QUESTION: The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?


The most significant challenge that I have faced is having social anxiety. The problem entails having fear, anxiety, and avoidance that interfere with how I relate, communicate, and get along with people. I started experiencing this when I was seven years of age when I would do ballet. I noted how often I was nervous when many people were looking at me, and this issue made it difficult for me to perform and groupwork. Being an introvert, it was difficult for me to approach people, but I still enjoyed going out and creating new experiences. At school, the issue made it difficult to interact with my classmates, which made it difficult to make new friends even though I had a couple of close friends. However, when I was home, I would interact since I always felt secure around my family members.

  I began working on the problem when I joined high school. I started practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and muscle relaxation when I was around people. The strategy enabled me to be calm even when I was in an unfamiliar environment. I also began working on my self esteem and trusting myself to build and improve my esteem . It gave me a positive attitude toward my image, my speech, and my walking style. One of my friends  taught me that if I applied active listening and eye contact with others, I would control my anxiety. The application of these skills made it easier for me to join social groups at school and in my home area. I was able to make many friends during this period. My management of social anxiety has made me ease up and socialize with team members and classmates many times more than I can count. This experience taught me self-awareness is a significant foundation for positive growth. I view that if I had not evaluated my problem, I would have been aware of its impact on my academic and social life. Therefore, I will keep reviewing myself so that I can minimize any challenges and obstacles I face in the future. It shaped me into how I am by helping me accomplish balancing how I feel and the energy I feel towards being a lot of people. This struggle made me come to a realization that I should be more confident when it comes to being social whether it’s at school or outside events expanding my bubble and extending my limits of what I thought I couldn’t do.

  This has been an obstacle for me but I have overgrown it now that I’ve developed ways to calm myself and be more interacted with people and involved with the environment surrounding me and making me a better person to approach. If I never overcame my social anxiety I would’ve never opened up and been close to the people I’m close to now and it would be harder to make friends or work with people. Now, I can apply the strategies I have now to have more conversations and be within my teammates, achieving and overcoming my fear of being around a lot of people and now I can finally be myself in the outside world. It is a relief to me now that this struggle has eased and how much weight I feel left on my shoulders now that I don’t have to be so afraid. I am now able to feel calm and relaxed when I’m in front of people or in a crowded area and I am appreciative of what it took me to get there. I take this encouragement and motivation I gained to apply to the bigger world and focus on what’s positive and important instead of worrying all the time and successfully becoming the social person I wanted to be. When it comes to moments like these I look back and reflect on how much I’ve developed for my own sake and getting over what I thought would take over the rest of my life. I always feel like I succeeded when I think of how much I accomplished in my personal and social life.


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