The Shyness Project

About

Hi, my name is Brittany Wood.  I’m 17 years old (update- now 22!) and I set up this blog to keep track of a personal one-year project I created called The Shyness Project.  This personal journey began January 1st, 2011 and will be completed January 1st, 2012.  I’ve used “shyness” as a catch all term for myself personally, but a lot of my experiences could be considered moderate social anxiety because of how debilitating the feelings have been.  Regardless, the focus of my project has simply been on overcoming fears and gaining control in life. I’ve set a goal for myself about every month and have written about some of my experiences and thoughts here for anyone who is interested to read.   Please feel free to comment on my posts, write to me, etc because I mean it when I say I’d love to hear from you!  Thank you for reading!

P.S.  My email is bwood345@gmail.com if you would prefer to contact me privately.

88 thoughts on “About

  1. Brittany You can do this!
    Your last post about the guy Brian showed alot of guts!
    No shyness there.
    Keep posting.
    I am very interested in reading your writing.
    gmom

    • Thanks gmom! I feel like I can do this too! 🙂
      Things will get tough, and I’ve already had some doubts, but so far I’ve followed through and kept going.
      I’m glad you like it! This is the first time I’ve done any public writing like this, so it’s good to know that I’m keeping it interesting. 🙂

  2. Hi Brittany – I just found your blog and am very interested in your project. Seems to me that you’ve made a major step in the right direction by even starting this. The more you make yourself do and the more experiences you accumulate, the less shy you will become. I used to be shy about a lot of things, but I was also impatient, and eventually realized that I didn’t want to wait around before doing and saying things that seemed important or fun. Sometimes we just need to get over ourselves – and sometimes that’s the hardest thing to get past. I look forward to reading through your entries.

    • Thank you for stopping by Patti! Thanks, it was hard to even start this project honestly! But I didn’t want fear to hold me back, especially the fear of failure. In the beginning I had a lot of worries that I wasn’t going to be able to do this, but to combat that I made myself write a declaration that I was going to follow through and signed it. I think this will be a great experience for me, and hopefully will inspire some others or help others understand more about shyness.
      I’m glad to hear that you were able to conquer your shyness when you needed to! It’s tough, and I’m sure it wasn’t an easy thing to do. Thank you, I’ll be reading your entries too! 🙂

  3. Hey Brittany, I read quite a few of your posts, and I have to say I can totally relate. I am very shy also! In fact, I would say it’s actually Social Phobia for me. I also have mild agoraphobia. I know how you feel about going out alone, etc. I very rarely go anywhere alone. I think it’s great that you are facing it and fighting it! Keep up the good work!!
    🙂 Diana

    • Thank you Diana for reading my posts and commenting! 🙂 It means a lot to me! I’m glad you can relate and are a fellow shy person! It’s nice knowing that you know how I feel about going out alone sometimes, and that it isn’t just me! Thank you, and keep up the good work with your exercise goals! I know you can do it! Just keep blogging! 🙂

  4. Good job confronting your shyness! I’m with you 100%!

  5. Alba on said:

    Hey Brittany,

    I wanted to thank you for the comment of encouragement that you left on my page and, also, leave one for you in return. I read through a few of your posts already and I really like the idea behind your blog. As someone who is also shy by nature, I can completely understand how difficult it can make life at times. I know how it feels to try and gather up the courage to start a conversation with someone you just met. I think it’s great that you’re making an effort to change things; and I can definitely say, from experience, that college can be a good place to make those changes. Meeting people from all walks of life, of different ages, and with a wide variety of interests will really have a positive impact on your journey. Great work so far, keep going!

    Alba

    • Thanks so much Alba! Your comment means a lot to me, good luck with your resolutions as well! I’m happy to hear that you can relate and understand how hard the simple things can be sometimes. I’m sure college will be a good growing experience for me as well, especially when I get to transfer to a 4 year school after community college. Thanks so much for your encouragement! 🙂

  6. Britanny, I was encouraged by your blog and I have a series on my blog called Honorable Mention. When I find blogs I want to share with others or I think may help someone else, I make mention of it in a post. I wanted to add you in June if you don’t mind. Just let me know. Thanks.

