Now, as you've read about my ultra-shyness in high school, you may be thinking that it couldn't get any worse. It did. Since I was so good at being shy, I really outdid myself in college. The more the years passed the more I found my inability to be confident to be a glaring weakness.
My roommates meant well when they would try to get me to drink to loosen up. Their hearts were in the right spot. God bless them! They knew I was "stiff and very shy. Instead of hanging out with them and drinking and socializing, I would while away my time on the computer, chatting with strangers through electronic mail. How could I turn down the opportunity to hang out with my friends and instead chat with strangers halfway around the world? I rationalized it by saying I did not do that since I didn't drink. I didn't know I could still hang out with them and socialize with them while I was not drinking. That option, easily the most obvious choice now, never even crossed my mind.
One night, after a few too many beers, my roommates and their friends spotted me screwing around on the computer and set it about as their mission to get me to loosen up. Their mission henceforth was to get me drunk as a skunk. They proceeded to apply some very persuasive peer pressure and invited me upstairs where a party was being held. Being flattered that they even recognized me, I finally said yes and resolutely stated that I would not drink though. After getting upstairs and getting into the midst of the party, one of my giving roommates handed me an "orange juice" and said to drink up. At this point in time, I chugged it. The next thing you know, I was feeling tipsy and really relaxed as I noticed myself automatically talking more and having lots more fun. In my semi-drunken stupor, I realized that the orange juice contained alcohol. However, I was finally feeling good and accepted so I chose to drink some more. It was my first experience at all with alcohol. And I found that I quite liked being able to drink to the point of obvious inebriation since it allowed me to relax and stop being shy temporarily. At this point in time, you may or may not be thinking whether one of the Unstoppable Confidence techniques is to get sloshed and drown out your shyness with alcohol. The answer is no. It's just at that time, I didn't realize there were other ways to overcome one's shyness.
After that great first drinking experience, I decided I liked it and did it a lot more. When the weekend came, I talked to a number of people to find where "the party" was being held. Once at the party, I proceeded to get seriously drunk. My faulty logic was that, "if one beer is good then that means two beers are better." Following this faulty logic had me drunk in no time. And simultaneously, I transformed myself from being a shy wallflower who spoke to no one to being a raving, whirling dervish of a humorous drunk who spoke to people, told jokes, laughed loud and long, and had a great time. It was at these parties that my friends had to tell me it was time to go home but I never wanted to leave. This was my escape from my shy self and I wanted it to last as long as I could. I needed it to last as long as I could. That was why I would metaphorically pretend I was a doctor and prescribed alcohol to myself as a self-medication for my shyness.
As a result of these parties, I woke up in strange places, forgot what I had done the previous night when I was drunk, and felt miserable with a hangover. Still, in my mind, drinking was my ticket out of shyness. What I hadn't realized was that I had other options. Without other options to be more confident, I did the best I could with what I knew. And that unfortunately was to drink to excess.
One day after having a miserable hangover, I crossed my threshold. I said, "STOP!" inside my mind. I decided that there had to be another way. After all, I had seen other people who behaved confidently without resorting to getting smashed down drunk. I decided I'd find out what they were doing. This meant that I found myself reading a number of self -help books. From each of these self-
help books, I gained a little knowledge or a useful exercise to enhance my confidence in my self and allow me to relax in the presence of others.
This book is a collection of everything that is useful which I've read in the books, experienced in my life, or have modeled from other confident people. By doing these exercises, you will gain the confidence that you seek. After you get the confidence you want, you'll be able to look back on this as the starting point of your confident journey with life as an amazing adventure.
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