I am an introvert and a shy person. Lot of things make me nervous, for instance giving a speech in front of a large audience, going to a party where I don’t know anyone, meeting someone new, heck even talking about me in a room full of people I have just met makes me nervous sometimes.
I prefer not to talk unless it is really important. Before I utter a word there are many thoughts that goes around in my mind such as – am I adding value to the group, is my question stupid, what will others think about me and so on.
This is nothing new, many of us go through the same fear and there is nothing wrong with it honestly. Except that it shouldn’t come in your way of success. Sometimes there are situations where it is important to speak up and one of the most important thing to achieve this is by building confidence. One needs to be confident about themselves. You need to start by being confident with what you wear, how you look, the way you speak, the work you do, the questions you want to ask. If you believe in yourself, you can overcome this fear.
Get to know the audience, prepare for meeting beforehand, read through the agenda, think of questions you have before going to the meeting. All these will help you feel confident because you have done your homework. I know this is easier said than done but with practice and I mean serious practice, it will definitely work. I am still working on it.
You don’t have to wait for that big meeting to try it out, try with small things. Like starting a conversation with your cube mate or some other acquaintance with whom you rarely talk. Start talking with people with whom you find it hard to have a conversation. Facing your fears is the best way to overcome it. And even if you make a fool of yourself, don’t worry, the other person will most likely forget about it. But most important, you will learn from the mistake and with each conversation you add a little bit confidence to yourself.