This I Believe

Kenneth - Syracuse, New York
Entered on September 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change

I won’t lie to you. Right now I’m pretty much terrified. Standing in front of you, I feel naked and exposed. I wish there was something for me to hide behind, like a podium or a curtain, but unfortunately there isn’t. So here I am, being stared at by forty eyes and about to give a speech in what I believe.

As much as I want to, I want to believe in myself at this moment. I hope that by the time I’m finished, you’ll applaud, be impressed, and most important Kenisha will give me a good grade. However, there is always that small yet powerful voice inside me saying all those negative things that I shouldn’t be listening to about how I’m destined to fail and only embarrass myself. I’m afraid of what you all are thinking about me right now and how you’re judging me if I make a mistake or even something trivial like how I look or what I’m wearing. In fact, I could probably go on forever talking about all the different fears inside me, but this isn’t a speech about what I’m afraid of. This is what I believe.

I believe that right now, even though there is that small negative voice inside giving me every possible scenario of what could go wrong, there’s another voice that is shouting over it. That voice is my inner self-confidence, saying that despite everything that can go wrong I will walk out of Sims Hall at 12:20 PM, have lunch, go to work, and most importantly, still be alive. My inner confidence is telling that negativity to shut up because I am capable of doing this. If something does go wrong, it won’t be the end of the world. It’ll only be a lesson for me to learn and apply for future speeches. I believe that I’ll get through this no matter what.

I also find comfort in the fact that everyone in this room has been or will be in my position right now. We all face that uneasiness and fear of being assessed; it’s only natural. I can say with confidence that I will not wrongly judge anyone that presents today and next Tuesday, because really, what’s the point? Despite us being strangers now, we’re all in this together whether we realize it or not. This is everybody’s first speech, nobody’s going to completely perfect, and most importantly we’re here to learn and grow. That applies to me too, as I’m here to try to improve and grow. What I do hope is that you’ll be able to take away something from it and hopefully apply it to your life or even your own speech. And yeah, I’d also like an A from Kenisha but that’s another story.

One final statement in what I believe right now. Right now I truly do believe that by the end of this semester, the last speech I give will sound nothing like the one I’m giving right now. In fact I hope it’ll be a hundred times better. I believe it will be due to not only everything that I’ve learned, but also to the ever-growing confidence that has grown by giving more and more speeches. By only doing what I’m doing right now will I really be able to learn anything, so I’m going to keep on trying. I want this to be the greatest speech I can possibly give, but at the same time I hope this won’t be the best I give all semester.

I have faith in a lot. But at this moment in time, I believe I survived my first speech.