I spent the first part of my life being too shy. I was acutely self-conscious and felt as if I was trapped in a box. I was always on the sidelines, watching other people participating and enjoying themselves.
I desperately wanted to get out of that box and join them. But I didn’t know how. Just like the many thousands of people who experience being too shy.
I got to the point when I HAD TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
Shyness is learned or adapted behaviour, and therefore can be unlearned.
It is most commonly the result of painful experiences that have caused you to shut down and to retreat into your shell.
Many introverts become shy, like me, because of the social pressures that are put on them by other people – to be more social, more outgoing, more of a team player. If you not able to play the social game, you are simply ignored or excluded. If you’ve had enough of these experiences, you very quickly become shy.
Overcoming shyness is not going to happen overnight and needs determination and commitment to unlearn that behaviour. But it can be achieved much quicker and easier than you would think. Certainly a lot quicker than most other methods that don’t do anything to dissolve your shyness. I did it and the last thing that people think I am now, is too shy.
TOO SHY Greatest Fear = Greatest Freedom
Something inside me told me drama was the way, even though it was the last thing I wanted to do – to perform in front of other people, to expose myself, to make a fool of myself.
But I was to discover that my greatest fear was passage to my greatest freedom. Drama set me free and set me on a life course that I had never dreamed I would follow.
Much to my surprise, it was much easier than I thought it was going to be. Drama requires stepping into the shoes of another character. It felt very strange at first but the more I was able to imagine I was the other character, the easier it was.
I wasn’t “being me”, the too shy girl, I was being someone else – and that was more OK. It was also something I had learned how to do as a child – to play pretend games. I had never left me. (This is the same for you too even if you never played as a child as it is one of the developmental stages of childhood.)
As the character, I started doing saying things that the Too Shy Claire would never say and do – and it was fun. I even felt a little bit naughty getting away with doing and saying these things. And even more extraordinary, I was applauded for doing this. This is part of what drama is.
Applause is very powerful, because it sends messages into the brain and into the unconscious that what you are doing is “good”.
My shyness simply disappeared – and so can yours.
Watch this video and learn how I overcame my shyness and how I’ve helped hundreds of shy people put an end to this excruciating experience.
The Right Conditions
But before any of this can happen the conditions have to be right. This is especially the case if you are too shy or experience high levels of anxiety.
This is what is so different about the Sunflower Effect and the courses I run.
The first and most important condition is safety – a safe place in which to have permission to make mistakes and to make a bit of a fool of yourself and where no-one’s going to laugh at you because you’re behaving differently. When you start you’re going to feel pretty awkward and self-conscious.
The most important part of this is the emotional safety that isn’t present at many drama classes. The block to most shy people’s expression is not just fear of what others think of you, but what you think of yourself. It is the inner observer watching what you do, censuring everything you say, always trying to control, suppress and constrain your behaviour.
If you join the Breakthrough course, my core course for overcoming shyness, you will have a safe place with other people who feel in the same boat as you, who understand what it feels like to be too shy. This is what makes the difference. You will have an opportunity to try out new behaviours by playing characters that are very different from you and this will enable you to gradually come out of your shell.
In my book From Wallflower to Sunflower I explain why this is so effective at breaking the old patterns of being too shy. This is what happened to me.
HOW DO YOU GET STARTED
I recommend the Breakthrough Group, which is specifically designed for shy, self-conscious and anxious people. It’s a safe environment in which you can gradually come out of your shell and experiment with new behaviours.
Many people have come into this group absolutely frozen with fear and by the end of the group have completely put shyness behind them. They find themselves participating just the same in the group as everyone else – no longer the “wallflower on the dance floor”.
“That overwhelming feeling of being fed up of being the quiet one and not being able to express myself and almost feeling like a fraud when I’m shy with people I don’t know well. Is why I began my journey with Claire. It now feels like I’m constantly stretching my confidence like you would do if you were overweight and needed to go to the gym. Week by week I started to see progress. Stretching out of my comfort zone losing excess worries and self doubt on the way like layers of clothes. I’m so grateful for Claire and also the people that attend you really do realise that you’re not in this alone others are going through similar experiences and we will overcome it together. Thank you Claire you have literally changed my life.”
Vanessa, November 2017 Verified review from Hotcourses
I also have a 100% money back guarantee if you don’t get anything out of the course. If you are extremely shy or anxious, your shyness is there for a good reason – and it’s not going to shift overnight and you’ll probably need at least 2 courses before you’ll start seeing significant changes. This is important. Sustained change over a period of time is what leads to long-lasting and, in time, permanent change.
Many people also supplement the course with some individual sessions (particularly if you have a high level of self-c0nsciousness that is preventing you from shifting in the way you would like). Sometimes only 1 session is needed. Dissolving the psychological blocks to your shyness is what is going to make the difference and this deeper work is .
It takes courage and commitment to overcome the discomfort, but that is what is needed – and with the support of other people all rooting for you.
Another good way to start is to come to an Introductory Evening – this will give you a taste of what to expect if you join the Breakthrough course.
If you’re not sure if Breakthrough is right for you, you can set up a time to speak to me, (it’s free) so I can get more of a sense of what is going to be the best course for you.
And I highly recommend subscribing to my newsletter and downloading The Confidence Myth eBook which will give you insight in to why you’re in your shell and what it will take to get you out of it. And there are a few exercises which will help you to begin making some changes right away.
NOT QUITE READY FOR A GROUP
For some people coming into a group is too big a step in which case a series of individual sessions will help to prepare you. Basically the more of this kind of work you do, the quicker you will learn new skills and banish the old habit of being too shy.
Or read about how I banished shyness forever.
Or see our Frequently Asked Questions Section for any questions you may have.
Or you may like to email me and tell me a little bit about yourself and what you are struggling with?
From Wallflower to Sunflower breaks new ground in the field of confidence-building. A former wallflower, she stumbled by chance on a very simple and effective way to build a natural and lasting confidence.
Claire Schrader has developed the Sunflower Effect, a proven confidence-building system using an adapted form of drama, that has assisted many hundreds of people to move from “Wallflower to Sunflower” (to becoming naturally self-confident).
The book is highly practical, grounded in psychology and scientific research and offers a step-by-step guide with proven strategies, practical tips, exercises and free online resources.
Reading the book will enable you to get more about of the Breakthrough Group because you will understand more about how the Sunflower Effect works.
From Wallflower to Sunflower – the quiet person’s path to natural self-confidence by Claire Schrader