Contrary to what you may believe, shyness is NOT a fixed trait.1
In most cases, shyness is actually a learned behavior.
For the longest time, I was painfully shy. It was a defining trait others knew me by.
Unfortunately, my shyness and lack of confidence held me back from pursuing many opportunities.
Luckily, I am no longer shy today and actually enjoy meeting new people!
So, how did I overcome my shyness?
In this article, I’ll share the 7 best ways how to overcome shyness so you can live a life you love and become your highest self.
1. Practice self-love, acceptance, and respect
I used to hate myself. In any situation, I would always make myself smaller.
And because I avoided other people, no one approached me. It only made sense.
I mean, imagine talking to someone who wouldn’t even look at you in the eye.
However, when I started to practice self-love, I realized that I deserved to take up space.
Furthermore, because I had self-respect, I left situations that wrecked my self-confidence and esteem. I stopped engaging with negative people, avoided gossip, and more.
Once I started treating myself with respect, others starting to do the same.
2. Do small things that make you feel powerful
To feel more confident in your everyday life, you can do small things that make you feel powerful.
For example, you can:
- Wear an outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks.
- Listen to an empowering song before you go out
- Practice affirmations
I find that these small boosts of confidence really helps in my every day life.
I remember in school, I would always wear a nice outfit when presenting to my class. It boosted my confidence and helped me be more channel main character energy.
3. Fake it until you make it
You don’t actually have to be confident to act confident.
In the past, I had no confidence or self-esteem.
But one day, I decided to fake my confidence. When going to a social outing, I pretended that I belonged there, even though I felt like a complete imposter at the time.
To my surprise, this method actually worked.
People perceived me differently and were engaged when talking to me.
Someone even told me that I was charismatic, which was weird because I always thought I was socially awkward.
To help, I recommend standing in front of a mirror and pretending to act confident. Practice conversations and visualize yourself in specific social scenarios.
Overtime, you’ll stop pretending and start to truly be confident.
4. Be mindful of your posture and body language
Your body language is SO important and it communicates a lot nonverbally.
In the past, I had a very hunched posture and timid body language. I was basically saying “please don’t talk to me” without actually saying it.
As a result, not many people would approach me.
Ever since I changed my improved my posture and started walking with purpose, my confidence sky-rocketed.
I even got compliments on my posture and walking with purpose. I share this story not to brag, but to show how much of a difference your posture truly makes.
5. Know that people don’t care as much as you think they do
I worried so much about other people’s opinions of me. Doing this paralyzed me, especially in social situations.
I’d overanalyze every situation, carefully plan my words and actions, and more. It was exhausting and stunted my confidence.
The cycle would go like this: I would say something, regret it, and then ruminate over it all night.
But I suddenly realized that people don’t care about me and what I do as much as I do.
I mean, I was too busy engaging with my thoughts that I didn’t remember much of what other people did.
To be honest, other people are too absorbed in their thoughts to pay any close attention to you.
As long as you’re not being rude or a jerk, then there’s nothing to worry about.
Resource: 4 Effective Ways to Stop Caring What Others Think
6. Hang out with the right people
The phrase, confidence in numbers, is a powerful one and was true for me.
When I found friends who like me for who I was and enjoyed being around me, I gained a lot of confidence.
However, the opposite is true as well.
When the people around you are constantly belittling you, then your confidence and self-esteem will start to tank.
That’s why it’s important to hang out with the RIGHT people and avoid the toxic people who only want to bring you down.
You can tell a person is toxic if they:
- Belittle or berate you regularly
- Always feel bad around this person
- Never happy for your accomplishments
- Don’t support you
You can’t avoid everyone and every single interaction, but when choosing the people you WANT to hang out with, make sure you find positive people to be around and people who don’t drag you down.
7. Shift your mindset
I use to think that I was inherently shy and that I’d stay shy forever.
But in reality, this was actually a limiting belief.
Once I stopped identifying as a shy person and started to build a new identity for myself, I realized that it was my own mindset that was holding me back.
I expand more onto this and I dive deeper into shifting your mindset and overcoming your limiting beliefs in the Life Clarity Guide!
Take it slowly
It might be impossible to change overnight, but you can make small changes and slowly step outside of your comfort zone.
When I was shy, avoiding people and blending into the background was my comfort zone.
But to overcome my shyness, I slowly challenged myself.
Instead of avoiding eye contact, I would look at people and smile at them.
Then, I progressed to waving. If I felt brave, I would throw in a “hi”. And eventually, I started making small conversations when appropriate.
The more you challenge yourself, the easier it’ll get. At the same time, you’ll realize that most people are actually pretty friendly and want to talk to you.