I guess you could say I would classify myself as an introvert, but now a more socially adapted introvert. Growing up, I was so shy, like trust me, it was bad. I was always self-conscious about talking in front of people or saying the wrong thing to the point where I just wouldn’t say anything at all.
Today, I wouldn’t say I am the most outgoing person, I still am very much so quiet and I enjoy my alone time more than anything. However, now that I’m getting older, as a career woman, a graduate student and a blogger, I have realized I need to step out of my comfort zone and make connections more than ever.
Being willing to step out of my comfort zone full of shy doom has helped me:
• Land a full-time career in communications
• Be open to meeting new people in creative spaces
• Not worry about what people think
• Start saying ‘yes’ to things I would usually say ‘no’ to
It has also helped me create content to speak to people just like me who get stuck in creative ruts, want to live out their passions and embrace who they are.
The fact that I grew up a shy girl has helped make me the woman I am today. It’s like the puzzle piece I needed to be complete, as cliché as that might be but, eh, it’s true!
So in this post, I’m diving deep into how to overcome that shyness and, more specifically, what you can do to create opportunities for yourself, whether that be business opportunities, networking or just meeting new people.
Let’s do it, shall we?!
1. Be More Open
Before jumping the gun and saying “no” to everything, ask yourself these questions first:
• What do I have to gain from this opportunity?
• What do I have to lose from this opportunity?
• Can I make time for this?
• Am holding myself back by not taking part in this?
Sometimes you have to just realize that most of the time, the opportunity that has presented itself isn’t that scary. This could be an opportunity to go to a networking event, do a collaboration with someone new, go on a trip, or anything that requires social inclusion.
By saying “no” all the time, we don’t allow ourselves to know what could have been.
Pro tip: Saying no to things we know will help us is often a comfort zone we want to stay in. However, we will never grow in our comfort zones.
Related Post: 4 Ways to Combat Your Excuses
2. Have outgoing friends
This tip is something that I adopted a long time ago, unconsciously. As a quiet girl, I make sure I have a lot of outgoing people around me. My friends, family and my boyfriend have always been awesome and fun people to be around.
The fact that I have people around me who are outspoken, approachable, friendly and outgoing is exactly what I needed to grow within myself and realize “hey…I can do that too!”
Having outgoing friends will really push you to be great. There may be a time where one of your friends randomly chats about you to a stranger and creates a new opportunity for you. This has happened to me, and it wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t have the friends to push me towards it.
So although you may be shy and quiet, your peers can help you grow out of that and it will lead to some serious opportunities!
3. Be fearless
OK, this tip HAS to be my favorite, and at the same time, it has to be the hardest to achieve. Fear, my friends is our greatest enemy. In fact, we shouldn’t be fearful of anything in the world at all.
Fear is something that holds us back. It’s that little voice in our heads that tells us “you can’t do this,” or “why even try.”
Also, fear leads to worrying about what others may think. It leads you to feel like everything you do should be validated. That’s not a great way to live.
If you want to create more opportunities for yourself, you need to leave fear out of the picture.
4. Develop a routine and practice
We have comfort zones because that’s what we are used to. But, light bulb moment: what if we get used to something else? Will that be a new level of comfort? Uh…YEAH.
The more you network, speak with people, make connections and create opportunities, the more natural it will feel to you.
It’s really all about breaking out that comfort zone and developing a new routine that fits.
5. Know that you’re not alone
I think it’s a good feeling to know you’re not the only one who feels a sense of social anxiety and shyness. Guess what? A LOT of people are just like us. Some people are just better at hiding it.
You know how many shy celebrities there are? Just let that sink in.
For lack of a better term, at the end of the day, don’t feel like you are weird for being shy. Just embrace it, use these tips and work on yourself.
All right, my friends! I hope this helped you take a step back, look your shyness in the face and boss up! I’d love to hear your feedback, so leave some comments below ☺ .