Don’t be shy, think about your thumb.
Are you one of those really shy types? The kind of person that just can’t seem to bring himself/herself to talk to a new person or group? Perhaps you are a bit of a wallflower and it all has to do with the fact that you just can’t get the courage to go up to that interesting/hot person that you have been dying to meet.
Actually I think that most of us suffer from shyness to one degree or another. You can remember back to the days of the old school dances when you were a kid and how it was so hard to do anything because all the kids were clumped together for protection likes schools of fish, and there was no way that you were going to cross the entire gym floor, and face the scrutiny of the other kids to ask somebody to dance.
It’s possible that this is where mean comes from; all the kids trying to protect themselves from all of the perceived evil out there. They clump into little groups that lash out at others so that they can rally against their own internal fears. A fear born of shyness?
But there is one simple cure to the shy bug and it doesn’t take much effort. All you have to do is to learn to refocus your attention a bit so that you’re not so focused on that which is scaring you silly at the moment.
This technique is not going to fix the world woes and it won’t end the evil predation that goes on in most school environments but it can allow you to do those things that you found socially impossible before. If you know what you are doing and you have made up your mind that you will be going to put yourself in a very socially difficult situation, or you are going up to that very hot person and break the ice, then I have just the little bit of help that might make that incredibly fearful moment a lot easier to bear.
This technique actually won’t just allow you to do the impossible, it will also help you so that you will be less clumsy and a lot more dashing. The basic premise as I have stated is that you will be focusing some of your attention on something besides the act of the moment and in this way allow yourself to relax and to act in much more capable manner.
What I want you to do is to focus your attention on your thumb. Just as you feel the pangs of fear that come from your upcoming social interaction, I want you to begin to make an effort to focus less on that event and more on your thumb. Focus your attention on your thumb.
We could use percentages; for example I want you to focus about 20% of your attention on your thumb and the rest on your social interaction. If you find that you are still a bit nervous, I want you to increase the focus to your thumb to 35%. The less that you focus on the social interaction that you are involved in, then less that you will worry and the less fear and nervousness that you will feel.
Trust that your body will carry on without your intense focus and that it will in a sort of automatic pilot like way do all the things that need to be done and it will say all that you need to say. This will help you if you are one of those people that gets those terrible nervous shakes. Just trust in yourself and keep your focus on that magical thumb. It will be up to you to regulate how much focus you wish to give to your thumb and how much focus you want to give to the interaction that you are having.
Of course you don’t have to focus on your thumb. Any part of your anatomy works pretty good; just try to make it an outer extremity. I like the thumb because if you are having trouble focusing on it, you can grab it with your other fingers and hold on to it, this helps your attention and your focus. Don’t panic and squeeze your thumb though, just Hold on to it lightly, since this is all the help that you need with your focus. Definitely don’t squeeze tightly because this will be a sure sign to others that you are nervous, and you might end up hurting yourself. If you want, the feet are an awesome thing to focus on instead of the thumb.
As a rule of thumb :), I would recommend that you focus about 20% of your attention on your on the extremity of choice and then increase the percentage of focus until you are feeling comfortable. Never go to over 50% focus on the extremities though as this might not allow you to focus enough on the social interaction; you don’t want to start babbling or all the sudden start looking at your thumb or feet for no apparent reason. Play with it as you see fit and try using the idea of giving your focus percentages so you can stay clear as to how much you are focusing on any one thing.
Next time you find yourself in a difficult situation, just focus your attention as outlined above and you won’t have any more problems with shyness or nervous anxiety.