22 Feb My Shyness Hack
“Beta, aunty ko johny johny gaa ke sunao.”
All of our parents have said this to us, right? Every time, I used to shy away and even today, I do.
How do you feel when you are put on the spot? Does your heart start racing? Or are you able to wing it?
Every time I am put in the spotlight in a group of people, my face becomes hot and my heart starts pounding against my chest. How much ever I try to calm myself down, it takes me a while before I relax.
Recently, my friend & I were asked to host a birthday party for an 11-year-old. Until the last moment, we were deciding what activities to do along with the kids & what experiments to conduct. If we didn’t have the flow of the party ready, you can only imagine what the status of our script was!
I was not prepared. Plus I had to entertain 15 kids. I didn’t know what I was going to say. That was a lot of pressure on me. I didn’t have time. As the kids started coming in, we started with simple activities. But then came the time to conduct the experiments. I had to get the kids interested & excited. I was mute. I couldn’t think of anything to say. But luckily, my friend took over and she handled it despite being unprepared. I felt relief wash over me.
I was nervous to perform in front of kids as if they were going to judge me. It’s funny, right? Kids are too innocent to judge. It was so weird to have so many eyes on me, observing me, watching me & listening to what I was saying. I knew I had the fear of speaking in public. But what I didn’t know was, being unprepared made my fear worse.
This made me realize how my unpreparedness brought me down on previous occasions.
In November, my friends and I co-hosted a session. We got a chance to do a dry run only 45 minutes before the session. During the dry run, we realized that none of us were on the same page & we were not prepared well enough. That made me anxious. It was too late to make any improvements. During the session, I was constantly thinking of what to say next and the silence was unbearably awkward.
Recently, my cousin got married and all of us were supposed to perform at the sangeet. We had been practicing for almost 15 days. 3 days before the wedding, I was invited to a party and usually, I am not much of a dancer. I am the person who will just sway from left to right to the music. But on that day, I was eager to dance. That day, I danced like I have never before. After the party, I was surprised. I started thinking about what was different about this party from any other party. What helped me get out of my shell?
Having been practicing for a few days, I felt confident. Even at the sangeet, I danced with a big smile on my face and lots of enthusiasm.
This was a big moment of self-realization. I only felt confident, because I was ready for it. I was mentally prepared.
This is all I needed to know. I think the first step to overcome my timidness, is to have awareness of these natural tendencies I possess. Because no one can change overnight, right? I need to be aware that sometimes I am unable to give my 100% because I am shy and my shyness can only be conquered if I am ready for something. For me to achieve the best version of myself, I have to be prepared.