  7. I love the whole concept of this blog! I hope you achieve the personal growth you’re working so hard for.

    • Thanks so much Hook! 🙂 I’m glad that you love it! I am definitely growing with each and every step I take, and can’t wait to grow even more! Thanks for all you comments, I will go respond to them all right away!

  8. sinsifel on said:

    Heya Brittany,

    Feels a bit awkward for me sending a message to you in the public eye, as I’m shy myself.
    My name is Liam, I’m 20, live in england and suffer from a lot of confidence problems myself.

    I’ve been looking for quite a while on trying to send a private message but couldnt find the feature 😦

    So if you’re interested in making friends/getting to know one another, please do send me an email at cassidy-7@hotmail.com

    Hope to hear from you soon, take care!

    Liam.

    • Hey thanks for the message Liam! I understand that shyness is a difficult thing to talk about in the public eye, so no worries on that. Posting about my personal life and experiences with shyness always makes me a little nervous. Thanks for writing! I don’t think there is a private message option on WordPress unfortunately, but I can send you an email. 🙂
      That’s awesome that you live in England by the way, that’s where my mom grew up! Check your inbox!

  9. Amy I on said:

    Hi Brittany,

    I’ve just stumbled across your blog, and I think it’s brilliant!

    Reading your posts it really does feel like you have somehow managed to access every thought and feeling I had when I was 18. So many of the situations and feelings you describe I have been through as well, and it’s nice to know that there are other similar people out there. It is scary how accurately you have described everything I have experienced too!

    I’m 25 now, and although when entering a new social situation I still have to pause to ‘boost’ myself before I walk through the door, it does get easier, and all your hard work will pay off 🙂 sometimes I am tempted to cover my face with my hair and hide still, but I have learnt to train myself to walk in head held high, and sometimes that’s all it takes.

    Good luck with your journey, I’m very impressed at your determination, and know you will succeed! 🙂

    Amy

    • Hey thanks Amy, I appreciate it! 🙂

      Wow that is crazy, but also pretty cool that you can relate to so many of the situations and feelings that I’ve described! I’m glad that you have trained yourself to walk in with your head held high, just the way you walk or stand really does affect how you feel. I can relate to that “boost” feeling sometimes too funnily enough. Thanks for your belief in me, and thanks for stopping by to leave me such a nice comment! Hope to hear from you again!

  10. Christy on said:

    I just came here from the Quiet blog and think this is a splendid idea you’ve come up with (even without having read any of your posts yet). Psychology teaches us that we can overcome most fears by doing that hardest thing and forcing ourselves to face them, in reasonable doses, so, good on you.
    Years ago when I left high school for college, I was shy, and I think that was because high school had taught me I wasn’t good enough for other people to take notice of and want to be around. What turned that around and gave me the self-confidence I have now is largely that a small group of people became my friends and showed me I was interesting and quite worthy for people to like. I think it’s splendid that you’ve put this out in a public setting, because now people can give you the support and encouragement that even we introverts dearly need.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by Christy! Yeah that is a good blog, I’m looking forward to her book! Thank you, I’m glad that I’ve kept this idea going strong since January 1st and am still passionate about what I’m doing! It certainly isn’t easy to face fears, especially when it’s all optional and you have the choice just to stay home or not do something, but it’s definitely been worth it.
      I’m glad that you were given the support you needed in college and that made you feel more self-confident. Being around the right group of people definitely changes how confident and comfortable I feel, and how silly I’ll act. 🙂 Yeah I’ve definitely received some great support from a solid group of bloggers, and I’m very grateful for that. I don’t know if I’d still be doing this if I didn’t have that support. Hope you enjoy the posts, I have some new ones to put up soon!

  11. Christy on said:

    P.S. Looking forward to actually reading your posts now.

