Introvert Does Not Mean Shy
Not every introvert is shy and not every shy person is an introvert. There are extroverts with social anxiety and even though they want to socialize they are inhibited by fear of people or rejection. Then there are introverts who are not shy at all but very driven by the things that they are passionate about. In order to understand if you are an introvert or an extrovert it necessary to be clear on the definition of the two states of mind.
An introvert's main concern is with themselves and what effects their primary self which could be their family or close friends while an extrovert is much more focused on everyone else outside of their own self and inner circle of family and friends. Many extroverts are activists and concerned with things that effect the world around them while you will find introverts are deep thinkers and can be philosophical. They can be writers, engineers, scientists and theorists. They tend to relate to others with their own experiences while extroverts will relate to themselves by the experiences of other people.
That doesn't mean that an introvert can't be globally effective. An introvert can impact society in a grand way. Being an introvert is not an excuse to just sit in your house never go out and never accomplish anything in your life. We have talents and passions that have it's place in the name of progress so it is your responsibility to use them to be effective in society.
It doesn't mean you have to hold some crazy summit conference or go save the whales. It can be in the very small things you do everyday. If you have children caring for them and nurturing them. Even if you just sit in a lab all day at your workbench researching and formulating or in your cubical at work planning and implementing systems in enterprise environment for a company you are making an impact on the lives of people you will never meet. You are using your talents to not only better your future but the future of society in general.
You don't have to this in a shy way. Not every introvert is a wall flower infact most of us are quiet because we are listening. I have no trouble speaking up when I have something to add and I like to go out with my friends but I am probably not the person you will see hooting and hollaring while she breaks it down old skool on the dance floor. Doesn't mean I don't like to have fun .... I just define fun differently than a more extroverted person.
If you are shy or have a social anxiety you are going to be fearful to some level of people. If you are afraid to speak your mind or reluctant (even though you have something good to add) than you lack self confidence. That is a problem but doesn't mean your an introvert. What it does mean is that you probably have some deeper issues that should be addressed so that you can be the best you can be in everything you do.