If you have shyness or social anxiety, then your family members probably offer you some advice from time to time.
They may tell you to be louder or start talking more.
Or they may tell you “It’s all in your head” or “Don’t care what other people think” or “There’s no reason to be shy.” And my favorite one was…
“What’s the worst that can happen?”
Whenever I was feeling nervous, tense, quiet or shy, it seemed like people told me this all the time.
- Don’t be nervous making the presentation because… “What’s the worst that can happen?”
- Talk to people louder and look them in the eye because… “What’s the worst that can happen?”
- Go up and talk to that girl because… “What’s the worst that can happen?” (This also often came with “What have you got to lose?”)
Back when I was in your shoes I got this type of advice ALL THE TIME.
Usually the advice was given to me by someone who had never been shy at all. Since they had never experienced what it’s actually like to be shy or socially anxious, they didn’t realize their advice was USELESS to me.
In this post I’ll explain why advice like this never works.
The first thing to realize is that all the people who give advice are really just trying to do the best they can to help you.
Unfortunately, the perspective of someone on the “outside” of shyness and social anxiety is much different than someone who is suffering from it. But you must realize they were just trying to give you the best advice they could, from their perspective.
And, from an “outsider’s perspective,” their advice does make sense. To someone who has never had shyness or social anxiety, it seems so silly, irrational, pointless and foolish. So they think that if they can make you see shyness as irrational, just like they do, then you won’t be shy anymore.
And this is the major flaw in all the advice most people will give you.
Shyness Isn’t A Choice
Shyness is not a decision you make. You can’t “choose” to feel anxious in certain situations. It’s not like you keep a list of reasons why you should feel shy in your notebook.
You just feel it automatically in certain situations. It’s out of your control.
And this also means you can’t just stop feeling shyness or anxiety whenever you want.
It’s not like someone’s going to tell you “What have you got to lose?” and you’re going to say “Nothing” and then your shyness will magically disappear.
Shyness and social anxiety are both emotional reactions in your mind that happen automatically that you have almost no control over.
Because of this, you can’t use “rational arguments” on your shyness or try to think your way out of it because YOU DID NOT THINK YOUR WAY INTO IT in the first place.
The only way to overcome shyness or social anxiety is to change the way your brain is “wired” on a deep level.
This doesn’t happen by hearing cheesy motivational phrases. It happens by altering your psychology and behaviour through proven scientific techniques.
If you want to learn my most powerful techniques and strategies for overcoming shyness or social anxiety, then check out my ebook here.
Oh, and I promise you won’t find the phrase “What’s the worst that can happen?” Anywhere inside my ebook 😉