Where does shyness come from? Is there a remedy or does it have an expiration date?
I’m not sure where it came from, but i do remember the kinds of situations or circumstances that jumpstarted it for me. It’s a conversation new clients and I have a lot, mostly when it comes to them prepping for the stage in real life or sharing writing online. (Little note: coach not a counsellor.)
Nerves can come with sweaty palms, shaky knees, a trembling voice, a loss for words, cloudy thoughts, an urgent bathroom visit, a challenge with eye contact – all kinds of colourful things. Don’t make it into something bigger than it is and be sure to remember the countless times you do something well without any awkwardness.
Maybe we have this is common? You’ve been a combo of shy (mostly) and bold (occasionally) depending on the dynamic, life season, amount of people around, due date or measure of the task at hand. For me, there’s a big difference in being shy and being an introvert. The first one is an intermittent behaviour and the second, a personality setting. A few blinks ago, the word ‘introvert’ to refer to someone, made its debut into our vocabulary; what was the term before this – ‘a quiet person?’ Being able and willing to spend a lot of enjoyable time solo doesn’t equate to being nervous around others.
If shyness is a big challenge for you right now, and you happen to be launching a business, choose which social avenue works well for you. Starting and managing a blog might suit you (now) more so than a YouTube channel for example.
Memories of staying locked in a hotel room at an all-inclusive resort in Antigua, refusing to come out til it was time to leave, all because of shyness, are vague and almost amusing now.
Steps that help you grow beyond shyness:
- public speaking or going ‘live’ (with a purpose) online
- networking (online or in-person introductions, creative collaboration pitches, guest post invites)
- traveling (maybe not by plane in this global season, but you could start with going to a cafe to network on your own)
- coaching sessions (giving or getting)
- introducing yourself or your business/service/product online (with visuals)
- prayer and heavenly promises
A welcoming family who invited me in, a life of travel, a joy for vlogging, singing on all kinds of stages, attending seminars/workshops, translating for others at times, coaching and speaking up for those who have a tough time to sounding their voice, have all challenged that shy quality and helped me get beyond myself and the shyness that almost sabotaged my business and life walk.
Sis, since you clicked on the title of this post, I figure you are ready and willing to grow beyond feeling, being or acting shy so you can live light and walk tall. (By the way, I’m 5ft. so that’s just a l’il analogy.) We’re not called to be timid so why would we let a fleeting case of nerves sabotage confidence when it comes to career or anything else, for that matter?
Check the first 2 letters in that word – “en.” In Spanish and French that means “in.” Encouragement Can come from others but it can also spring from within.
Thing is, none of us is always feeling fabulous and fearless daily without fail or dips in energy here and there.
True courage comes from confidence in God. He doesn’t sleep, give up, need anything, barter or lose hope, strength and power. His blessings are everlasting springs that continually refresh all who believe and seek Him.
Now, that’s a supply that never runs out, always endures and will last forever. That’s where I get “my” courage from.
If we’re not conscious about its root, shyness can produce a type of fruit that bears a strong resemblance to ego. Feeling shy when you’re called to share can be frustrating, but when we remember it’s more about pouring out the message for the receiver than focusing on ourselves as the sender, it makes a big difference for the better.
When we’re being/feeling shy we’re placing a lot of attention on ourselves – how we feel – what responses we’d like and in a way, it’s like robbing ourselves and others of whatever we’re called to share, hear or experience.
A few deep breaths and recalling your purpose or the meaning in the moment can go a long way.
Yes, the after effects of (prolonged) bullying and any kind of abuse can trigger a compression of our essence and a kind of frailty – acute sensitivity and downright exhaustion…or the exact opposite. Be aware of all that and make a conscious faith-filled decision to not fall prey to any of it and walk in freedom. Experiencing the coldness of a callous world or being in an environment where gossip is the native language can influence our subconscious posture in life, approach to others, and expression of our voice, especially if we let people and the many opinions and behaviours shape the way we perceive ourselves.
Boy, is it a journey. One that’s worth it, for our personal lives, interactions with others and careers. Business and marketing work together. And marketing involves communication. Shyness…can influence the way we communicate…or not…and so, it’s important that we learn how to breathe beyond it, without compromising our character and becoming someone we’re not.
We are not called or created to be timid. And just to be clear, I’m not a fan of being loud and abrasive in order to be heard or to communicate effectively. The quiet life suits me just fine and I’m so thankful God adjusted the volume button and language setting on my formerly smart mouth and over-strategic mind.
This is why I love writing so much; yes I sing a whole lot too, but writing is my favorite because it involves quiet…and can involve music at times. People can misinterpret quietness and gentleness for shyness at times, but that’s alright. Be true to your essence – how you were created to be, not what trauma did to you. That was a key for me; it may be for you too.
You don’t have to be rough to be in business – that’s the name of another blog post that harmonizes well with today’s message. You can read it here. Of course, if you’re a primary school tutor your approach (hopefully) is a whole lot different from someone who might be a cadet or a personal trainer.
Please don’t let shyness sabotage your career. Managing a business requires stamina and endurance and though there will be challenges and character tests along the way, you can still be a successful entrepreneur while retaining your beautiful essence.
Questions for journaling or commenting (totally up to you):
Do I sometimes sabotage making a step forward in my business because I let shyness get in the way?
What have I been putting off that can propel my career forward today?
- making a call
- replying to an email
- scheduling a meeting
- pitching that proposal
- sending in a resume
- sending out a newsletter
- launching my blog
Does the nature and design of your business (or job) harmonize well with your personality and purpose? Time for any tweaks?
When are you most confident and when do you experience shyness?
If you’re like me, you still toggle between the two but you’re determined to not let shyness get in the way of your business.
Thanks for reading.
Related post: You Don’t Have To Be Rough To Be In Business
Disclaimer: This post is not intended to replace the advice of certified counsellors/doctors and only aims to gently address shyness as a behavioural pattern and not a chronic challenge. The info here shares insight and encouragement solely based on my firsthand experience as someone who has been extremely shy in many circumstances and no long struggles in the same way. If you find it helpful, feel free to click like or share a kind word to encourage someone else reading this.