How to Overcome Shyness and Become the Master of Your Life

By Mark Lambert

Posted 3 years agoGROWTH

how to overcome shyness

Have you ever seen an attractive girl from across the room and wanted to talk to her but you didn’t even know where to begin? Or maybe you’ve been in a relationship and accidentally drove a partner away because you were self-conscious or insecure.

This all stems from a lack of confidence. Confidence is something everyone wants, but many people truly lack. It looks so easy on those we admire, but when we actually try to feel confident ourselves, it just doesn’t happen. This lack of confidence causes us to feel insecure in pretty much anything we are trying to accomplish and often times expresses itself in different forms – One of them is called shyness.

When ever you ask somebody for advice, often times you will hear something like “Don’t be shy” or (the classic) “Just do it”. While knowing that these statements are not necessarily wrong, applying these advices in each and every situation that you’re facing, they just don’t seem to be very helpful with the actual issue. That is because, even though that the advice we’re given is pointing towards the direction we should focus ourselves on, we don’t yet understand the actual issue that we are stuck in on a deeper level and doesn’t explain us the cause of the root problem and how to fix it.

What I have come to notice (and so might have you) is that many people tell us simply not to be shy, but the question still remains: What the hell is shyness?

When you read up the definition of shyness on Wikipedia you will receive the following explanation:

Shyness (also called diffidence) is the feeling of apprehension, lack of comfort, or awkwardness, especially when a person is around other people. Commonly shyness occurs in new situations or (the classic) with unfamiliar people.

When you take a closer look at this you will come to realize that feeling shy or insecure can take a big toll on your life. It holds you back in relationships and in your career. It keeps you from speaking up in your office and from talking to that cute girl at the bar. It’s what holds you back in everything you do, and if you want to actually manifest what you want, you need to make a change. This change starts with the art of self-confidence. 

Confidence isn’t just wearing the clothes which express who you truly are (though that helps!) or magically knowing the right things to say. It’s a profound change in thinking that you can actually teach yourself. Self-confidence comes with the pleasant, conscientious feeling that how you act towards yourself and other people is right.

Once you learn the art of self-confidence, you’ll be prepared to take on literally everything. Yes, you can actually manifest what you want!

Are you ready to make a real change? The art of overcoming shyness and developing true self-confidence isn’t something that can be magically learned overnight. It’s a process, and it takes time like any real – and long-lasting change in life. The great thing about this process is, that it never truly stops as it is a never-ending process. If you’re ready to put in the work, let’s get started with the art of self-confidence and manifesting what you want in life.

But first, I need you to take an honest look at yourself. Are you like most people in a constant rush for a quick solution in order to fix your problems? Are you one of those people that are looking for a magic pill to get your body into better shape overnight instead of learning more about an active and healthy lifestyle that consists of a consistent and progressive workout including a healthy/balanced nutrition to gradually get your body into shape over time? Are you one of those people that believes they just magically need to find the spark in order to find the right words to say when seeing an attractive girl across the room instead of actually walking over to her and starting a conversation and watching how the situation itself develops?

In case of having answered at least one of those questions with the secondary answer, like most people (including myself in my earlier days) then I have some good and some bad news for you – Let’s start with the bad. I genuinely believe that there is simply just no such thing as a magic pill or to give you a better picture by using slightly more modern words: There is no such thing as an overnight success. Because let’s face it. It just doesn’t exist! Why? Because we humans are creatures of habit, and to achieving a long-lasting change in life isn’t anything less than a habit. And to create a habit, psychological research shows that you need at least 30 to 90 days where you need to force yourself in any area of life. That’s part of the bad news.

One of the major problems in our modern millennial society and technology world is called impatience. You want to order something? No problem – Go and order it on amazon, it’ll even arrive the next day. You want to log on and watch a movie? Sure, log on to your Netflix account – You don’t even have to wait for a movie to stream. You want to go on a date? You don’t even have to learn how to be the uncomfortable when walking over to that attractive girl at the bar starting a conversation in which she could possibly reject you. Just open up your Lovoo or Tinder App and swipe right – Bam, you got a date! Congratulations, you’re a stud! Psychology calls this phenomenon the desire for instant gratification.

The problem with instant gratification in todays world is that you are facing a problem that previous generations have never been facing before and it makes everything you accomplish so meaningless, given the fact that you don’t really have to do much in order to get it and when you actually do get it, you feel less fulfilled, because you never really experienced having had to put in actual work in order to reach your goal. There are simply a few things in life that you cannot create an app for. Whether that is the feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment at your job or a deeper meaning and feeling of love and strength in a relationship – There ain’t no app for that.

