Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Growing In Confidence

One of the big things I wanted to achieve this past year was to grow in confidence and get talking to more people. Much to my surprise 2016 was the year! I'm the type of person who would be described as shy and therefore not cool enough to talk to by most, let's be honest that's how it feels. I always thought that outgoing people had the secret, the key to confidence and I just couldn't figure it out. Well I can tell you there's no real secret, confidence develops with time and it's different for everyone. Some things that have helped me are friends, starting a new college and realising I had to be myself.

At the start of the year with everyone turning 18 and having parties I took this as an opportunity to socialise with the people from Sixth Form that I wouldn't normally. I mean at parties most people are drunk so they'll talk to anyone quite happily, because I knew this I found it easier to talk to them. Then in school these people from the party wouldn't seem so scary to talk to anymore and in fact talked to me more because I'd spoken to them at a party. I'd just like to note that this doesn't mean you have to get drunk to talk to people, most the time I wasn't drunk just the other person was haha!
Some of my best friends I've know years and others a matter of months, either way they've all been such a big help in pushing me. I find it helps when you open up to your friends and tell them how you struggle in some situations (they always seem to know how to get you to do things you find uncomfortable).
Starting art college with a completely new set of people was by far the biggest test of my confidence this year. I knew a few people on my course who had been in my school previously but I still started out with that knot in my stomach and a sense of loneliness. Turns out arty people are lovely and mental much like myself so it wasn't so hard to find something to talk about. One of the girls from my old school has now become one of my closest friends, she's so outgoing and tells me when I'm being ridiculous which is what you need in a best friend haha.

The last thing I'm going to mention is presentations. Now I think that's anyone suffering with anxiety's idea of living hell and has certainly been mine for the past couple of years. Two years ago I had a physics presentation which was coursework, I was so scared that I was physically shaking and my voice sounded really weird! On the art foundation course I started in September we've had critical assessments where we present our work to the rest of the group in a sort of informal manner. We don't plan what we say beforehand and I think its this that's allowed me to develop my ability to communicate exactly what I want to say without stumbling about with words! We've now done so many of them that they barely make me nervous at all (I still get a little anxious but then I think that's normal for everyone really haha).

Let me know if you've had a similar experience with "coming out of your shell" as they say. Would be interesting to see if this is a common thing amongst teens.

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