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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

I have spent too much of my time trying to think of reasons to not do something. I have felt that there was always a greater reason not to do something instead of highlighting the reasons I should. It’s taken me years to finally realize that you simply don’t need to have a “good reason” to shoot your shot.

“Shooting your shot” has been taken over by the dating game in most recent years, but to me, I think shooting your shot can be attributed to anything in your life. I have heard one too many of my friends give themselves excuses on why they can’t do something because they feel like they aren’t good enough or not confident enough.  

It pains me to say this, but I feel as though I have lost so many opportunities because I was wracking my brain for a good enough reason for me to do it. The thing that has pushed me away from that mindset is this: wanting to do it is reason enough. If you want to apply for that internship, do it. If you want to submit your work to that contest, do it.

There are always a million artificial reasons you could come up with on why you shouldn’t do something or why you can’t, but at the end of the day, there is one good reason that outshines all the rest. The pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect for the thing we want to do before we even do it is unrealistic at best. Life is too short for us to stop ourselves from learning and growing in experiences that will benefit us in the long run.

A less extreme example of shooting your shot for your benefit is sending that risky text you’ve been contemplating for days. I have had so many moments where I felt like I was being too bold or too honest with people and not saying what I wanted to say. I look back on those moments and realize there will always be a pretty good chance that it will end up working in your favor. I have found it helpful to honestly sit myself down, look in the mirror, and ask, “What’s stopping you?”

Nine times out of ten, I can’t think of one genuine reason that I haven’t done what I’m putting off. The fear that crept up inside me was consistently telling me that the world would end if it didn’t go my way. The worst that can happen is someone says “no” or you don’t get the job, and in that case, you pat yourself on the back for trying because the more and more you act on your desires, the less scary it becomes.

I used to look at opportunities like I was staring into the void, completely paralyzed by the fact that sometimes you don’t know what the outcome is going to be. What I’ve learned from that tactic is that life is much more exciting when you are pushing yourself towards the things you truly want to do and say.

Grace Barratt is an outdoor enthusiast and has a passion for everything creative. She is double majoring in Creative and Strategic Advertising at VCU. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing and camping.
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