Choir Has Helped Me Break The Limiting Chains Of Self-Doubt

Choir Has Helped Me Break The Limiting Chains Of Self-Doubt

My story of overcoming self-consciousness...
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“Make your mistakes loud.” Ever since I joined choir in fifth grade, I remember our choir teachers advising us to not back down for fear of messing up, but it was not until high school that I truly realized the depth of this advice.

The theater was packed with over 200 people. It was my first major choir solo and my heart was beating so loud, I felt like it was about to jump out of my chest. In the middle of singing the first line, I realized that I couldn’t remember the starting words of the next line.

However, in that split-second I decided to not stop, making up words for the next two lines. I knew that if I was standing there as a middle-schooler, I would’ve stood frozen in the middle of the song. I realized afterwards that no one had even noticed that I had sung the wrong lyrics. As ironic as it may seem, my choir teacher told me after the concert that I had made my mistake so “loudly” that no one could even hear it.

Self-confidence is something that I now consider one of my greatest assets, but this wasn’t always the case. In fact, since I was a young girl, I have struggled with being confident in myself. Whether it be trying out for an a cappella audition, asking questions in class, or even raising my hand to respond to a question, my mind would be clouded with fear. I used to be afraid of expressing my opinion for fear that others won’t agree. What if everyone laughs at me? What if my answer is wrong?

Later in my freshman year, the strong desire to break the limiting chains of self-doubt made me receptive to my choir teacher’s encouraging words. I started becoming more comfortable with auditioning for solos. Choir became the medium through which I started to break out of my shell. Much beyond a haven where I could freely express myself, choir became a place that encouraged me to face my fears, rather than hide from them.

Progressively and consciously, the confidence I gained from choir translated beyond the music room itself. It gave me a voice. It instilled in me a character of quiet confidence to view challenges as opportunities. I have come to realize that my voice is only as powerful as I want it to be. Whether it be a Socratic circle or a language arts debate, I’ve become the girl who is confident in what she has to say and who doesn’t simply agree with an opposing viewpoint to avoid confrontation. As a matter of fact, I am now the girl whose hand is first to shoot up during a debate or an audition. Now as a first-year in college, I’m so grateful to have a fresh start to truly put myself out there.

Self-confidence often changes other people’s perception of you. Honestly, it shouldn’t even matter what other people think.

Cover Image Credit: Shivangi Sogani

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

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To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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College Can Be Difficult, But Trust Yourself, Girl

Life can throw you curveballs sometimes, and times can get tough, but it is SO important to pick yourself up and trust that you can do anything.

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I'll be honest, this school year was one of the hardest years of my life. There were lots of moments throughout the year that I just wanted to go home and get away from it all. I had to be reminded that I have been raised to try as hard as you possibly can, and I was doing that. It took some determination and time, but I didn't give up.

No matter how bad I felt, I stayed and persevered.

Now that I am home for the summer, I have been reminiscing on the past two semesters of school. At the beginning of the school year, I had a much different idea of how it would go. It was going to be "my year," but somehow while the year was going on, I felt that I had been completely wrong. It's easy to come to quick conclusions when life doesn't exactly go your way. Conclusions like "this year has been the worst year ever" and "I can never get a break" were often popping up in my head. My grades weren't where I wanted them, and I was surprised by a lot of occurrences that I never expected to happen (imagine a wild ride). I found out who my true friends are and who I could rely on, and luckily, my circle only grew. Being extremely extroverted, it was hard for me to get out and just do something. Being in this "rut" took a toll on me. I had to make those hard decisions about doing what was best for me in the long run instead of doing something just for the moment. Trust me when I say, this was NOT easy at all.

Through all the tears and change all around me, I decided to proceed to the finish line because I am NOT a quitter.

I decided that it was time for me to allow myself to fully, undeniably be me. I wanted to start doing the little things I enjoy again like working out, taking pictures, and simply just going out to do anything. I started forcing myself to take any opportunity that came my way, and it helped. One of the things that brought me so much joy was kickboxing – talk about therapeutic, people! Kickboxing at least three times a week helped my mood shift so much, and it was a start to seeing me again. I am so blessed with friends who would come over at, literally, any time of the day. Spending time with them helped me more than they could ever know. We did anything from just hanging out in my living room to splurging on a fun dinner. Through everything that I was doing daily, I was learning how to rely on myself. Looking back now, I have never really had to know what it felt like to rely mainly on myself. I did get so much help from my family and friends, but what good could their help do if I didn't want to help myself first?

Even though I felt like this was one of the worst years of my life, it taught me so much more than I ever expected. Looking back now, I grew so, so much. I learned how to smile when times get tough. I learned that it really is okay to not be okay sometimes, and it will be okay eventually. I learned that it's okay to ask for help because we weren't made to do life alone. Most importantly, I learned how to trust myself. My hope for anyone reading this, you will learn from my experience that the worst seasons get better. I am in such a good place right now because I never gave up, and I will continue to never give up. In a short amount of time, I am seeing how far I have come and how much I grew.

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