Shyness at work can cause great frustration and most of us do agree to this. Shyness has many forms and types such as hesitation to speak up in front of others, fear of being embarrassed if caught on the wrong foot, fumbling while asked to speak, not being able to talk to the boss for a raise or promotion. Even asking for a day off is a daunting task at times. The good news is that shyness at work can be effectively addressed and corrected. Hence the title of this article, how to overcome shyness at work and build self confidence.
Magnitude of problem of shyness
A recent study of the pervasiveness of shyness in modern developed countries, shows that about 40% to 45% of adults describe themselves as being shy in some way. The magnitude of the reported embarrassment can range from social anxiety to complete gripping by fears and anxieties that can impair a patient’s ability to function effectively in a variety of situations at work.
Why does shyness as a problem need to be addressed?
Keeping mind the need for productivity and efficiency at all types of workplaces, the negative impact of shyness as a problem within such a large percentage of employees, is a cause for great concern.
It goes against the healthy work performance and growth of the individual as well as the organization.
The presence of this problem needs to be recognized and accepted.
Is there a solution to the habit of shyness?
You can be a super performer at work, but if you are not good at interacting effectively with others, you may not go too far. Mastering the art of social skills can be difficult when you do not know how to overcome your own shyness at work. In other words, you simply need to know how to overcome shyness at work and build self confidence,
Nobody is born shy. Shyness is a kind of conditioning as a result of mental programming. You acquired these habits at a young age. Perhaps in your childhood you grew up in such an environment, where the circumstances made you feel ashamed.
Now you have no idea how to overcome the embarrassment. But you are not alone. There are many who suffer from shyness at work and who work hard to overcome shyness. You can too.
That’s why we brought this article for you to read and learn more about why you feel shy and hesitant, what are the reasons for shyness, how shyness prevents you from exploiting your full potential and how you can ultimately overcome shyness.
We will cover everything. Just relax, read till the end. Also do take notes. Let’s overcome shyness together, right away.
How To Overcome Shyness At Work And Build Self Confidence
Shy behavior at work is common but it is also a barrier to career progression, if not corrected early. Here are some tips on how to overcome shyness at work and to break this barrier and face the world:
Tip #1 Decide to put an end to your shyness
Consider a routine scenario. You are in an office meeting and it is a good chance for you to showcase your talent and skills. Your seniors who matter for you, are also present. But you are too shy to open your mouth, leave alone making a presentation.
This could be because a lot of speakers are already making good presentations and you don’t want to feel a clown among them.
Sounds familiar? Consider the next one.
You are sitting in an interview. It is a very important opportunity which can get you the coveted job in the organization you always wanted to work for.
But you are not able to look directly into the interviewer’s eyes while she is speaking to you. You try to make eye contact with her but you keep putting down your eyes on the table again and again and again.
All these things happen to you because you feel comfortable being shy. So let us ask you a simple question – “What are the opportunities you are losing by remaining shy?”
You may wonder if you are suffering any losses by being shy. But it’s true.
If you don’t realize that there are constant losses by being shy and there are pay-offs in not being shy, you will not exercise the habit of shyness. You will be confident, jovial and outgoing.
You will be excited to meet new people. And you will talk to them, listen to their ideas even if some ideas seem silly.
Do the following exercise now:
Write down 10 or more benefits – both monetary and non-monetary if you were not to be shy. You may not realize this but if you go deep you will be amazed to find out how much you can gain by overcoming your shyness by conscious effort.
So resolve to not only overcome your shyness but promise to yourself that you will become a self-confident, jovial and successful person now. You don’t have to be like you always have been.
And tips in this article will help you go there.
Tip #2 Shake yourself out of your comfort zone
OK now you have realized that how beneficial it is to say goodbye to shyness, you will have to do something to overcome shyness. Because it has been with you all this time you will have to shake yourself out of your comfort zone.
Different behavior scientists, motivation speakers and psychologists claim that it takes 21 days to 90 days to change a habit. Alright then, not getting into the debate, rather be prepared to work on yourself for 100 days to throw this damaging habit away forever.
Please do read: How to Overcome Fear of Failure
Tip # 3 Take one step at a time
To go beyond your comfort zone you have to change your style and habit. If you are never spoken in a group of people or in a social gathering, start speaking.
Even if you speak a sentence that would do.
