness.
Creating a ‘positivity journal’ as was mentioned in tip four, could really help one to overcome this. In addition, getting out into the community and volunteering can really help you to see the struggles of others in society. This will put things into more perspective for you and will help you to observe your situation and feelings more subjectively.
Certainly, overcoming shyness can take a long time and it will not happen overnight. If you want to adapt and break free from a shyness cycle, then perseverance is the key alongside keeping a positivity journal.
Below is a You Tube video from certified life coach Marie Dubuque where she helps explain how you can feel more comfortable and less shy in a group situation.