The Shyness Project

Archive for the tag “self improvement”

2015 Has Been an Awesome Year

http://thespiritscience.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/o-HAPPINESS-facebook.jpgTo my surprise, I have accomplished and brought back almost everything I wanted to in my vision board so far. I firmly believe a key part of this success was intention setting- I wanted it to be an awesome year, so I made a specific plan for how I wanted to make it happen.

This year I’ve really cultivated an active lifestyle. I’ve gotten back into dancing regularly, have been playing tennis again with a consistent partner, and I’ve started playing a new sport- ultimate Frisbee. I’ve made an effort to start cooking more of my meals. I have looked out for new experiences, such as going to a mosque to observe a prayer, going to a goth club, and exploring outdoor cliffs barefoot. I’ve developed more of a positive outlook, have reduced my stress, and have increased my compassion for others. Now that I’m in a healthy and stable place, I have been better able to be a rock for others who have not been as fortunate. I’ve learned how to let go of things that weren’t meant for me, even though it is still not easy.

Something that has really helped me get back on my feet is that I’ve started putting myself out of my comfort zone again. I’ve gotten reacquainted with that feeling of discomfort that I get when I first take on something new. Some of the things I’ve been doing have included driving more places and on my own. Even though I still have fears with driving, particularly at night, I have gotten braver with this and have managed to keep calm. Another thing I’ve done is continue to show up to ultimate Frisbee even though I felt like I was one of the worst players there at first; now through consistent practice, I’m a valued player. I also have gone out of my way to participate in class again, and I developed meaningful relationships with two of my professors by going to their office hours. Through adding on a Counseling and Social Change minor as well, I’ve realized that I want to focus my efforts on becoming a counseling psychologist.

I have also prioritized working on and maintaining my mental health this year. I’ve experienced a lot of benefits from doing yoga- it has helped me sleep better, have better posture, and feel much calmer and composed. Recently I’m trying meditation as well to see if I can add in that practice. I feel much more emotionally stable, happier, calmer, and healthier now.

I think having a regular exercise schedule, and making it fun through activities like dance, ultimate Frisbee, and tennis, has really made me a happier person. Occasionally, I do fall back into old patterns and anxiety does creep in, but overall I’ve been doing really well. From here, I would like to focus on babysitting my nephew every two weeks (or at least more often), learning how to be more comfortable on a bike, improving my confidence and voice level, and continuing to work on managing my emotions. I am thinking of making another vision board for the rest of the year for what I would like to add in to my progress. I hope you all have been taking care of yourselves, and that your year has been a good one so far!

Aspirations for 2015

Before I share what I am striving for in 2015, I’d like to recap on some of the main positives from 2014 despite all the challenges it presented to me.

Positives of 2014:

  • Pushed myself academically taking some heavy course loads and learned a lot that broadened my perspective
  • Started dying my hair and experimenting with colors for the first time
  • Became more independent living far from home and made close, intimate connections
  • Became a much more open-minded, accepting, and educated person
  • Became genuinely kinder and more giving

For 2015, one of my main aspirations is to take back control of my anxiety. I would like to change my thoughts from being an instinctively pessimistic thinker to an optimistic thinker. I won’t lose my awareness of reality, but I would like to try and combat my negative personal thoughts more and try to work on them so they help me more than hurt me. I’ve heard if you can change your thoughts, you can change your world. So that is one of my main goals this year. Here is a picture of what I am planning for 2015. Each bubble will have to be taken on one at a time. I hope you all are doing well and that if 2014 wasn’t one of your best years either, that we can make 2015 a good one!

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The Challenging Year of 2014

We all have our lowest points. Mine was Spring 2014. It definitely wasn’t all bad, but the hard times were indeed hard. I learned a lot and have been changed by it, but it did come at some big costs.

Before it started, I had had an incredibly rough first month at my new college away from home. I had a horrible roommate situation, and each day and night was so chaotic, noisy, and uncomfortable that I lost a lot of sleep, weight, and sanity. It was nearly impossible to do well in school and I was pretty distressed. And for the first time, I experienced the feeling of not having a home. I spent many nights wandering out on my own as late as possible in avoidance of the dreaded circumstances I might return to at my apartment. After a month of fighting with housing, I finally was able to move, and was very relieved.

