Overcoming Shyness

When shyness overshadows our talents, we miss out on opportunities to grow and advance, trapped in a vicious circle of insecurity and frustration.

Shyness is often masked as disinterest or indifference, yet its root is much deeper.

If we go deep into the feeling of shyness, we will discover pure fear – fear of what others might think of us; the fear of disapproval.

If you have been to one of my events or practice the techniques explained in my books, you already have the practical tools you need to overcome this shyness, but if not, what can you do?

The only thing you need to do is find security within yourself: to reach the point where what you think of yourself becomes more important than any external opinion. Shyness is fed by thoughts of self criticism, often instilled by a judgmental or authoritarian figure in our past who made us feel less. Yet the origin is not important. What matters is that when our shyness activates, instead of acting out the same old defensive reactions, we listen to our hearts and dive deeper, beyond the fear, allowing our natural talents to shine through.

I remember when I first started singing professionally. Up until that point, I had done everything in my life half drunk. Drinking made me feel brave: in reality I was so incredibly shy that I would drink in order to drown out my insecurity. I was terrified of what people might think of me. The only thing I couldn’t do drunk was sing, because I couldn’t get the notes right, and the first time I went on stage, I was shaking. I was so afraid, I stood behind the guitarist! The first song I sang was called “Falling To Pieces,” and no other phrase could better describe my emotional state in that moment. I was literally falling to pieces, and of course all my friends had come to listen, which only made matters worse.

But I did it. I don’t know if I did it well; but the important thing was that I did it. That is how you move beyond fear: just doing it.

There are no guarantees for cultivating trust in yourself. You trust by trusting, by walking through your fears, and letting go of your protection and control. By choosing once and again to embrace life instead of resisting, and in doing so, realizing that the best is always coming to us, even though it may not seem that way.

Once you have consciousness, there is nothing you cannot do, because you feel secure within yourself. That is the most important thing: that you are giving to yourself, because you deserve love, you deserve to shine.

Try making a list of the situations in which instead of stepping up, you step back. You will become more honest with yourself about what you want to achieve and where you are resisting stepping into your greatness. Every time you feel you are putting the breaks on, take another step forward. Don’t worry about the consequences, just keep moving forward, releasing the breaks bit by bit, and soon things will flow more naturally. You can tell me how you go in the comments section below.

Isha Judd is an internationally renowned spiritual teacher and author; her latest book and movie, Why Walk When You Can Fly? explain her system for self-love and the expansion of consciousness. Learn more at www.whywalkwhenyoucanfly.com.

Related Links:
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Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener4 years ago


Timothy A.
Timothy A.4 years ago

Good post,

Awkwardness around people can be conquered. It does requires a little effort.

I think a key component of overcoming shyness is gaining the skill to more easily make conversation.

Difficulty coming up with things to say is one key reason shy folks are anxious around others. Fortunately there are techniques that you can increase your ability to make conversation.

An important way is to keep abreast of current events. It also helps to think up topics of conversation in advance of entering the social situation, such as a party. And, of course, showing interest in others is also important. It helps to be a good listener.

Shirley E.
Shirley E.4 years ago

I think shy people could try shifting the focus from being, "What will people think of me?" too: "What can I contribute to these people by doing whatever it is I'm shy about'. The focus then stops being about whether the ego will be wounded and becomes about service.

Shar F.
Sharon F.4 years ago

I was shy too much of my life, but no more!

One source said 'It is none of your business what other people think of you.' (Probably good advice, because you can't control what other people think.)

Dan Martin
Dan Martin4 years ago


Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers4 years ago

I hope this article will help those who are shy.

Carole Hopkins
Carole H.4 years ago

Shyness can seem appealing as it makes a person seem unassuming but I have found that it does hold you back, letting others push forward while you hold back because of a fear that you don'tquite make the grade.

Mary L.
Mary L.4 years ago

I think more people feel shy on the inside than many know.

I found that for me, the easiest way to hide was to act brash and bold all the while quivering in fear on the inside. Still works, unfortunately too well.

Jessica Crane
Jessica Crane4 years ago

Thanks, very helpful. I have a big speech to do later this year and I am feeling extremely nervous about it, since I am quite shy.

Colin Barnes
Colin Barnes4 years ago

thanks for your help...shyness is a subtle form of manipulation...it is a manner of masking fear to control outcomes...and is a false representation of self....it takes a lot of courage to be ones true self...as you say...this must begin with awareness of what and who i am..and to love this inner core