30 Days of Fire – Day 28

how to overcome shyness and stage fright

STAGE FRIGHT

Fire just loves to be center stage and in the spotlight. Although they may not admit it and might get their feelings hurt if they are not the star, Fire people love to be seen and we all love to stare at the fire. Humans are fundamentally social creatures. We are hard wired to connect. Yet at some level, interacting with other people makes most, if not all of us uncomfortable. Regardless of whether you are introverted or extraverted, we can all relate to that feeling of shyness at some point in our lives. Socially, we tend to have the misconception that only introverts experience shyness, but that is not true. Shyness has more to do with being uncomfortable with one’s self, especially around other people.

This is me and singing and public. I remember as a young girl in middle school being asked to demonstrate the chorus of a song in choir. I got up in front of the group and started to belt out the song off key. My choir director stopped me and started to laugh and say I must have left my real voice at home to which the rest of the choir began to laugh. After that I became extremely shy to sing in public. When I was in college, I was singing along to a song when my roommate walked in with friends. I stopped and was mortified they had heard me. It wasn’t until I was much older that I was able to get over this shyness. I started to understand that I might not be ready for American Idol, but I passed the test for singing in the car or around the campfire. My stage fright was much more about being laughed at then concern that I was a terrible singer. Face it, when we walk out on stage we want to be admired and loved. When I let down my guard, I found out that people didn’t laugh at me when I sang, it was only an old tape being played by my ego that I needed to turn off.

Here are a few steps to help even the most timid get a little more comfortable with being in a crowd.

  • Get familiar with your shyness. Have you ever thought and really asked yourself why are you shy? Do you know what situations might trigger the feeling of shyness? It is important to understand your unique brand of shyness and how it manifests in your life. Then take a little time to see if the feelings are current or just old tapes playing in your mind.
  • Focus outwards.  It is not uncommon to feel uncomfortable when we walk into a room filled with people.  If you are focusing on how uncomfortable you are, you are not able to focus on the wonder of the situation or how others are enjoying your company.  Shyness can makes us self-absorbed.  Shy people can feel they have ‘nothing to say’ or don’t fit in.  Joining with others doesn’t mean you have to conform or be the life and soul of the party.  But really it is just this simple; people love you when you find them interesting and in turn they will become interested in you because of your interest in them.
  • Figure out what is comfortable for you. Understand what feels comfortable. We are not all the same.  Shy people might think that the goal is to be able to go to big parties and feel right at home. The real goal is to find people, communities and activities which bring out the best in you.  You can be just as equally social in settings where you connect with on a personal level as in larger social settings.

When we invite in the Fire element and are honest about our love for attention we understand that it really has much more to do with respect and acceptance. Our need to belong is what drives us to seek out stable, long lasting relationships with other people. It also motivates us to participate in social activities, spiritual groups, and community organizations.  By belonging to a group, we feel as if we are a part of something bigger beyond ourselves.  So today I am planning to roll the windows down and sign my heart out with my kids in the car.  How about you?  What are you going to let your fire shine bright and connect with the world?

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