Step by Step Process of Understanding and Transforming Shyness
It is wise to understand something before transforming it. The following process makes use of the Principles that Transform Shyness and gives specific steps that can be taken to understand your shyness. Please note that what is presented may seem unusual and different than what you expected. Most likely you have already experimented with more common approaches which is why you are here looking for something else. The something else that worked for me is to both work directly on shyness while at the same time working where I was not stuck as a way of indirectly addressing shyness. Be patient with yourself and this section because working through the process is challenging and has great rewards, so keep going!
This process will prepare you for getting the most out of the Secret of Transforming Shyness.
Please read the disclaimer noting that I am not a health care professional.
To Understand Your Shyness
- Determine where you are stuck
- Work on an area where you are not stuck
- Listen to the stuck area for ways to create safety
Working on an area where you are not stuck creates a new source of experience. This new experience allows a new perspective and way of seeing yourself. The author of Restoring the Soul of the World, David Fideler writes:
“In order for us to grow as human beings, we mustn’t become too frozen or controlled. Only by entering into unpredictable situations can life truly be lived.“
Insight can be gained as you observe your own reactions to this new experience. Perspective and insight lead to transformation when combined with right action. Right action is possible when you feel safe.
EXPERT EXTERNAL LINKS from 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)
Mind, Body, and Spirit
One way to look at where you may be stuck is in terms of mind, body, and spirit. If you are uncomfortable with the word spirit, you can substitute true self, higher self, consciousness, unconsciousness, emotional self, personality or any words which mean to you the unknown mystery related to our motivations, interests, and life circumstances; separate than want can be explained from our thoughts and physical being.
The mind refers to the analytical and knowledgeable self. Being stuck in the mind means that most of your attention is on acquiring and using knowledge. The mind lives in the past and future.
The body refers to the physical and emotional self. Being stuck in the body means that most of your attention is on food, exercise, sex, and/or emotions. The body lives in the present.
The spirit refers to the part of us seeking our highest good. Our spirit is a source of inspiration and wisdom and can be called the inner knower and guide. Being stuck in spirit means most of our attention is on dreams and ideals. The spirit is unbound by time.
Determine Where You are Stuck
You can determine where you are stuck by looking at your work, hobbies, interests, and reading. The following stereotypes will help illustrate being stuck.
Stuck in the Mind
Computer programmer, reads psychology, ballroom dances, escapes with alcohol.
Computer programming, accounting, and much office type work uses primarily the mind. Psychology is about understanding the mind with the mind. Ballroom dancing is structured and follows predefined patterns. Alcohol is used to numb the mind.
One of the symptoms of being stuck in the mind is analyzing everything and experiencing nothing. The part of you that needs to have proof that the information on this site works is the part that is Stuck in the Mind. When Stuck in the Mind, you tend to spend hours wondering what someone meant by what they said (instead of asking them.)
Stuck in the Body
Personal Trainer, sports fan, works out, reads newspaper, escapes through sex or food.
A personal trainer works one-on-one. Sports makes use of the body as does working out. Reading the newspaper is involved with current events and what is happening in the community and world. Sex and food can be used to numb or indulge the body.
One of the symptoms of being stuck in the body is the constant need for stimulation without thinking of the consequences. The part of you that will try new ideas but always ends up feeling the same is the part that is Stuck in the Body. When Stuck in the Body you will retreat or act in ways to protect yourself when you feel threatened or afraid.
Stuck in the Spirit
Artist, science fiction reader, freestyle dances, escapes through drugs.
Artist work through inspiration. Science fiction often involves exploring the future and the nature of time. Freestyle dancing expresses one’s inner rhythm. Drugs are used access different states of awareness (and to escape.)
One of the symptoms of being stuck in the spirit is grand plans and dreams that go unfulfilled. The part of you that will not begin using the ideas on this site until all are understood and then only with the person of your dreams is the part that is Stuck in the Spirit. When Stuck in the Spirit you tend to go overboard with your plans and ideas.
How do you spend much of your time: Mind, Body, or Spirit?
Determine where you spend too much of your time and work on an area where you are not stuck. If your stuck in the Mind, work with the Body or Spirit. If your stuck in the Body, work with the Mind or Spirit. If your stuck in the Spirit, work with the Mind or Body.
Some ideas for working with the mind include: taking classes and learning of any kind, business, math, computers, philosophy, pop psychology self-help books, psychoanalysis, etc.
Some ideas for working with the body include: learning about food and how it affects the body, martial arts, dance, massage, hypnotherapy, body work, exercise, sports, travel, etc.
Some ideas for working with the spirit include: music, art, adventure/self discovery workshops, journal writing, poetry, meditation, contemplation, religion, metaphysics, and going to hear inspiring authors such as Dan Millman, Marianne Williamson, etc.
See the Resources page for some suggestions for working with the Mind, Body, and Spirit and follow your own intuition.
What if you are stuck in more than one area?
If you are stuck in two areas then you automatically know which area to work on — the one area where you are not stuck. If you feel you are stuck in all three areas: Mind, Body, and Spirit — then choose the area where you are least stuck.
What if you can not decide where you are stuck?
Not being able to decide in which area you are stuck is a clear sign that you are stuck in the Mind — so work with the Body or Spirit.
How does working in an area where you are least stuck help?
“An anxious mind cannot exist in a relaxed body.” Edmund Jacobson (founder of systematic methods of relaxation)
The Mind, Body, and Spirit are connected, each influences the other. The Mind affects the Body and Spirit; the Body affects the Mind and Spirit; and the Spirit affects the Mind and Body.
Working where you are least stuck and with a new activity creates forward motion which attracts change by opening the stuck areas. More work in an area where you are already stuck tends to keep you stuck.
If you are stuck in the Mind, more analysis of yourself and others will not improve your life — taking action via the Body and getting in touch with your higher purpose through the Spirit will greatly improve your life.
If you are stuck in the Body, more of the same actions and activities will not improve your life — using the Mind to figure out why your actions are not giving results and getting in touch with your higher purpose through the Spirit so you know what to act on will greatly improve your life.
If you are stuck in the Spirit, more dreams and grand plans will not improve your life — using the Mind to figure out the best first step toward your dreams and taking action through the Body toward those dreams and plans will greatly improve your life.
Balance Leads to Transformation
As you can see, all parts of yourself are important and necessary to permit your happiness and transformation. The Spirit provides direction by giving meaningful plans and grand dreams to help you be fulfilled. The Mind provides the analysis and reasoning to help determine how best to reach your dreams and plans. The Body provides the action to carry out your dreams and make them real.
Notice What You Choose
When choosing a new activity, notice the process you go through to make your selection. Wisdom says that how you do one thing is how you do everything so it worth observing yourself. Notice also if what you choose is something that is done in a group or alone. For now, it is perfectly fine to choose things which are done alone because the fact that the new activity is in an area where you are least stuck will trigger change in your life. After a while, consider either choosing group activities or take a class to enhance your knowledge of something usually done alone so that you can be around others and share the experience.
Listen to the stuck area for ways to create safety. As you work on an area where you are least stuck, the stuck part(s) will have reactions to your new experience. This is a perfect opportunity to understand how the stuck part sees the world and what it is trying to protect you from.
What is the Stuck Part Protecting You From?
What would make the stuck part feel safe and still allow you to work on the new area? (answering this is critical, seek help such as therapy if you do not see an answer on your own.) Can a creative part of you recommend different ways of creating safety? How can you create a safer environment in which to explore the many parts of yourself? What experiences continually repeat themselves in your life? What are these experiences trying to tell you? You may want to write down your answers to these questions and bring them with you to the next section, The Secret of Transforming Shyness.