When I was in school, the best way to overcome my shyness was by studying. That’s not a great model for an adult life, but it worked well enough.
I did research on shyness at Harvard University and discovered there is no one-size-fits all diagnosis for this complex problem (there are many symptoms of shyness). But what seemed like common sense to me – that if you study hard you will get better grades – turned out not to be true. It made more sense to try something new than stay with your old system that is failing you. So last year, when I left my job as director of the Parenting Center at UCLA Medical School after five years, I started working with athletes instead of children. Athletes have an entirely different set of issues from parents who come into our center trying help their kids deal with anxiety or depression or whatever adjustment problems they face academically or socially because they moved away from home for college or work . There are huge differences in relation to intelligence and socioeconomic background between parents and children attending our clinic compared with other sports medicine clinics which focus exclusively on injuries sustained while playing sports such as football , soccer , hockey , baseball , etc.. The success rate among these young athletes has been phenomenal but has also brought up some interesting questions about whether being good at athletics is good preparation for real life beyond the athletic field . One can’t help wondering why so much attention goes toward highly competitive activities where failure means humiliation ? Why do we