Ten ways to overcome shyness

1. Have faith in yourself: If you genuinely believe you are likeable, you will communicate your belief to others. Think about what you're good at and what you enjoy, and build on those abilities. For instance, if you prefer to listen than to talk, use that to show people how good a listener you are. You will be surprised what a dearth of good listeners there is!

2. Meet new people: To become less shy, you need to become comfortable around strangers. The best way to do this is by making an effort to meet new people. As you keep meeting new people you will feel much more at ease when you are in the presence of people you do not know very well.

3. Join a group: Join in activities which give you a chance to interact with people, such as fitness classes, a college activity group, a hobby club or an office discussion group. Once you are a part of one of these, make sure you always contribute in some way, no matter how small, and after a while, you'll get comfortable with it.

4. Don't take things too personally: If you want to succeed in the game of socialising, you can't take every comment, insinuation or joke as a personal affront. People sometimes say things they don't mean. However, if you are sure that someone has made an inappropriate comment about you, you should definitely stand up for yourself.

5. Don't fear rejection: The trick here is not to be self-conscious and simply focus on the activity and not the outcome. For instance, if you have something to say, don’t waste time thinking how you’ll sound or how people will react. Just say it as naturally as possible.

6. Take small steps: Start with a smile; show everyone you're friendly and approachable. Then progress to saying "hello." A few days after that, engage in small talk. Keep going, and as you gradually open yourself up to people, you will see it's not as hard as you thought.

7. Focus on others: Shyness and hesitation occur when you think about your flaws. Instead, focus on the person you're talking to. If you make a blunder, forget about it. Most people are more forgiving than you think.

8. Visualise: Visualisation means creating mental pictures of behaviours and situations that you would like to be involved in. You can daydream real-life situations. Start small, like a casual conversation with a co-worker. Then imagine scenarios that are out of character for you. This will help you handle these situations in real life.

9. Be well-informed: Have something to say. Keep up on current events, sports, amusing stories. If the conversation lulls, have new topics ready. And to ease the burden of initiating something, have a few icebreakers handy to get the ball rolling.

10. Build your self-esteem: Take pride in your skills and share what you can do with others. Stop negative thinking. When you catch yourself being too self-critical, counter it by saying something positive about yourself. Take pride in your opinions and ideas - and don't be afraid to voice them.

Positive Thoughts, Positive Feelings

Positive Thoughts, Positive Feelings

Thoughts cause feelings, and the wrong kinds of thoughts can cause stressful

We can look at the same event different ways. One is in the optimistic way and
the other is pessimistically. It is the age old debate of whether to look at
the glass as half full or as half empty.

It helps if you can learn to look at the good things in life rather than the
ugly. For example, if you got into a car accident and totaled your car, you can
sit there and feel sorry for yourself, or angry for losing the car. These are
all self-defeating. On the other hand, you can thank god that you were not
killed or, worse yet, maimed in the car accidents. When you look at life's
events like that you will have something to smile at every event and that is
the power of positive living.

Robert Schuller, the author of "Tough times never last. Tough people do!" gives
the following guidelines in looking at problems in the proper perspective:

  1. Every Living Human Being Has Problems.

    Perhaps you are unhappy with your work. Isn't it good that you have a job rather
    than being unemployed? Many people have the mistaken notion that successful
    people do not have any problems. It is not true. Success tends to breed its own
    set of problems.

    Everyone has problems. A problem-free life is an illusion - a mirage in the
    desert. Accept the fact that everyone has problems. This will help you to move
    on with your life rather than sitting and feeling pity for yourself.

  2. Every Problem Has A Limited Life Span

    Every mountain has a peak and every valley has a low point. Similarly, life has
    its ups and downs. No one is up all the time or down all the time. Problems do
    get resolved in the long term. They don't last forever. History teaches that
    every problem has a limited life span. Your problems will not live forever; but
    you will! Storms are followed by sunshine. Winter is followed by spring. Your
    problems will get resolved given enough time.

  3. Every Problem Holds Positive Possibilities

    There are two sides to every coin. What may be a problem for one could be
    interesting opportunity to someone else. Hospitals are there because people get
    sick; garages are there because cars do break down; lawyers are there because
    people get in trouble with the law occasionally. Every cloud has a silver

  4. Every Problem Will Change You

    When me meet problems head on in life, they leave their indelible mark on us.
    The experience could make you better or worse. It is up to you. What is certain
    is that problems never leave us the same way they found us. We will change.

    For example, let us say that you lost your job. You can sit and feel sorry for
    yourself. Or you can be aggressive and decide to do something about it. You are
    better than them. You want to show them what a mistake they did in firing you.
    You have to be fired before you can be fired up. That may be wake-up call you
    needed before embarking on a successful mission. Again, for every problem,
    there is a positive and negative side. Look for the positive side and work on

  5. You Can Choose What Your Problem Will Do To You

    You may not be able to control the problems, but you certainly can control your
    reaction or response to the problem. You can turn your pain into profanity or
    into poetry. The choice is up to you. You can control the reaction even if you
    cannot control the problem. You control the effect of the problem by
    controlling the reaction. It can make you tough or tender. It can make you
    better or bitter. It all depends on you.

  6. There Is A Negative And A Positive Reaction To Every

Tough people, according to Schuller, have learned to choose the most positive reaction in managing problems. The key is that they manage their problems. Remember, we have little control on problems, we have control on how we react and manage the problem. Positive people chose to react positively to their predicaments.

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