Most people who have met me would be very surprised to know that I can be quite shy and a bit of a recluse. I don't really enjoy big parties or networking events. Sure, I can meet and greet when required but it is truly one of my least favorite activities, and a necessary evil for my occupation.
There are many people out there who are somewhat introverted and struggle with having to engage with people regularly. Business is society-based, however, and if you want to be successful you must overcome your shy feelings to a point.
Many writers tend to be naturally shy, hence the reason we express through our writing. Who better to share their remedies for being shy? So here is my approach to overcoming my times of introversion, as well as keen insights from my Inc. colleagues.
1. Be purposefully inquisitive.
When I have to engage in the social environment, I dread the small talk. I don't necessarily want to share my story a dozen times and don't want to impose. So instead, I make a game of finding the interesting facts in the room. There will be no shortage of people who wish to talk about themselves. I simply take advantage and use pointed questions to find entertaining tidbits. This way I can focus on them and not my own desire to go home and hang with my dogs.
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2. Get your feet wet.
The best approach to overcoming shyness is to dive in with both feet. When you're at an event where you're going to meet lots of new people, then take a few moments to pretend that you're not shy. In fact, picture yourself being outgoing and awesome. Guess what? If you can imagine being outgoing and awesome, you can BE outgoing and awesome. --The Leadership Guy
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3. Focus on them, not on you.
Shyness is usually the result of being overly concerned about what others will think of us, and in most cases these concerns can be overcome. Instead of focusing on your self-consciousness, turn your attention and feelings toward others in the room. When you redirect your thoughts and engage in conversations with compassion and curiosity, your sense of self will vanish. You'll find it extremely difficult to feel concerned about what they may think of you while simultaneously focusing on them. --The Successful Soloist
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4. You're the only one who can deliver your message.
While I speak, write and host a radio show, I am actually an introvert at heart. I learned that as the leader of my company, I had to be the one out talking about my products and services. This required me to come out of my shell to present my message to the world.
I overcame shyness by realizing just that: I am the only person who can tell my message with the right passion and perspective it required. After realizing this fact, I took steps to help ease the pains of speaking in public and meeting new people. I started going to networking events once a week, usually with a friend, and I joined Toastmasters where I worked to perfect my public speaking skills. --Lean Forward
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