If Shy, you can’t fly high

Dear readers, I am writing this column with a specific purpose. Through this column I wish to share my thoughts and perspectives about something that has literally created a barrier
12 Aug 2017 11:00
If Shy, you can’t fly high
Mayur Kalbag

Dear readers, I am writing this column with a specific purpose.

Through this column I wish to share my thoughts and perspectives about something that has literally created a barrier or may I say an obstacle in the person’s personal and professional life.

It is something that I have not only seen in other people but have experienced it myself. In fact, in certain situations I still experience it.

This barrier or obstacle that I am referring to is called Shyness or nervousness. Yes! I am talking about something which has made people lose out on opportunities to grow in their professional careers and I wish to explain this with a real life example.

I normally explain with examples through my columns only because all my readers are able to understand my perspectives in a more clear way.

I also believe that with the help of examples people can relate to the topic far more effectively.


The real life example-

I was working for a Software organization and specifically in the Marketing Department.

I had just post-graduated in Management and was quite new to the organization and the way it functioned.

We would have something called a ‘weekly meeting’ on every Friday at 4pm and this was also the forum where anyone and everyone could express their thoughts and ideas.

I entered the conference hall to find almost one hundred and fifty people already seated and there were more people to come for this meeting.

I sat beside a few of my colleagues and as I looked around I also noticed that CEO of the organization too was in that room. “This weekly meeting is also attended by the senior management which includes even the CEO” my immediate boss smilingly whispered to me.

As I heard this I almost lost a heartbeat! I was feeling scared and fearful although I had done absolutely nothing wrong. I had in fact achieved all my targets and yet for some reason I was feeling fear and this fear was causing me to feel shy and nervous!

As the meeting began people in that conference hall started discussing various topics related to various aspects of the organization.

Later, the discussion veered towards the subject of Innovative ways of Marketing our products and service and that is when I got extremely excited and that is because I had a lot of ideas to share. But…for some reason

I was just not feeling comfortable to open my mouth in front of the people seated there.


I was feeling SHY.

I desperately wanted to tell the entire audience about my ideas regarding innovation in marketing, something that I had developed a lot of knowledge about. But, I just kept silent and saw the others share their thoughts.

I must admit I was not the only one silent and shy. In fact there were many like me and somewhere as l realized this I actually felt better.

But was this good for me? After sometime my CEO suggested that we take a short break for tea and snacks and it was during that break that my immediate boss approached our CEO and introduced all the members of his team which included me.

The CEO was standing right in front of us and I just froze with fear. He asked me, “Hey Mayur, what do you think of this weekly meeting where everyone gets to share their own perspectives and ideas.? What about you!

Do you have some new innovative ideas you can share with us?” I wanted to share all my ideas with him but I stood there silent and shy. Before I could muster up my courage to speak out another junior colleague of mine responded to that question and impressed the CEO.

The CEO patted him on his back and wished him well and walked away! I was standing there looking at this and feeling deeply frustrated.

My attitude of shyness had prevented me from interacting with my CEO especially when the opportunity stood right in front of me.

I had the chance to not just speak with him but also impress him with my ideas and there I was standing like a dumb statue while my own junior colleague was speaking to the CEO quite confidently. That night

I just was not able to sleep well.

I was not just frustrated but also was angry at myself. Through the entire meeting I was just battling with myself to open my mouth and speak out. Unfortunately I ended up remaining quiet and shy throughout the meeting. My unfounded and illogical fear had made me extremely shy and nervous so much so that I was not opening up with my thoughts while others spoke and interacted with high levels of fearlessness.


To be honest, this shyness was also affecting my performance.

I was not given an opportunity to interact and make presentations to some of our very important clients. This was not good for me and I was beginning to get depressed. I was good at ‘back-office’ work such as making ‘Proposals and writing emails to our clients’ but I was never given the opportunity to meet and interact with these clients. Because of my shyness I was going further into a shell!

And then something happened one day! I received an email from my boss.

“Dear Mayur, I have nominated myself and you for a specific training on Self-excellence and Personalty development . I have mentioned the dates below”. Before I could react to the mail the phone rang and it was my boss.

“Mayur, you may have read my email by now” he said. “Yes Sir!” I answered nervously and almost fumbled a few times as I spoke to him.

“Hey Mayur, this is exactly why I have nominated you for this training. If you carefully look at the various modules which will be addressed in the training program you will see a topic titled as ‘Nervousness and Shyness- Barriers to Growth and Ways to deal with them’ Dear Mayur, you are very competent at your work and even creative too but when it comes to sharing your thoughts and ideas in front of people and especially your seniors, you get extremely shy and nervous because of which your competency and innovative ideas are never recognized.

I want this to change. I want you to change your attitude from being shy towards becoming highly confident and courageous!” Saying this he wished me the best and disconnected the phone.

In my next column I wish to share the few and yet extremely effective things I learned in that training program, things that really changed me from being shy and making me ‘fly high’!

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