  12. Greg Markway on said:

    Hi again, Brittany. I’m still just getting used to WordPress and this is showing up under my husband’s name… Yes, it is great you’ve kept this project going for over half a year! Will you contact me directly sometime? barbmarkway@gmail.com

  13. Greg Markway on said:

    P.S. I found your site through Susan Cain’s blog as well… (Barb M.)

  14. Hello.Thank you for stopping by.Your site is great because your thought is directly reflected.
    I’m looking forward to reading your posts.I also started my blog since this year.:)
    Have a good day.

    • Hey! Thank you also for stopping by and leaving some comments! I love all the pictures on your site. I look forward to reading more of your posts and learning more about your life in Japan. Thanks for writing!

  15. Androgoth on said:

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with shyness my friend as we are all different, individuality is always unique to each and every one of us and I am sure that as time progresses that your thoughts on this characteristic will become much easier to fathom.

    I guess that facing one’s own fears are part of life’s great journey and the learning curve of that will become clearer to you with each passing day, and so with that said I wish you very well as you ponder these feelings of timidity… Be very well now my friend 🙂

    Androgoth

    • Thanks Androgoth! I agree with you that there is nothing wrong with shyness. I guess the shyness I am focusing on confronting is more along the lines of the limiting shyness, the kind that holds me back from doing what I want to do. If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t have felt a need to do this. But it’s true that there are several different levels of shyness and not all of them are limiting.

      Yeah this has mostly been about facing my fears, and learning that I can push past those feelings when I need to or want to. Thanks for writing and for sharing your positive outlook on shyness, it’s definitely always comforting to hear that!

  16. Hello Brittany, I love your project (and though I’m 30, I still enjoy reading your posts about school and dressing up confidently – and only wish I’d known then what you’re sharing with us now.) My first picture e-book is about an introverted child, and I wonder if it’s okay to share your blog as a link on our special page for this book? For those parents with teenage kids going through the same shyness dilemma … Feel free to email me and let me know. =) Thank you!

    • That would be wonderful Claudine, please go ahead and share my blog! I would be very honored! I think your idea of the picture e-book about an introverted child is great! I hope many kids get to read it! I don’t think I read books about that when I was a kid; it would have been helpful. And thank you very much, I’ve really learned a lot from doing this and am really happy that others can get something out of it too! 🙂

  17. Hello girlie! I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award, Click on the link: http://wp.me/p1U4zR-7x

  18. You probably already have a lot of this with you and yet here I am passing the Versatile Blogger award to you. Check this out: http://justbeingthoughtful.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/question-25/

  19. Brendon on said:

    Hi Brittany, First off I’d like to commend you for what you’ve done here, it is very self challenging and you seem to have been very successful in your endeavors. I found this through the psychology today website researching introversion, which is my significant personality trait and temperament. I’m not sure what you know about extroversion v introversion, I assume you basically know about it, and I’m not sure if you consider yourself one or the other, but for some of us it is very clear that we are majorly introverted. Where this relates to your project is that introversion is often swapped with and confused with the idea of shyness, although not entirely fallaciously because many people who are introverted often do experience true shyness including anxiety about social experience, but what I’m getting at is that not everyone is meant to have the same experiences as the majority or are meant to behave and feel like the majority who need and even depend on social interaction. Those that aren’t like that, who’s minds work differently than the common average decently outgoing person’s, are going to always be misunderstood and even labeled as shy or anti social or something similar, so one necessarily doesn’t need to see life as this big challenge to become a “normally” functioning person, it can be as simple as an attitude change, an acceptance of your place and nature, trusting to find your niche in society, that can give you confidence. Confidence that when it comes to fitting in, you are perfectly poignant in your self reasoning in defiance of societal assumptions… but I will say challenging your self wholeheartedly like you seem to have done is going to have major benefits no matter what, again I commend you for it, but that if your just naturally different than others you should embrace that and not try to be like the most common example of success seemingly important to the mainstream of society.

    • Oh but by the way, this shyness project is important to me, I even bookmarked it and look forward to reading through all of your experiences, I don’t mean to make it sound insignificant to me, just explaining a perspective relating to this idea that I hadn’t yet seen expressed in your blog.