By January, I had adjusted to my new school fairly well and had made some good friends. For this next semester, I was excited to challenge myself again by helping start up a brand new organization in addition to going to school full-time. Taking on this addition turned out to be a lot more stressful than I anticipated, however. The organization was pretty disorganized and I found this to be very stressful because I wanted to do a really good job but didn’t know what they wanted me to do. In addition, I was really worried about the programs I was expected to come up with and run. I kept imagining the worst occurring and the idea of presenting to a large group something I didn’t feel ready to present made me feel physically sick. I began experiencing intense and unrelenting anxiety throughout the semester. I couldn’t stop the thoughts and negative images from spinning about work and I felt like a prisoner to my own mind. Anxiety was rearing an uglier, more physical head than it ever had for me in the past. I felt very ashamed and embarrassed for panicking so much about the public speaking and for not being able to control my anxiety.

When it got to the point where I knew it was seriously affecting my health, I went to a school doctor and counselor. I was given some medication to try, but I started experiencing bizarre and uncomfortable effects. Then one day in class, I suddenly felt like I was about to black out. The edges faded black and I stumbled to the front to turn in my test before collapsing onto a bench outside. I wasn’t able to move for fear of passing out and was in such a distraught state. I ended up missing both of my midterms. My friend Matt came to my rescue when I called him and he helped me walk to my classes so I could explain to my teachers what happened. Even though I was thankfully able to make up my tests, it was a very scary experience and something that had never happened to me.

The rest of the semester was spent going back and forth between doctor’s appointments until it was figured out what was going on with me. My friend Elin took me so many times without hesitation and stayed by my bedside when I had to get an IV. I was extremely grateful and appreciative for her help. Ever since the near syncope, I had experienced constant pain in my head and had difficulty walking since I was so dizzy. I was told that I was experiencing vertigo and eventually it was determined that I had developed migraines with aura. I did my best to take it easier the rest of the semester, and was relieved when the job ended and I got to go home for summer break. Somehow I managed to keep my grades up even with all this going on. I did end up running my programs still, and they went great, and ended up being much more low-key than I had anticipated them being. Since then I’ve had some time to recuperate and I am feeling better.

Takeaways:

  • Sometimes you do have to remove yourself from a stressful situation if it proves to be too much
  • Anxiety and Stress is serious business and can really hurt your health
  • My anxiety got out of hand, and I need to build better mental barriers and work on controlling it again
  • You can see a beautiful side of people when you are at your lowest point

Blogging Connections & Meeting in Person

Hey all. I know it’s been a few months since I’ve written. I could tell you that I’ve been very busy with school and adjusting to a new city. Or, I could instead let you imagine that I’ve been on an epic mission to Mars teaching Martians to dance and do an array of moves that may or may not stoop as low as the funky chicken. Up to you. But in all seriousness, I hope this post finds you all healthy and happy. And that you’ve had a wonderful holiday and are enthusiastic for the New Year.

Thankfully I’ve had some more time recently on my Christmas break to read some of the blog posts of blogging friends and those who I take inspiration from. This has rejuvenated my spirits and made me grateful for this creative outlet and source of interconnectivity. I’ve said it before, but blogging truly can bring you in touch with some great people and be a source of motivation. I smile when reading a lot of your posts and feel a real connection to you. Even though I haven’t been posting as much, I’m happy to have been receiving several emails from readers and to have you continue to share and confide in me. I’m always honored, even if I can’t get back to you as quickly as I used to.

To go further into the topic of connections, I’ve been meaning to write that I was able to meet my very first blogging friend, Doug, and his wife Micaela, in the flesh this past summer. I was in the Midwest visiting family and wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to make it work to meet up with him, but I decided to send him a message anyway. It had been a long while since we had talked, but Doug was delighted to hear from me and excited at the idea of meeting. So I pulled out the charm to convince my parents that this would be a rare opportunity, and thankfully they went out of their way so it could happen.

Meeting him in person was wonderful. I was nervous at first, but once he and Micaela came out front and greeted us with hugs I immediately felt at ease. My family felt comfortable with them quickly too, especially upon seeing their apple orchard, chickens, and adorable dog. Doug and I both said it felt like we had met before or were family. We chatted for a little while, explored their back yard, and snapped a picture before heading off on our journey to Illinois with one last hug and a nice card from them both. I left smiling, happy for the chance to meet and to strengthen a connection made through the blogging sphere. It’s truly a unique opportunity.

If you have any thoughts on the value of the blogging sphere or about blogging friends you’ve been able to form a real connection to or have met up with even, please share below! I’d love to hear your stories. More to come soon!

