Updated: Oct 6, 2018
Dear Future Little One,
When I first got to college, I was absolutely TERRIFIED of doing something wrong. Everyone around me was beautiful, brilliantly intelligent, and so much more outgoing than me. Don’t get me wrong, I was having fun and meeting great people, but I was so scared of doing something wrong and looking even MORE stupid and out of place than I already felt, that I didn’t give myself the room I needed to grow. I refused to try new things because I didn’t want to do poorly and look incompetent. I refused to take hard classes that looked interesting because I didn’t want people to see me struggling and think I was stupid.
And I missed out on so much.
This isn’t just a college thing; it’s a life thing. I didn’t realize that when anyone tries something for the first time, they look a little silly and THAT’S OKAY! No one expects you to be perfect the first time you do something, but we’re so busy worrying about everyone else judging us that we just don’t even try in the first place.
One day, a friend invited me to go play soccer (something I’d only done in PE classes in high school forever ago) with a bunch of people I didn’t know, and I freaked out internally a bit saying “I don’t know how to play! I’m gonna fall on my face or be really bad at it and everyone is gonna think I’m stupid”. But I was so tired of missing out on things just because I was scared! So I looked at myself in the mirror and said,
So what if a few people see me do poorly in a super chill soccer game? Will my life end? Will I get kicked out of BYU? Will my friends hate me? NO. So I went and it was super fun and no one hated me afterwards
After doing it once, it became so much easier to apply the “So What” effect in the rest of my life too! I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the guitar, but I’d seen videos of people who are incredibly talented or other people in my apartment complex who got their fingers to move so fast on the guitar that they practically turned invisible. And I thought to myself “I can’t do that so why even try?” Well last year I (metaphorically) looked myself in the eye and said “so what?!” So what if I’ll never be a guitar playing goddess? So what if I’m not as good as the people down the hall? I love music and I WANT to learn.
So I did. I looked up youtube videos, bought a theory book, and practiced constantly behind a locked door. And now I can passably play some of my favorite songs and I love it. It brings me peace and joy and it’s perfect for me.
So the bottom line here is: don’t let your fears or insecurities get in the way of trying something new. Life is all about having new experiences, stretching yourself, pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone to become the person your Heavenly Father needs you to be. So if you have to look silly for a bit in order to do so, so what? And honestly, people watch you and care way less about what you do than you think… SO STOP LETTING YOUR FEAR RULE YOUR LIFE! You don’t have to be perfect at something to enjoy it! I finally took a guitar class at BYU, and even though I’m still not super great at it years later, I absolutely LOVE playing the guitar.
So go try something you’ve always been to nervous to do; go explore a skill you’ve never tried, go register for a class that has nothing to do with your major class, go sit next to a person you’ve never met and learn their story! Take control of your life.