I am of the strong opinion that being shy masks itself as a form of misdirected pride. You might disagree, but as a person who played shy for most of my life, I have a hell of a case to make. I think fear is at the root of all our shyness but when we don’t contribute or participate, that doesn’t make us humble, but the opposite. When you take yourself out of contributing something meaningful, you allow silence, or the arrogance and ignorance of others to shine through. You assume incorrectly that what you know and what you worth is either commonly understood already, or not worth mentioning.
You’re very prideful. You arrogance stops you from speaking, from leaping into action, and it is you, not us that decides to pull back. It is you that decides for all of us that what you have created, what you have experienced, and what you want to contribute is not worth sharing. You do that, not us, and I would say that you have embraced a form of misdirected pride.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. Fear doesn’t have to win the day. It doesn’t have to have its grasp on your being. Fear is a thing. It is a useful signpost. A signpost to be respected and observed, but you don’t have to follow its guidance. You should spar with fear. Use fear to make you a more tenacious contributor, because when you are afraid, you are actually close to something. Close to something magical and good.
I am a shy person by trade and its my naturally resting state. It’s hard not to be when you run away from your country to another, and spend your formative years not speaking the language very well, be over conscious about your changing body, and the perceived judgement of others.
But it really doesn’t matter what your natural resting state is, or how long you’ve been shy, or perhaps if you are not shy, how long you have hidden from who you need to become. None of that matters.
It doesn’t matter how you feel, what you do or don’t want to do. You will wake up tomorrow and the next day fighting and straining against the same doubts and forces that try to get the best of you. You forget though that there is a wonderful world out there, full of great people, and brimming with opportunity. You need to focus on that world. Imagine what could be and what you contribution can help with. Decide to share regardless how you feel or how discouraged you feel. It helps if you do it for someone. It helps to make a commitment to someone and honour that commitment.
I wish this to be the last day of you playing shy. The last day of being imprisoned by your past. The last day of thinking you’re not good enough and that you were never chosen. I hope that instead you leap into the uncomfortable unknown and learn that the sun always rises tomorrow. I hope you leap into thoughts of possibilities and let them guide you.
I hope we hear from you. Sometime. Somewhere, and soon.
Cover photo generously provided by photographer Pamela Lima via unsplash.com