SHY PEOPLE DON’T WIN AT ANYTHING -The story of how I overcame shyness- By Eluwa



My name is Eluwa. I was born on the 27th of October, in the year 1995 at an army hospital at exactly 5 : 12 a.m on a Thursday. I’m only telling you this because I want you to get comfortable. I’m a nice person and I’d hate for you to feel anything other than relaxed while I’m speaking to you.


I also like to get to the point very fast so let me tell you of how I overcame shyness. To be sincere, I haven’t fully overcome it. This is mainly because I am a naturally shy person and I don’t believe that naturally shy people can ever really lose that shyness. Leopards don’t change their spots, though they can be covered up, hence the reason a lot of people don’t believe I’m shy.


Now let’s go back to the part where I said I’m naturally shy. You probably think “oh she probably gets tongue-tied around new people ” or “she must be quiet” LOOOOL. That is not my brand of shyness. My own case is not so mainstream and it is highly ridiculous. This kind of shy that I possess falls under the extreme cases section.


Let me tell you: I often fought tears, or ended up sobbing in the face of any camera especially when there were people I didn’t know around. Why? Because the people I didn’t know might start talking about me and that could hurt my fragile feelings (they might not even be saying bad things but the idea of being the topic of discussion terrified me). If you see any of my childhood pictures, you’d likely find me looking like I want to kill someone. That’s my “Eluwa, DO NOT CRY” face.


I frequently came off as unfriendly to strangers because I didn’t want them to talk to me in case they asked me a question I could not answer (when I didn’t know the answer to a question I’d start crying). So I avoided people a lot. I kept a lot of things to myself because I was afraid I wouldn’t be taken seriously since I was a child and nothing more. Participating in games and contests was a NO-NO for me. I just couldn’t go up there and be shaking my body to Awilo. What if I can’t dance well? What if they start calling me a spider? People would be looking at me. I would cry. I couldn’t even participate in class; when a teacher asked a question whose answer I knew, I’d stay mute.


I was just scared of reactions to whatever I did or said or made, and I made a lot of things. I loved to paint and draw and string stuff together but I’d only ever show my mom because she always loved whatever I did. Besides my mom, no one else really saw the real me because I was always scared they wouldn’t understand like she did. So I sat in my shell till SS2.

It was then, at the young age of 14 that I realized what awful implications shyness had for me. I realized then that as a shy person, if I kept being shy (staying away from the action, being scared of what “they” will say, I’d miss out on a lot in life. I saw my non-shy class mates take the bull by the horns and get results, and I admired them so much, thinking “I wish I could be like her/him” without actually trying to take the bull by the horns. I wished the same results they got would fall into my lap as things sometimes did, because I was too scared to do what they did. I didn’t even try to befriend them for fear of them trying to make me do the terrifying things they did. Like taking like by the balls.


But I had to. Because a lot of things won’t come to you simply because you are scared of going to get them. That’s just they way of life. Getting some opportunities sometimes requires you doing scary things (“scary” is relative by the way. To me it’s talking to a small crowd about something. Making presentations – among other things. You dig?). You could (or could not) say that successes in life often depend on how much of the scary stuff you’re willing to do. Of course doing them is what actually brings about the success but if you’re willing that’s 50% of the work done. I’m not saying you should prepare your mind to kill a man for the sake of success. That’s not okay. My point is that you should be bold if you’re not. Go after the things you need but are scared to go after. Get yourself together and do it.


Seriously. Get it together.


Even if you don’t win or get what you want, at least you won’t be scared to do it again. I know I wouldn’t (though I must confess here that until recently it would take 3-4 tries before I got comfortable doing a “scary” thing.


So that is all. With shyness as my primary companion, I wouldn’t be able to do much with my life. Therefore, I drop it everyday and face the world. It’s never easy to leave it at home, but it always so worth it.


Thanks for reading!

Yours, Elu.



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