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Overcoming Shyness

Written by Karl Perera BA, MA, DipLC
November 14th, 2013 | Updated: December 18th, 2019

Is shyness threatening to destroy your social life? Want to learn how to beat the problem?

You can overcome shyness like I did, just treat it like any other problem and apply these techniques to your situation. There are two important stages involved in any plan to overcome shyness:

1. Facing your problem head on.

Good things will follow if you overcome your shyness. And it starts by facing challenges rather than avoiding them…

2. Building your self confidence as you perform better in challenging social situations and make progress. Insecurity is at the heart of the problem and you need to deal with this. Also what you think about yourself is vital, how can you become more confident? Improve your self concept first.

The first step is facing the problem and tackling it head on. Think of small steps, smaller and less challenging events where you are having problems acting confidently and being yourself socially. Gradually as you achieve these you should take on more demanding events and eventually in this way you will build up a list of successes which in turn will build up your confidence and bit by bit knock down your wall of shyness.

Here are a few notes on other things that you can do:

  1. start a diary and note in it each days successes (focus on successes no matter how small). each time you manage a situation confidently and with less and less shyness note it down and record what happened and how you managed the situation.
  2. motivate yourself – when I was suffering I scored my performances and then made a graph which when I looked at the visual effect of the improvement I felt so much better and could clearly see I was progressing.
  3. look for opportunities to improve and challenge yourself. In the past experiences of things like chatting to someone you didn’t know at a party or with a member of the opposite sex or making a speech etc. were events you probably tried to avoid and then felt bad about afterwards because you were missing out on life. Now if you correctly motivate yourself you will enjoy success and challenge and curing yourself of this problem will become enjoyable.
  4. The most important step of all is your decision to confront, face and overcome this obstacle to your social success. Shyness is hurting you in so many ways and you must be absolutely prepared to take on the challenge of lessening its negative impact on your life. Decide today that you will do everything I am describing to become less shy and regain your life.
  5. Practice relaxing your mind and body so that tension can be removed and you can feel calm even in the most difficult moments.
  6. Make sure you are well prepared for challenging situations and rehearse them in your mind. If you are prepared for things that can go wrong and if you know what you will say and do in a certain situation you will have the confidence to keep calm and handle the situation well.

The good news about shyness:

It can be unlearnt and you can make it less and less of an obstacle in your path. My problem was blushing and a huge lack of confidence that was preventing me from enjoying my younger days and was a huge problem at school and college. Then I read one very important book and putting the ideas in it to work I gradually began to regain my life and new confidence. The book I read helped me take control and you can also boost your confidence in class by reading some of these ideas. I have also written a very helpful page about how you can reduce blushing which contains much of what I have learnt from experience with these amazing techniques. Imagine being more relaxed and confident and not worrying about blushing…

Don’t know how to manage events which cause you to suffer from shyness?

If you find yourself in a situation you find difficult the first thing you need to do is relax 

Normally the fear of the situation and the self-consciousness that your shyness brings cause you to panic or become tense and flustered. You feel terrible and fail to act calmly and confidently and this spirals out of control and you start to blush or feel like an idiot and experience physical pain. Do not panic! You just need to calm yourself down and relax in these moments.  

This is the technique which will help you relax. Let’s say you find yourself in a difficult situation your body will have started to react as if it is in a dangerous or highly stressful situation and your pulse rate and heart rate will jump, muscles will tense and you will feel physical signs of tension and possibly start blushing. Your instinct will be to run and you may feel panicked. What you want is to reverse this and feel confident, calm and in control. Here’s what to do:

  • control breathing – you should breath from the stomach not from the chest and slowly.
  • relax your muscle – start with your face muscles and then neck, shoulders, back, arm, chest, buttocks, leg muscles and tell each muscle to relax one by one
  • relax mentally – when you breath in think calm and when you breath out think release negative thoughts

Relaxation is so important to combat nerves and you CAN learn how to use it to your advantage, conquer your shyness problem and become much more confident in the process!

Can you imagine how your life will change if you are less shy?

If you can do these three steps even partially in a difficult situation you will find it helps but the problem is that sometimes you don’t have time to control these at the time when you need to. With practice every day you can learn to do these steps easily and quickly and without being noticed and if you do practice them often they will become automatic. What you actually need to aim for is anticipating situations which are difficult for you and start relaxing before they happen then you will be ready to respond comfortably. This is a long term project and you will only improve gradually so don’t give up, it will be worth it!

If you’re serious about beating shyness then download Overcoming Shyness – self hypnosis program

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