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I overcame my lack of self-confidence

Joined: 5/30/2011
Posts: 1
If I keep laughing they will think I’m fake. Should I reply to their last comment or was it rhetorical? If I reply when it was rhetorical they could tell that I’m nervous. What would other people do in this situation? These thoughts dominated my everyday worries in the first few years of high school. In an international school in Japan with only fifty people per grade, students know too much about each and every person without ever having to say a word to them. Gossip travels like wildfire and social networking makes it even more frightening. In this complicated, twisted universe of high school, my public image seems to tie my entire life together. Every movement I make is judged; every decision I make is scrutinized. I was ashamed of myself as if I was a guilty criminal: forever in the dark, forever hiding, forever running.
What I tried hiding was my tendency to overreact. I’m very emotional but being emotional in this school is considered obnoxious. I camouflaged myself – until I met him. This classmate was bored one day and I happened to be online. We never spoke before but we talked for hours. It might have been the absence of physical confrontation that made the conversation comfortable but whatever the reason, talking to him was relieving. He was a sensitive person, someone who continued to search for love and attention from his friends. Slowly, I started opening up to him, not afraid to do anything ridiculous and humiliate myself, which is something I feared most of doing. He made me feel liked he needed me, making me feel visible and alive. I had presence in his life and he accepted – even liked – my differences. In the midst of hiding and running, I found my safe haven.
Unsuspectingly, our relationship came to an end. In the midst of a class debate, my anxiety revealed my emotional, awkward nature. I talked more than I intended to and became loud bordering on obnoxious; I lost control. However, I believed in my friends and believed in him who supposedly needed me so much and to whom I’ve already opened up to; but I was too arrogant. Anger boiled within me and I demanded if the rumors of his backstabbing, hurtful words were true. His silence was my answer. As I stomped away, eyes brimming with tears, I realized the stress I was putting myself under. Why was I trying so hard when all I achieved was unhappiness? Why did I feel so ashamed of who I wanted to be?
Confidence is the key. I stopped caring so much about what other people think of me. I can’t make everyone happy and I was certainly not making myself happy by trying to please others. I don’t want to be ashamed of who I am any longer. Over the course of these four years, I overcame this cautious characteristic and concluded with this motto: live freely, live fearlessly.
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