Just a few years ago, I had a bad case of anxiety. I would get so nervous about any interaction outside of my comfort zone that would get these knots in my stomach that were so intense I couldn’t eat. (If you know me, you know I LOVE to eat.)
I used to be afraid to ask questions, interact with people I didn’t know or even was acquainted with, or take on tasks that I had no idea how to follow through because I was afraid that people would react negatively toward me.
During the past few weekends, I have been reflecting on the work I’ve been producing at my internship. I felt that I hadn’t been making big improvements yet. I also had in mind that I was going to be writing for the media, and I hadn’t gotten the opportunity yet. These old anxious feels came rushing back and it felt uncontrollable again.
After playing the scenario over and over again, I realized I am still learning and I wouldn’t be an intern if I had already mastered every piece of work I was assigned. I thought to myself, if I feel this way I have to figure out how to fix it.
So, I put my big girl pants on and asked my supervisor how he thought I was performing and I was pleasantly surprised by his response. I also mentioned that I wanted to write press releases if he felt I was prepared, and a few days later, voilà.
This courage showed me that I’m capable of taking the initiative to ask questions and be open to the fact that, despite almost 18 years of education, I still don’t know a lot about the real world.
These are the types of obstacles that I’m beginning to overcome in Portland. My epiphany may not be ground-breaking, but for all you folks out there thinking that you may be struggling; take that leap of faith and be brave and ask questions because you learn a lot about what you are capable of from your perspective and from others.