What is holding me back?

I guess its most important for me to think about why I’m not living a transparent life in order for me to deal with how I can change that.
I’ve always been an introvert. I’ve always felt more comfortable recharging myself, my thoughts and my emotions, by being alone or at the very least finding some time where I can gather my thoughts and quiet my mind. On top of that, I’ve always been very shy. Afraid to meet new people or to open myself up in front of people I don’t know. Always afraid that I wouldn’t be good enough or able to measure-up to those that I thought were judging me.
I have a very strong memory of being very young, pushing a tray through a cafeteria line while my father became extremely irritated with me because I was too afraid to speak up and order what I wanted. I’ve been like that in so many situations, I can’t even remember most of them, let alone count them.
It has become incredibly frustrating to look back at 50 years and know that I’ve wasted & lost so many potential opportunities because I was too panic-stricken to actually ‘be’ in the moment, usually just wishing to escape, afraid of what others were thinking or possibly saying. This has led to many struggles, especially when it came to accepting my sexuality and coming to grips with coming out.
Life is a funny thing, you sometimes start to learn the lessons much later than you really need them.