Here is a great quote from Sir Richard Branson:
"You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over."
Unfortunately, a lot of us introverts don't like to put ourselves 'out there.' It is scary because we don't know what other people think of us. We don't want to be thought of us an idiot and usually after we try to put ourselves out there, nobody cares anyway and it goes back to being normal and you wonder why you made that effort to almost make a fool of yourself.
What can you do?
As Sir Richard said, you learn by doing and too many of us think too much about doing and not enough time actually doing.
We get too worried about what others would think about us.
My friend and I (he will probably not be happy about me giving away our secret code in such a public environment) have a saying and it goes like this, JDGAS. Just Don't Give A S**t.
It's all very well to give advice using the word "just". We hear that advice all the time, don't we?
"Just be confident."
"Just do it."
"Just get started."
Unfortunately when you are trying to do something then you have to get started somewhere and you might have to make that jump into a cold swimming pool. It isn't very pleasant, believe me.
Lets think of an example. Maybe you want to get over your fear of public speaking. I know many people find extremely difficult to get up in front of three people and speak. For some people, it is almost as terrifying as death itself.
That's what you can do though. Speak in front of three people, preferably strangers. I believe that is a great first step.
If the idea of speaking in front of three strangers may cause you to do unspeakable things to yourself, why don't you get your family involved? They should be supportive and it might be a comfortable way to improve your speaking ability.
For the more advanced people out there, you might want to try Toastmasters. Toastmasters is an organisation that promotes people becoming better at things like public speaking and leadership.
Of course public speaking is just an example of what you can do. There are many things that you can try to 'put yourself out there.'
Remember, you are going to come up against roadblocks. You are going to come against people who don't understand what you are trying to do and because it makes them feel uncomfortable they will try to bring you down. You are going to have people who just don't want to understand and will think that you are off your rocker. This where your JDGAS attitude is crucial.
It is a difficult process but it will be worth it at the end.