Monday, April 2, 2018

Overcoming Shyness by Erik Myers | A Book Review

Overcoming Shyness by Erik Myers | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

Happy Easter everyone! For those who do not celebrate or commemorate the Holy Week, I hope you had a good weekend. My Holy Week was spent binge watching shows on Netflix. Finally, I started on watching those shows that everyone talked about so much on Instagram and on social media. I started watching Outlander because I got so curious and I actually liked it though. I thought it was slow going at first, but then it became really good. It picked up its pace and I'm loving Claire. She's very smart and very quick-thinking especially in very stressful and life-and-death situations where the only thing that saved her were her wits. I also watched Riverdale. I kept seeing trailers and ads about the series but simply choose to ignore them. Last week, my curiosity got the best of me and I succumb. Well, last week I decided was a week of relaxation. I even took time off from my online work. I was supposed to write my book reviews but I also decided against it and ended up getting pulled into the chaotic world of Riverdale. I actually didn't know that the series was an adaptation or based on the Archie comics characters. I really enjoyed it. I love Jughead's character and I didn't know he was Cody of the Zack and Cody twins of the Disney show "Suite Life on Deck." I just love Jughead and Betty's team up. I'm looking forward to watching the latest episodes. Yes, I got caught up on Riverdale and will have to continue binge watching Outlander.

Since I'm on the know now on Outlander and Riverdale, I also need to admit that I have to really catch up on my reading and reviews. Honestly, I think I have about more than 10 reviews to write. I'm thinking of writing one post for those short stories that I've read. One reason I've been putting off writing reviews for them is because I don't know how to fill a whole page. The stories were too short to come up with more than five sentences about them. So, that's one plan I have to really get on to also. Then, plan the rest of the week so I can at least write one review everyday after I do my online work. Sounds good enough, right?

I'm reviewing this book which I got through Instagram in April of last year. Yes, I know. I am so ashamed to admit that I just read the book January of this year. Finally, I found the time to write a review about it. So, this book is about overcoming shyness, as obvious as the title. It's a self-help book. When the author messaged me on Instragram asking me if I wanted to read and review his book, I thought that he saw right through me. How did he know that I was shy as a kid or at times I'm still stricken with low self-esteem? It was a bit of a mystery to me and I didn't mean that in a wrong way. I realized after reading this book, it may just be a case of "simply takes one to know one" or it's just the simple fact that he read my book reviews and saw the honesty and objectivity in them and would like to hear what I say about his book. 

If this book came out when I was in high or college, this would have been more helpful to me. At this point in my life right now, I could say that I've pretty much overcome my being shy. Yes, I think. Most of the time, my not talking to people is more of being more focused on my personal issues rather than being shy. It's more of wanting to be alone bordering on indifference, to contemplate on my life than actually being afraid of stepping up and meeting new people. But time and time again, I'm asked to momentarily forget about my own cares and talk to strangers, especially those that need help. I guess, maturity, confidence and being sure of one's self come together. The experiences I had helped me become confident and sure of myself and not afraid anymore of what other people may think. 

In a way, when this book found its way to me, it felt like fate in some sort. It's because for the past years, I don't know for how long, but I've been struggling with a lot of personal issues. I'm wondering if I've actually progressed or digressed. Meaning, instead of going forward and achieving things, did I instead fell so far down and worst off than when I first started. Reading this book sort of confirmed that I've actually come quite a long way. The years were not wasted at all. From that very shy girl, I've grown into a confident woman. I could say, I have various experiences and I guess, those have helped me find strength in times when I really need to hold on to something. I may not consciously know it but those experiences have somehow contributed to some hidden reserve of strength I could tap into when everything else has been exhausted. Truly, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. 

Reading this book had me agreeing to it all. Yes, that. Bold red check on that. Correct, et cetera. All very true. It's very straightforward and easy to follow. The hardest is just taking the very first step. Knowing that this book might not be written for me, because I'm not shy anymore is a great thing. Being able to relate to it first-hand is also a good thing because the fears and all the feelings that the author felt while he was struggling with his shyness were exactly what I've felt and have battled with for years before I was able to overcome this challenge. What I like reading about this was that it was written in a way like the author was just telling a story. He wasn't writing this as someone preaching on a pulpit but rather someone humble and bold enough to share his own experience. The author, like everyone else battled with this challenge and that what he did that helped him through it might be just what might help others who are going through the same thing. 