They are slow, meandering, messy and uncomfortable processes and skills, that simply cannot be build, learned or created overnight, because they take actual time and work in order to be developed. This is where habits come in:

Think back to when you were very young and tried your first time on riding a bicycle. And be honest, when you tried yourself for the first time and you fell, did you wish for an app that would just miraculously teach you that skill? Well if I’m being honest to you, at first I have, but I realized that this just simply wasn’t going to happen so I did what was necessary: I kept going until I was capable of the desired skill and, I think, so have you.

Overcoming shyness is exactly the same. You don’t just kill the feeling of shyness by swallowing some sort of magic pill that relieves you from the feeling once and for all – which just doesn’t exist by the way- but instead you will learn that by gradually practicing and learning the art of self confidence you will become better and better at it until you have accomplished the desired goal.

In other words, most people, especially the modern generation of todays world, which lack the understanding of the importance of patience, are often looking for a quick fix or a pain relief, instead of a proper cure, which in this case would be leaving your comfort zone and being able to cope with undesired outcomes.

The problem of people that have the feeling of shyness, most times think they know the outcome of what will happen if they actually pursue to achieve their desired goal. If they think about walking over to that attractive girl from across the room, all they see is the potential worst-case scenario of them getting rejected, instead of the potential win they could eventually gather if they actually tried.

Psychology calls this phenomenon the fear of failure or rejection. They are too afraid of the potential loss, that they would simply have to risk, to not even go after pursuing what they really want. The problem with this so called limited mindset also blinds them from seeing the opportunity of a potential win, that they could possibly achieve by simply just doing it. This could be a new phone number, a new friend, maybe just a short and lovely conversation with an attractive girl or maybe even a new girlfriend in the future.

A couple of years ago when me and my first ex girlfriend broke up I thought I would never get back up on my feet again and never find an attractive girl like her by my side ever again. That one time I tried landing a Flip at Skating and injured myself when I fell, the first thought that had crossed my mind was the fear of not being able to get back up again and actually landing that trick in the future. That one time when I was at work and my boss yelled at me, telling me that I was incapable of walking up and properly talking to customers (yes, I was pretty shy back then) the first thing I thought is that he was right and I just simply wasn’t meant for this, because obviously back in the day I lacked the ability to prove him differently.

In all these above-mentioned cases I came to realize: I was wrong. After I let go of the crippling feeling of fear, over time I came to realize that none of the above mentioned fears or limited believes, that I had hold on to for so long, were right. After letting go of those simply false believes I came to realize that being single certainly had its positive aspects, which allowed me to see the positive in each and every situation. I came to realize that I was simply limiting myself by telling shitty lies to myself, which have led to me actually believing them, not knowing that they were just a whole bunch of excuse in order to prevent me from giving myself permission to try again.

After breaking up with my ex girlfriend I had the absolute pleasure of meeting lots of wonderful new women, that have loved me for exactly who I was, even though the first thing that came to my mind was the fear of rejection.

After injuring myself while skating I underwent some additional tries and came to realize what I was actually doing wrong (In this case going full speed and leaning forward just slightly too much), which has led me to slowing down just a little bit and eventually landing the Flip that I was trying to land.

After listening to what my boss had to tell me (even though I admit, the first thing I thought to myself was that he’s an absolute asshole) I came to realize that he was not actually mad at me but he was right and that I had to face and accept facts, which then allowed me to improve my social skills of dealing and talking appropriately to customers.

The lesson behind all of these examples is: I was wrong. Whenever I felt too sure about the possible outcome life has had a truly funny way of proving me that I was wrong – So don’t be so sure when you tell yourself that you can or can’t do something, when you haven’t even tried yet.

The reason I was able to overcome the feeling of shyness, which deep down was simply a different form of fear of failure as mentioned above, is that I was curious of what would happen if I had just simply tried to give myself a try. The cure for overcoming the feeling of shyness therefore is called curiosity.

The following are some practical advises for you, for the next time you want to do something important to you and you encounter the nasty feeling of shyness or, more simply put, the fear of failure:

1. Become Curious

Activating your sense of curiosity not only cures the feeling of fear but has also personally helped me overcoming it, simply by being curious of the outcome. I realized that, whatever happened, happened for a reason and that each time there was actually a more meaningful lesson behind it.

The reason I failed landing that Flip at Skating was because I was going too fast and didn‘t physically position myself properly, which caused me to lean forward just a bit too much and lose balance. The reasons for that on a logical level are called gravity and velocity. The reason for that on an emotional level is called impatience. I realized that I valued the result too much, which caused me to become impatient and wanting too much too quickly, not valuing the actual process of learning.

So next time, when you’re too worried of the results happening, instead learn the art of valuing the process of learning and the lessons that are hidden behind it.