      • Thanks Brendon for writing! Yep I know all about introversion and extroversion, and I am indeed an introvert. And I am proud of that and this blog isn’t about becoming an extrovert. It’s about confronting some of the shyness and social anxiety I’ve had in several situations, not about changing my introversion. I’m working on getting more comfortable and confident in areas where I feel like I need improvement. Like public speaking, I used to panic for days beforehand and not be able to sleep because of the fears of presentations, so I joined toastmasters so I could repeatedly practice giving speeches so I would feel less anxiety. And say with raising my hand in class, often times I’ve wanted to say things but my anxiety made me freeze and keep my hand down, so I wanted to practice that until I became more comfortable sharing my thoughts with the class. So I’m not targeting introversion you see, I’m targeting those things which I feel are holding me back and causing me more anxiety than they should. I’m not trying to become an extroverted person, I’m just trying to gain better control of my life so fear doesn’t keep me from doing the things I want to be able to do. Hope that makes sense, thanks for asking! 🙂

  20. Brittany, you have a wonderful blog, here. I’m so impressed by your poise and writing style for someone so young. I was shy all through high school myself and through becoming an AF officer was forced to do things that required more outgoing activities – presentations, leading, speaking to large groups, etc.

    However, later in life (mid 30’s), I found out there was a LOT of brain chemistry issues (hereditary on my mom’s side of the family) that I was not aware of, as I started developing phobias. I have only flown twice since 1997, have trouble riding in elevators, and going on large bridges. The fear of flying greatly impacted my career over the years.

    I found that much of the help came in the form of physiology – deep breathing – to combat the fight or flight feelings that I had. And mild medication has helped as well. Though I still have not conquered the fears.

    Anyhow, this is a REALLY long comment. Thank you for sharing your experience and helping so many others. I am following you now and wish you all the best.

    http://mjmonaghan.wordpress.com/about/

    • Thank you MJ! I’m kind of an old soul I guess you could say, haha. It’s great that you were able to do all those presentations in the Air Force even when they were out of your comfort zone.

      Fears and phobias are very tricky and difficult to overcome when the feelings you get are so debilitating and overwhelming. You really have to go slow with those fears and not do too much at once. When I took psychology last spring my teacher told us how she helped one of her clients overcome her overwhelming fear of dogs for instance. She couldn’t go out most places because she was afraid she’d see or come across a dog. I think I remember she said they started with looking at pictures of dogs for a little while. Then once her anxiety decreased with that she brought in stuffed animals of dogs. Then they moved to small dogs. Then slightly bigger dogs. And then finally she was introduced to a big dog. It was a long, slow, and difficult process, but each little step brought her closer to her goal, and ultimately led her to overcoming her phobia. Now the lady loves dogs and has a bunch of them. So phobias can be overcome. I think fear of flying, riding in elevators, and going over large bridges all involve the underlying fear of death or being trapped. Taking a slow and gradual approach to each of those phobias sounds like it would be the best idea. I have a friend who’s a psychologist so maybe I can ask her what she’s done for those particular phobias. I imagine you start with looking at images of the feared situation, then just observing but not experiencing them, then just going on for a few minutes, and then eventually going all the way, all the while training your thoughts and beliefs to be more realistic of what likely is and isn’t going to happen. Maybe there’s some simulation stuff out there too where you can be exposed to the experience without actually experiencing it. The CBT approach seems to work well even though it can take a long time.

      Deep breathing can be very helpful and I’m glad that has worked for you. Medication can also make a big difference as well. It will take time to conquer the fears. It could take years even. But as long as you keep trying and taking those baby steps, you will make progress. The hardest thing is just deciding to make an effort to confront your fears. It involves a lot of discomfort and anxiety in the short run, but in the long run it’s worth it. It really helps having some sort of support group as well, and blogging can be great for that. There are probably many other bloggers who are going through the same struggles as you, and probably even some who have overcome the fears! It’s helpful reading others’ experiences.

