Personal Development

Coming Out: Overcoming Shyness

I’m working on overcoming my shyness. I’d like to be a teacher on some level but because I often shy away from the spotlight or from recognition, I have a tendency to avoid becoming an “authority” on things. I think I have a wealth of information that I’d like to pass on to others but in order to do that I think people need to acknowledge me.

Last night, I came face to face with the side of me that shrinks away from people or diminishes herself whenever she’s around others. That girl who gets really high pitched and soft spoken, with that super nasally American accent that even I can’t stand because I know it’s not real. I met that girl who spent her time avoiding people because she was afraid of competition and being in the forefront since people seem to get jealous of her, or they gossip, or they act weird around her as a result. I found that girl who doesn’t quite like to stand out and I’m not exactly sure what to do with her. I’ve been observing her for a while and really what she needs is more courage and the ability to withstand the possibility of people not liking her or gossiping about her or doing all the things she’s afraid they might do because some people might actually do it. She has to find the courage to come into the world and make herself known and allow herself to stand up and out instead of just blending in. She’s got to move beyond that “the nail that sticks out gets hammered” mentality and come to the realization that being acknowledge as good at something, having a platform, utilizing your voice and making yourself known is a good thing, not an arrogant thing or a bad thing. She needs to learn to be comfortable with competition and opposition and realize that it’s okay for it to exist.

I don’t want to be hard on her. I know she has spent a good deal of time lamenting that people usually don’t come to her aid when faced with opposition. There’s a part of me that wants to coddle her and try to show her other avenues she can take to protect herself. But she cannot continue to hope that people come and support her. She is going to have to speak up and make herself known.

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