I desperately wanna break out of my shell and stop being so shy and insecure. Please help?

I really hate having social anxiety. When I talk to people at school my voice is quiet because I worry about people overhearing me and making judgements. People are always like "What? I thought you said something else.." because I talk quiet and unclearly, I'm self conciouss about the my voice and the... show more I really hate having social anxiety. When I talk to people at school my voice is quiet because I worry about people overhearing me and making judgements. People are always like "What? I thought you said something else.." because I talk quiet and unclearly, I'm self conciouss about the my voice and the way I look.

I feel like I'm ugly, because of what even my friends have said to me. My self esteem has been pretty much destroyed. I'm 18, and at school when we have to do group work I rarely say anything and I feel concious about my laughter or every facial expression I use.

I hate being this way because in reality I'm not a quiet person at all. I feel like I've wasted so much time being afraid, I've been held back a lot by this. I wanna start living! I'll be leaving school for good in a couple of months (well before I start Uni, if I do), and nobody really knows me. They just think I'm a loser who doesn't really talk. I feel like I've lost a lot of friends who weren't loyal and didn't care for me. I don't wanna be lonely anymore. But even whenever I answer a question in class I get all shaky and my heart pounds =/

Please, please help. If there are any books or methods of help for this, let me know. I need anything that will help!

Thankyou.
Update: Thankyou so much everyone, I will probably print out the things you have been saying to remind me I am not alone ^.^
6 answers 6