Maybe a bit of both. But when cowardness is dominant over shyness the result is usually inaction or procrastination.
I think we often overlook cowardness as being a possible cause of a person’s shyness. Is saying or considering yourself shy just an excuse for being cowardly? At least socially? Or more?
This realization presents a life-changing opportunity. You can overcome your shyness and social awkwardness by simply being more courageous! How do you do that? Immersion.
You do it by putting yourself into social situations that are intimidating for you. Then you approach those situations like a brave warrior or badass. You go, you move forward, and you attack your fears head-on with action! You keep going and soon your shyness disappears and courage, poise, and confidence arises.
You can do it with less stress by being unconcerned about the outcome. The outcome is whether you’re liked or whether you acquire a new friend, romantic partner, or business ally. This will happen naturally if there’s a match. So just have an “I don’t care if you like me or not” attitude. But without arrogance and with humility.