Shyness and self-doubt is something that everyone suffers from now and then. While a certain degree of shyness is perfectly normal, for some it can be a major obstacle to fulfilling themselves in the way they want to.
In the worst cases, this can lead to difficulties in making friends, finding love, advancing in our careers or otherwise achieving the goals we have in life.
Lack of self-confidence more common than you think
One of the problems with shyness and lack of self-confidence is that many people who suffer from it often think it is a problem experienced by only a minority of people.
We magnify the problems and believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with our own personality. Often, moreover, the problems we think too much about often lead to a vicious circle. In the worst cases, we then avoid situations where we feel uncomfortable, which only makes the situation worse.
The reality is that most people experience shyness and insecurity from time to time in life. This is also true for public figures. What sets us apart is that some have learned to manage these feelings successfully. If they can do it, it’s possible for you too. By understanding that shyness is common and completely normal, the potential exists to overcome it.
Tips for becoming more confident
Almost everything to do with personal development, from physical health to social skills, can be developed and improved. It’s all about trying to put aside immediate fears and feelings of discomfort in favour of long-term rewards.
It is simply a matter of exposing ourselves to unpleasant and uncomfortable situations if we do not want shyness to be an obstacle to personal development.
That may sound easier said than done. That’s why we’ve put together some thought tools to help you along the way.
1. Most people are insecure
Some people give the impression that they are confident and know where they are going in life… and yes, there are those who have clear career plans and a seemingly unwavering confidence.
The fact is, however, that most of us carry an uncertainty about the future and what it holds for us. The only difference is that some have learned to deal with these differences better than others.
One way to do this is to be so busy with your goals that you don’t have time to think about being afraid of new challenges.
Have you ever pursued something you are passionate about? You may also have noticed that the threshold is much lower to make contact with new people and get things done – without thinking about whether you dare or not.
Read more about timeless recipes for success and how to achieve your goals in life here.
2. It’s not about survival
Although many of the physical symptoms are similar to those our hunting Stone Age ancestors had when hunting and other tasks that served to keep you alive, what you feel is nevertheless not linked to survival.
We are unlikely to die from what shyness causes. What’s the worst that can happen? You might mess up, but even that can be a way to learn new things if you take it the right way.
3. A chance to learn new things
If you get into the attitude of taking every failure as a way to learn new things, you’ll start to dare to tackle things in a completely different way. This is true in all areas of life, but especially for the insecure and shy, this attitude is golden.
However, you need to actively work on yourself and monitor your progress. Otherwise, your insecure side will soon take over in your everyday tasks.
4. Stop thinking about your shortcomings
How often do you think about other people’s shyness and lack of confidence? That’s right. People are busy with themselves, their own thoughts and their own problems.
Most likely, they don’t think about you and your problems at all. That’s something most people notice as they get older. Then you will only be happy if someone asks you how you are and how you feel about certain situations.
5. Generosity makes it easier
Shifting the focus away from yourself and thinking about other people’s needs is an easy way to become less anxious about new challenges. In social settings, what’s called conversational generosity is an easy way to get into new contexts.
Asking short questions to show you care and are interested in others allows you to enter new situations easily. You will also feel much better yourself. You simply forget your own problems of shyness and insecurity.
6. We all have a background that shapes us
We all have a unique background that has made us the people we are today. We usually form an opinion about other people based on these experiences.
Going back to the first point, it’s important not to magnify the problems and think that you are unique in your anxiety. It’s about trying to understand the background to why you experience things the way you do. Many people blame genes for insecurity and shyness. However, it is often the experiences associated with certain events that make us feel the way we do about certain things.
7. Be yourself
The older you get, the more you will find that life is not about pleasing others. It’s okay to be different. In fact, those who go their own way and don’t go with the flow have the best chance in life of achieving their goals and being happy.
This may be hard to understand when you are young and easily influenced by your surroundings. However, as you get older, you will find that there is a richness in having different and unique personalities.
8. You don’t have to be liked by everyone
We all strive to be liked, but the fact is that this is not possible. Just as with choosing a partner, there is something called personality chemistry. It means that you simply work better with some people than with others.
The key is to accept this fact and take it at face value, i.e. not too personally.
9. Don’t live for the approval of others
We all have our own ideas about what we want the world to be like. Some people are also very good at trying to convince others of what they should think in different contexts.
Learn that you are entitled to your own opinion and do not need the approval of others in everything you do. Then you will be in a completely different position to dare to go out in different contexts.
Learn to rely on your own gut feeling, without letting other people’s opinions rule you. You can talk about your plans for your life, but you should always remember that only you know how you feel in different situations.
10. Success is subjective
One problem with today’s society is that many people equate money with success. Even media coverage is often seen as a measure of success. Being a celebrity is often seen as desirable.
However, remember that success is always subjective. The most important thing is always what you want to achieve and how happy you are with your life.
11. Accept your shortcomings
It can also help if you accept the flaws you have and don’t try to hide them by role-playing your way through life. As I said, we are all different and instead of focusing on your weaknesses, focus on your strengths.
While everyone can become braver, caution and shyness don’t have to be a burden if you can handle it well. Instead, the ability to empathise and listen may be better refined in you than in many others.
In addition, calm people are perceived as more reliable than those who have opinions about everything and everyone.
For the introvert who needs a little more affirmation, we recommend the books Introvert: the quiet revolution by Linus Jonkman and Quiet: the importance of introverts in a society where everyone is heard and seen by Susan Cain.
12. Get out of your comfort zone
Although we should accept our shortcomings, for most of us there are opportunities to develop most of our personality traits. The key to this is to get out of your comfort zone and dare to try new things.
It’s about planning and seeing it as a way to develop in the longer term. Most of it is about how you deal with failure. If you have the ability to learn from failure, you will have come a long way in life.
13. The only thing you can control is yourself
Finally, the only thing you can control is yourself and how you relate to different situations. By accepting that you are responsible for your decisions and your path through life, much is gained.
You can’t control others’ perception of you all parts, but you do influence your own thoughts. See it for what it is. The world won’t end even if not everyone likes you.
There will always be new people in your life who will both accept and like you as a person!