My Path from Shyness to Assertiveness

by Michael Foster, M. A.


I have been there and done that. I have been shy and experienced more assertiveness. Back when I was a child, the best I could do was to act shy. There were some givens in my life, I did not understand. I always wondered why I was shy. I was not so shy with my mother, when I could trust her to be understanding. I was not so shy, when I was assisting my sister's girlfriends over the phone. But I sure was shy around most people and especially girls. The more people, the more shy I was. My greatest fear was having to speak before a group. Once, I even accepted six "F's" instead of one "C" to avoid giving a speech when I was in high school.

I still wondered why I was shy, when I was a teen. So, I began to take action by searching the main library in Long Beach California. I wanted to find some clues on what to do. I could not find anything that rang true for me, other than to keep pushing out from my zone of comfort. I kept pushing for many years until all at once everything seemed to go wrong in my life. Again I was determined to find out why. What happened is a different story on a different subject.

However, a fallout of what happened was that I learned why I was shy. I was physically wounded in my birth process. I had lost more than my hearing in my left ear. Part of me had dis associated from me when I was wounded. As I re associated with those missing parts, my shyness grew to more boldness. I can now enjoy speaking as a presenter or facilitator with any group.

This does not mean that I am fully recovered. I still have some shy habits that I learned over my first 50 years, that I have not changed yet. The major difference now is that I know how to change them, one by one.

I learned a lot about the re association process from my re association experiences. I then went on to learn how to refine my re association process in my masters program on spiritual psychology. My masters program helped me to grow even more comfortable in groups. I found out that my re association process, was a generic recovery process for any life challenge.

From my perspective, it does not matter what the source of any wound is. The wounds can be physical like mine, or emotional wounds, or mental wounds, or spiritual wounds, or relationship wounds. The kind of wound does not change the healing process. To heal there needs to be some more energy freed up by some form of forgiving, followed by some pain to tell spirit what to heal, followed by the courage to let spirit heal it the way it heals. That is where we can learn cooperate with how we are comforted.

I have found that one entrance to the recovery road is labeled Forgiveness University. In Forgiveness University I teach the alpha to omega ways to forgive, from acceptance to objectivity.

Of course there is the other road, trouble thoroughfare. The entrance to the trouble thoroughfare is labeled Blame University. There the world teaches the alpha to omega ways to blame, from anger to ought. There the wounds are opened by a triggering event that has nothing to do with the person, place or thing that is the trigger. The energy of anger is generated to heal the wound, followed by pain to tell the energy what to heal, unfortunately followed by blaming of the trigger and attempts to transfer the angry energy and pain to the trigger. The trouble thoroughfare only leads to making the wounds worse and separation from spirit larger. When the wounds get large enough, they may wake up enough to start looking for Forgiveness U, since Blame U is not working out.

So, I would say to any one who is shy and intends to grow into more boldness, you can learn how to re associate with your missing part(s). Just go and find someone that has done that, and learn how to re associate your missing parts, from them. That is what I did at Forgiveness U. There it did not matter what the life challenge was, the road to recovery was always through the discovery of the same set of skills of forgiveness. There are many.

Michael Foster is a long time resident of Marlton. He has a new business, Recovery by Discovery, where he is a Wellness & Teamworking Coach. He writes a coach's daily tips column on his Internet pages at, and he is available for coaching work teams and individuals.


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