To summarise: if you sometimes feel shy, introverted or unsociable, and sometimes feel at home socialising in a group, then don’t define yourself as “shy”; that’s not shy, it’s just normal. Rigidly defining yourself as shy is not only inaccurate but can even have negative consequences…
How a Definition Can Define You
So what’s the big deal? Why am I bringing this up at all?
It’s because identifying with this definition of yourself (which is not what is actually unique about you, if almost everyone else claims it too) will predetermine what your limitations are. When you are sure that you are shy or an introvert, then whether it’s true or not, it will become true.
It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Why can’t you walk up to that stranger and say hi? “Because I’m shy,” you answer. So you don’t do it. You don’t even try. This identification with being shy is stopping you and limiting you. Some people have legitimate reasons for not wanting to trust strangers, and that’s fine, but “I’m shy” as an excuse only serves to paint yourself into a corner. Now you can’t talk to that stranger because you have decided that you’ll always be too shy to do it.
(Via Fluent in 3 months – Language Hacking and Travel Tips)
First, I’ve been thinking about this very sentiment for a long time. I try to see where I identify in a limiting way that is counter-productive (the shyness in the article, for example), eliminates opportunities for fun and adventure (“I don’t dance”), and binds me into a one-way emotional relationship (see political affiliations, religion, Emacs vs. vi, &c.).
Second, this is my “go to” excuse for my poor Japanese after 2.5 years of working and living in Japan.
So what’s it going to be – are you going to get back into your shy comfort zone, or are you going to look back at the matrix of shyness and realize that it’s a reality you’ve created for yourself?