Hi guys! Happy Saturday!
As promised, I will be posting a weekly social anxiety update for y’all– primarily to hold myself accountable to my goal of becoming more confident in social situations.
I definitely gave my anxiety a hard blow to the face this week. On Thursday, I went to a Bruin Toastmasters meeting, where I volunteered to give a 3-minute impromptu speech about what I would be doing the coming weekend. While I stumbled my way through the cold speech, lacing it with my fair share of filler words, I am proud of myself for facing my public speaking anxiety head on that day. Each time I look fear in the eye, I grow a little bit more confident. Slowly but surely, the fear will relinquish its power over me, until one day, the once gripping fear becomes nothing. A mere afterthought. I signed up to give a prepared speech for the next meeting on September 6. I’m looking forward to seeing how I carry myself in such a situation.
Another way in which I battled my social anxiety this week was by attending a party hosted by my two friends on the UCLA gymnastics team. Together with some other members of the UCLA gymnastics team, we watched the USA gymnastics national championships. The reason why this party was a social challenge is because I hardly knew anyone there, save for my two friends. The rest of the party attendees were girls on the UCLA gymnastics team, including one of my all-time idols, Kyla Ross. Having been a gymnast myself, I truly look up to these incredible athletes– and to be the only non-UCLA gymnast there was a bit intimidating. But, I like to think I carried myself with grace at the party, trying my best to mingle with the girls and have a good time. At the end of the day, though, does it really matter what others think of you? It shouldn’t. Which is why informal social gatherings shouldn’t be a big deal– as long as you’re being yourself, that’s all that matters.
This coming academic year, I hope to get more involved with Bruin Toastmasters, which will definitely help my public speaking anxiety. Joining a speech and debate organization will also serve a similar purpose. Writing for the Daily Bruin will force me to get out there and talk to strangers– professors, UCLA staff, students, the like. I also hope to take on more leadership positions for mental health organizations. There is a club called Morning Sign Out, which is basically a student-run medical journal, where students write about current topics in medicine. I hope to take on a leadership role in that organization as well. Leadership, leadership, leadership! A realm I have yet to explore. But it’s an important skill to have in life, both professionally and personally.
Believe it or not, even the act of dating can help a person break out of their shell. I actually went on my first real date yesterday. We had dinner at a Korean BBQ place. It went well, even though I was a bit nervous beforehand!
Bottom line is, any situation that involves you putting yourself out there and being open to the judgment of others can be really intimidating. But you can’t hide forever. Sooner or later, you’ll have to get over that anxiety, in order to have a successful personal and professional life.
Alrighty guys! Time to do my philosophy readings. Will talk soon. Ta-ta!