Being shy, uncomfortable in social situations, anxious when public speaking or experiencing stage fright while performing in front of others, all share the same basic negative beliefs. In cognitive-behavioral therapy, we help clients recognize and defeat these interfering thoughts and beliefs .
Many individuals feel shy is these situations essentially worry that they won’t be liked by or thought well by others. They fear rejection by others and berate themselves if they are not highly successful, appreciated or respected by others.
These and related negative beliefs about being shy result in a self-fulfilling cycle. Their fearful thoughts lead to anxiety which makes them appear awkward and anxious and increases the likelihood that they will not come off well and others will be put off by them or think less of them, or at least their social and/ or public speaking abilities.
In cognitive-behavioral therapy, we work on changing beliefs and behaviors which ultimately result in individuals feeling less shy and capable of performing more comfortably and effectively in social and group situations.
Some of the keys beliefs that are taught in cognitive-behavioral therapy are that while it is nice to be liked and approved of by others, it is not a need and we should care less what others may think about us.
Another key belief from cognitive-behavioral therapy is that we should focus on doing a “good” and not “perfect” job. Striving to do well takes us on the path to self improvement while demanding we perform perfectly takes us on the path to self criticism and disappointment.
In cognitive-behavioral therapy we get people who are shy to become less so by gradually confronting their fears and doing the things they are fearful of while thinking more rational and healthy thoughts in the process.
Overcoming shyness is no quick fix but with effort and commitment, individuals can feel more confident in all sorts of public speaking situations and “say goodbye to being shy.”