We have all heard of the phrase ‘to stand out from the crowd’ . If you are looking to land that job you have been after or impress some one on a date then it is quite useful to be able to ‘stand out from the crowd’. If you have ever found yourself overlooked for opportunities when other less experienced or less qualified people manage to push in front of you then the chances are you were just not getting yourself noticed enough. Why ? the chances are because you have been too timid or shy about it.
Some people say shyness is the natural enemy of confidence and with good reason. Now don’t get me wrong a little shyness in the form of modesty is an attractive attribute but we are not talking about that. What we are discussing here is the type of shyness that prevents you from speaking clearly to people. The sort of shyness that prohibits you from being outward to people you don’t know. In short the type of confidence that can prevent you from achieving your full potential.
There is a common perception amongst many shy people that they are ‘the way they are’ due to genetic or other biological reasons. Now we are not here to have a biology lesson (lets’ leave that to the scientists) but let me assure you of this fact. There is not a single shy person who can’t get rid of their inhibitions should they choose too no matter what their biological make up. This is because as human beings we have the ability to make ourselves be what ever we want. What is important is to have the will to change and, just as importantly , the ability to stop labelling yourself as a naturally shy person.
Labelling is one of the main ways we affirm an identity to ourselves. This can be expressed outwardly , for instance in the clothes we wear and the music we listen to; or inwardly in the way we affirm emotions and thoughts to our identity. The more we affirm something the more we take it to be true and unshakeable. We fall in to the trap of acting in a certain way simply by thinking we are that way inclined. The power of the mind can be a double edged sword.
So if we can affirm a shy identity to ourselves then it naturally follows that we can also attach a more outward extroverted persona as well. One of the best ways to do this is by wiping the mental slate clean. Appreciate yourself as a fluid being not something set in stone. Avoid directly thinking about your shyness as an individual and instead begin thinking about the situations in life in which you would like to find yourself being more confident. This could be a dinner party or even a visit to the supermarket. Basically begin by imagining how you would like to be perceived by others and yourself.
One of the most common ways people attempt to overcome shyness is through alcohol. If you enjoy a drink you will know that one of the most enjoyable (and occasionally embarrassing) aspects of a drink is that you lose previously held inhibitions. You might find yourself saying or doing things that you would not consider doing in a million years. Many shy people turn to drink as away to conquer their inhibitions.
The problem is that this can lead to a dependency on drink that becomes uncontrollable in day to day living. You can’t rightly go for a job interview after a few whiskeys now can you! This type of reliance can lead to people making excuses for their shyness – “ I can only talk to people i don’t know when I have had a drink’” is a commonly heard expression from people who label themselves as shy.
Your transformation from shy introvert to outgoing extrovert needs to be as organic as possible. One of the reasons that alcohol is used by so many shy people is because it makes strangers seem less frightening. Drink emboldens us within ourselves , and this is the key point here. To develop a knack of meeting new people you must start to look at other people differently.
One of the simplest ways to start doing this is through imagination. In the same way we discussed using your mind to transform your own beliefs about your own identity. So too should you think about how other people deserve the same blank slate treatment. In other words – approach other people with an open mind. After all, what have you got to lose?
Kenneth Small has dedicated his life to helping people around the world combat stress and anxiety. For a free video showing you step by step how to overcome negative thought patterns please visit www.selfconfidencemyths.com