Many of us have a shy side to us, but some of us are painfully shy because of past experiences that caused us to go inside ourselves or become conditioned to keep to ourselves & play it small so we aren’t noticed as much.
There does come a time (or multiple times) where we are lured to come out of ourselves in order to do something necessary or something we love to do & have always wanted to do.
For me, from very early on, I wanted to interview people, have a talk show, interview on red carpets like I saw on Entertainment Tonight. But, like many of you, I was painfully shy once I entered school and that stuck with me well into my young adult years.
When I found social media, it was a blessing because I could overcome my shyness and try to interact online with other people and people I admired. It was pretty amazing, however, I got to a point where I realized I needed to take that offline and I felt like I needed to honor my dreams in some way.
How I became so shy and how it all happened is a story for another time, the important thing is that I came to a place where I was being offered a chance to live out some of my dreams. How was I going to do THAT? How could I push past that shy state and allow myself to experience what I had longed for & experiment with what I could do and where it could take me?
I had to have a serious talk with myself and ask myself how bad I wanted this.
I asked myself:
- how bad do you want the thing?
- Does it light you up?
- Do you feel it will lead to something?
- How important is this to you?
It was clear to me that I wanted it badly, the thought of it did light me up, I felt it would lead to something, and it was very important to me that I experience it and not regret it if I didn’t.
So, I decided to say yes and push myself into the highly uncomfortable situations my shy nature had me avoiding for so long. I must add that pretty much prior to this I had been having panic attacks even at the grocery store and had to leave my cart full to get out of the stores, so the shyness was DEEP. I had been on medication for it, which left me emotionless, so I asked to be taken off not too long before my opportunity was presented to me.
Saying yes, I had this overwhelming feeling it would be ok because of my love for the thing I was going to do. Don’t get me wrong, I was terrified and had no clue how I was going to live up to this commitment, but I was committed to it now!
I studied some videos of my favorite personalities working red carpets, doing interviews, anything I could find to help me feel a bit more confident. I reached out to my friends, and my dear friend Carol Quinn (we all need a Carol in our lives) to tell them a little bit about my dilemma and found I was a bit embarrassed to share just how deep of an issue it was. It just made me feel better to have a few people know I was on shaky ground. It helps to voice fears, it sort of diminishes them slightly once they are out in the open.
The first event was so much fun, but I don’t remember much of it because I was totally in “keep the panic at bay” mode. I’m sure I was sweating like crazy under my suit, but I made it through and did well enough to be invited back! Each red carpet, each photo, each interview got a bit easier. Events led to conventions, which led to TV land, which led to speaking at Google HQ, speaking at Lincoln Center, going to Facebook HQ, Twitter HQ, and Instagram HQ, and even doing the Downton Abbey NYC movie premiere all by myself with my own camera man! It did help that he is a good friend, but those are little things I’m lucky to be able to do so I can get through the big things.
This has all led me to today, where I have some pretty awesome people in my corner. I’ve worked with the most amazing coaches, spent time with real angels on earth, and took some fantastic courses. I’ve developed truly great bonds and connections, none of which would have been possible if I didn’t push past my fear.
Don’t get me wrong, those nerves creep up sometimes, but now I have the tools I need to conquer them. There are telltale signs some close to me may notice. I get a little quiet, I may head to a corner of the room, I may step outside for air. The thing is, now I catch it and take steps to work through it.
I share all of this to say, I’ve been there and I believe I can help others who may be there too. Confidence can be built up, you don’t have to be limited by a lack of it, and most times it just takes having a plan in place. It’s not about never having fear, it’s about facing it and learning how to move through it!
Reach out to me for a short consultation if you feel you may be interested in coaching. I’m making myself available so we can see what we can do to assist you in working past the things that are keeping you from having and experiencing all you have dreamt of. If I can do it, so can you. I believe that.