How to stop being shy and awkward.
How can I beat social anxiety?
Growing up, I was socially awkward. I hated being the center of attention. I lacked confidence in my abilities, and I dreaded going out in public. As I grew older, having been exposed to different environments and new people, directly and indirectly. I began to outgrow my shyness in phases. Below I'll share a few tips that will help you to overcome shyness, whether you're a teen or an adult.
Can social anxiety be cured?
1. Confront what you fear the most.
There's a reason why you're shy. It could be low self-esteem, physical appearance, the environment that you grew up in, etc. The more you know about your shyness; the better able you are to take the necessary steps to overcome it.
I was always terrified of speaking in public. I was afraid that people would laugh at me, because my voice might sound timid, and I wouldn't speak as polished as I should. I was often called on to read at church. At first, I sounded off and you could hear the crack in my voice, but my delivery got better the more I opted to speak over the microphone and convey my voice in its natural form.
What is it that you fear the most? Is it going out on a date, or an interview. Doing a presentation, making eye contact, going out in public, etc. Whatever your shyness has caused you to dread, you can only overcome it by confronting it.
2. Hang around outspoken people.
When I was younger, I watched many persons who were within my age group doing the things that I wanted to do. I would tell myself if they can do it, so can I. Your mind is your biggest limitation. You must be careful what you feed to it. If you continue to do that which you have always done; you will remain where you have always been. If you fear that people will laugh at you for being awkward, or that you won't get it right the first time. You will forever dwell in the realms of your shyness.
You must exit your comfort zone. Being around outspoken people will improve your confidence. You don't need to be a talking parrot, but you can emulate some of their strategies to become more confident. The best part is that many of the persons you see in the spotlight were once where you are. Learn a thing or two from them.
3. Speak up more.
Some people will take advantage of you; if they know that you are shy. They will deliberately do things to you because they know you will not do or say anything. They will push your button. You have to speak up for yourself. Let your voice be heard. Someone else will not always come to your rescue or speak on your behalf. The more you express what your boundaries are; the less crap you'll get from people, and you don't need to be rude to let them understand.
4. Be more outgoing.
Go somewhere you've never been. Meet new people, ask questions, take on new challenges, volunteer in your community etc. Do more things without the involvement of your close-knit friends or family members. When I was younger, I would go to youth camps and other social settings.
The more I was away from the few people I knew; the better it was for me to speak on my behalf, ask questions, and act more independently. There were times when I had to fill out forms or conduct other activities that would allow me to either raise my hand or ask someone a favor. Not being around the people I knew has helped me to interact more with other people from various backgrounds.
5. Silence your inner critic.
You have to silence your inner critic. It is sometimes too loud, and the things that it says on repeat will keep you imprisoned in your negative thoughts. Sometimes what you fear people are going to say; they don't. Those thoughts are exactly yours and how you think about yourself. No one can make you feel inferior without your approval. Try to relinquish those, 'I can't this, with a few affirmations or daily mantras. Do more things that will highlight your creative side. Be proud of your accomplishments both great and small.
6. Don't accept it.
I hated being labeled as a shy person. It made me infuriated. I would immediately assume that people believed that I was irrelevant and my voice didn't matter. I didn't want that for myself. I knew that one way or the other, I was going to show them that; I matter, and I was more than capable of doing that which they think I can't do.
Don't allow anyone to limit your abilities with their, you are too shy speech. You're not confined to your shyness. It isn't a life sentence. You can break away from your shyness, and do the things that you want to do. Do you want to stop being shy? You must be willing to come out of your comfort zone.
7. Focus on what you have to do now.
What you have to do now is far more important than being shy. This is your moment to shine. Nothing else matters. Take a deep breath, take a look in the mirror and, hold your head up. You are brave and strong. You can do this.
8. Make good eye contact.
Look people in their faces, when you're talking to them. It will help to build your confidence and overcome your shyness. I got better at this by doing interviews. It's something I do effortlessly now, and I enjoy doing it. If you're terrified of making eye contact with others. You can practice every time you're having a conversation with your friends and family members.
9. Be yourself! Stop worrying about what others think.
“The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.” ― Virginia Wool
What others think about you is none of your business. You have no control over their thoughts. What matters most is how you view yourself. I know it's hard to break free from your shell because it's the only space where you feel protected, but if you're desirous of growing; then you'll realize that your shell will no longer make enough room for you, and you must come out of it. The world can be cruel, people can be unkind. Everyone will not welcome you with open arms. Whether they love you or hate you. Keep doing you!
You can overcome your shyness by exiting your comfort zone. Taking on new challenges. Doing more things that will highlight your creative side. Confronting what you fear the most. Hanging around outspoken people. Silencing your inner critic and speaking up for yourself more. Thanks for reading.