You are responsible for your actions, not your feelings

Many of us are driven by wanting to get rid of certain uncomfortable feelings. While it seems logical to remove what is hurting, it implies that there is something wrong which needs removal before our lives will be OK.

The fact is that no one can control their feelings.  Many well meaning people tell us not to feel shy and that we “should not feel that way”.

Your feelings are not within your control, only your actions are.

Trying not to feel shy leads you to trying not to feel at all. Stuffing feelings can lead to a variety of problems such as compulsion, obsession, addiction and withdrawal from others. Trying not to feel shy does not lead to a solution.

If a huge elephant were charging toward you, it is natural to feel fear and this feeling can not be controlled.  What can be controlled is what we do with the fear, our actions.  We can choose to run, hide, or outsmart the elephant. We can feel fear and still act in ways to protect ourselves.

Maybe if we had allowed ourselves to experience charging elephants 100 times, and had lived to tell about it, our fear would be greatly reduced.  We would still feel fear and we would know what to do because of our experience.

Many shy people do not allow themselves to experience the fear.  Experiencing the fear is necessary in order to learn that it is natural to feel fear and amazingly rewarding to feel the fear and take appropriate, life-affirming action . … to be Shy and Free™.