This I Believe

Qiong - Falls Church, Virginia
Entered on November 26, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change, fear
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I believe in embarrassing myself. Taking chances or taking risks can often lead to failure and ultimately embarrassment. However, there is a huge difference between a chance and a risk. Risk is when guess on SAT questions. Chance is when you guess on ACT questions .It is the individual’s choice to take the chance or not but many choose to ignore chance because of their fear of failure and embarrassment. I, too, was one of them.

No one wants to embarrass him or herself and I certainly didn’t want to either until I realized what pride could do to me. Pride kept me from trying new things and gave me the biggest fear of all: the fear of failing to be my best. At school, I didn’t speak during classes because I was scared of getting something wrong. I didn’t ask questions because I was scared that other people would think I’m stupid. I didn’t try out for the dance team because I was scared that other people would laugh at me. There are so many things that I didn’t do because my pride was on the line. But to be frank, what can you do without putting you pride on the line? I don’t think there is anything. Even eating, walking, and talking can embarrass you once or twice, like the time when I sat on a puddle of ketchup during lunch or the time I tripped in front of the classroom during a presentation.

So, I tried to change. I tried to do new things and I tried to not to care about other people’s comments. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to change. Then one day, I found out that my Mom’s church needed a piano player for the morning sermon on Sundays. I am definitely not a talented piano player but I knew the basics of playing. Andy Law once said, “Unless you are prepared to give up something valuable, you will never be able to truly change at all; because you’ll be forever in the control of things you can’t give up.” And boy was he right! I lasted about eight dreadful months, throwing my pride away completely each time I performed (because I was horrible at it). It hurt but that’s exactly why I did it.

I thought that if I embarrassed myself enough, I wouldn’t be so conscience of my pride. Surprisingly, mine’s not completely gone yet, but I’m much more open minded now. I believe in embarrassing myself in order to become a more confident person. What are you willing to sacrifice to become the person that you want to be?