Is shyness stopping you from living fully and achieving your potential?

You're not alone! Countless women struggle with this challenging emotion. In fact, even superstars like Lucille Ball, Ann Margaret and Kim Basinger once battled with it.
The good news is that like these women, you hold the power to manage shyness. With a little help, you can break free and embrace life's possibilities. Let's start!

Understand your shyness
Shyness isn't an invincible force. It's a state of mind that can be overcome - but first you need to understand how shyness creates obstacles.

  • Does shyness stop you speaking at meetings?
  • Do you avoid colleagues and turn away from career opportunities?
  • Do you retreat into corners at parties or decline invitations?
  • Do you avoid expressing concerns to children's teachers or doctors?
  • Are you silent when you should complain about poor service or about being taken advantage of?

Think about how you feel afterwards. Chances are, you feel you've failed. So what happens when similar situations arise? Right - self-esteem plummets, stress levels rise, palms go clammy...and the whole scenario repeats itself. It's a vicious circle.

Change your actions
In reality, shyness is nothing more than an unpleasant feeling. In itself, it doesn't change your life. Instead, the damage is caused by your reactions to this feeling.
To break the circle, you need to change these reactions by standing up to your shyness. This means forcing yourself to accept invitations, chat to people and speak up for yourself. Practice, practice, practice!

Role-play your shyness away
Role-playing is the secret weapon of many of the most seemingly confident people. Even stars and leaders, you see, sometimes need help entering stressful situations. Role-playing helps them portray the person they want to be - the glamorous, confident actress; the important business leader etc. By following their example, you too will have the tools to manage shyness when it threatens.
When entering social gatherings, take a deep breath, hold your head high and pretend you're the confident, important person that everyone's dying to meet. Before teacher meetings, tell yourself you're a respected parenting expert. Enter confidently, shake hands firmly and calmly raise your issues. By acting with confidence, you'll be viewed as confident, and you'll start to gain confidence. The vicious circle of shyness becomes a circle of confidence!

Be prepared
Prepare conversation topics - check current events, the weather forecast and movie reviews before parties. Note your questions before business meetings. Write a script before meeting teachers or doctors. Focus on others Worrying about yourself builds self-consciousness. Instead, pretend your role is to put others at ease. Help shy people relax at parties by asking questions and genuinely listening. Help the host - move between groups, chatting and introducing people. Focus on achieving solutions by contributing at meetings.

Be gentle on yourself
Don't beat up on yourself after setbacks - change takes time. Besides, you've already achieved the first critical goal - you've started standing up to shyness! Look out world - here you come!


Author's Bio: 

Jane Powell is a senior writer for Meditations for Women. A site solely dedicated to improving the lives of women one day at a time. You can visit the web site at This article is available for reprint on your web site or newsletter, please contact Jane directly at
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