In a nutshell, this book only says three things. Overcoming shyness is forgetting what other people think, breaking out of your comfort zone and be unapologetically you. Everything starts with the proper mindset-- how you see things. It's forgetting what other people think. Knowing who you are, what you want and what you don't want. You should know yourself better. People can think all they want, as long as you know who you are, what your priorities are and your values, and as long as you're not stepping on anyone's toes, you're good. Your dreams and your aspirations are what will make you break out of your comfort zone. And this is very true. I have exactly done that and those great experiences I've mentioned earlier happened to me outside of my comfort zone. When I broke out of my comfort zone, I also broke out of my fears and my shyness. But it wasn't a one-time thing for me. It happened gradually for me. It also helped to be around people who are confident and very encouraging. I think one of the factors have helped me overcome my shyness was being friends with people who are so confident that you can't help but feel confident and beautiful too. These people saw me for my strengths and I started seeing myself that way too. And I guess, that's what true friendship is, you share the joys and the good things, encourage each other. I learned to live in the moment and not worry about what people may think, as long as I know I'm not crossing lines and hurting people. I've learned to enjoy my moments and not feel guilty about them because I have earned them rightfully. I have toiled and worked hard and enjoying the fruits of my labor is my prize. Don't feel guilty for sometimes indulging yourself, as long as it's just clean fun and not illegal. My guilty pleasure is travelling and food. Looking back, I don't feel guilty not having bought a house or any real estate. I spent what I've worked for on experiences. I didn't have a lot growing up and I have a lot of things I wanted to experience, so when it came time that I can afford them, I tried them and I'm not sorry because those experiences have made me a better and confident person. I invested in experiences because I needed to improve my self-esteem. I have to get rid of my fixations, my feeling of lack and my feeling of inadequacy by seeing the world and experiencing it. Travelling had broaden my horizon and have made me more tolerant when it comes to people. Being exposed to different cultures and stories, I have become less judgemental and have nurtured less preconceived biases of those people I meet. Each one has his/her story and not all of us have nice, princess stories or happy stories to tell. Horror stories contain good lessons too. And oftentimes you realize that there are people worse off than you, which is not really empowering but makes you appreciate the things that you have and kinder to people.

I give this book 4/5 cages. Overcoming shyness is like breaking out of a cage. It's liberating and empowering. It's not easy and is not instant nor it happens overnight, but all you need to do is just start with the first step and then things will just start to seem not as hard as they appear to be. It's also a process. I, for one am a work-in-progress. From time to time, bouts of insecurity and low self-esteem plague me. Honestly, I have been told a lot of times that I was ignorant, dumb and did not know better and I have been tempted to go back to those people and shove back their tongues into their big mouths but I didn't, because they were exactly those things they called me. Those words were only said because they wanted to feel good about themselves, though at my expense. I honestly hope wherever they are, they are happy so they wouldn't have to hurt people to feel good about themselves. Believe me, I have heard a lot of insults thrown at me just because these people assume they have figured me out and also because I refuse to kiss their asses. And not kissing asses is I guess, one more proof that I have overcome my shyness and bold enough to stand my ground, even if more or less it lead me to where I am now. Well, no regrets. At least, I would be proud to say I have always been honest to myself. If I can't be, then all this work of overcoming shyness or whatnot, may just be all futile. Still, it all boils down to not giving a care about what other people think. I always say, "Whatever makes your happy sweetheart," with full on sarcasm. Let them think what they want if it makes them sleep better at night. Just remember, you know yourself and you should be kinder to yourself. 

Getting out of your comfort zone is when the real magic happens in your life. Yes, it can be painful and uncomfortable at times, but it's like getting into a cold shower. When you finally take the plunge, the water stings for a few seconds, but then you get used to it and actually start to like it. Then afterwards, you feel awake and refreshed.
- Erik Myers, Overcoming Shyness - 

Thank you again, Erik Myers for the book copy.