Five’ effective ways to overcome Fear & Shyness

Dear readers and friends, just highlighting about the role of Shyness and Fear as well as Nervousness as barriers to professional growth is not enough. What I believe more important
19 Aug 2017 11:14
Five’ effective ways to  overcome Fear & Shyness
Mayur Kalbag

Dear readers and friends, just highlighting about the role of Shyness and Fear as well as Nervousness as barriers to professional growth is not enough.

What I believe more important is to focus upon the various techniques or ways which we can use to overcome these barriers and hurdles.

I therefore, will try my best to explain ‘FIVE’ of such highly effective techniques or ways through this column.

I learnt these techniques in that particular Training sessions about which I had mentioned in my previous column! I most sincerely request all of you to not only read and understand these five techniques but also begin practicing the same and see if it really works for you or not.


Let us explore each of these techniques or ways!


  1. The power of the ‘P’s- Plan & Prepare-

Whether you are attending an important meeting with your colleagues or seniors or both, or if you have a presentation to make to an audience there could be a strong possibility of fear and shyness creeping into your mind.

Especially the mental question such as, “What if I make errors while speaking in front of all them or what if I am unable to answer their questions”!

Such questions can make us lose our inner-confidence and thereby may negatively affect the outcome.

An effective way to deal with such situations is to plan and prepare before the meeting or the presentation.


Planning and along with it, Preparation can be done by asking yourself the following pertinent questions:

Why am I attending the meeting or Why am I presenting? What is the purpose or objective?


Whom am I presenting to? Or Who will be attending the meeting / presentation? (My Audience?)


What am I presenting? Have I learned the content that I plan to present?


What could be the possible questions or queries that could be asked by the various members of the audience? What will be the specific Points or questions I would like to emphatically ‘EMPHASIZE’ in that meeting or in the presentation?


How do I plan to present? Have I accurately and appropriately prepared the Power point slides for the meeting / presentation? Do I use the White Board with markers pens?


  1. Practice makes you not just perfect but CONFIDENT too!

Remember dear readers, only planning and preparation is not enough! What you need is the other ‘P’ which is known is PRACTICE.

Yes! After you have planned and prepared you must do something called ‘mock practice’.

Especially for those professionals who have to make weekly or monthly ‘presentations’ as well as for those people who have to attend meetings and express their perspectives with the people in the room it is important for him or her to Practice what he or she wants to actually speak.

Practicing your presentation or expressions in meetings will very quickly boost up your confidence and at the same time reduce your shyness!

To practise effectively what you must try and do is this.

Stand in front of the mirror and start speaking to your image in the mirror. This is especially helpful in making you confident and effective while making presentations, but it can help you when you participate in meetings too!


  1. The Attitude towards MISTAKES

This is an important aspect towards reducing nervousness and shyness and I will explain the reason as to why I find it very important.

In my seventeen years of being a Leadership Coach and Trainer cum Facilitator I have interacted with a whole lot of participants from various countries and organizations working a different levels of seniority and what I noticed in most of these participants was the ‘FEAR of MAKING MISTAKES while presenting or while participating In meetings!

I remember one such occasion where I noticed a pleasantly confident participant suddenly losing that very same confidence when he was requested to go upon the stage and make his presentation.

He had been given two days to prepare for the presentation. He was also a senior level executive and yet despite all this he still became nervous and shy as he started presenting to the audience in front of him.

He hastily concluded his presentation and walked back to his chair and heaved a sigh of relief.

That evening while we were having dinner when I asked him why was he so nervous and shy he simply told me, “Hey Mayur, you know what, as you have seen me, I am extremely assertive and confident when I in a general conversation with people but the moment I have to make a formal presentation and that too to a large group of people I become scared and shy or nervous and I think that happens mainly because I am more scared of making mistakes while I am presenting despite my planning and preparation” “What kind of mistakes?” I asked him.

“Mistakes such as grammatical errors or even the fear that I may forget my points related to the subject and the more I think of it the more mistakes I end up making!” He told me.

Dear friends, the attitude that I may make mistakes or errors while speaking in a meeting or while making presentations is common but then that has to change.

You must understand that making a mistake is not some major crime and mistakes are never deliberate or purposefully done.


Mistakes happen

We all make mistakes but then what is more important is that we accept it and go ahead. We surely can learn from our errors or mistakes but let them not drag us down and make us shy and fearful.

The next time you make a mistake while presenting or while discussing in a meeting just overlook it and continue to speak confidently. Only later, try and work on that mistake.



One of the ways to defeat shyness is also by doing Deep Breathing.

I believe that it truly helps in making you feel more relaxed calm and thereby enhances your levels of Self-confidence. Deep breathing has three steps.

First step is to inhale deep through the ‘nose’ and while doing that you could count for Four seconds.

Once you have inhaled your breath you must hold the same breath and count for six seconds only and then you must exhale that breath and while doing that you must count for four seconds.

If you can try to this simple and yet highly calming and relaxing Deep breathing exercise at least six times in a day you will find yourself more confident and more energetic and this will reflect in the way you will speak at meetings or presentations.


Read about Strength, Courage & Bravery

The next time you visit a book store please get hold of an autobiography of an ‘Inspiring and Courageous’ person.

Reading about other people who have battled their own weaknesses and barriers and come on top can also enhance your confidence for sure.


  1. I say this because the same thing for me

I must admit I was a very shy person but after I started reading about a great Indian Warrior called Shivaji Maharaj and then later the autobiography of the great actor, Denzil Washington I began feeling more self confident about myself.

Reading about these and other such great personalities can have a very positively powerful influence on our own attitude!

Finally I can only say that after attending that training session and getting to know all these ways / techniques and also after practicing them I truly began feeling a positive change within me.

I slowly but steadily felt a lot more fearless and confident in all my interactions in my organization. I still practise them in order to keep my confidence at the same high levels. I am sure you will try to explore the same!


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