Something I struggled for the longest time is actually being okay with having emotions. It may have been the way I was raised, but I always associated women as being overly emotional, so I tried to detach myself from that to protect myself and also be respected more.
I remember in college when I was trying to put up a strong front, but when my two friends were just randomly talking to me about life, I had to “excuse myself” because a panic attack was triggered from something we were talking about. They saw through that bullshit and said it was okay to let it out and have emotions.
Now I cry openly when watching movies or when life happens, so I actually EMBRACE it by announcing it (kind of)! Thankfully I have cats this time to comfort me and lick my tears!
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I used to do DECA high school business competitions. My first time was in my high school sophomore year when I did a 30-paged business plan on a East meets West department store which was a one-stop shop in Asian food, groceries, furniture, clothing… literally everything.
When we go to States competition in Rochester, we had to make an investment pitch. This was my first time ever presenting, and it was THE WORST. I LITERALLY read off a piece of paper and made NO eye contact. I epically failed. I went home so disappointed in myself because I had no confidence in myself despite knowing everything that I had to say.
I tried it again the next year and the year after that. I learned from my mistakes, and I knew it was all a confidence issue, but in my senior year, I made the top 10! I was able to do it by faking it even if I’m not confident.
Of course it doesn’t stop there. I went to college and when you major in business, you have to make presentations. My junior year in Core, AGAIN another program dedicated to a business plan on a new idea and an investment pitch, I had the confidence that shocked myself. Time and time again, I surprise myself and eventually, I was able to talk confidently and with poise. Now I KILL my job interviews, got my Accenture job, and now do YouTube videos where I put myself out there.
This was definitely a journey, but my confidence in myself, in my voice, and in my ideas have grown and now I am not afraid to be myself in front of anyone else. It took a while, but faking it till I made it definitely helped me get to this point, and I’m so glad I pushed myself! When have you pushed yourself for the better?
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