The Incredible Gift of Shyness

Those of you who know me personally will probably never believe that I was painfully shy as a child – so shy, my teachers encouraged my parents to force me into a children’s theater group to break out of my shell.

I hated it.

And hated that I felt trapped in my own body.

But then around 16 – and fueled by my almost impossible desire to be a disc jockey – I started coming out of it.  And oh yes, maybe my parents were right to push me into appearing before large public audiences in high school.

Today, even my closest friends laugh when I tell this story.

YOU shy?

Why would a shy guy become such a loudmouth – okay, at least someone with an on-air radio and TV career?

And that is because I learned how to not fear being in public – Today, I love audiences and love to perform.

But – and this is the point – underneath, I am still a shy guy.  I love my time alone.  I can walk on the beach forever but at some point, I like some balance and want to return to other side of my personality.

I taught public speaking for many years and encouraged my students to be themselves – don’t imitate what you think a speaker should be.

Speak about that which you have earned the right to speak about and you will always be compelling.

Be humble and show your humanness.

Some of the best speakers are very shy and some of the worst look so slick and polished that in your heart you know they are not real.

Shy is an incredible gift of introspection.

The only time shyness is a liability is when it stops you from being yourself in public.

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