Shelley Widhalm

Defeating Shyness

In Modeling, Shelley Widhalm, Shyness on September 18, 2011 at 7:00 am

Modeling, reading my poetry on stage and blogging about being shy all have helped me overcome my shyness.

I think.

I have learned that one way to conquer shyness is to set aside fear and dive into the situation. I don’t like approaching a large group of people where I don’t know anyone.  But if I break up that group into smaller groups or individuals, especially those who I find interesting, then I can say “hello” and ask a question or two.

People really do like to talk about themselves.
If they brush you off, it’s probably more about them, than about you.

Another situation I found to be difficult is giving speeches.

In my college speech class, I memorized my speeches and thought I had to follow my note cards to the letter. If I looked an audience member in the eye, my fear instinct took over. What if I messed up and looked like an idiot?

But I now can read my poetry to an audience, because I, for one, am not being graded. And if those in the audience don’t like what I wrote, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean that I’m rejected.

Rejected – that’s how I used to feel.

I was told throughout my life that I was beautiful (on the exterior), but I felt like an ugly duckling. I didn’t go for modeling when I was a teen, because I didn’t know that you could learn how to do something and then do it. Now, that I’m checking off one of goals, I figure that it really doesn’t matter if I get turned down for modeling jobs, I just want to do it for the experience.

I went online to research about shyness, as if I’m not already an expert on the subject. One blogger wrote that she is an inwardly directed person and prefers to process the world internally before speaking up. Another blogger stated that shyness doesn’t benefit anyone.

I get that.

I read that those who are shy are afraid of rejection, humiliation and being ignored. They are oversensitive and insecure.

And that those who are inclined toward shyness are often the most thoughtful.

I still have the fear of getting rejected, but I expect it to happen here and there. I don’t mind being humiliated because it happens. And as far as being ignored, I think I experience that a lot. I say things that bounce along unheard.

But who cares?

The sensitivity I likely won’t shed because without it I wouldn’t gather words and images and life to fling into heart-rearing sentences, as if I could get rid of insecurity with careful observation.

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