Let’s stop it.
Thinking your challenge is unique or you’re the only one who finds it difficult to deal with feeling shy and lacking confidence.
Because guess what?
Shyness is part of our humanness; a common thread that links us all and doesn’t have to keep any of us trapped in fear and discomfort or lacking in confidence. It is possible to supercharge your confidence.
As a child I was the Queen of shyness. My mother was so concerned about my difficulties around others that when I was 4 years old she thought it would be a good idea to take me to be evaluated by a psychiatrist.
She never followed through. 🙂
And somehow I muddled through on my own, picking up and practicing new insights along the way until I learned to reframe situations where I had struggled and found ways to create a new sense of comfort and security.
So when the biggest obstacle in your life is YOU here’s how you can make sure you don’t succumb to your own worst enemy.
Honestly, it isn’t that hard to supercharge your confidence. You might still feel a little shy in some situations, but it won’t continue to be at a level that will cripple your happiness or success.
1. Get a reality check
You are not alone. You are not unique in this. Half the people in the country say that they’re shy to some degree or another according to studies conducted on shyness, but it needn’t put a crimp in your life. (Read: Shyness…a Bold New Approach by Bernardo J. Carducci)
If you are shy and lacking in confidence in certain situations, or if you feel shy and find it hard to meet people don’t let it be an obstacle to your happiness or success.
Keep in mind that almost everyone you meet has similar feelings and whatever happens you’re going to be just fine.
2. Fake it till you make it
It’s an oldie but goodie. People often do better when they act it out.
When my daughter was at University she was terrible at managing her affairs…but she was a great actress. So I suggested she pretend to be a very organized person. What would she do, how would she feel, where would she be?
She bought herself a pair of plain glasses which she put on once a week and played the part of ‘Miss Organization.’ It worked beautifully. It changed everything.
Try imagining you are that super confident person you know, or have seen. Change your posture. Simply acting like someone else can get you out of your own way.
3. Forget goals
Don’t have a goal to become more confident. Have a system to get you there.
In weight loss, getting rid of 10 lbs is a goal; eating healthily is a system.
Supercharging your confidence is a goal; practicing visualizing yourself as being confident is a system. Especially when applied to situations that, in the past, have been difficult or uncomfortable.
And it’s a system that follows natural laws. Especially ‘as within, so without.’ Which just means if you think of yourself as a confident being that’s who you become.
[Tweet “Start to show up in every moment as though you belong there.”]
4. Focus on others
Focus on creating a connection with everyone you meet.
This makes it easier to let go of how you’re feeling in that moment.
As you develop a genuine interest in someone else the less concerned you become about what they think of you. Not because it doesn’t matter…if you’re shy it probably does…but because you’re paying less attention to it. And as you’re more invested in others your body language tells a new story.
5. Keep learning and growing
Regardless of your current level of confidence any new accomplishment always creates a spin off effect.
Take a course, a class, study something that floats your boat. The combination of pursuing something you’re interested in and engaging your brain in a new way brings happier energy and vitality. In turn this spills over into every aspect of life… increasing your confidence.
6. Allow vulnerability to supercharge your confidence
Many of us fear being judged which is why we’re anxious in some situations and not others. Remind yourself of your great qualities and be proud of who you are.
Allow yourself to let others see the real you. Practice this with those you are close to and know you can trust. Give yourself time to develop the habit of being open and authentic and you might come to realize how much closer you feel in these relationships. This leads to increased self-confidence and is a positive way to feel confident in social interactions.
So start to focus on being as genuine and authentic as possible and as you heal your lack of confidence in this way you’ll discover that these qualities are the ones that others appreciate most about you.
7. Redefine your truth
Look for situations in your life right now that reflect back to you where you are confident today. Dwell less on past situations that continue to trigger pain in your life today and train your mind to look for the wonderful.
One of my friends was in a really miserable relationship. She was verbally and emotionally abused. She struggled and stuck it out far longer than she should. She allowed her compassion for another to outweigh her compassion for herself.