      Haha don’t worry in my book it’s not long at all! (look at my reply!) I appreciate you taking the time to write and share all that. I’m sure others will find comfort in reading your comment too if they are going through similar phobias. It takes a tremendously brave individual to try and confront fears as crippling as you describe. I have a feeling your battles can be won though if you make the decision to overcome them and give yourself time.

  21. Hi Brittany!

    I enjoy the interaction on your blog and the thoughtful comments you receive. That you are assisting others as well as yourself is wonderful.

    I am not shy, I am simply fearful of appearing foolish or making mistakes in public. When I started Toastmasters a few years back, I felt I would faint every time I stood before people to speak. I was even afraid to speak in business meetings, and I am middle-aged! Why was I like this? Perhaps for a different reason than some of your bloggers. I grew up in a family that was critical and angry. I learned that it was best not to speak or do much of anything that might invite an angry response. I really had to question myself to figure out why I got so mind-numbingly nervous. I finally realized that any criticism, or even imagined criticism, created a visceral response in me. I felt like a cowering dog. Only through lots of practice putting myself out there have I found that most people are supportive and kind. I remind myself of this all the time. It took quite a while, but now, when I interact with a person, I think of what I am giving. That thought helps me immensely. I have also learned that if others are cruel or hurtful, I have the right to stand up for myself because I am worth it.

    As I mentioned a couple of months back, I was getting ready to do my first performance playing guitar and singing. Incredibly enough, I did it two days ago, and I wasn’t nervous in the least. Getting to that point took me a year and a half. I did my best to give each song to the audience as a gift (hope they received it as such!) I still get nervous. But just as you are giving so beautifully to others with this blog, and others are glad to receive, so I’m finding that giving in person works pretty well too. It is helping me reach my goals. I’m finding most people are vulnerable and human once I get to know them.

    You are doing a great service for all the people you touch. Good luck!

    Marcy

    • Hey Marcy! Good to hear from you, thanks for writing.

      Thanks for sharing all that Marcy. When I first met you I was blown away by your presentation in Toastmasters so I never would have known about the journey you had before that in getting more comfortable with public speaking. It must have been really tough growing up with such a critical family and I can see how that could have made you additionally fearful of making mistakes or being criticized.

      I have found that people are mostly supportive and kind too- especially when giving speeches in Toastmasters and in my public speaking class. That is a great strategy to think of what you are giving when you are interacting with someone. I try and think of a similar thought when I’m giving speeches and I try to see it more as sharing a message than giving a speech.

      Yay!!! Congrats Marcy, that is awesome! I bet the crowd loved your performance. Sounds like you were able to keep in the right mindset and really enjoyed yourself up there. Yeah, we’re all human and we all struggle with things and get nervous for things. We don’t always talk about it because we fear being criticized or looked down on, but the truth is the more you open up to others and share your vulnerabilities the more they’ll share with you. I’ve learned a lot about friends and have gotten closer with them this way. I’ve learned how a lot of people surprisingly have been in the same boat as you at some point in their lives, or are going through similar experiences to you in the very moment. But you would never know that if you hadn’t first shared your own experiences and took some sort of risk in making yourself vulnerable. Thanks Marcy, keep performing guitar! Your music is definitely a great gift to share with the world.

  22. Very, very cool blog. I’ve already read some very useful posts. Thanks and keep it up!

  23. Hi Brittany,

    You’re doing so wonderfully…I so admire your courage, sincerity and persistence. I sure wish I had been able to address “shyness” many years earlier…I would have avoided lots of discomfort. Have you seen this post? http://pocketperspectives.wordpress.com/plant-flowers/i-have-a-voice/ ( the poem “once” tells about a public speaking reaction )

    or this one? … http://pocketperspectives.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/the-courage-to-have-a-voice-and-to-use-it/ I made both of those to try to help myself, and some kids, I teach…. develop courage and persistence to voice my/their thoughts and ideas.
    I also find that blogging has helped a lot…. it’s gone from taking huge amounts of courage when I first started posting…well the first 4 months, actually,…and now getting easier…which is close to a miracle, as far as I’m concerned….
    Warm smiles of encouragement to you… kathy

