The term is generally used to define someone who, because of a hard experience, is markedly afraid or nervous to go back into a similar situation. The terms originates from sporting dogs, who can no longer do their job, spooked at some point from a loud noise.
We live in a culture inundated with loud noises and guns and the guns I'm talking about here are the guns of stress, of critics, of fear, of on and on it goes... and they are booming and they are hurtful and they send all kinds of people cowering instead of chasing and hunting for the thing that brings them joy. (That job, that passion, that relationship, that...)
But, here's the thing, the world needs you chasing and hunting! We know you've been spooked, we know it's hard, but don't give into a world that wants more loud noise and less chasers. Keep on searching, finding, retrieving, and returning with the gift.
The way we bring a gun-shy dog back around is to start with smaller noises, keeping them far away, and slowly raise the levels. We have to build the confidence again, we have to do fun things, and be full of positive reinforcement: a "slow and steady rehab program".
So, no stress. Start small. Go small, but go. Keep risking, keep standing out, keep hunting, keep searching, keep resisting, keep being vulnerable, keep sharing, and get used to those loud noises. They are everywhere, all the time, and, sure, they can be a reason to cower, or they can be a sign of something good on the horizon.