1. GET OUT AND TALK TO PEOPLE
Sitting around all day playing with your computer or watching reruns of Star Trek - The Next Generation are not going to provide you with a lot of opportunities. If you're invited to go somewhere... GO! Don't make up excuses to stay at home. It's the little things that cause a chain reaction. You may not think that going to your friend's party is important, but often you will meet someone who introduces you to someone else, and then that person will eventually lead you to something that will change the course of your entire life.
2. JOIN A CLUB
Meet some people. Figure out what some of your interests, hobbies or talents are, and then hang out with people who have the same interests.
3. PERFORM IN PUBLIC
The biggest turning point in my life was when I joined the school Drama Club. I discovered that I could act and make people laugh. I eventually went on to become a professional comedian-actor. Now you don't have to become a pro, but it is important that you learn to deal with the public. Join the school Drama Club or local Community Theatre. Take up singing or even try Karaoke. How about a debate club? Anything that requires speaking or performing in front of people will do. It is important to know that you don't even have to be good at it. Just DO IT! TRY IT! You'll get better at it as time goes on and your confidence will soar. (By the way, did you know that Robert DeNiro is very shy?)
4. TALK ABOUT THEIR FAVORITE SUBJECT -- THEMSELVES!
Sometimes talking to someone new can be very uncomfortable. We're worried that they won't find us interesting, that they won't like us, that we're not good enough for them. We're so busy worrying about what the other person is thinking about us that we don't even hear what they're saying. Do you want them to like you? Keep them busy talking about themselves. Ask them questions about what they do, about what their interests are. Eventually they'll start asking you about yourself. Give them honest answers (don't try to impress them) and then go right back to talking about them again. They'll go away thinking What a great person. Because you've shown an unselfish genuine interest in them, how can they find you boring and not like you?
5. SAY IT WITH COMMITMENT
If you have an opinion, an idea, or a belief, express it with 100% commitment. Not everyone is going to agree with you, but you do have the right to say what's on your mind. Politicians can't make everyone happy but they know this much: If you say something with uncertainty and no one agrees with you they'll all jump on you' and say you're wrong. However, if you say it with all your heart and commitment and no one agrees with you, they'll just call you controversial' - but they'll respect what you have to say.
6. STOP TRYING TO BE PERFECT
Why is it that so many people think that being perfect is the way to go? Often, people who are shy or have low self-esteem feel the need to be perfect just to break even' with the rest of the world. They think they have to be twice as good to be any good. You don't! You just have to be yourself.
7. BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND
Do you put yourself down? Do you call yourself names in your own head? Stop it immediately! Give yourself a break. If you don't like yourself, how do you expect anyone else to?
Remember, overcoming shyness is a gradual process and often not an easy one. If you want to learn how to swim, you know that you're going to have to get a little wet! But once you're in the water, you'll never want to come out.
Are you shy?