This past weekend I took a Motorcycle ride through Yellow Stone National Park for a charity called Smiles for Life. On this ride I was introduced to a new concept by the $500 Millionaire. Being that I am not normally a shy person, it was always hard for me to understand why people were shy. I have been shy on the rare occasion but I have always been able to overcome this feeling and I never realized why until now. There are some people who are so shy that they just cannot function around others. When they walk into a room full of people, they feel awkward and it is impossible to give a good first impression if you feel that way. Fortunately for shy people, the $500 Millionaire has figured out how to overcome being shy in a short and simple read. The $500 Millionaire has painted a great explanation of what it means to be shy and once you know this, if you want, you can choose to never be shy again.
First things first, you need to understand and believe that being shy is a choice, not a condition. Being Deaf, Being Blind, Being Short, Being Tall…these are all conditions meaning you cannot do anything about it. You cannot change a condition; you just have to work around it. Being Clumsy, Being Fat, Being Forgetful, Lacking Discipline… These are all Choices meaning you can do something about it. Choices on the other hand, are different from conditions; you can change choices. If you are shy you are making a choice to be shy. One great thing about choices is that they are in our power and we have the ability to change our choices. Changing a choice like this is not easy but is extremely simple. The only way to work with a condition is to adapt; to work with a choice, you just have to change the way you think.
Just because we can change our choices, with no discipline, it will be impossible to change this choice but if you never want to be shy again, you have all the tools here and will be able to control this choice after reading,
So what is being shy? According to my friend Webster’s, the definition of “Shy” is 1) Easily Frightened. 2) Disposed to avoid a person or thing. 3) Hesitant in Committing oneself. It is almost like Webster’s is considering shy as a condition but It IS NOT A CONDITION. Being shy is a mental state that can be physically paralyzing to some if they don’t FULLY understand what is going on. If you haven’t read our post on risk and fear titled “How to Swim With Sharks and Not Get Bit” (https://500dollarmillionaire.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/how-to-swim-with-sharks-and-not-get-bit/) read it now to better understand this. The simple answer as to why the mental state of being shy is so powerful is because when a person is in that mental state they are unsure of the outcome and fear starts to kick in. When someone is unsure of what is going to happen, the true paralyzer is their uncertainty of their ability to handle the situation.
So now that we understand that being shy is a choice, not a condition, we understand that it is 100% controlled by the individual. Now what is it that shy people are thinking? According to the $500 millionaire, when someone is shy they are only shy because they are putting ALL of their attention on themselves. That is right; being shy is one of the most SELFISH things a person can do. To take all the attention that you should be giving to others and putting it all on yourself. Most people who are shy will tell you that they do not want to be the center of attention and they are telling you the truth. This is why they feel SO uncomfortable when they choose to be shy and pull all of their attention on themselves.
So how do you handle it? This is simple; you need to understand that not everyone is paying attention to you. You are the one pulling all the attention from you, onto you. People do not notice the things you notice about yourself so stop drawing attention to them. If you were to take that focus and attention that you are giving yourself and give that focus and attention to others, you will feel much more comfortable in any situation. Also the people around you will like you much more. Anytime you get attention, you can just pass it along to someone else, especially if you’re the one giving you the attention.
It is as simple as that. I’m sure you’ve hear that great piece of advice that imagine the crowd in their underwear if you are in front of people All that is doing is taking your focus off of you and putting it on the people around you. That’s what you should do every time you meet someone. Be interested in them and not interested in what you are doing. Don’t worry about their opinion on you because if you give them attention they deserve, they will immediately like you. .
Now that we know being shy is a choice I challenge you to NEVER use this as an excuse and never use any choice as an excuse. Personally I don’t even except conditions as excuses, rather than accept them as a hurdle that you need to get over. Just because you are “too shy”, this should not slow you down. Now that you have the knowledge about what is going on in your head, you are now able to control it. The next choice you have is whether or not you are going to CHOOSE to control it. When you feel that shy feeling coming on you need to understand that you are paying too much attention to yourself. Stop being rude, stop being selfish, and start paying attention to other people.
The $500 Millionaire has always told me that you should meet everyone one with the understanding that they have an invisible 4 letter acronym tattooed on their forehead. “M.M.F.I”, Make Me Feel Important. People want that attention that as a shy person, you are selfishly taking. Be a caring person and pass that attention to others. Always be interested, not interesting. Give attention to others and ACCEPT attention from others. Do not take attention from others and DO NOT GIVE IT TO YOURSELF. The best way to not be the center of attention but be the most likable person in a group is to deflect attention to others.