The Theme of 2013: Do More, Think Less

action6Initially, when my friend Barb posted about choosing a word for the year, I disregarded the idea.  I didn’t think a word alone could possibly encompass the habits and skills I wanted to develop this year.  After giving it some more thought, however, and after reading the subsequent post in which she disclosed that she decided on the word “open,” a word of my own struck me.

I vowed this year that my theme would be “Do More, Think Less.”  This came to me late one night a few weeks ago when I found myself in a familiar situation- I was lying in bed, pouring over a stack of notebooks and folders with notes I’d taken from books I’d read and from personal reflections, trying (again), to decide what I want to do with the rest of my life.  Quotes from the One Week Job Project were particularly inspiring, as well as quotes from a select number of career-related books.  One quote that I had written down that stood out to me was from Dr. Phil’s book Self Matters, which said, “You need to know your highest and best use in this world, and then pursue it. How tragic would it have been… if Mother Teresa had been an accountant or a waitress?”  Also, from Po Bronson’s book What Should I Do With My Life? there was the riveting quote, “If I were to make an early exit from this world, what will I feel worst about not getting done?”  Reading these made me question what I was doing in business classes, and made me wonder what career  I could possibly have in business that would bring me the kind of fulfillment and accomplishment I had always desired.  I did feel glad, however, that I was studying Sociology, as it is a subject that I am passionate about since it focuses on the betterment of society.  With a little more thought though, I felt reassured that studying both subjects would have its benefits, as there are certainly ways to use business skills to make the world a better place.  Plus, I like the challenge of business courses so far, something I have yet to feel in my Sociology classes.

I could have spent hours more pouring over my notes.  I could have checked out more books.  Yes, these readings and notes were inspiring and helpful, but thinking about what I would want in a future career suddenly just didn’t seem like enough.  I needed more experience.  I didn’t need to think any more if I wanted to work directly with people or not, I had to go out and work with people. I don’t know why this didn’t hit me before, but now that it had, I knew I had to get more hands-on experience.

So I decided to try and find a job.  I applied for a tutoring position for students with intellectual disabilities and/or autism at my community college, and I am waiting to hear back to schedule an interview.  I went with a friend to a volunteer orientation when she mentioned she was going to check out volunteering for a local Wildlife Rescue.

And I felt great.  Finally, I was going to gain more work experience, and perhaps I would finally be closer to coming up with an answer to my long-held question.  It certainly couldn’t hurt.  I have worked as a water efficiency intern in which I worked directly with people (which at times was draining and other times energizing), I have worked at an automobile company as a file clerk completely isolated from people (which I discovered was very lonely), and also as a babysitter, dog walker, and a brief advertising assistant in which I learned how to design a brochure using Photoshop. These have all been great experiences, but I feel like I need a lot more experience with different areas of interest before I can say that I know what I like and dislike in a job setting.

Thus, the word of the year shall be Action.  It’s time for me to Do More and Think Less, and get to work.

How Things Change with Time and Practice

My first class this semester, Art of the Cinema, started this past Wednesday morning. I took a seat in the middle of the room next to a guy wearing a newsboy hat in the beginning.  Looking around the class I wasn’t sure if was going to talk to anyone or not.  After sitting there a bit I finally asked the guy if this was the right textbook (if you don’t want to ask if this is the right class, you can always ask about the textbook to start talking to someone) and he smiled and said yeah. I introduced myself then and we shook hands.  He said his name is Jamison.  We talked a little from there.

Then class started and the teacher had us all get up out of our seats and go against the back wall to make a u-shape.  He had each of us introduce ourselves, say why we’re taking the class, and tell something we wouldn’t normally tell a stranger.  That last part made my mind race with what I could say that was revealing but not too revealing.  I didn’t have to go until near the end though and realized a lot of people were just giving a fact about themselves, so I said I love to go out swing dancing, which isn’t what I would tell someone I just met anyway unless it somehow came up.  I wasn’t nervous one bit funnily enough.

Then he had us go up to 5 people and introduce ourselves and shake hands, though I think I met at least 7 people.  Then he had us form a group of 7.  People scrambled to form groups and soon one girl and I were off to the side trying to find a group. Luckily 4 other people came over to us, then later another guy came so we became a team.  We then had to come up with a team name and were assigned a segment of film to focus on and present, and we got movement.  He had us all exchange names and numbers.  Then we watched The Aviator for a bit and he had us write notes about the director and about the elements of film we observed.  At the end he wanted us to discuss what we wrote with our group, but only the girl on my right and I actually discussed it and the others didn’t say anything.

