In working with people, I sometimes find them to be reluctant to express themselves with confidence in social situations. Some are hesitant to apply for a jobs or leadership positions in organizations or to advocate for their beliefs. In holding themselves back, they often cite a lack of confidence or a feeling that what they have to say is not important enough.
That’s the wrong way to look at things. People who react that way tend to deal with challenges by looking inward, and then starting to judge themselves. They become spectators instead of participants – and they often are the worst kind of spectators who are not supportive of the home team.
A more appropriate way of evaluating such situations is to think in terms of how their passive behaviors affect others. The person who blends into the woodwork at a party rather than offering opinions and other comments or the person who is capable of taking on a leadership role or serving on a committee is really cheating others who can benefit form their attributes and opinions.
In other words, it’s not about shyness or reserve or personal comfort. It’s about cheating the world.
Some of the brightest ideas and positive qualities are never shared or experienced by others because individuals profess to have too little confidence. If that is the case with you, try and look at it from the perspective of all of the rest of us. All of the bright ideas have not already been put out there, and all of the clever thoughts have not already been spoken – and we really want to hear more of them. If some are still residing in your head, please stop being a spectator. Take the risk of opening up – and stop cheating the world.