Start talking to strangers. Next time you go on a holiday or are in a new city, ask people about places to visit, the best way to reach a particular point, ask them about the restaurant they would recommend for tasting authentic local food etc.
Don’t try to overcome your shyness at one go. Take one type of challenging situation at a time. Tell yourself – “I won’t feel shy in this situation.” And that’s all. This is a step towards your desired goal.
If you talk confidently to yourself before going into a situation, you will always overcome shyness. Remind yourself how confident you were last time.
The key is to take one situation at a time and be master of that time instead of trying to focus too much on forever or all types of situations.
Just start. And you will be on your way to overcome shyness.
Tip #4 Work to improve yourself
Next get to know yourself better. Sit with yourself alone for some time and do a self analysis. Find out why you are shy and under confident and work on them one by one.
Hold on, we are not done yet. In your next date with yourself, make a list of 10 things which you think will take your personality to the next level. You can look at it in another way also. Ask yourself what are the 10 skills, hobbies, characteristics which you would like to acquire and you think you could use them to your advantage.
For example, these personality characteristics and/or skills could be:
- Better Vocabulary
- Public Speaking
- Better Conversationalist
- Amazing Memory (Click here to know more about developing memory)
- Better physical body / better fitness
- Better dressing up
- Driver’s License
- Pilot License
- Reasonably good at playing an outdoor sport
- Reasonably good at playing an indoor sport
- Skills such as voice modulation, singing, playing a musical instrument, sketching, painting, cooking, flower arrangement, IT skills, photography, videography, swimming, scuba diving, etc.
Tip #5 Be confident in office environment
Decide to do one thing that you fear in official gathering. It can be as little as saying hello with a genuine smile to the peer you have never talked about before or felt shy talking to.
Ask a short question in the office meeting. It could be as innocent as asking the speaker to elaborate on a particular point.
Next time you could compliment the speaker on his presentation or on a very suitable example she has shared. After all, who does not like a sincere compliment?
Just do one small thing that scares you in the office and you are done for the day.
Over time, you would notice that you are able to do some amazing things which a shy person can never think of.
Tip #6 Make Improvement every day
Plan your ‘overcome shyness and develop self confidence strategy’ and make your personality stronger day by day.
Plant out what you are going to do every day. Keep in mind your bigger goal and plan out selected activities accordingly.
Begin your days right. For example, every morning do meditation, read to yourself something inspirational, do workout and work to acquire or improve a skill.
Challenge yourself regularly, don’t be afraid to fail the first time or a couple of times initially. Be creative. Learn something new – what you are passionate about.
Remember the words of performance coach Dale Carnegie: “Today is life-the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.”
Tip #7 Define your area of excellence
We live in an era of specializations. Everyone respects a specialist. Choose a domain or sub domain you want to excel in and develop relevant skill sets in that field.
Dedicate your time, energy, and resources to achieve the desired result. Say you want to be a Facebook Advertising expert. Seek professional tips from a successful Facebook Advertiser, join online/ offline courses, read a lot and practice to hone your skills.
Tip #8 Network
One of the best tips for overcoming shyness is to meet new people and make friends with good people. The better and modern term is to network.
Thanks to social media. It is so much easier to interact with intelligent and interesting people. Initially, you don’t even have to worry about meeting them face to face. So proceed confidently, create a network of dependable people who believe in you, motivate you, support you.
Networking is helpful in many ways. It widens your horizons. You get a chance to observe the good qualities of many successful and dynamic personalities and learn better ways to interact socially.
Tip #9 Read a lot
Do you read good books?
Books such as: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, Inspiring Thoughts by Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, are classic personal development books. These books contain time-tested personality development tips and lessons.
Make book reading one of your habits and implement what you learn.
Tip #10 Become an optimistic
Learn to look at life and the possibilities with positivity. Being optimistic will help you identify opportunities and work towards them. Optimistic people attract positive and optimistic persons in their lives. It has a kind of multiplier effect.
Nobody wants to be around you if you are negative, complain a lot, or have nothing good to say. Instead, be the kind of a charged up person who lights up a room with your energy when you enter it. Do it by looking for only the best in people and things. Smile, spread good cheer, and enliven others with your presence.
Hope you enjoyed reading this article and found the tips on how to overcome shyness at work useful and practical.
Raise Your Game! Challenge yourself to improve and become better everyday and soon you’ll forget that you used to be a shy person but not anymore!
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