    • Thank you Kathy! 🙂 I just brought up those posts and will read them now! Blogging is very helpful and therapeutic even, I agree. I know what you mean when you say that it’s taken a lot of courage to start blogging and to write each of your personal posts. I used to get really overwhelmed about what I was disclosing in the beginning, but as time has gone on, I’ve gotten more used to opening up about this sensitive subject. It’s actually turned out to be a really great experience and I’ve been able to genuinely connect with a lot of people around the world with similar experiences. I didn’t realize how common it was until I read so many other stories and as people in my life even told me things they struggled with that I had no idea about. I think the more we all share our struggles the more vulnerable we will feel, but the more connected to other people we will feel as well. Thanks for writing and good to hear from you! Take care!

  24. Hey Brittany!
    What a great blog. Glad you called over to mine so I got to know about yours 🙂
    Will go through more later, but have enjoyed your insights so far.

    • Thank you! I’m glad you came over as well! Hope you enjoy the posts! You wrote about overcoming shyness/caution with new people so you can make connections, there are probably some posts under the “talking to strangers” and “make new friends” category that might interest you. A lot of the friendships I made this year were possible because I worked on overcoming that caution and took a chance. Good luck to you!

  25. eyeLaugh on said:

    This is so exciting! I hope you had the best of luck on your endeavors, and I can’t wait to read about them!

  26. Hi Brittany,
    Thanks for commenting on my blog. I hope you feel your project has been successful. I wish I’d tackled my problems at your age.

    • Thanks Miriam! It has definitely been successful and I’ve learned a lot in a relatively short amount of time. I’m really glad I decided to try it. It’s never too late to start tackling those things that you feel are interfering with your life or are bringing you down! Negative thoughts are especially important to focus on like you were saying in your post. Thanks for writing!

  27. What an inspiring blog you have! I only wish I found it earlier in the year. Will you continue to blog about your experiences post January 2012?

    • Thank you! I will continue to write on this blog after the year is up. I haven’t figured out exactly what my new focus will be, but I am thinking I will take what I learned this year and use it to try and specifically help other people. I want this to become a type of community site where people can find support and can discuss this subject and any struggles they might be having. That’s what I’m thinking anyhow, thanks for asking!

  28. Surfing the waves of the web I am pleasantly stranded in your interesting blog.
    I write under the pseudonym of Josè Pascal (a descendant of the great Colonel Aureliano Buendía).
    I invite you to visit my “italianglish” writing blog http://parolesemplici.wordpress.com/mytinbox/.
    I define this blog “In parole Semplici” as a “virtuacultural tin” box where they are guarded thoughts, memories, images, sounds, and simple stories”.
    I dream an intercultural blog. Already involves more than 100 authors/friends.
    If you want to participate and to have more informations send me a letter to inparolesemplici@gmail.com

    Good life and I hope to soon

  29. Happy Holidays! I wish you a very happy, healthy, fun-loving and harmonious Christmas and New Year. Cheers to confidence!

  30. After popping by my blog and reading the post on my mom’s helpful technique for dealing with overwhelming group-social situations, you must know how much in favor I am of what you’re working on here! Brittany, I commend you and believe that simply by ‘going public’ in this way with both your commitment to dealing with your fears and your journey through that, you are already well on the path you desire. Cheers to you!
    Kathryn

    • Thank you Kathryn! Thanks for sharing your experiences and what you learned relating to shyness too on your site! The more people share about that the better because it helps people know they aren’t alone. And thanks, going public was not easy and the last thing I’d ever imagine I’d do but it turned out to be a really great experience! 🙂 Happy Holidays!

