What happens when you start to make some progress, you think things are actually looking up for you,...then wham....something happens to knock your confidence down. Maybe someone asks you "why are you so shy?" (even when you think you aren't acting shy!). Or someone turns you down for a date that you were hoping to go out with.
I would hear this little voice in my head say,..."Ahhh, I told you so, this confidence/success journal stuff is a bunch of BS,...you're really shy at your core. Just live with."
Well, I could choose to focus on that and say, "oh well, it's been fun, I might as well give up."
This isn't something that just shy people deal with though. If you're an aspiring actor or singer, you're going to hear the words "no", "you have no talent", "why are you wasting your time" alot,....in essence you'll experience alot of setbacks.
By putting yourself out there, in any field, you're going to be taking a risk. And taking a risk means that things may not go 100% smoothly every single time.
I use to like to watch the Tonight Show With Jay Leno. Most people would agree, "wow, Jay is a really funny guy. He can really entertain people."
But have you ever seen him deliver a joke and only a few people laugh? What if he put his head down afterwards, made no eye contact with the camera, and just mumbled something about,..."sorry folks, I'll do better next time." Of course he's not going to do that.
He puts himself out there every single night. He gets the benefit of a national audience liking his show. But he also gets the downside (like those occasional jokes that fall flat). It goes both ways.
Starting this website is a risk if you think about it. You're putting your views out for the whole world to see. I don't know if everyone is going to like it. But who cares. I like it. And if others can benefit from what I've learned, that's awesome.
If I feel like my confidence is shaken, I will remind myself of a few things:
No one is perfect. I'll pull out examples of other confident people who get knocked down but don't let it bother them.
Don't automatically assume the worse. Here's the thought process I use to go through:
Getting turned down for a date.
Therefore, I'll automatically assume, "oh, it's because I'm shy. It's because I'm boring. She wouldn't have liked me anyways. If she doesn't like me, few others would. Now it's impossible to get a date. Now I can't do anything right".
Hold on there partner!! Would you bet your lifes savings that it's only because of your "shyness"? It could be for a million reasons. Maybe she had a bad day. Maybe she just broke up with someone. Maybe she wants to be single for a while. Who knows. And not all women are alike. Their personality is as unique as a persons fingerprint. Everyone likes something different. I've seen those who are very shy with low self esteem have boyfriends/girlfriends and other more confident people without one.
Give yourself credit for asking her out in the first place!! Not every guy can ask the girl they like. Remind yourself, "hey, I did something not every other guy would". Guys get rejected all the time. But they don't take it personally. People get rejected for job applications. But instead of getting down about it, they keep looking!! I completely re-frame situations like this, whether it is asking someone out, or interacting with others or any situation really.
Look at your past successes (as talked about under "believing in yourself"). These aren't made up things, they are real and tangible that you can remind yourself of. I use to put them in the back of my mind and completely discount them. I mean REALLY REALLY discount them. If someone seemed to like me,...I'd say to myself, "oh, she might have been pretending". I chatted online with a girl who lived about 20 minutes from me once, we talked for an hour or two, and as we signed off, she gave me her phone number (she qualified it by saying "just friends"). That was ok by me, then she sent me her photo a couple days later. But at the time, I was living in this "shyness-Not many people like me" stage.
You tend to believe what you want to believe about yourself.
Because I was living under this umbrella of believing "girls don't really like me", I completely discounted what this one girl did, saying to myself, oh she's just being extra friendly, or some nonsense. Other situations got completely forgotten about. I really believe this is one of the most important concepts on this website. When I think back on it now, I realize alot of little indications that went unnoticed by me. You tend to believe whatever supports your current identity of yourself For example, if my identity was "women don't like me", then I could talk to a girl, it might even go ok, but because I have that frame of mind going into it (even subconsciously), then I would notice even the smallest hint that something isn't going right,...and suddenly say to myself..."Aha! See, she wasn't really into you". Even though she really might have been! Essentially, I didn't give women the chance to get to know me better, because of this stupid belief about myself.
I made the negative situation 10x larger than it ever should have been. If something positive happens in your world on your way to overcoming shyness, enjoy it!! If I'm complimented on something now, I say a sincere thanks.
If you talked to someone online for example, and they enjoyed your company, that doesn't mean you can't do anything right or that no one likes you. Those statements simply aren't true. By making giant generalizations about myself, I realized I was severely limiting myself. If I kept telling myself all those negative things, nothing would have changed for me.