Do you want to rid yourself from the restraining shackles of shyness once and for all? Then you’ve found the perfect video. In this episode, I will explain what shyness really is, where it comes from, and how to overcome it with a quick and powerful exercise.
I know how you feel, because I also personally struggled with being shy when I was a teenager. Most young people are shy because they have a very vulnerable ego which can be easily harmed. Most people naturally grow out of shyness with time, but some individuals remain stuck with it for the rest of their lives.
I want you to know that it is truly possible to overcome shyness, because it’s not a fixed quality but a learned limiting belief. How many times have you regretted not doing something you really wanted to do? How many opportunities have you missed in your life because of shyness? How many friends you didn’t make, how many people you didn’t meet, how many experiences you didn’t have?
Shyness is a disease, so you shouldn’t accept it as a personality trait. Nobody was born shy, every child has an inherently open, curious and sociable personality. But something happens along the way, maybe you’re embarrassed in front of a crowd, you’re ridiculed, dismissed or simply neglected. Shyness is almost always a result of a childhood trauma that you probably don’t even remember by now.
Shyness is defined as social anxiety by psychologists; a feeling of apprehension, lack of comfort, or awkwardness in social situations. It creates a strong inner tension in which you want to do something but are also afraid to do it at the same time. As such, it is totally different from introversion. The former is a struggle, the latter is a choice.
Shyness is directly related to the ego, it’s essentially a defense mechanism. The ego feeds on the positive attention of others, but it wants to avoid negative attention at all costs. Everybody wants to be noticed, appreciated and acknowledged. But when you make yourself noticed, there’s risk involved: people may see you in a negative light, which defeats the whole purpose of being noticed in the first place.
The basic problem is that you care too much what others think of you, because you have low self-esteem, and you feel the need to strengthen your ego, otherwise you don’t feel good in your skin. I want you to watch my other video titled “How to stop caring what others think of you”. This alone will tremendously help you overcome shyness.
If you are a shy person, the biggest fear you have is that somehow you’ll make a fool of yourself in front of people. Counterintuitively, the best strategy to overcome shyness is to do exactly that: intentionally make a fool of yourself, and then realize that what you initially feared so much is not so bad after all. Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone, and you’ll become comfortable in any social situation.
These practices are taught by dating coaches who call them social freedom exercises. You are normally mentally constrained by unwritten codes of conduct, social behaviors that are regarded normal. If you step out of these rules, people will give you strange looks, they may think you are crazy, weird or funny.
But your task is to disregard their opinions and keep doing what you do anyway. What they think of you is their problem, your mood or well-being doesn’t depend on their approval. At first, you will have to force yourself to do these exercises, but just go a little bit crazy, free your mind, and relax into the present moment. After a while, you’ll find this behaviour truly liberating.
To give you some concrete social freedom exercises, here’s just a handful of them, but feel free to be creative and don’t forget about spontaniety! A good warm-up practice is to say hi to random people on the street. The next is to give them high-fives, and then to compliment them on something.
If you’ve got that, move on to initiating short conversations with people you normally wouldn’t chat with. If you are already comfortable on this level, become a little crazy. Intentionally make a fool of yourself, try to make people laugh at you, or just do surprising, unexpected things. But don’t expect anything from them, because you miss the whole point of the exercise. Just be yourself and do what comes naturally.
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