  31. megansmanifesto on said:

    Hi Brittany,

    Thanks so much for following my blog, which, funnily enough, is pretty much the same as yours. Great minds seem to think alike 🙂 I know too well the ways that shyness and anxiety hinder your success in the world. They’re two forces that just don’t quit. Like the Energizer Bunny, but on crack. I’m so so excited to read through your archives and follow your future progress. You’ve given me huge heaps of inspiration, so thank-you! And good luck! Maybe we can exchange notes every once in a while 😉

    • Haha I like your analogy to the Energizer Bunny on crack! That’s a funny mental picture, but yes it can certainly feel that way! Thank you so much, I hope you enjoy reading them! We can definitely exchange notes from time to time! I look forward to reading more of your posts. 🙂

  32. Dear Brittany,

    My name is Katie and I work in the Public Relations Department at Toastmasters International World Headquarters. I just sent you an email about a possible media opportunity. I hope that you recieved the email. If not, will you kindly email me at pr@toastmasters.org or give me a call at 949-858-8255?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind regards,

    Katie Ferguson

  33. Hi Brittany,
    I just wanted to say that The Shyness Project is really inspiring to me, and I actually recently started my own blog on getting rid of social anxiety after I started college. Thank you so much for doing this – reading it helps a lot. I’m extremely grateful!

    • Aww thank you Go for telling me that! It’s always encouraging for me to hear things like this. I look forward to reading your posts! You’re definitely not alone in your endeavors!

  34. Hi Britanny, landed to your shyness article from Google Image Search!

    https://theshynessproject.wordpress.com/2011/02/27/raising-hand-in-class-fear-and-shyness/
    I read the article and wow it was like reading my own classroom experience.
    I had the same classroom shyness and social anxiety issues in my school days (finished 2003). Even when I knew the answer haven’t dared to raise the hands!
    You have described your experiences so very clearly it’s like you have spoke my mind!
    I’m 27 now and though, I have overcome Phone Phobia and Social phobia I still have fear in speaking in the middle of the people, especially office meetings.

    Your blog is brilliant and don’t stop writing!

    Sunny from India.

    • Aww thank you so much for telling me that Sunny, I’m glad you could relate to my experiences! I still have things I could work on too but I have come a long ways and it sounds like you have too. 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind message and I will hopefully post again soon now that my summer class is finally over! Take care.

  35. That’s interesting. I did a one-month project called The Self-Confidence Project with a blog that I started a shortly before yours. Similar.

  36. Hi Brittany! Love your blog. I don’t know if you got my email about a Toastmaster magazine article, but please contact me as soon as possible. My address is ruthmiriam at earthlink dot net. Thanks!

  37. Hello Brittany!
    I’ve been reading about your journey so long, I forgot what led me here in the first place 😛
    I’m struggling with introversion and public speaking being on the same side of the coin; two panic attacks and countless mini-meltdowns later, you words are encouraging, so are your experiences and journey.
    Thank you.
    PS. I’m inspired to keep track of my own falls and getting-up-and-brushing-my-knees experiences 🙂

    • Hello 🙂 I’m honored I’ve helped inspire you to keep track of your own falls and getting-up-and-brushing-your-knees experiences! (I like the way you phrased that by the way, that is a lot of what I’ve recorded with my blog without always realizing it it seems!) I think you’ll find that writing about these experiences helps you learn from them even more than you would if you just felt embarrassed because of them or tried to forget about them. Not that we should focus on our mess-ups, but it can transform our thinking about these experiences and what value they can really have when it comes to personal growth. Thanks for writing and reading 🙂

  38. Love your project idea! To challenge yourself in personal growth! I am 45 years old, and unfortunately still get to hear that me being silent or shy (or introvert) is something wrong. Just last year, when meeting some new people and we sat 5 people in a room, one of them bursted out to me “why don’t you say something!! you are not like others!!” I felt astonished and hurt at that time, but had to excuse myself with “oh I am a bit shy…”. Now I realized how rude people can be, and how I have experienced this many times in my life. There is no reason for shy or introvert people to have to excuse ourselves. Instead, hold your head high and say with a smile: yeah, that’s who I am. I am someone that listens when you speak. I am someone who thinks grand things in my head, and I choose when to open my mouth and say them, instead of going bliblublahyiddiyaddaplingeplong just to cut the silence 🙂
    By the way, even if I am considered shy or introvert, I can be an excellent speaker in public events. Because when being passionate about a subject, I love being on stage. These are two sides of a personality that get some people puzzled – why is she so shy or silent in groups of people, but comes out a great speaker or drama clown on stage? Well, let them be puzzled 🙂
    Good luck Brittany!

