Giving up is easy, but think about all the times when you didn’t give up. What did you learn from that, and how did it allow you to grow?
Growing up, my mom always tried to push me out of my comfort zone and I never knew why — until now.
Back in middle school, she believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. When it came time to decide on what classes to take as an incoming freshman in high school, my middle school counselor had doubts. Based on my academic performance on standardized testing, he thought taking advanced placement classes wouldn’t be the best option for me.
At an early age, I started thinking I wasn’t good enough because he made this decision solely based on my test scores instead of me as a person. My mom and I became frustrated with what my counselor said. You should never be defined by your grades or how well you perform on tests.
I couldn’t believe someone in a counseling position wouldn’t want to encourage you to be your best self. From then on, I took as many challenging classes and opportunities as I could because I knew I was up for the challenge. I don’t regret any of it because I wouldn’t be where I am today without believing in myself and my potential.
Even though most times I felt uncomfortable and compared myself to others and their capabilities, I learned a lot of skills that helped me in the future. Overall, I better understood my work ethic and what I am passionate about.
In my experience, there will always be people who will make you feel like you aren’t good enough whether it be academically, career-wise, in relationships, or even those battles with yourself. It’s up to you to push those boundaries and learn from them because without it, there would be no room for personal growth. Challenges help you learn that you are much stronger and capable than what you give yourself credit for.
When it came to deciding on my future and where I wanted to go to college, I didn’t want to settle or go with something that felt too comfortable. I didn’t want to doubt myself. It’s important to remind yourself that you are the only person who knows you and knows what’s best for you.
No one else can make the important decisions for you. Choosing to attend DePaul for college was a huge challenge and I didn’t think I could do it. But I knew it was what I wanted — the big city and the high expectations. It takes a lot of strength and courage to let go of the anxieties and worries that hold you back.
Challenges are all about facing your fears and not letting them control you anymore. If I didn’t allow myself to break those walls I had, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Going through challenges allows you to learn about yourself, and more importantly, what you are truly capable of.
Being such a quiet and anxious person, I tend to avoid anything unfamiliar because I have this need to feel comfortable in what I’m doing. Anything outside of that makes me feel out of place. Learning how to take on new challenges has made me a better person not only for myself, but for others as well.
The constant challenges you are faced with in life bring you so much growth and new experiences you wouldn’t have if you didn’t allow yourself to embrace those opportunities. The only way to grow is to get uncomfortable and push through.