Some people are shy. Today’s society typically encourages the bold and the courageous. Many brilliant ideas never get to see the daylight because someone was too shy to speak up. Shyness is not limited to social interactions. Some people find it hard to speak even with their work colleagues and it may affect their future career prospects.
Is it possible to change your innate shy nature and become confident?
Yes, of course. Here is an interesting fact, No one is born shy. As the kids grow, they pick these qualities from their surroundings. In this article, we will discuss a few ideas to help you overcome shyness and become confident.
Develop external focus
Shy people are self-absorbed and spend a lot of time inside their own head instead of being in the real world. Practice bringing your awareness to the present moment and to the surrounding people. People love to be heard. If you don’t have an exciting story to share, be a willing listener. Use that opportunity to engage in a conversation by asking questions. In the beginning, it will be hard and you will constantly go back inside your head and start a conversation with yourself. Stop that and come back to the outside world and pay attention to the conversation.
It will take time to change your lifelong habit. But soon, you will be able to pay attention to the world around you.
As you continue to develop an outward focus and listen to people, see what kind of stories get the most attention. You can use that information in another conversation. Do you think your life is too boring and nothing exciting ever happens? No problem. You can tell a story of a friend who had this amazing adventure. See how easy it is to start a conversation? Slowly you will gravitate towards one kind of stories more than the other. Ask yourself what else you want to know about that story and then ask those questions. You are now moving towards becoming a part of the conversation.
Open up body language
After years of spending time in one’s head, shy people may show an ‘aloof’ body language. It is time to let go of that self-absorbed behaviour and display a more welcoming posture. Let go of the cross hands and open up your palms. Look people in the eye while speaking with them. It will be hard at first. An easy way to get around that is to just notice the color of the eyes of the other person. Look them in the eye and smile; that is all it takes. After a few trials, it becomes easy to do it with everyone you meet.
When you are doing any of the above steps, you may encounter a bout of anxiety. If that happens, switch your breathing to long inhalations and exhalations. Breathing deeply helps resolve the anxiety. It will take a little bit of practice. But soon, you will be able to speak with confidence and ease.