Wednesday, August 1, 2012

SHY NO MORE by Pj Schott

  It's the first Wednesday of the month here at Princess With a Pen, and that means my friend Pj Schott is here!  

     Pj Schott has lived in several U.S. port cities, Europe, Greece, and the Middle East. A marketing professional, mystery writer, and futurist, Pj is known to those with whom she works as a problem-solver, an innovative thinker, a top-notch communicator, a visionary, and the soul of a group. She is the owner of the Boston, Massachusetts based company GENIUS and is the woman behind the new Facebook page and blog, Survival for Blondes, where Pj is entirely surrounded by imagined disasters and learns to rise above.

*Formatting note!  I promise PJ is not yelling at you, but for some reason parts of the blog post seems to be fond of all capital letters today.  And it's not even a Monday! *

SHY NO MORE – Or How a Shrinking Violet Becomes an Exquisite Creature

You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. 
You have to go to them sometimes.

Fellow Exquisite Creature Jen Tucker might be the first person to say, "No Way!" when I tell you I was born shy. Believe it or else, I was born to be a recluse. And I'm damn good at it. However, at some point in my young life I decided I wanted to figure out how the world works. You can't learn everything in a book. You have to talk to people. Scary. Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist Carl Jung invented the term Introvert to describe this malady, and according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator about half of us fit the category. You are in good, and abundant, company.

Jennifer Grey Felt the Fear
After her 2010 "Dancing with the Stars" win Grey said she got stage fright every time she danced. But she wanted to teach her daughter, Stella, how to face her fears and do the things that made her happy. You never get over the Shyness, but you learn to keep Shyness at bay, while you keep your eye on the prize.

How to Conquer Shyness
Shyness is here to stay, but you can learn to modify your behavior. Baptism-By-Fire is the method I chose, telling myself the 1960s Junior High equivalent of "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." The little nerd kid who'd spent her entire life with her nose in a book marched up to one of the most popular girls in school and said something inane like "That's a very nice dress you're wearing." She thanked me and I walked away. Unscathed.  And in control of my shyness forever. Kinda.

You Don't Need a Self-Help Book
Much of what has been written about conquering Shyness is hard to grasp, not for everyone, or simply stupid. Whatever method you try must follow the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle. But never forget the words that have become my mantra, i.e., SIMPLE ISN'T EASY.

Rivers know this; there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.
Winnie the Pooh said that

Yes, I'd rather lie in bed watching old movies and washing down bonbons with
Brandy Alexanders, but that won't help me reach my goal to live an extraordinary life.
And I said that


5 Steps for the Recovering Shy-A-Holic


1)  Take Baby Steps.  Putting yourself out there is going to feel a lot like any other form of torture, be it a decision to lose weight or start an exercise regime. You'll have to keep your eyes on the prize, whether it's connecting with fabulous people, fitting into your favorite skinny dress, or being able to keep up on the dance floor.

2)  If Your Momma Says You're Wonderful, Believe Her.  Same goes for anyone else you trust. Just because you believe something negative about yourself doesn't mean it's true. Sometimes we're wrong. It happens. Let it go. I know, I know. You're thinking "That's easy for you to say." Well, that why I'm saying it!!

3)  Don't Overthink It.  If it's really not fun at all, you don't have to keep doing it. Adjust your goals. You can be social without leaving the house. Join the party on Facebook!! And don't worry about what others think of you. Some people have lousy taste and won't appreciate you. Get over it!!


4)  Perfect is the Enemy of Good.  The Shyness gene seems to have been packaged with the Perfectionist gene. You set the standards. Just don't set them so high you're doomed to fail. I can work on a project for 10 hours to get it good, and another 10 hours to make it perfect. Wouldn't that time be better spent enjoying your slightly less than perfect achievement?


5)  Act Like a Pro.  Use the same steps you would take when planning a project at your job. Plan your work, then work your plan.

  • Behavior modification says you can form a new habit in 21 days; start whenever you're ready
  • Go slowly using a Baby Steps & Carrots reward system
  • If you have to fall back and regroup, take a step back, then take two steps up
  • Use the goal-setting techniques taught by Napoleon Hill, Brian Tracy Zig Ziglar, or Tony Robbins
  • Expect slow, steady progress, sometimes reaching a plateau, and other times taking a leap forward.

Eternally Yours in Exquisiteness

Thank you, Pj, for your willingness to share your story.  I'm so humbled and proud to call you friend.  You are exquisite when quiet and also boisterous. I love you.   

Have a wonderful day!

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