I remember when I was 14, I wrote a speech for a friend who had entered a public speaking competition at school. She told the lady who coached her at the time that I had written the speech and the coach approached me and despite my doubts, she convinced me to take part.I have never liked public speaking, I had trouble speaking in front of my class let alone the whole school. I knew this but still went ahead and entered.
On the day I went on as if all was well, until my turn came. I walked up to the stage and looked around the auditorium, it was full. As I began to speak, I remembered being taunted when I was younger. All those times when I was told I was too dark, that I was too tiny for my age and that I was just a girl I wouldn’t be good enough. And as if to cement my thoughts I heard a sound that came from the back of the auditorium. They were booing me!
That, for me, was it. I couldn’t handle that. I felt humiliated and that I wasn’t good enough and without even finishing the introduction of my speech ran off the stage and out of the auditorium. I just sat there and cried my heart out.
As I was sitting there a girl in a higher grade came and sat next to me. She gave me a pep talk, which I really wasn’t concentrating on, but she said something that stuck with me. She told me that it wasn’t the times I fell that mattered, it was the times I got up that did. She gave me courage.
After that I got up and when back in and walked what I thought would be a walk of shame. I will never forget the roar of applause in the auditorium as I walked in. I felt proud of myself for going back and facing my fears.
I learnt something important that day, that even when things seem to be at their worst we can still get up and push for what we want BUT you have to make that decision to get up, dust yourself and move on. There will always be people waiting to pull you down but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any who will shoulder you. Don’t focus on the bad things in life but on the positives, those that bring us joy. Learn to love yourself for who you are, flaws and everything! And please give yourself a hug and a pat on the back every now and then just for being the beautiful soul that you are.
P.S I still get stage fright but I don’t beat myself up for it.