You can discuss your struggle to overcome your shyness. Not being active can be a setback but you can talk about how you recognize being shy can wreck your chance to attend a good college and that you are doing your best to change (self reflection is a big plus for UC personal statement).
I'm sure you could make it work if you spin it more in the direction of how you've overcome your shy, quiet nature, if you are a good writer. Still, it seems like a lose/lose topic, if you ask me. If you portray yourself as too shy or quiet, it can say something against your leadership quality, but if you claim you are changing, it could be seen as arrogance or bragging.
I'm no expert. This is just a personal opinion.
The actual thing about not being active and having leadership and participation might hurt you, but the essay is a good cover for that (to a certain extent) and is a good thing-- you can talk about how you're growing as a person and coming into yourself, becoming less shy and more active. It doesn't matter to what EXTENT you're changing, just that you are-- it shows that you're actually BUILDING character as you mature and grow... or something, it sounds nice to me! (And it's what I used on one application too, lol!) Best of luck!
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