Is your shyness your brand?
Is your shyness your only consideration before speaking in public, as opposed to how you can add value to others?
Is your shyness keeping you frozen in your seat, or even at home, to evade a scheduled speaking assignment - preferring to disappoint an entire family, organisation or nation?
Allow me to submit that the reason we refuse to air our views at meetings, to pray for the sick during a group hospital visit, to console the bereaved at a crowded funeral or congratulate a dear friend at a company party in the name of fear, is simply this … you are only thinking about yourself!
Picture this. You were in a crowded hall and you see a dislodged brick about to fall from the roof and injure the people below. Would shout “MOVE” or just think, “Oh, if only I wasn’t so shy, I could have saved their lives?” You have the potential to speak out – so, why are you sitting it out?
By falling silent to “protect your feelings,” you refuse to play the game, refuse to score for the team, refuse to do your job.
By keeping mum to “avoid judgement,” you withhold a vital piece of the puzzle and the product or process suffers.
By keeping yourself to yourself to “save face,” your outfit/enterprise/course is starved of your competence, credibility and character.
What if the tables were turned and it was you expecting participation? Say you are chairing a strategic planning meeting. You open the floor for discussion. It’s gets pin drop silent. The only person with a relevant comment sits quietly, with his eyes averted. He neglects to submit the breakthrough ideas actively popping up in his head. His justification for leaving you and the team hanging? “I am shy!” However, he’s adamant about collecting a full and timely pay slip at the end of the month.
Public Speaking has the capacity to sway rigid opinions, supply progressive suggestions, provide vital solutions, offer reliable presentation and much more. By biting your tongue on account of being shy you are holding back your colleagues, your community and more importantly ... yourself.
The only way to become fearless, is to fear less