When Shyness Holds You Back

I’ve never been a big talker or someone who enjoys the limelight, I’ve always been quite happy hiding in the shadows being invisible, a classic introvert one might say. As a child, I was quite shy. I hated nativity plays and reading aloud, in fact anything that drew attention to myself would send me running in the opposite direction.
Which is a bit of a bummer considering I’m a natural creative. Not only do I write, but I’m also an artist. A soon-to-be maker of cosmetics, and a dab hand at interior design. The thing is, I hate people seeing my work. Even here on the blog, I’m so nervous every time a post goes out, it takes everything I have not to delete it.
During Charlie’s Easter Bonnet Parade, I was so embarrassed that people were saying lovely things about his “bee hat”, I wanted the ground to swallow me up right there and then, or HPs invisibility cloak to land directly over me. I immediately become the wallflower I was as a child, head down hoping no one would notice me.
I’m the same with my drawings; I can draw some lovely things and as much as I love sharing them on social media, I’d hate for them to be permanently on show. Tattoo artists and people who have tattoos, including my partner, often ask me to draw for them and I simply cannot agree.
When my partner and I owned a butchers shop in our town, I used to make pork pies and seasonal jams but I never put my name to them. Tom obviously used to give me credit where it was due and every now and then I’d bump into a customer who would applaud my pie making skills. The jam was especially popular, with amazing customer feedback. It was lovely to hear but if I was in the presence of a customer saying how nice it was, I would shy away from their compliments. In all honesty, it makes me feel uncomfortable.
The weird thing is, I honestly don’t give too many fucks about anything now that I’m approaching 31, I couldn’t careless what people think of myself or any of my work, in fact, as strange as it sounds, I think I take negative comments a lot better than positive ones.
I don’t know why this is, I know I have creative talents and if I truly let them lose I’d be unstoppable. Maybe it’s because I was hardly praised as a child, that I was run down through adulthood and always being told I’d never amount to anything resignated with me in some way. Maybe that’s what instilled this overwhelming shyness? But I know I have to change. I have to start gaining some confidence, not only in myself but in my work.
This blog isn’t anything special, I’m no where near the level of some of the bigger, more established blogs but I do love it and it is getting attention, attention I would normally shy away from. You see, this isn’t my first blog, it’s probably my 6th, the previous five got deleted as soon as it started gaining followers and positive comments. Madness, I know. But I’ve been at this one for a year now and it’s getting noticed more and more every day.
Today, I was tagged in an image from this blog, thanking me for a review on their product. It wasn’t their lovely comments that struck me but the fact my blog was being acknowledged as just that; a blog. A real live blog the same way as a more popular one would be. I immediately shut down my phone as the knots in my stomach got tighter. Again I wanted to hide away and pretend it wasn’t me.
Then I got my shit together and wrote this post in a hope of not letting my shyness get in the way of something that I love. Something that could be great. Something that I consider a part of me…Then my baby was sick everywhere and I wondered why I bother.
But I still wrote it, published it and hoped for the best. Shyness is a real thing, anyone who experiences self doubt will tell you it can be crippling, but I’m determined to not let it get the better of me. Perhaps all I need is a little more faith.
And for the baby to stop vomiting in my lap.
Hayley-Jayne Xx
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