The Secret of Transforming Shyness
Please read the disclaimer noting that I am not a health care professional.
The powerful secret of transforming your shyness is to take action by:
- Creating Balance
- Creating Safety
- Consciously Breathing
Creating balance, creating safety and conscious breathing will allow you to transform the screaming inner voices saying:
“I’m too shy, I can’t do this”
into voices saying:
“I can handle this, I feel fear and I can do it”
The Secret of Transforming Shyness uncovers the power to handle any situation. Creating balance and safety prepares you for using the secret known since ancient times of using breath to control fear. This power is real and can be proven by you.
EXPERT EXTERNAL LINKS by Shyness Experts
Dr. Carducci PhD Shyness Research Institute
Dr. Alex Avila PhD Author, Educator & Researcher
Dr. Renée Gilbert PhD Shake Your Shyness
Dr. Henderson PhD The Shyness Institute
Dr. Elaine Aron PhD Highly Sensitive Person
Susan Cain Quiet: The Power of Introverts
Dr. Tucker-Ladd PhD Psychological Self-Help
PsychCentral Community Bulletin Boards
Psychology Today on Shyness
Personality Test Site
Dealing with Loneliness and Shyness (Harvard)
Continue to work in an area where you are not stuck as determined by you in the Process of Understanding Shyness. Working in an area where you are not stuck provides balance to your life. Balance leads to transformation.
Safety means being able to be completely yourself without fear of judgment, criticism, or negative consequences.
You have the power to create safety in your life.
There are two kinds of safety you can create: Internal and External.
Internal safety means creating a safe place within ourselves in order to protect ourselves from self-criticism and self-judgment. Internal safety can be created by recognizing that you are a unique human being entitled to learn by making mistakes. There are no standards to measure yourself by, no comparisons to other people to be made. Internal safety means finding ways to be kind to yourself – no matter what.
External safety means creating safe environments, situations, and resources in your life. Safety can be found in clubs, classes, groups, friends, therapists – anywhere once you know what to look for. Remember if it does not feel safe to you, then it is not safe. You can ask yourself: How can I be safe and do what I want to do? You know the answers so trust your inner guidance.
Please note that safety does not mean “playing it safe”. Safety means doing what it takes to make yourself feel safe enough to make the changes you want.
The classic work by Rollo May PhD, The Meaning of Anxiety shows that anxiety is natural and necessary; that we need to be in unfamiliar situations in order to grow and become fulfilled.
Anxiety is an even better teacher than reality, for one can temporarily evade reality by avoiding the distasteful situation; but anxiety is a source of education always present because one carries it within.
Use Repetition and Practice to Create Safety
Repetition and practice help create safety. Would you give a music recital without practicing and being familiar with what you would perform? Probably not yet we often expect ourselves to magically “perform” in a social situation without practice and experience. It is important to realize that people who are confident are so because they have done the same thing successfully many times. You can “practice” by doing the things you want to do with people you do feel comfortable with. If you would like to be comfortable at a particular place, go there often even if only for a short time and even if you feel uncomfortable (make it safe by allowing yourself to leave when it gets too uncomfortable.) The more you go to a place, the more you will comfortable there. There more you go out with people you are comfortable with, the easier it will be to go with someone new. The more repetition and practice you do, the more internal and external safety you will create.
Redefine Success Instead of Trying to be Perfect
We are often stopped by fear of not being good enough; of not being perfect. What if being lousy was good enough? If you wanted to write a book many drafts are required, but if you insisted that the writing be immediately perfect you would never start. To paraphrase the best selling author Anne Lamott’s secrets of writing: Can you write a really terrible book? Can you write the world’s worst book? Of course you can and this important first step will bring success.
Can you engage in the lamest conversation ever? Can you ask someone out in the most awkward, self-conscious way? Can you go on the worst date in the world? Of course you can and doing so will change your life for the better.
Consider all dates, attempts at dating, job interviews, etc. to be successes because they require courage and action on your part. Consistent action will help attract what you want. Consistent inaction will only keep you stuck.
Everyone gets rejected and embarrassed and no one enjoys these feelings. Allow rejection and embarrassment to be signs you are doing something in the world, being an active participant in life.
Create the Safety that You Need
Repetition, practice, and redefining success are some of the tools which help create the internal and external safety which allows you to be Shy and Free™. Please recognize that we are all unique and that you may need other ways of creating safety for yourself such as therapy, support groups, friends, family, and other ways that you identify for yourself.
It is now time to implement the safety measures identified by you in the Process of Understanding Shyness.
Conscious Breathing to Control Fear
Once you create some safety and balance you are ready to go after what you want in life. The only thing holding you back is fear, fear that sometimes paralyzes you and keeps you from going places, asking for what you want, and living life as you wish.
The good news is that there is a secret known since ancient times, a secret practiced by martial artists and warriors of all kinds (Mind, Body, and Spirit.) The secret is based on the simple and powerful fact that it is not possible to feel fear while you consciously breathe.
Conscious breathing means being aware of your breath … being aware with all your senses as you breathe in and out. When you consciously breathe you feel the temperature of air in your nostrils, hear the sound as you inhale and exhale, feel the texture and weight of the air, taste it on you pallet and see it circulating through your body.
When you breathe consciously you naturally control the fear and can remain composed, aware, and present in the current moment.
Conscious breathing is as simple as noticing the feeling of the air in your nostrils as you inhale and exhale. When you feel fearful . . . exhale while noticing the feeling of the air . . . inhale while noticing the feeling of the air . . . and continue with what you were doing as the fear will be greatly reduced. Continue to maintain awareness of your breath and the fear will be replaced with calm.
Conscious breathing works because it gives us a way through our natural tendency to stop breathing, freeze, and attempt to become invisible when afraid. With conscious breathing, you notice when your breath stops or slows, and consciously begin taking deep breaths.
Conscious breathing allows you to handle any fearful situation which will give you a new way of being in the world.
When you first begin practicing conscious breathing you will understand both its power and its elusive nature. In the beginning, you will probably remember after the fearful event to consciously breathe and vow that the next time you will remember sooner. Your ability will grow through practice until you remember to breathe consciously while in a fearful situation.
You have the power to turn the knowledge that it is not possible to feel fear while you consciously breathe into wisdom through action.
See the Resources page for some ways to practice conscious breathing and follow your own internal guidance.
Knowing that is perfectly normal to feel fear, knowing that safety can be created by you through listening to your shyness, and knowing that conscious breathing can be used to manage fear gives you the power to be Shy and Free™.