Are you planning or looking for ways to boost your extracurriculars? Trying to do something to improve your skills? Or possibly, just going through new experiences, all while feeling scared or shy of "putting yourself out there?"
Getting out of your comfort zone is not an easy step, but it is an important one. Personally, I’ve had many instances when I'd like to explore my interests or participate in projects showcasing the skills I have. However, these aspirations quickly became mere plans because it was an unfamiliar space or approach to one of my interests. Most of the time, I was sprinkled with doubts and feelings of embarrassment, concerned that someone would think of it negatively. If you've ever gone through the same experiences, then you've come to the right place.
Telling yourself to "just do it” because it is good for yourself downplays your reasons for hesitating to get out of your comfort zone- and is much easier said than done! Learning how to put yourself out there is not a one-step-and-done process, but is instead slow and very rewarding.
Remember that everyone has different approaches to their improvement, and that every process you go through is equally valid! Here are some habits you may instill to go past the nightmares of putting yourself out there:
It is very common to tell yourself that something you are working towards is out of reach, or will never happen. When this occurs, it is important to fight against your own negative thoughts. Try to catch yourself whenever you feel like you are thinking negatively and reverse it by converting the thought to a self-motivating one. Personally, this was not easy and there would be times where my negative thinking returned, but once I fully integrated this into my routine, it was easy to get back on track.
Don't feel shy because you don't think you're good enough to say you are skilled at something. We all have varying talents but are, for some reason, embarrassed to showcase them. Again, these feelings are valid, but it is important to realize that these skills are basically our tools to be able to accomplish a certain goal you want to achieve. Do you have a talent for speaking and using your voice to speak on social issues? Own it. Are you creative and good at drawing or making art? Own it.
There are certainly many times when you could feel overwhelmed. Putting your thoughts somewhere safe is a reassuring habit that lets us track our routine and way of thinking. If journaling is something that would help you relax from these pressures, do not hesitate to do so. Self-affirming is another relaxation technique that has become known to a lot of people for being free and quick- so if this habit suits you, take some time and give yourself reassuring affirmations!
We do not need to be too hard on ourselves. There are some instances when we are able to do something that we are proud of, because it exceeded our expectations or because of the effort we’ve put into it, and you have every right to give yourself credit. Sometimes, one of the things we need to do is give ourselves the validation we know we deserve.
If you're looking for some opportunities to grab, here are some:
Best of luck, fellow achiever, and let us both strive to fully overcome the nightmares of putting ourselves out there!