He had us pick a spokesperson to tell the class what we discussed then.  All the other groups went, and they each had confident, outspoken speakers who had a lot to say and obviously had some film background. It was a little intimidating listening to them.  Then he looked at my group, waiting.  We hadn’t designated a spokesperson, and all the others kept their mouths closed and stared ahead.  I waited a bit, then finally spoke up and talked about how the director was really pushy and controlling but also very determined to make his movie despite all the people who told him he should quit.  I talked about how he gets what he wants too, like in the scene where he gets the girl and the scene where he gets the clouds he wants for his movie background.  I also said how I really liked the music and costumes because I love swing dance and it made me want to be there back in time.  I heard one of my group members whisper, “She nailed it!” to his friend after I finished speaking.  The teacher remembered I had said that I liked swing dance, and asked what my favorite scene from the movie was.  I couldn’t think of one so I just said I liked the scenes with the jazz music and the singing.  (Now the whole class will have it engrained in their minds that I love swing dance!)

I didn’t feel nervous at all when I spoke for my group.  It was a big auditorium, like a mini movie theater, but I just didn’t feel intimidated for some reason.  I wasn’t nervous before the class even and to introduce myself to Jamison like I did initially.  I’m probably not going to see him again because we have assigned seats now, but it was good to break the ice with someone.  After giving several presentations in Toastmasters and my speech class last year, as well as introducing myself to several new people, these  things are much more natural for me.

Are there any things that used to make you nervous that you don’t feel nervous about as much or at all anymore?  What has helped you?

Driving to New Places

As a part of my independence work, I’ve been driving to some new places.  So far it’s been a good experience and I haven’t had any problems.

Two weeks ago on Wednesday I caught up with my friend Emily and I picked her up so we could go to the movies. I’d never driven to the movies before so it was a new experience, as usually someone else drives.  I got directions from my dad and it was easier than I thought to get there.  We saw New Years Eve, which was alright, but I think it had too many big names and jumped around too much.  It was nice hanging out with her though and seeing her before she left for college again.

On the Sunday of that week I went to a birthday party as well, and drove to my friend Gabi’s house for the first time at night.  I’d always had my dad drop me off before because I thought it would be confusing trying to get there.  I used google maps and found it just fine though, even though it was hard to see some street signs in the dark.  It helped that I had zoomed into the online map beforehand and had seen which streets I would be passing before I turned so I could recognize that I was going the right way.  I arrived a little early, but when I went in there were already a bunch of people there helping with the food preparations so I joined them.  I hadn’t seen any of them since high school graduation day, but we all got along well and it was nice.  We ate delicious homemade pizzas Gabi made as well as some other wonderful homemade treats.  I also made a new friend Isis, who is from Brazil and has only been here since this past December but is already practically fluent in English.  She came in and sat at the table with us as they were finishing making food and I wanted to make her feel welcome, so I asked her about her New Years to start.  We ended up talking the rest of the night and she’s a really sweet person who has been to a lot of different countries.

Each experience driving to new places has been helpful.  My main fear with driving to new places is getting lost or getting in an accident.  I do prefer to have a friend with me though if it’s possible so if I do get lost it’s less stressful for me and I can have someone help me with the directions.  How do you feel about driving to new places?  Do you prefer to go with a friend?  Do you invest in a GPS?  It would be interesting to hear your experiences, especially when you first started driving more.

What do you want in a one-year project book?

Writing a book is much harder than writing a blog.

For one, blog posts are short.  They don’t have to connect together and transition smoothly from post to post.  Book chapters do.

I did not post every thought I had or action I took on this blog.  I wrote about a lot of my experiences but not all.  So now I am gathering what I can find on my computer and my journal and notebooks in search of all that I have written down this year.  I want to know exactly what I was thinking early on in 2011 so I can express my thoughts accurately in the book.

I wrote a draft of the first chapter a while ago one night in a writing frenzy, but now when I am trying to write chapter 2, I am struggling to find the right words. Who knew writer’s block could come so fast?

I think I might need more time to research and reflect before going further, or to skip a part of it for now and focus on another part.  I’m not worried, but I just thought I would share for those of you interested in writing a book someday.  Book writing is very different from blog writing, though blogging first has definitely given me an advantage.

