When I was young, I was so anxious and insecure in school and out in the neighborhood that I often wouldn’t take many risks.
That included regular boyhood mischief and especially dealing with GIRLS. I liked them but it took me years and years to finally let my guard in and let anyone in who I liked and who liked me back.
And then I learned that it was a good thing and I should’ve been doing it all along! Hey, who knew?
What do you do confidently now that made you feel weird in the past?
Here’s what folks on AskReddit had to say about this.
1. Get down!
Whenever the opportunity arose through puberty and early adult life, I’d just be standing in the corner, too shy to do anything and caring a lot about how I looked to people. Side stepping shyly if I felt forced. To the point of getting nervous about the fact that I wasn’t doing anything.
Then, one weekend at a music festival, something clicked that felt completely out of the blue and I started flailing my arms around and making the dumbest moves to the sound of the music and I had the best time in my life.
If there is a party, I’m dancing. All night, with everyone and anyone. And it looks like sh*t but I’ll be d*mned if my *ss isn’t having the best time!”
2. Love it!
“Eating alone in restaurants.
I used to be self-conscious about it, but now I don’t give it a second thought. Life is too short to not have the meal you want (particularly if it’s going to perk up your mood) on account of worrying about what the people around you might think.
Enjoy yourself and what you do.”
3. Out into nature.
“Being out in the woods. I was born and raised in NYC so even though I really wanted to experience these things it always seemed so inaccessible and scary.
But one afternoon, after a sh*tty day I just said f*ck it, did some research and found a trail that was within an hour of the city and for beginners. I wasn’t able to finish the trail that day, it felt like it went on forever and I chickened out thinking I would get lost.
But I still enjoyed the experience and decided I would do it again. It wasn’t until a year later I was able to fully hike a trail and get the payoff of the amazing views. I got really into it and learned more skills like navigating and wilderness survival over time.
Now even though I am a born and raised city girl I am also an avid hiker, camper, kayaker, backpacker and overall feel more at home in the mountains than I do in this concrete jungle.”
4. The TRUTH.
“Telling the truth.
I used to be so terrified of disappointing people that I would lie to keep them happy.
They say the truth will set you free. That’s true. It’ll also make some people not like you, but that’s ok.”
5. It’s okay to ask for help.
“Asking for help.
I’ve gone through more trouble and passed up more opportunities than I’d like to admit because I was afraid of asking for someone to help me.
Needing help doesn’t mean you’re weak, and accepting help doesn’t mean pity.”
6. On the road.
Still cautious and safe but less terrified of making mistakes and freaking out.
That and driving any new cars – if someone asked me to drive a truck/SUV at age 18 I would have said no way but now I have a little experience and wouldn’t think anything if someone asked me to now.”
7. You do you.
“Wearing pink and purple as a male.
I always felt weird about it until my wife finally convinced me to get shirts for work in those colors. Now they’re basically all I wear.
I get a lot of compliments and I feel great in it.”
8. Just have fun with it.
“Singing out loud.
Ever since I started singing for my kids I realized it doesn’t matter what you sound like as long as you’re enjoying yourself.”
9. Do what makes you happy.
“Not living my life to other peoples opinions/expectations.
I go around barefoot, grow veggies and finally have chickens. Life is so good not being stressed out all the time.
Let go of toxic people (and get a kettle, it’ll change your life!).”
10. They’re just people.
“Talk to executive level audiences.
It always made me feel weird in the past because they were so senior to me. Now, I’m a bit older and a bit wiser. I have more experience and exposure to C-suite level folks.
Most of them are really nice, down to earth people.”
11. Don’t care.
“Saying I dislike football. It’s like a cardinal sin in the UK.
During middle school I pretended to like it to try and fit in, picked a team (Arsenal) tried to watch games. Made me dislike it even more.
Through secondary school and into my first job, when I said I didn’t like football it was usually a cue for some form of harassment. “Not a real man” “what are you, gay?” Etc
Now I’m happy to say it and couldn’t give a toss how it’s received.”
I have one misaligned tooth that makes my smile look like I’m missing a tooth. As kids my parents couldn’t afford to get me braces. I would cover my mouth and laugh as a kid. Got laughed at by a lot of kids at school. Got a lot of mean nicknames.
Then my first boyfriend happened who made me realize I am amazing the way I am. He made it a point to compliment my smile every time we went out. It’s been getting better since then. I’m close to 30 and I couldn’t really care anymore.
Now I find it one of my cutest features.”
“Speaking in public.
I got a job in sales that required me to give presentations in front of people. After my first solo presentation, the customer actually told me how sh*tty I was and how I would never make a good salesman. I went back to my car and threw up.
Now I give presentations multiple times a day, and I’m so used to it that I can devote most of my attention to gauging audience reaction, allowing me to adjust the pitch and emphasize or deemphasize different topics based on their interest.”
14. At the gym.
“I’m the fat girl in the gym.
For my entire adulthood, I would hold back my workouts, for fear of jiggling, sweat, bo*bs bouncing, heavy breathing. I get red in the face with any exertion.
Finally, I got some quality clothes that fit properly, really good bras that keep the girls in check, and now I’m really proud of how hard I work. I sweat through my clothes every workout.
My hair gets soaked, I love leaving drips underneath my heavy bag. Now my coaches use me as an example of what to do if you want higher intensity in the exercise we are doing. I love it!
Only 2 more hours until class starts.”
Okay, now we want to hear from you.
In the comments, tell us all about the things that you now do confidently that made you feel weird when you were younger.