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Actors Who Didn’t Let Shyness Stop Them

October 19, 2011

Lucille Ball’s teachers at the Anderson dramatic school probably thought they were doing her a favor when they advised her that she was “too shy” and would never make it in show business. Fortunately, Ball did not take these words to heart, and she went on to become The Queen of Comedy as well as a television pioneer. Ball once said, “One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore faith in yourself.”

Tom Cruise struggled with shyness and dyslexia as a child. His family had to move a lot as well, so he was continually uprooted from schools, which limited his ability to form lasting friendships. Cruise said, “Because I grew up in so many different places, I was used to rumors [about me]. You know, I didn’t have the right shoes, I didn’t have the right clothes. I even had the wrong accent.” He credits his mother with helping him learn to survive and overcome, insisting, “People can create their own lives.”

Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks are also known to have suffered through painful shyness as well. So the next time you doubt yourself before an audition, remember you’re not alone. Don’t allow those feelings stop you. Instead, keep your posture upright, breathe, emphasize the positive, and give yourself credit for your bravery. Lucille Ball maintained, “I’m not funny. What I am is brave.”

Once you habitually change your way of thinking to emphasize the positive, your confidence will blossom.