While I gather my thoughts and do some more preparation, what are your thoughts on what you would like to be included in this book?  Would you be interested in reading my experiences straight through with the things I learned along the way and tips I found useful, or would you like there to be more “self-help” aspects involved?  Would you want to read say, my experience with talking to strangers, and then a separate chapter from an expert that shifts the focus to strategies on how you can do it too?   I’m thinking of how I can make the book flow smoothly but be the most effective at the same time. I definitely want to include interesting and helpful studies that have been done, inspiring or thought-provoking quotes, psychological theories and explanations, some others’ experiences, statistics I can find, and tips I’ve found personally helpful or others I know have found helpful.  And I’ll include all that I learned and the realizations I had in more depth. But I’d like to hear your input too and what you’ve enjoyed about other memoirs or books with a self-improvement basis.  Because I don’t want to write this just for the sake of writing a book, I want it to write it to comfort and help motivate people.

I was reading several of the reviews on The Happiness Project’s page and it made me think about what other people want in a book.  Some are very happy with reading her memoir and can take inspiration out of what she’s done, while others are upset that it was self-centered and her realizations were too obvious. (Realizations often are obvious, but experience really makes you understand the obvious and why certain things are said over and over.)

http://www.amazon.com/Happiness-Project-Morning-Aristotle-Generally/dp/006158326X/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Then there’s Jamie Blyth’s book Fear is No Longer My Reality which mixes his story with advice from experts.  I read it and enjoyed the story but found it was kind of distracting jumping from his voice to the voice of experts throughout the chapters.  If I did include expert advice I would want to find a way for it to transition more smoothly and not seem like it was interrupting the flow.  I want it to read like a good story that people can read and take away from it what they want.

http://www.amazon.com/Fear-No-Longer-My-Reality/dp/0071737898/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325535865&sr=8-1

So please share your thoughts on all this.  Thank you and I look forward to the discussions!

Learn to Feel Free to Be Yourself- Not a Label

I met Faith in the beginning of my project.  I came across her blog when I was starting mine and appreciated that she was sharing a lot of the positive sides of shyness on her site.  She recently studied abroad in England and had a great experience.  Here is her post on shyness:

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I’m Faith and I’m an introvert.  My journey with shyness has been a lifelong one.  I’ve always been on the quieter side, especially in comparison to my younger siblings.  Being an introvert and an older sibling has been interesting.  I tend to be very cautious, so being the first of the family to grow up, go to school and such things was sometimes hard.  It takes me a while to get used to situations and people, because as an introvert I more observant and in my head, and not so much ready to go out and tackle things head on.  So there were times it took a while to adjust.  Added difficulty is that my shyness was coupled with low self-esteem and trust issues.  I was never hurt terribly, but I saw people teased, I had some people criticize me and I was already pretty critical on myself.  I’ve always been very sensitive.  To protect myself I cut myself off from others.  I let my shyness get to an extreme.  In elementary school I refused to speak, even when a teacher called on me.  People responded in different ways.  Sometimes I was a target for teasing because I was different, but because I tried to maintain a goody-two-shoes image and because I distanced myself, people were more at odds with me and gave me space.  It took me a while to realize that isolating myself was not a good answer.  I wanted friends but I couldn’t maintain a friendship being closed off.  It took me a long time to realize my barriers were keeping people away.

What changed?  I was not happy because I was stuck in a box.  As quiet as I naturally may be, I also have quirks and opinions.  I saw that in comfortable situations like with family I was more upbeat, but other in places I felt very anxious and critiqued myself.  I felt miserable and I wanted to change.  So with each new step in life I tried to let go of baggage and really evaluate myself.  I went to a high school with different peers than elementary school, so I started being more open with people.  Eleventh grade I attended a different high school that I graduated from.  I began learning who I was.  College was were I really stepped out of my comfort zone and my bubble.  It took a while, but each year I opened up more.  Away from my family I could better see the real me and decide the “me” I wanted to create.  I didn’t have any crutches to bolster me and I couldn’t hide.  It was also up to me to take control of my life.  I learned to love myself, which entailed being less critical of myself and learning to laugh at myself and love myself, so that when I stepped out of my comfort zone and things didn’t go as planned, it was ok.  In college I made some really good friends.  I met so many people with quirks and idiosyncrasies, and I realized that made them distinctive.  I liked who they were with all their quirks, so why couldn’t other people like me with my quirks?  I let myself get close to people and I found I enjoyed it.

