Sorry for this late reply. I have been traveling and I am now in Rishikesh, India. From a spiritual point of view – we are taught in Vedanta – that no matter what differences we have with others – we are essentially Divine. However, most of us cannot feel that way because as we grow, we get so many subliminal messages from our environment and people around us that we start doubting our own feelings. This starts very early in life.
The first step to restoring your self confidence is to know :that you are different in your personality and that you must try and accept yourself the way you are. This idea may take a while to settle with you.
We may feel shy to express what we feel only because we do not know how it will be received. We may be judged for our views, or we simply are not sure of our feelings. One effective way to develop self confidence is to express what we feel to someone we feel safe with or to someone we know will accept us no matter what. As we are encouraged by our elders, peers or mentor- slowly we will get the courage to express our views in a wider circle of people.
It is vital to know the spiritual truth – that each person is Divine at their core and that when we interact with people we are not alone. We can draw upon the inner strength of God, that is already present within us. My guru, Swami Chinmayananda was initially shy and may have felt meek in front of His master, Swami Sivanandaji. I am told that Swami Sivananda used to stroll in the ashram courtyard with Him, placing His hand on the shoulder of the young initiate Chinmaya, saying, “Chinmaya roar like a lion.” One who heard my master after a few years of this episode, could not have believed that He was ever shy, as His oratory skill and forceful delivery of words came from not only a bright intellect, but straight from His heart. So I encourage you to speak from your heart and know that you will be able to overcome self consciousness eventually. Invoke the blessing of the Divine to do that ! Good Luck!