2. Let Go of the Results

From personal experience in the past, being a chubby and lazy teenager – like most people – I truly know how important looking good and feeling good actually is. After countless nights of overthinking shit and imagining tons of ‘what if’ images in my mind, I asked myself the following question: Is that really the best I can be? The answer clearly was no.

Inspired by my younger brother, who has had just accomplished a massive 3 month body transformation, I started going to the gym on a regular basis and started learning more about health and nutrition. The first thing that came to my mind was what other people would think of me when they would see me lifting nothing but a few pound weights with the old people at the gym (Yes, I was truly weak and lazy back then).

The results that naturally came along after time when I was working out on a more consistent level have not only astounded myself and others around me, having focused less on the results but more on the actual process of learning and developing the necessary skills and knowledge, were incredible. Losing 10kg of pure fat and gaining 7kg of pure muscle in 4 months not only makes you appear a lot more accountable in confrontation of others but also feels pretty damn awesome, knowing how much work you have actually put into it – Just like writing this article. What does this mean? Enjoy the results once they occur, but focus on the process, because the results will follow naturally.

3. Love the Process

This one is certainly one of the most important advices, if not the most important one of them all. To feel a sense of fulfillment you have to actually love the natural process of the journey. If you want to lose weight and you don’t enjoy the activity of lifting weights at the gym, instead try to find a sports activity that you feel truly passionate about.

A friend of mine became really good at playing tennis for instance, such as me developing a passion of Skating or lifting weights at the gym. Another close friend of mine developed a true passion at boxing. Give them all a try. The worst thing that could potentially happen is that you will find a ton of stuff that you don’t like, which will cause you to avoid it in the future and focus on things, that you actually do like and become better and better at.

4. Be Patient and Work Hard

This one, admittedly, sounds oldschool and overly popular as hell, yet though it is one of the most effective and important of all times. Wanting things to happen over night, especially when you have a numerous amount of things you want to accomplish, often times will cause you to put yourself under too much pressure, which not only lead to further anxiety but also cause you to not take any actions at all.

Letting go of the results, as mentioned above, and focusing on the actual process, will cause your anxiety to be reduced and take action, as this is the fundamental and necessary inspiration, that causes you to deploy further action in addition to the action you have already taken. Taking care of the little things (the small steps towards your goals) will cause the big things to take care of themselves.

5. Identify your Fears

I realized that by simply asking myself what the hell it was that I was actually afraid of, often times I was afraid of other peoples POV’s. Facing my fears has helped me overcome them simply by acknowledging them and realizing how stupid this actually sounded on a more logical level.

Being afraid of somebody laughing at you, only because you got rejected by one attractive girl at the bar? Like, seriously? Who cares? Even though if people had actually laughed at me for getting rejected in the past or lifting fewer pounds at the gym than most people I realized that their opinions simply just weren’t important and most of them didn’t actually even care as much as I believed them to.

I realized that most of their cheeky, foul mouthed comments didn’t necessarily have anything to do with me – It simply dissembled a reflection of their true nature and how I definitely did not want to become. That was one of the important lessons behind this one. 

6. Action Instead of Overthinking

Most people either feel lazy of lack energy in order to actually do something. They prefer dwelling, pondering and strategizing over trying and even use these as an excuse of not doing anything at all. They are waiting for the perfect strategy and the perfect move – unaware of the fact that there is just simply no such thing – and just never truly make a move towards the right direction.

The uncomfortable truth about overthinking is that people are just making things a whole lot harder and worse than they actually are. Most times you will find that the attractive girl at the bar only wants to have a conversation with a man that has understanding and the actual ability of walking over to her and have a normal conversation with her featuring a few flirts and drinks, which will eventually lead to her giving you her number. Or not. Who knows? Truth of the matter is: You never truly know, so you might as well go out there and give it a try.

I came to realize that I could imagine better for myself than focusing on things that I just couldn’t control and instead focusing on things that not only I had full control of but in addition to that have helped me and many others out there overcome their fears and go after the things that they truly wanted to accomplish.

Not only is it the right thing to do but also is it necessary in order to simply get more out of live. I came to realize that if I could do it then chances are that probably you can do it, too. I genuinely believe that and I know for a fact that you will definitely not help yourself by sitting around doing nothing at all, which will only leave you feeling unsatisfied and unhappy. It definitely just doesn’t help, so why not give it a try? I know you can do it and I truly hope that you will!

So as the very well known, old fashioned Nike-Slogan and most common advice on this topic would say now: Just do it! 

About the author Mark Lambert

Mark Lambert is a writer, blogger and coach for men. For more than seven years he has been writing about the challenges of our time on the gender role and the development of one's own personality. On his site, he gives men advice on dating, relationships and life.

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