I have always struggled with my shyness. In high school, I struggled on every sports team to talk to my teammates. I was always referred to as the “shy girl.” In fact, on my basketball team, they joked that I could go an entire week without talking. My golf coach always called me the “quietest girl on the team.” At the book club, the teachers were always worried about me getting my turn. They would make sure that I got a chance to speak because otherwise I would just sit in silence taking the entire scene in, and that I did not mind. In English class I would get docked participation points for not talking in class.
It was not that I did not have thoughts or ideas. I always did. I would either not share them at all or tell them to one of my best friends. And it was not that I was bad at sports or at school, I simply just sucked at talking to others. Others were people that I had not been best friends with since elementary. My best friends always told me, “People always ask me if you ever talk.” They would tell me that they would reply with “Yes, she never shuts up.” Actually one time, a guy asked one of my best friends, “Why does she only ever talk to you?”
She explained and joked to him, “Well you just have to know her for six years first. ”Basically, I just had a really hard time warming up to new people. In some ways, I still do today. But there is one thing that helped me grow confidence
One thing that connected me more with others, One thing that brought me to talk more, to show my ideas, to show my creative side, to show others how confident I could be. That thing was my videos.
Everyone has a gift, a talent. Everyone has something to contribute. I always knew growing up that I liked making videos. I got my first camera in first grade, and have been making videos ever since. I taught myself so much about cameras, and movie editing softwares. Yet it was not until my senior year that I really used my abilities to their full potential. I needed to be more confident in myself, and show others what I could do.

Being a part of sports and clubs challenged me in many ways. I learned a lot about myself. I went through a lot of different challenges. My confidence grew, but I needed something more. I needed to talk more, and reach the level of confidence that I needed in my life. I needed my videos.
It was senior year of high school, that was where I made that change. I remember making a video of some friends at a football game. Now, one of the girls was my best friend, but many of the others were not. My best friend already knew the drill when it came to making videos with me. Others did not. This was a challenge. When I posted the video, I received so much feedback. People told me how honored they were to be in one of my videos. This video, I might add, was not one of my better videos. But that was not what mattered. What mattered was that I had stepped out of my comfort zone. I had asked others to be a part of my video. And they liked that. I realized that people cared about what I had to say. What I said was important.

That was where it all began. At this point, I was a lot more talkative than I ever had been before. In fact, people were telling me to shut up at golf practice. Senior year, instead of ignoring all of the video ideas that I had, like I would have in the past, I decided to go forward with them. Sometimes it was hard. Yet, it got easier, and my confidence only grew from there.
I interviewed people for orchestra videos, for school trip videos, and for a graduation video. The graduation video meant a lot to me. I had been recording all of those years. I had clips from elementary school, middle school, and high school. That video brought people to tears. People that never talked to me, probably because I was so shy, were commenting on my video. I could not believe how much that video made a difference in my life. To think, what if I never tried? What if I became content with always being quiet? Don’t get me wrong, I am still a shy girl at heart. But I have been able to share more with others in ways that I could not before.
Now today, at my job I get to make videos. One of my favorite, recent videos that I made, was one I made for a coworker. It brought my boss to tears. What I put in that video, I would have struggled to express in a conversation.
It goes to say that this can be true for all of those that struggle with words like I did, and sometimes still do. There are ways for you to show others your gifts, your thoughts, your ideas. Maybe for me it was videos. Maybe for you it’s through a blog, a sport, a club, or whatever it may be. Do not be afraid to show others what you are capable of. It’s okay to sit back and enjoy the silence once in a while. It’s not okay to never speak your ideas. Your ideas matter, and most importantly, YOU MATTER.