I used to be so shy that I would talk in whispers. 

Reaching out to people felt near impossible because I felt uncomfortable initiating conversation.

I was young (and awkward). 

My reserved and shy nature made it hard for me to build my confidence. 

I didn’t want to share anything on social media. 

I hated the phrases “Go out there”, “Just talk to people”, and last but not least, “Don’t be shy!” 

Alas, there had to be another way. 

There had to be a way where shy, introverted people like me could succeed too.

But being shy and introverted didn’t mean I could stay comfortable and complacent in my own little bubble. 

So I got out of my chair and started attending events around the city that I found interesting. I just wanted to be an observer in the crowds. 

One night, I found myself at a lecture hall listening to an amazing photographer talk about her career. 

At the end of the presentation was Q&A. 

I desperately wanted to ask if I could work with her (something I almost never, ever, ever do at large presentations is ask questions because I’d be much more comfortable being hidden in the crowds). 

I was nervous. 

I was anxious. 

I was so shy that I let everyone else go in front of me so that I could prolong my waiting time in line. 

Finally, one of the event organizers realized I was silently waiting around while everyone went home. 

The crowd was now 4-5 people, much smaller than it was just half an hour ago. 

As soon as I checked the time on my phone, I felt 2 strong hands behind my back. 

A force so strong that it propelled me forward several steps until I was inches away from knocking over the presenter herself. 

I was pushed (literally) towards an opportunity in front of me. 

It was my turn to go out there, talk to people, and not be shy. 

So I did it. 

I asked my question, got a yes, and can now talk about that small but impactful moment in my life. 

In all of this, I realized that the antidote to my own shyness was the very thing I felt uncomfortable doing. 

AKA, going out there, talking to people, and trying to be less shy. 

I still hated it, but it did the trick for me. 

If you’re anything like me and want to shed your shyness, I hope you’ll do something that discomforts you. 

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