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Overcoming Shyness

Written by Karl Perera BA, MA, DipLC
Updated: September 18th, 2020

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Is shyness threatening to destroy your social life? Want to learn how to overcome shyness?

how to overcome shyness

Shyness is a common problem for many people, so you are not alone. By the way, I suffered greatly from shyness and I know how painful it is. There are many things you can do, but first decide that you want to be less shy and more confident. 

Set yourself small targets to achieve

For example, make a list of small challenges you can face which will take you forward. If you are shy, making a speech is too big a jump. Therefore, break it down. For example, ask a question in a small group, speak up in certain situations, talk to a certain person etc.

Confidence is a huge part of the problem of shyness. Lack of confidence becomes worse when you avoid difficult situations. It may reduce the pain, but it doesn’t solve your problem. The only way to overcome shyness is by confronting it. Build your Self Confidence – Hypnosis downloads – quick, easy and guaranteed to help you build your confidence. Prepared by experienced psychologists and gets my full recommendation.

I was also a fearful and shy type. There is only one way to overcome your shyness and that is to challenge your fear bit by bit. Write every success you experience daily and start now. I created a diary where I would write about challenges I faced such as giving a presentation. Then I wrote about what steps I took and the success I had. I also gave myself grades out of ten for my interactions with others and saw an improvement. This builds your confidence and ensures progress.


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:

Facing your shyness head on

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

Self Confidence and overcoming shyness

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.

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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 other ways to overcome shyness:

  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…

How to overcome shyness in certain situations

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.  

A 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!

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!

Another thing you could try is the powerful technique of self hypnosis:

There are several recommended self hypnosis downloads here and there is another specifically designed for overcoming shyness.

How to be Less Shy

One of the most difficult problems about changing your behaviour is the comments from others who make fun of you. Decide not to listen to them and if possible be around someone who will support you, or a professional. I too have beaten shyness and understand what a serious problem it is! Want to talk to me about changing your life for the better? Then consider my Life Coaching Program – get a free session and try it!

Once people think of you as shy, it takes a very long time for them to change their minds. Likewise, you need to change your own mind about yourself. The only way to beat shyness is to face situations which make you feel shy. Gradually face them and write a diary recording your successes as I mentioned above.

Website Author and Editor Bio

Photo of Karl Perera, MA, DipLC Karl Perera is a fully qualified Life Coach (DipLC), Teacher (MA) and author of Self Esteem Secrets. He has taught at various universities including Durham, Leicester and Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge. He has run since 1997 and is an expert in Self Esteem and Self Confidence.

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