How Do You Stop Being Shy? Self Confidence Over Shyness

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How do you stop being shy and live with self-confidence instead of shyness? This is a crucial question because confidence enhances performance in every aspect of life. Whether we are trying to prevail in an athletic competition, make a good impression on a job interview, close a business deal, or approach that special someone from across a crowded room, the outcome of every endeavor in life is greatly influenced by the level of confidence we bring to the effort.

This may not seem like a surprising statement to anyone who shares at least the general sentiment that self-confidence can be very empowering. Despite this nearly universal impression, the intangible quality of confidence can seem very elusive to those who struggle with the fears, doubts, and insecurities usually associated with shyness. What is confidence, and how can we get more of it, in order to prevent our lives from being limited or even governed by our fears?

At the core of the issue, confidence is an inner knowing. It is a sense of certainty in ourselves and in a positive outcome of our efforts. Some people naturally exude confidence, and seem to glide effortlessly through the challenges of life. Those of us who are haunted by insecurities, doubts, and fears need to consciously work to develop the confidence that is necessary for an effective and satisfying life.

Some mentors and self-help gurus teach that confidence can be developed by using affirmations and visualizations to reprogram our minds. For example, one mentor told me that a mind that is full of insecure or other negative thoughts is like a jar full of muddy water. If that jar is placed in a sink and fresh, clean water is allowed to flow into it, the muddy water will gradually be forced out until all of the dirty water has been replaced by the clean water.

Similarly, a person whose mind is dominated by insecurities and fears can gradually reprogram the mind over time using positive statements and imagery. This approach is more effective if the positive affirmations and visualizations are combined with the excited emotions that come from a sincere belief in the reality of the positive statements.

This approach can produce dramatic improvements, but its effectiveness is often limited when a person with deeply rooted negative beliefs consciously rejects the positive affirmations and sabotages the reprogramming process.

If the recitation of wishful affirmations is not effective in reprogramming the mind, confidence can also be developed using an approach that is rooted in real life successes. By attentively identifying and celebrating every minor success or accomplishment, we use an approach that is anchored in reality and gives us a foundation for even greater successes in the future.

For example, suppose you are trying to gain confidence dating the opposite sex. Even if you are not successful in getting a date in one specific encounter, having the courage to approach someone rather than timidly allowing an opportunity to pass by can be considered an accomplishment. Identifying and focusing on each accomplishment, even minor ones, can provide a series of steps that will form a pattern of growth and development over time.

Building confidence is a process, and it will be opposed by the anxiety associated with your memories of past failures, embarrassments, disappointments, and setbacks. Growing in confidence will necessarily mean confronting and neutralizing the painful memories of these past failures.

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