I'm no psychologist, but this one thing helped me to overcome my hesitation of socializing, and it may be the very thing you need to be more social in life. Notice I didn't say fear, but hesitation. There are things in life that you are afraid of doing, but do anyway. Networking is one of those things (at least for people who don't necessarily enjoy socializing).
My introversion was pretty serious. I didn't feel the need to make new friends, and stuck to the few of my only friends. As I grew older, a fact became inevitably obvious to me: the world is built upon connections, and if I lend my introversion as an excuse to be an anti-social freak, I would miss out on a lot of opportunities. Also, I was in a toxic friendship with a friend in my miniscule social circle, and without other friends, I find it impossible to navigate around my misery. This resulted in my distrust in people and refusal to further make friends. My insecurity grew and I was like a tree without its roots. If you have experienced this before, you know how miserable it is for one to have to people-please and cling desperately onto a toxic relationship just because one fears being friendless.
Eventually, I did a drastic move, by leaving the school which I dreaded with passion. I joined a homeschooling center instead. From then on, I was like a bird with broken wings trying to heal itself. It worked, because I was surrounded by people who accepted me for who I was. At that point in time, I still had to rely on external forces to grow myself and start digging my roots of confidence deep into the soil. But as soon as I was firm enough both mentally and emotionally, it became easier for me to control my own actions and reactions by my own. So if you believe there is no way you can change for the better in a certain environment, or if it will be extremely difficult to, then change your surroundings and force yourself to mingle with other people no matter how awkward it is at first. You've gotta' be strangers before you can be friends. This is a just a personal tip that you can choose whether you want to take or not. The real secret is this:
NOTHING VENTURED, NOTHING GAINED! If you don't ask, you'll never know! If you ask/initiate a conversation (depending on what can of scenario you had in mind), what's the worst that can happen? It's either they dislike you at first sight/greeting (which is rare), or they become potential friends! Either way, it's still better than not knowing what you might have achieved with just something as simple as a greeting or small talk. You might be stuck on finding a conversation topic/continuing the conversation, but it's not like a lil' awkward silence will kill you. Awkwardness is still better than nothing. Allow yourself to be awkward if you can't help it. Ponder over what you could've done better (no matter how cringey it feels) afterwards, so that you can be less awkward in your next conversation! Force yourself to talk to at least one person at every event you go to. I like to go to new places alone, not because of my introversion, but because it makes me extremely uncomfortable to be in a new environment without friends. It's more like a challenge I set for myself. If I go with a friend, I will either be in a clique during the whole event, or lend the presence of my friend as a source of courage when socializing with strangers. Going alone and setting a minimum requirement to fulfill before you can leave will set you up for real grit and seriously train your social skills. Don't hesitate! Burn the bridges before you have the chance to retreat!
So here's what you should challenge yourself to do during your next event/meetup/class/etc:
I would also suggest not to put too much credit towards personality tests and introversion/extroversion evaluations. While it's fun to know, sometimes we unconsciously follow what the test results claim us to be, and thus confining ourselves in a box, when we could very easily transcend the static estimations of a programmed system. I'm not saying you should completely devalue tests like these; I'm saying that these tests exist so that we can learn more about ourselves and be a better version of ourselves. I know a friend who tries so freaking hard to be mean just so she can identify herself as a hardcore tsundere (a Japanese term for a character who is mean on the outside but caring on the inside), but that's another topic on its own (*snickers*).
Just because you're inclined towards introversion doesn't mean you are incapable of having extroverted moments. Yes, as introverts, we approach things differently and are wired differently, but one thing remains certain: Socializing is possible regardless of which personality we possess.
Refer to this short article on extroversion and introversion. It helps to debunk your misconceptions about human personality.
I hoped this post helped you with your social confidence! Share your personal experience with us. Are/were you anti-social? How did you overcome it? What did you feel was the cause of your shyness?