Work on Your Self-Image
Sometimes shyness is the result of an underlying problem like low self-esteem. Therefore, honing in on the things you like about your personality and working on your self-image can increase your sense of self-worth. While you definitely don’t have to dress up everyday to feel confident, putting a little effort into wearing clothes that make you feel good can help give you that extra boost. Moreover, simple things like maintaining your hygiene can also make all the difference.
Ignore Your Critics
Don’t bother flexin’ or dabbing on your haters. Simply ignoring them will do the trick. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in life is how to filter productive feedback from overly harsh, unnecessary critiques. Whether it is coming from an obnoxious family member or your hypercritical boss, try not to take the negativity personally. Disparaging comments say more about the person making the remarks than they do about you.
See A Therapist or A Life-Coach
Not all shyness is the same. While timidness may just be a quirky personality trait, it could also be a sign of social anxiety. The good news is: clinical social anxiety is highly treatable with therapy and/or medication, and you can start by talking to a professional about how you’re feeling.
Embrace Your Quirks
Ironically, embracing your awkwardness is the best way to become less awkward. Accept your quirks and all the cool things that make you unique. Maybe it’s the gap between your front teeth, your innovative sense of style, or your crazy knitting skills, accept every part of yourself and surround yourself with people who accept you too!
Keep A Journal
The benefits of journaling are immense. I’ve kept a journal consistently for nearly three years now and while I’ve always been introspective, I have never been more in touch with my emotions than I am currently. Journaling can make you more self-aware and help you deal with difficult situations in life. In particular, black women face a daily battle with many systems of oppression which place pressure on us to think, look, feel and act a certain way. A journal can be a safe space to say whatever you want without judgement and to begin the process of healing.
Give Yourself Words of Affirmation
You can also try keeping an affirmation journal, which is specifically designed to boost your confidence. Rather than simply keeping track of your everyday emotions like a regular journal, an affirmation journal is meant to be your go-to place for a boost of positivity. You can spend time listing your positive qualities and any exciting goals you are working towards. Thai Nguyen from Huffington Post writes, “Journaling about a positive experience allows your brain to relive it” which later provides a shield for future self-doubt.
Surround Yourself With Positive People
The people you spend your time with ought to be people who support, appreciate and respect you and the unique contribution only you can bring to the world. If not, interactions with toxic friends can leave you feeling drained and overly negative. If your current friends don’t make the cut, it just might be time to find a new squad.
Learn How To Say No
It’s easy to get taken advantage of when you’re under the curse of people-pleasing. Thankfully, learning how to say no will help build your confidence and prevent you from placing your worth in what you can do for others. First, you’ll have to accept that it’s impossible to make everyone happy--and it’s not even worth the hassle of trying! It’s true that as a black girl, saying no puts us at risk of being cast into the angry black woman stereotype or being labelled as difficult and uncooperative. Still, it is important to remember that you always have the right to say no.
Grace – “While some have described her as overly opinionated, Grace much prefers the terms headstrong and passionate. She is a voracious reader, a dog-lover and a self-professed pop culture junkie. Her other hobbies include watching sappy romantic comedies, consuming too many strawberry-filled doughnuts and people-watching. Grace currently attends university, where she is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Pre-Law.”