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Don’t be weak

February 11, 2012

Shyness is a great hindrance in life. It is a form of timidity or low fear. Almost all boys have got this weakness – and yet this is a feminine quality. Shyness manifests when one is in the wrong path. Every woman knows that the goal of life is God-realisation, and yet she engages herself in sexual matters. This wrong action makes her shy when she appears before any man.


A shy boy or man cannot express his thoughts boldly. He cannot look directly into the eyes of another man. He cannot freely approach any stranger. A shy man does not get on well in business or in the office.

Modesty is not shyness. It is decency or chastity. This comes from politeness and polish of character. Those who are shy should try to talk with others boldly. They should look directly at the face of others. Shyness is a great weakness. It should be eradicated quickly by cultivating courage.

Timidity is another weakness, due to faintheartedness. It is a form of fear, akin to shyness. A timid man has a chicken-heart. He is unfit for any public activity and for any kind of adventurous work.

A timid man cannot become successful in life, he cannot deal boldly with his customers in business. A timid man is afraid of losing his life. He is much attached to his wife, children and property. He is afraid of public opinion.

A timid man cannot talk even a few words with force and emphasis. So eradicate timidity. Eradicate it by developing courage. For timidity is a curse – and it weakens a man.

Pessimism is a temper of mind that looks too much on the dark side of things. It is the doctrine in which the whole world is bad rather than good. This is very depressing. Vedantins are wonderful optimists. Though they say that the world is unreal and they talk on dispassion, this is to create a distaste for the worthless life of this world, and to create a taste for the immortal, blissful life in Brahman.

The opposite of pessimism is optimism, which always looks on the bright side.


From Sivananda Daily Readings shared by the Ananda Kutir Ashrama in Cape Town |

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 11, 2012 5:27 pm

    A couple of thoughts. First, optimism and pessimism are largely influenced by temperament and personality. There are people who are natural optimists and there are people who are natural pessimists. I think people should discover what natural bias they have and try to temper that towards a more realistic view of the world.

    Second, some people may appear to be shy, but something else may be happening entirely. For most of my life people thought I was shy, but I actually had a condition called Social Anxiety Disorder:

    I now take medication for this and it has normalized my social interactions. I’m still somewhat of an introvert, which is fine, but I have no problem asserting myself in social situations. I can now think calmly and clearly in a variety of social venues. You have to realize that the thoughts of people who have this disorder are so scrambled in the moment that they cannot just “cultivate courage”. It is the same for people with panic disorders. People do not “choose” extreme anxiety or panic, it just happens and it is out of their direct control.

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