November 21, 2006

I'm shy



People who know me are usually shocked to hear me reveal this. It's true. I've always been extremely shy, especially about meeting new people or making the move to talk to someone I don't know.

According to ShakeYourShyness.com, nearly fifty percent of the adult population in the U.S. is believed to be shy. That doesn't surprise me! What is surprising is the number of people who are shy but still manage to perform, to meet people, to give presentations, and to live their lives.

Here's my secret: When I start to feel that stage fright in anticipation of meeting new people, I play a character - and the character is me! It's just that the "me" that I'm playing is the strong, confident, outgoing me. Now, my background is in theater (theater being the first outlet I discovered to help me combat my shyness back in junior high), and not everyone will feel comfortable trying this technique, but why not give it a shot?

It works like this. I have an outgoing personality - when I'm in situations that are comfortable for me. In order to handle those uncomfortable moments when I'm required to interact with strangers, I "play the character" of that comfortable, outgoing person who is me.

So even when I feel inside like I'm going to fall over and croak if I walk into a room where I don't know anyone, I am "pretending" in a way - pretending to be the bold, confident version of me.

When you pretend to be confident, the amazing thing that happens is that you start to feel confident. Once the ice is broken, and I'm talking to people, the stage fright goes away, and the real confident me comes out to play.

Stay tuned for my article about this topic coming out in a couple of weeks. . .

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2 comments. Please add yours! :

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa - I think you give your clients and those who visit your website and blog a real gift by being transparent and sharing the real you. I think your idea of dealing with shyness in a networking situation is intriguing. I may try it - although I sort of like my normal approach of preferring to play with the dog and chow down on the peanuts. :-)

Lisa said...

Hi Marty! I would certainly prefer to play with the dog and chow down on the peanuts, both of which are completely irresistible, even when I'm not afraid of talking to strangers!

LB

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