I was recently reading the latest issue of Psychologies Magazine (UK) when I came across an interview with a woman named Nione Meakin, who preached the importance of open mindedness and stepping outside of your comfort zone.
I felt inspired to piggyback on that; I was recently chatting with a friend of mine who laughed nervously when I told her that I attend networking events alone... gasp! I then told her that I prefer to do most things alone- shopping, volunteering, networking, etc. It isn't that I dislike people, quite the opposite.. I love people, their vibes, their conversation, but I love conquering my fears even more.
It used to terrify me to do anything without my friends by my side, and I wouldn't attend anything without first receiving an invitation from a previous connection who I knew would be in attendance. I quickly realized that I was creating my own pickle of sorts- I was not going to be able to achieve my (many, and large) dreams if I couldn't personally reach for them. Nobody can make dreams happen for you, they can only act as a guide or offer a hand.
They say that in order to achieve great things you need to step outside of your comfort zone.... they are right. For me, achieving success on my own was frightening, and I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it, but boy is it fulfilling when you prove yourself wrong.
Take the time to do one thing every day that scares you, makes you step out of your own limits, push your own boundaries. It doesn't need to be anything crazy- if you're shy it might just be to make better eye contact when you have a conversation with a co-worker, or joining in on that conversation at lunch. Personal victories. You won't regret it.