I know that there’s this huge fear of putting yourself out there because of the potential judgement, the potential disdain, the potential disapproval. I feel the same fear…constantly. It affects the way I dress, the selectivity of what emotions and opinions I express, and other decisions I make – big or small. But today, that didn’t happen. Today, I put myself out there and I can only describe the experience as amazing.
You see, though I am a quiet soul there is a small part of me that loves public speaking. Perhaps it’s because of the singular attention, but it’s also because I have the freedom of presenting my ideas in great depth – ideas I am proud of. And this afternoon I had the opportunity to do so without interruption, without open judgement, and without limitation.
After racking my brain and staying up late for weeks, today I gave a 15-minute monologue in front of my Language Arts class. I was so proud of my central theme and breezed through the writing process within three hours. As far as presentation goes, I know my performance wasn’t as stellar as I would expect of myself. For a large portion of it, I had to remove my glasses and was basically blind, I forgot a few lines and blanked out here and there, and for the first five or so minutes my voice and body were shaking. But by the end of it, when I had finished presenting everything I had to say, when I heard that final round of applause and saw the look of approval from both my teachers, I felt so invigorated and alive. In that moment, I didn’t care what other people had to say, or how my speech compared to my peers’, because that feeling of accomplishment I experienced was like no other.
And so, it makes me wonder what’s stopping me from going out there and doing other great things. Perhaps they aren’t great in the grand scope of everything going on in this world, but individually, they are great actions because of the personal sense of pride that comes from taking such risks.
My dad told me something a while ago: “It is hard to take the first uncertain step forward, but at the end of the road I think you will find that success is addictive.”
Well I’m here to say that yes, it is. Success doesn’t have to be making money, or winning awards. Success can come in the form of you being the best person you can be, and I can assure you I will be striving for that greatness more in the recent future, and I encourage you to do so as well.