Shedding Your Inhibitions

InhibitionsWe often hear the catch phrase, ‘to stand out from the crowd.’ We are constantly bombarded with the importance of standing out in order to land the job that you have been after, to impress someone for a date, or to be noticed for the right opportunities. What’s the magic that generally makes one stand out in a crowd? Confidence!

You might have sometimes found yourself overlooked for opportunities when other less experienced or less qualified actors manage to push ahead of you. The reason for this are that you were just not letting yourself get noticed enough. Why? Because you have been too timid or shy about showcasing your own abilities.

Some people say shyness is the natural enemy of confidence, and with good reason. Here, we aren’t referring to the little shyness in the form of modesty. In fact, it’s an attractive attribute that is required to function in a society. What we are discussing here is the type of shyness that prevents you from speaking clearly, or from being outward and expressing your natural self. In short, the type of shyness that relates to lack of confidence and that prevents you from achieving your full potential.

There is a common perception among many shy people that they are the way they are due to genetic or other biological reasons. But such explanations are excuses that shy people use to hide their inhibitions. The truth is that there is not a single shy person who can’t get rid of his or her inhibitions, should they choose to, irrespective of their biological make-up. This is because as human beings we have the ability to mold personalities the way we choose to and we are in no way bound by what we have inherited. In fact, shyness has more to do with the way we have been conditioned to think about ourselves. This means that this process can be reversed. All it takes is the will to change and, more importantly, to stop labeling yourself as a naturally shy person.

Of course, it is not easy to stop labeling, as it is one of the main ways we affirm an identity to ourselves. Typically, this may be expressed outwardly, based on the clothes we wear and the music we hear; or inwardly, by choosing to feel and think in a certain way. The more we affirm some trait as a part of ourselves, the more we take it to be true and unshakeable. We feel a compulsion to act in a certain way simply because we think we are inclined to and it is natural for us. So, be very careful about what you choose to label yourself because the power of the mind can be a double-edged sword.

Remember that just as we can associate a shy identity with ourselves, we can also convince ourselves to be an extroverted personality. The best way to begin is by wiping the mental slate clean of negative emotions and attitudes. Appreciate yourself as an evolving being that is bound to change and grow with the circumstances. Do not see yourself as an unchanging person. You are not a fossil set in stone. This will also mean that you should avoid directly thinking about yourself as a shy person. After having cleared yourself of all binding assumptions, start thinking about the situations in life in which you would like to be more confident. The situations could be anything from a simple outing with your friends, a serious conversation with an elder, or maybe even a seminar you are conducting. Now, imagine how you would like to be perceived by others and yourself in such situations. Of course, you would love to come across as a person in control of his emotions with friends, a person open to bridging age gap with elders, and a confident, enterprising person in the seminar you conduct. This vision is the goal you should work towards.

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