I often find myself asking this question. What would I do if I really didn’t care what other people think of me? Yes, to an extent I don’t particularly care what most people think, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t care a little bit about that first impression. It all comes back to self-confidence and trust in others. What’s wrong with standing out once in a while? Will my friends still want to be friends with me if I’m rubbish at something? Seems silly, doesn’t it? If you’re always holding yourself back and you can’t truly be yourself, can you even call the people you hang out with ‘friends’? Do they know you at all?
Even in my little shell, sometimes I do not hold back. Those are usually good days. If you are like me and remain quiet when you have something to say, you probably have regrets when it comes to social situations. Why didn’t you say ‘hi’ when you saw a friend, but they didn’t see you? Why didn’t you ask ‘how are you’ to that friend who did say ‘hi’ to you in the hall? Am I just antisocial, unhappy, or do I subconsciously not want to be friends with them?
Recently, however, I have adopted a new outlook on this topic. I no longer feel a need to not say ‘hi’. If I see someone I know, of course, I’m going to acknowledge them. Instead of fearing rejection as I did before, I can accept it, move on, and spend time with real friends. Maybe I do care less, maybe I was just sad before, or maybe I’m tired of holding back parts of myself for so long. Something changed. I find that I do not like being half of myself, but prefer to be all of myself all of the time. It’s just more fun that way.
You should never be afraid to be yourself.
Moving on from scary social situations to other things I would do if fear wasn’t such a deterrent. I’d go bungee jumping or skydiving. Heck, I’d probably do both if I wasn’t so afraid of the falling part. Heights scare me. It was only three years ago that I conquered my fear of roller coasters. I went to a theme park with my friends and went on every single ride there. I ended up liking the biggest, tallest roller coasters the best. Who knew?! Still afraid of falling from super high heights though.
Something else I’d do if I wasn’t afraid? Raise my hand in class. Seems easy doesn’t it? Not for me. I guess I’m afraid to be wrong, as if there’s something shameful about answering a question incorrectly. I shouldn’t be, but I am. It’s something I’ve promised myself to work on this year. It’s gotten so bad that even when I do actually know the answer, I’m 101% sure that I am correct, I still doubt myself. I have got to work on this whole self-confidence thing. Gosh.
Main point: When you avoid something because you are afraid, you’re more often than not missing out on a lot of fun. What would you do if you weren’t afraid?