I once was an extremely shy girl, not only in a group setting, but also one on one. I used to be scared to voice my opinion, or stand up when I had a different view than others. I hated conflict and avoided voicing my opinion, especially if it differed from others, believing it would lead to even greater conflict in doing so. During the past several years, however, I have learned to stop being this shy girl with little confidence. Do I intentionally try to stick out and voice my opinions about everything, or see myself as an extremely confident person? No, not at all, but I have discovered that it is okay to have dissimilar views. I am allowed to express what I believe, regardless of what others may think. Perhaps having a different view than the majority is not such a bad thing, it may actually demonstrate uniqueness and independence. Over the past few years, I have observed and felt a tremendous amount of personal growth in my confidence. I have become better at expressing my thoughts and opinions with family and friends, whether it be one on one, or small groups. I am still working on overcoming my fear of large groups, something that we all struggle with.
I remember starting high school as a young freshman, thinking of how a Socratic discussion would terrify me to the point that I could not sleep the night before. Today, as I look back four years ago, when I was this young freshman, I recognize how much confidence I have gained. I no longer stress out when voicing my thoughts in group settings, and feel more comfortable speaking in front of the classroom. Now that I am a senior, I readily share my thoughts, rarely thinking twice about being judged. It has taken me a long time, but I have finally realized how immature it was to be intimidated by what others thought of me, and in the process I learned to become more comfortable in my own skin.