“Shy. It’s such a shy word; a timid little word that begs to remain unnoticed. Only three letters long and it begins with an exhortation to silence.”shhh’.”

One of my clients drew this new book, ‘Shy-A Memoir” to my attention  and the first sentence had  me hooked.

Sian Prior is an Australian writer, broadcaster on ABC 774, singer, MC and  teacher who has  written a detailed account about her life lived with social anxiety.

“Social anxiety may lack the poetry to shyness but once you put the symptoms together, it’s hard to argue with the diagnosis. If you’re feeling shy you’re worried about something. If you’re a persistent worrier, you’re anxious. If you’re anxious, your mind enters into a pact with your body, sending it forth into the world with an armoury of self-protective physical responses. Danger! The adrenaline, the sweating, the rapid breathing, all preparing your body to run. Ensuring your hands will shake but your legs will move faster when you need to take off. Except that you’re never sure why you needed to take off so fast in the first place…””

Many social anxiety sufferers would be surprised that Sian has managed, despite  having experienced anxiety since childhood, to teach, co-host radio programs, conduct choirs and address crowds.  Once she even  addressed a crowd of 20000 at a Melbourne anti nuclear rally! Sian  also sings and plays the clarinet. Sian has forced herself to confront her fears all her life and thus  she has achieved many things, despite her social anxiety, in  her 49 years of life.

Sian has said”” if you’re anxious about doing small talk, well, just try and think of it as helping other people. So I might check out the party and see who else looks lonely and uncomfortable and I can go and help them. How do I make it not all about me? Who can I form a little coalition of shy people with?’

I think this book will resonate with many people who experience social anxiety and hopefully it will encourage them to confront their fears. I will be recommending it to my clients as Sian  shows that you can have a successful career, despite having social anxiety, provided you force yourself  to confront your fears.


This article published on Jun 03, 2014. View related Articles

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