as if there was something wrong with me needed fixing.
Little I know, I let myself believe that I was a boring loser who nobody liked. I let these labels seep into my identity because they thought shyness and quietness were weird and pitiful. I never felt comfortable each day. That was sad.
As years passed by, I gradually became a much more self-assured person. I learned that nothing was wrong with me and they were acting out of insecurity. By putting the target on me, they were making themselves feel safe from ridicule. As someone said that to stay away from negative people, once I was away from them and just hang out with my closest friends since kindergarten, I learned to respect myself, to be confident, and to never let anyone walk over me like that again. I didn't allow others to put me down anymore. I distance myself from people like that and focused on the people who truly loved and accepted me.
That is why I only have less than 10 best(est) friends that I consider in my first layer of friendship.
Then I started to work after I graduated. My mind was full of fear of failure, fear of giving up. I felt like there were many things I would never be able to do because I was shy. I read a lot of psychology books and personal development about introverts and I was amazed there is a lot of introverts out there with that kind of bravery which I only think only the extroverts could have.
Anyway reading a lot of books really helps. I began to feel excited about my life, by the prospects of change and self improvement. Every time I could, I would set numerous goals in short terms. I wrote a lot of notes related to introverts. I wasn't doing it just for me, I wanted to do it for anyone who had ever been labeled "shy". I want to educate people about shyness and show how simple tasks can be obstacles for a shy person. I wanted to express how it felt to be looked down upon for being shy, and how labeling and jokes have a much more painful effect than most people realise.
I started to talk more and more to strangers, to reconnect with friends, to participate in class, to dress confidently and smart, to allow myself to be vulnerable yet strong, and to give public speeches, to present more and more. I opened up my once private life and disclosed the very thing I once purposefully never talked about, my feelings of shyness.
I doubted myself a lot in the beginning and it was really hard to leave my comfort zone and start to talk to strangers. It turns out that my ability to give speeches and do things I fear has changed how I view myself. I have realised that a lot of my natural quietness has been mistaken for social inhibition. People called me socially ill.
In truth, sometimes, I just prefer to listen and take in more information than talk, and to be in small groups rather large ones. I do feel shy in certain situations, but overall those feelings aren't central to my identity. I control it that way.
However, I love how my introversion has allowed me to have strong empathy, to be deep thinker, and to genuinely connect with others, not just for the sake sweet talks. Introverts are valuable assets to society, whether or not they find themselves feeling shy in some situations like me or not at all.
Every action I have taken to expand my comfort zone has helped me grow as a person. I realise that I am capable of anything I set my mind to. I have also become aware of the positives of being more inwardly focused and have learned to accept my own self as they way it is.
When we feel like something is holding us back to live the way we want it to the fullest, it is very important that we identify things that are limiting us orelse we will continue to feel powerless and overwhelmed. Through mindfulness and passion for the change we seek, however, we can begin to take back control of our lives, and to start living the life we have always wanted.