    • Thanks Beam! 🙂 Wow that is really rude, sorry you had to hear that. :/ It almost makes me wonder if people who make comments or attacks like this have some insecurity of their own that they take out on others. Seems like it. You’re right, no one should have to excuse themselves for being quiet or shy. That is awesome that you are an excellent public speaker, passion definitely is the key in giving a good speech. That’s great you can be a clown on stage too. 🙂 Thanks for writing and for your support!

  39. Thankyou Brittany for inspiring so many of us – you speak of feelings that we think we are alone with – but actually are so so common.

    As a child I was voluntary mute for many years, and the old question”Why are you so quiet” still shakes me to the core … luckily I don’t get it anymore; more compliments about being able to express mySelf well and put mySelf out there(!) … having been hidden for so long, I found I had an incredible amount of fiery energy and motivation to turn it around. I still have much I wish to achieve – and a very blurry, slightly scary, but amazing feeling path in-front of me …

    Your experience appears to mirror mine in so many ways – I remember when I told my partner that I felt I was going to become a speaker – – He laughed – and reminded me who I was. That was a turning point. I stepped up with even more determination to show the World who I am. I too joined Toastmasters and made mySelf speak from my most vulnerable place. I spoke of being mute, other methods of expression, night terrors, techniques for overcoming fear … and each time I uncover more passion and drive to succeed.

    Finding your blog reminded me of my desire (and fear!) of writing and sharing more. Maybe this push will help me to finish my website! It feels like a signpost; a reminder of how to get back on track , and so a big Thankyou to you for this; for being so open with your Life and for Loving yourSelf enough to walk towards the fullness and wonder of Who you really are … awesome 😉

    • Hi Kat, thanks for your very kind words! I’m glad you can relate! It’s amazing how many people can relate to the experiences I write about, even people I would have never thought could. It goes to show how something you feel is most private and most personal is often quite common and well-experienced.

      Yeah that question is a rough one, I’m glad you don’t get it anymore and that I rarely get it anymore either. It’s a rude question/remark and can definitely shake you up.

      Wow that is really awesome! I’m so happy to hear that you joined Toastmasters and gave speeches on those sensitive subjects!! The audience must have loved your talks and have felt really connected to you and honored to be trusted with that information. I would have loved to been there.

      That would be great, I hope you get back into working on your website! I had a tough time keeping mine up last year but I’m hoping to get back on track this year as a regular blogger. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this meaningful message to me and I wish you all the best!

  40. Grace on said:

    Hi Britney,

    I found your blog from Susan Cain’s website since I have the unfortunate combination of being introverted and shy. I often find myself stuttering because of the shyness to voice my opinion or comment. (I even stutter to my best friend who i’ve know for over 4 years). I also find myself socially awkward around others who I don’t really know. I really wish I could stop stuttering, any suggestions?
    I hope if I can actually talk without stuttering, I can gain more confidence.

    Also, by the way, thank you so much for your posts. They make me feel less alone in a world filled with confidence.

    • Hi Grace! Glad you found me! 🙂 Introverted & shy is definitely not an unfortunate combination and both have value in many respects. Overcoming a stutter that makes one feel self-conscious can be a challenge though, I admit I don’t have experience with that and wouldn’t have any personal advice. Perhaps meeting with a Speech Pathologist to work through the stutter and feel confident in your communication would be helpful if you haven’t already tried that though. I have had trouble enunciating before and I tried practicing by reading a few tongue twisters aloud each day. Not sure if it helped much but I remember trying that. I have a soft voice so I understand the struggle with being heard and being clear in your speech. Thanks for reading and for writing! 🙂

  41. Nice to meet you? How did the project go?

  42. What an interesting idea! Doug was one of my first blog friends, too (he sent me a link to the guest post he did about meeting his wife). I enjoyed looking over your project — too bad I didn’t catch it until after it’d ended! 🙂

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