02/26/2011 12:50 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Overcoming Shyness

When shyness overshadows our talents, we miss out on opportunities to grow and advance. We become trapped in a vicious circle of insecurity and frustration.

Shyness is often masked as disinterest or indifference, yet its root is much deeper.

If we go deep into the feeling of shyness, we will discover pure fear -- fear of what others might think of us, the fear of disapproval.

If you have been to one of my events, or if you practice the techniques explained in my books, you already have the practical tools you need to overcome this shyness. But if not, what can you do?

The only thing you need do is find security within yourself -- to reach the point where what you think of yourself becomes more important than any external opinion. Shyness is fed by thoughts of self-criticism, often instilled by a judgmental or authoritarian figure in our past who made us feel like less than we were. Yet the origin is not important. What matters is that when our shyness activates, instead of acting out the same old defensive reactions, we listen to our hearts and dive deeper, beyond the fear, allowing our natural talents to shine through.

I remember when I first started singing professionally. Up until that point, I had done everything in my life half-drunk. Drinking made me feel brave, but in reality, I was so incredibly shy that I would drink in order to drown out my insecurity. I was terrified of what people might think of me. The only thing I couldn't do drunk was sing, because I couldn't get the notes right, and the first time I went on stage, I was shaking. I was so afraid that I stood behind the guitarist! The first song I sang was called "Falling To Pieces", and no other phrase could better describe my emotional state in that moment. I was literally falling to pieces, and of course all my friends had come to listen, which only made matters worse.

But I did it. I don't know if I did it well; but the important thing was that I did it. That is how you move beyond fear -- by just doing it.

There are no guarantees for cultivating trust in yourself. You trust by trusting, by walking through your fears and letting go of your protection and control. You trust by choosing once and again to embrace life instead of resisting, and in doing so, realizing that the best is always coming to us, even though it may not seem that way.

Once you have consciousness, there is nothing you cannot do, because you feel secure within yourself. That is the most important thing -- that you are giving to yourself -- because you deserve love, you deserve to shine.

Try making a list of the situations in which instead of stepping up, you step back. You will become more honest with yourself about what you want to achieve and where you are resisting stepping into your greatness. Every time you feel you are putting the breaks on, take another step forward. Don't worry about the consequences, just keep moving forward, releasing the breaks bit by bit, and soon things will flow more naturally. You can tell me how it goes in the comments section below.


Isha Judd is an internationally renowned spiritual teacher and author; her latest book and movie, "Why Walk When You Can Fly" explain her system for self-love and the expansion of consciousness. Learn more at