Last time I left you saying that shyness may not be what it seems.
My jaw dropped when I read these things about shyness.
Introvert and shy people are two different kind of people. Introversion is part of some personality types, an attitude towards the world: the introvert is more focused on his/her own inner world, has a different kind of sensibility, maybe is a bit too idealist and may feel outcast because society wants people to be extroverted. But s/he’s not necessarily a shy person, s/he can become shy if s/he convinces her/himself that s/he is.
Shyness, on the other hand, is something that it’s more likely to be learned, from experiences, from circumstances. And can be changed (well, to be honest you can also change from introverion to extraversion… or simply accept the fact that you’re an introvert and love yourself for what you are: someone reserved, with a huge sensibility and inner richness)
The other thing that really dropped my jaw more or less at my knees level is that shyness is not only low self esteem, lack of positive reinforcement (which is: you do something bad? you get puhished. You do something right? It’s only your duty, no “bravo!”), but it can also be caused by an excessive self esteem.
What? Wait, wait, wait!
Isn’t the shy one the one who underestimates him/herself, has no self confidence and all that jazz?
Yes, true, but apparently you can be shy also having a too high idea of yourself. How does that work? It’s simple: you think, maybe you’re not really aware of that, to be super, super smart, super creative, super goodlooking, super good at anything you do. So you keep super high standards for yourself, almost impossible standards. And you know they’re impossible, you planned them! Therefore you don’t even try, you don’t feel like you can achieve that, you don’t feel adequate, you don’t feel enough. Your actions don’t mirror your thoughts, your beliefs. And that’s how one closes up in her/himself, stop trying; the fear of failure with your own self moves to the outside and you get stuck, anybody looks/seems/is better than you, you feel left back.
What do you do at this point? Your self esteem is super inflated, but useless…
You deflate it, you accept you’re shy and you’re afraid of failure, you accept you’re not perfect and therefor loving yourself anyway is extremely important, and that failing is part of that love-yourself-process, you learn from failure and from acceptance, and you learn that you’re not perfect nor ment to be. And then you try.
Trying doing what?
Anything, everything you want.
Some of you, if fitting into this cathegory, may have thought “yeah, right, but how can I do everything if I’m not perfect?” or at least you have felt some objection to this post.
Not being perfect means that you have the chance to do mistakes and learn from them, and also means that you have limits.
Many people say that limits are there to be overtaken, and I fairly agree: see limits as steps of a stair you are on, is something that helps you stay motivated.
But there are also limits that are impossible overtake.
It doesn’t matter how much you want it, how much you train, and committ and try but if you’re 1 meter and a bun tall you’ll hardly win the world guinness for the tallest person.
But think about it for a minut: set aside world guinness, NBA and maybe some jobs (this may be a bit thougher to go throug, but wait for the next sentence), set aside the things you really cannot do… how many other chances do you have?
Limits aren’t necessarily something negative, yet, they can help you stimulate your creativity, your search for your chances.
I know about painting classes that would ask you to paint 100 pictures, all with the same subject, but each and every time with different mediums, without being able to use a medium twice.
Something similar goes on in creative writing classes: write ten stories, one for each narrative genre, this much of words, with, for example, a traffic light as the protagonist.
Can you imagine fulfilling similar tasks? Think about it, really think about it now, for some minutes.
Have you noticed how much you are forced to think out of the box?
Instead of thinking that you have no self esteem and will never have, instead of thinking that as shy as you are you will never be able to do anything, instead of fighting fire with fire why don’t you try to say to yourselves “ok, I’m shy… and then?” and try to imagine how many things you can do even if you’re shy!!
Next time I’ll share how I’m going through this… maybe you won’t do my same mistakes!