This year I started high school. I knew before I even started I wanted to be in the Whitney Dance Program, so I auditioned and made it into a higher leveled class. Typically, the only way to dance at a rally is if you’re on the dance team, but new this year was the VAPA Rally where most of the art classes on campus get to perform. Since I’m in an advanced dance class, my class had to showcase a routine. I knew that signing up for an upper level class I would probably end up doing things like that, but I thought it would just be the dance show.
As a freshman, I was insanely nervous when I heard I would be performing in front of my whole school, which is roughly 2000 people. Before this, I had never done anything in front of my peers at this new school. All of the other older girls in my class had been in the school dance shows and things like that, but I had never experienced it. I’ve done countless dance productions at my studio in front of parents and a whole bunch of other people, but performing in front of your classmates and people you see everyday is scary to think about.
This was a time where I had to try something I had never done before. I’m not going to lie, I was definitely feeling tense. Doing something you’ve never done before is frightening because you don’t know the outcome or how it’s going to work out. Most people end up holding back and not trying new things because they’re scared of failing or embarrassing themselves.
“Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try”
When the time comes to actually try new things, I get so nervous and brain immediately goes to Oh my gosh, this is going to be terrible! I’ve felt that many times before about going out of my comfort zone and doing something I had never done like giving a speech at promotion, auditioning for dance classes, participating in History Day, and more. That is the worst thing to tell yourself before trying something and doing anything because one hundred percent of the time that statement is false.
For a lot of things, you can practice and prepare for as long as you need to and when the time comes to do the thing, you still think this same thought! You might not win or be the best, but how will you know if you don’t even try? This new thing could be one of your most memorable moments whether it’s the most amazing thing or it ends up being a learning experience if it’s not.
So how do you overcome that feeling?
Something that always helps me when this thought comes to mind and I start freaking out is to stop for a second and tell yourself this: No. You know what? I can do this. I got this. All of that preperation you did will show when you go to do it and you will be fantastic. Use your confidence you have in there and go for it! And if it’s one of those things you can’t prepare for like zip lining, swimming across a waterfall pool, worming through a cave (maybe not that extreme, but those are examples from my life), then you can tell yourself this same thing and trust yourself and shoot for the moon.
“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and think of what could go right”
For example; When my class and I were siting in front of the bleachers waiting our turn to perform, that was what I thought about. We’d gone over it a million times, cleaned it, and perfected it. We’ve been waiting for this moment for a while.
The hosts of the rally called up our class to perform our routine to “I’m a Believer” by Smash Mouth and a rush of adrenaline surged through me. I was excited and nervous at the same time, but I knew I was going to do great. I smiled and used my facials and totally rocked the number! After it was over, everyone told me how they loved it and that it was awesome. This new thing I tried is one of my favorite experiences. I’m the last one in silver in the front line on the far left: