by Counsellor, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire
Shyness, low confidence, low self-esteem
When we are growing up and finding out who we are and our place in the world we can find ourselves being labelled by others. People might tell us we are shy or tell us to speak up. We can be left with the feeling that we are inadequate. We might watch how others and see how confident they are and wish we were like them.
Clients often ask me if they have been born shy. I can’t answer this. Some of how we turn out is down to our genes and some of it is down to what we have learnt , usually growing up. The millions of messages we receive during our childhood from the people around us leave an imprint on us. There are many interesting books about introverts and extroverts and if this is an area of interest then Dorothy Rowe writes in an accessible way.
While some people don’t mind about being shy, for others feeling shy or lacking in confidence is no fun. We can have a sense that our life is passing us by and that we are holding ourselves back in some way. The good news is that we are continually finding out who we are. It is possible to make changes to live in a more fulfilling way. The present does not have to be like the past.
So how is change possible? It might involve taking a risk and experimenting with new behaviour, for example contributing to a conversation or inviting some friends over. It might involve a change in thinking, for example to let go of believing that you have nothing decent to say or that you are boring. It might involve a change in the way you feel, deciding that you as good as everyone else. There are lots of self-help books out there to help with feeling shy. Counselling can also help to work with problems associated with shyness and low confidence. The problem is that this involves making the first step and contacting a Counsellor, not easy for someone feeling shy. Don’t worry, your Counsellor will understand this and if you feel they don’t, then please find someone who does.