Until enough was enough and she let go.
But out of it came many blessings. She discovered strength, awareness and greater self-confidence. Remember struggle is just another word for growth.
What blessing could you find today if you wanted to?
Over to you. What would you add to this list that you know for sure has helped you supercharge your confidence and manage your own particular brand of shyness? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Encourage one another.
14 thoughts on “7 Ways You Can Supercharge Your Confidence Even If You’re Incredibly Shy”
Love this. I especially like the advice to “fake it until you make it,” adjust your posture to be more confident, and redefine your truth. All of these things will trigger changes in your brain, which help to feel more confident!
I’m more and more fascinated Debbie at how century old beliefs now have the backing of science…I think it’s good for all of us that they’re joining forces. Far too many people were missing out on the chance to change their lives and world because they needed ‘evidence’ as though the ‘evidence’ of changed experiences wasn’t enough! 🙂
This is really interesting, Elle. I had no idea that so many people struggled with shyness, at least at times. I love the story of your daughter and her “organizational” glasses! I don’t consider myself shy, but I often feel uncomfortable going into new situations. As you suggest, just doing it helps to dissolve the discomfort.
Hi Sandra…the funny thing about truly ‘shy’ people is that they think they’re the only ones and so it can be very isolating and intimidating. I was prompted to write this because of late I’ve bumped into far too many who felt so painfully shy it stopped them from doing much that they wanted to experience. Even today I find myself sometimes making a choice NOT to do something because it triggers that ‘shy’ pattern…but once I do it…it always turns out great. Some of us were just born with a ‘shy’gene, but it doesn’t have to run or ruin our lives. 🙂
Thanks for sharing these Elle. I was definitely in the shy camp, and ‘faking’ the body language helped me to build an internal and external confidence. Now I’m working on redefining my truth, and coming back to authenticity as a way to be confident in the world. <3
Good for you Ellen. I was just saying in the comment to Sandra that it seems that some of us were simply born with a ‘shy’ gene but it doesn’t have to run our lives once we find ways to manage it. Being comfortable with who you are is a wonderful way to be confident in the world and I applaud you. 🙂
Such powerful strategies in this post Elle, You’re so right, it’s our choice not to become a victim to shyness but to bolster our confidence in any way that works for us.
I could only add that growing up wishing I was truly invisible so I wouldn’t ever have to speak to anyone, I made the vast transition to now being able to chatter to pretty much anyone from the first off by taking mini, no micro, steps. Deliberately and consciously I started by practicing one on one with someone I trusted would listen to my nervous ramblings and moved on bit by bit to speaking up in a small group. my greatest trick was to start off by simply agreeing with the loudest member of the group!
Now that sounds like a great strategy Laura. Talk to the loudest person in the room. And well done dear one for being able to slowly but surely become a chatterbox! Love that. 🙂
Great advice Elle and love the video and the vulnerability tip . often a challenge that one
It can be a challenge Suzie…but we both know that challenges are just another name for growth…and I know you love to grow as much as I do. 🙂
Lovely post Elle. I particularly like the idea of faking it till you make it, as sometimes we need to subconsciously fool ourselves into believing that we can make the changes we want and then it happens, I love your example with your daughter.
The other idea that spoke to me was to focus on others. They has always helped me at large gatherings where I tend to be shy. Thanks!
Focusing on other has been the point that made the biggest difference for me too Cathy…it simply makes it harder to be aware of how uncomfortable you feel when your attention is somewhere else. 🙂
Great reminders for all your readers. I can resonate with this, my daughter is quite shy and i find your post very helpful. I like the idea of imagining our self as that super confident person and simply acting like someone else. I think it will really help a lot. Thanks for sharing
Hello Afformations…imagining or pretending or play-acting, call it what you will can honestly help a lot. As a desperately shy child myself I only wish I’d know this sooner! 🙂