Things aren’t perfect.  There are times I feel discouraged.  Struggles with self-esteem don’t disappear overnight, and being an introvert constantly in her head doesn’t help either.  But I have something that affirms my self-worth no matter what: my relationship with God.  I’m a Christian and this keeps me grounded.  When people let me down and when I let myself down, which is inevitable, I can look to God who still loves me.  I try to change the narrative in my head.  This became especially important my junior year of college (last year) when I studied abroad in England.  I was gone for a whole year.  I started a blog before I left in which I really began evaluating my values, my identity and my shyness.  Being abroad really challenged me to step way out of my comfort zone.  I had some of my lowest lows.  God helped me in those moments.  I was never alone so I could never be totally defeated.  I gained so much comfort living through that year.  Now I’m not even sure if I classify myself as shy anymore.  Yes, I can still be very shy in many social situations.  I’m naïve and introverted.  I still have self-esteem struggles.  But I’m confident that I will be ok.  Self-evaluation and growth isn’t pleasant, but it’s necessary and I got a lot out of it.

So my words of advice:

  • Know you’re not alone.  Find someone you trust to talk to and be honest with.  There are great resources that show how positive it is to embrace who you are, as a shy person, an introvert.  There are books and blogs that show there are people like you.
  • Don’t be afraid to grow.  Be willing to step out of your comfort zone, baby steps at a time if it takes.  Stretch yourself a bit and learn from your experience.  What did you like and not like?  What do you want to change and what to you want to keep and/or enhance?
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses and act with them in mind.  For instance, if I hang out with friends for an extended period of time, I may have a long quiet time to myself or with just one or two close friends to be able to wind down and recuperate.  That gives me strength as an introvert.  If I don’t take the time to wind down, I get burnt out and discouraged.
  • Love yourself.

Shyness is an attribute.  It does not have to define you.  Be you in all your complexity.

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To read more of Faith’s posts, click here.  She is very down to earth and you will enjoy reading about her studying abroad experience as well as a variety of other topics.  She has several good posts on shyness as well if you search her page using the tags at the bottom of her page if you’d like to hear more of her perspectives on this.

Using Social Experiments to Break Out of Your Shell

I met Tyler in late May when he was starting up his own blog on overcoming shyness.  When in one of my posts I mentioned that I was interested in teaching abroad, he sent me an email and told me he has been interested in that idea as well.  We had talked before through comments on my site but this was when we really connected and found common ground.  Here is his post on overcoming shyness.

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Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for… a guest post! In fact, it’s my first so I would very much like to thank Brittany for allowing me to put my thoughts onto her blog for all of you guys and gals to read. Hopefully it will help.

Get on with it Tyler!

Alrighty then, well I was shy for a very long time. I’d say I was shy from about 1st grade to my senior year of high school. Whenever I would talk to anyone who wasn’t in my immediate circle of friends, my face would get really red and I would have difficulty speaking. Finally one day, and I’m not making this up it actually happened, I was taking a shower and I thought to myself, “I don’t want this anymore, it has gotten seriously old.” So in my head I made it my mission senior year to break out of my shell. I called this mission “Operation Broken Silence.”

Now that I think about it it kind of sounds a little odd… Anyway, making this mission a success was not an overnight thing. It started with the new freshmen class. They didn’t know me and I didn’t know them, so this was the perfect opportunity to experiment socially with them. It was baby steps at the beginning of course. Just a simple hi here, maybe a joke there. Finally I was able to work my way into conversations. This boosted my self esteem as well as proved that I wouldn’t die from talking to somebody new. From this I was able to eventually have entire conversations with random strangers.

Probably my biggest achievement lately in the way of beating shyness was asking TV’s Jeff Corwin a question about human overpopulation in front a fairly large group of people. It was something else. Even though I was curious about the answer the main reason I asked is because of that old familiar feeling. The feeling that if you don’t go through with something you’ll be hitting yourself for a week. So I asked, the world kept turning, and I felt accomplished.

I want everyone to know that shyness isn’t something that you can just kick. It is something you have to constantly work at. The only way to get rid of it is to start trying. I’m not saying to go crazy and dance on a table in your favorite restaurant, unless you really want to that is. Just go up and say hi to someone and work your way up from there. That’s the whole thing that my blog is based around. I post ideas for social experiments that you can try at your own pace.

Well that’s probably all I should write on here for now. Good luck with your shell breaking everyone!

Thanks again for letting me guest post on your blog Brittany! You’re awesome!

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To read more of Tyler’s posts and to read and maybe even participate in his shell break experiments, click here to visit his blog.  He is a very cool guy who I know you will enjoy getting to know.  He’s a self-described “language nut” who loves learning new languages and is eager to travel.

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