Cynthia Gould went through a phase where she was so shy and anxious she literally could not speak unless spoken to. She was terrified of speaking front of groups, singing, being in cars or planes ‒ she was scared of life. That wasn't the sort of person she wanted to be.
Years later, she has travelled to perform on spoken word tours, flown to speak at a web conference, hosted poetry and arts events, and sings in a sleazy rock band (High Heels Lo Fi). Oh ‒ and she held a boa constrictor for several minutes without squealing. Neat.