“Self-Confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.”
– Samuel Johnson
When I was twelve, my English teacher told me that she had selected me in an inter-school debate competition. Initially, I was excited; so excited that I told all my friends about it and clearly, they expected a lot from me. I started working on it, wanting to make it my perfect debate ever. But as days passed, I realized that I’m feeling nervous about it. I lost days of sleep and clearly, this wasn’t a good sign. I began to falter during my practices and I couldn’t remember the lines. A week before the competition, my teacher told me that I couldn’t do this and that she was choosing someone else for the debate. I was heartbroken. I was afraid that everyone’s going to laugh, but luckily, my friends supported me through it. You know what happened? My self-confidence turned into “low-confidence” which eventually resulted into “no-confidence”.
My problem with self-confidence remained till I was fifteen, when I finally participated in a symposium competition with three of my friends and won first prize. Obviously, the thought of public speaking, still gives me goosebumps, but I’m a lot better now, than what I was in seventh grade.
I’m confident in a lot of things I do, like, for instance, writing. I may not be the best of the writers, but I’m confident about what I write and why I write. But there are things which I still need to be confident about, like, driving or, public speaking. Even though, I know what I am doing, I still need a push to start doing it and at the same time, feel confident about it. Looking at the necessity of driving, I decided to take up classes but, driving alone still gives me nightmares. With public speaking, the case seems worse.
After getting rejected in my first ever debate competition, I decided to approach my English teacher about it and she has helped me a lot. She not only gave me umpteen opportunities but also, gave me the confidence I always wanted. She made up for the confidence I lacked. Even though, in school, I participated and won a lot of competitions, there is still a part of me, which lacks confidence and draws back when I’m asked to speak in public.
“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
― Sylvia Plath
How can I improve? Well, practice and participate. And when participating, never worry about the result. If you lose or falter, it gives you a way to improve. And if you win, your confidence just multiplies. Even though, I’m still not confident about my public speaking skills, I try and talk in public, even if it means little talks and or queries; I take a deep breath and talk.
My goal? One day, I want to speak to a room of thousand people, without faltering, without any hesitation, with confidence and a big smile.
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I Have Confidence in Me