By Ron Steiner
While not all shy people have low self-esteem, shyness is usually seen as a symptom of fear or lack of self-confidence. When you’re shy, it usually means that you’re self-conscious and maybe even worried about what other people think about you. Occasional shyness is normal, but when it becomes a habit, it can be detrimental to your progress in life, work, and love.
Because of the connection between shyness and self-esteem, building your self-esteem step by step can help you overcome your shyness. There are several things you can do to boost your self-esteem, whether you’re suffering from depression or you’re just having a bad day.
Make an inventory of things that you like about yourself. Do this as often as necessary. You can write anything – from simple things such as your ability to whistle, or more complex things such as your strength of character. It doesn’t mean that you should ignore your weaknesses and pretend that they don’t exist, you just have to accept yourself for who you are. Don’t include things such as financial success, the admiration of your peers, or the way you look. After all, self-esteem is about how you view yourself – these external factors don’t matter. When you gauge your strengths, you’ll be able to see how unique and valuable you are.
Find something that you’re good at, and work on it. If you have the talent for cooking, why not work on some new and original dishes? Activities involving art, such as painting and writing, can definitely give your mind a feeling of freedom and accomplishment. Even bird watching can improve your mood greatly. Whatever your talents are, make sure that you get to “practice” them once a week, so that your mind will be given a chance to refresh itself after a stressful week of work.
Only recall good, happy, and exciting memories. Whenever you’re sitting down to think, make sure that you actively call out happy memories. This is because when you start thinking negatively, an entire swarm of negative feelings and memories will come right at you. Don’t waste your time with negativity. Think only of the good things you experienced, the great people you encountered, and even funny jokes you heard.
Volunteer your time to the community or work with outreach programs. Being in a team that helps others allows you to think beyond yourself. Keep yourself busy by interacting with other people and learning from them. You’ll find that most people are very much like you – they all want to be surrounded by their loved ones, they have their own fears, and they also deal with feelings of inadequacy. When you realize that other people are just like you, you’ll see that there’s nothing to fear in social situations.
By conquering any feelings of low self-esteem, you will realize that you are deserving of love, admiration, and respect. When you realize this, you will also be able to conquer your shyness during social situations.