Change is inevitable. I know this because I have experienced it first-hand.
I vividly recall a time in the seventh grade when a group of friends and I were over at the UC Berkeley campus for a week-long swim camp. Every night, we took part in a scavenger hunt, where every movement had to be quick in order to win the game. Since I was afraid to drag my teammates down, I did not verbally participate in the game, but simply just followed them and did as I was told. To my surprise, many of them invited me to input my ideas, however I refused to give them any answer.
In retrospect, I have discovered a number of things about myself. I have realized that my past self comprised of the dearth of confidence and the unwillingness to think for myself. In a bigger picture, I constantly followed the social norms. My mindset was so fixed to the point that I strongly forced myself into believing that my every step was wrong. Petrified to believe in myself and my ideas, I allowed everyone to decide for me instead of taking the initiative to do so myself.
As a result of this, I found myself incredibly upset. I still distinctly remember the countless sessions of crying alone in my room. In the back of my mind, I knew that I did not want to live in a trapped cage, but I could not find any other way to approach this problem at the time. I was lost.
For a large chunk of my life, I have dreaded the thought of presenting my own ideas. However, that had all changed once I entered high school, especially in my sophomore year of high school. I encompassed myself in numerous clubs and groups where I allowed myself to be comfortable in. That was when I began to trust my own decisions and released any doubt I had in my ideas. As I became more and more involved in activities that interest me, I started to break out of my shell of insecurity. I did not care about what others had thought of me, but instead focused on what mattered most to me.
Everyone changes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with starting off with uncertainty, as long as you put in the effort to transform that sense of doubt into something you are confident about. It is no question that this journey takes time, as it did for me. I lacked the ability to believe in myself, and that was what created a setback for me. However, as I created ways to break myself out of that barrier, I learned quite a few lessons and improved myself as a whole. As long as you are persistent and determined to reach your goal, you will be able to do it, regardless of how tough it is that you are going through.
And always remember, as Robert Frost said it best-
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
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