Personal Growth Essay Example
Growing up I didn't have that “everyday typical family drama” that normal people had. My family realistically was different. We weren't close like everyone else. We fought more than we hugged and we cried more than we laughed. Not one of us knew how to express our genuine emotions without screaming in the others face. Honestly, I couldn't tell you the last time that I had been hugged or was properly told “I love you”. I grew up not knowing how to tell people how I felt because in my family expressing emotion ment yelling. I hated it when people yelled or when I had too, so at a young age I made the decision to not let anyone in. I had always just assumed that if I let them in, they would get hurt and I couldn't bear the thought of hurting anyone.
When I was young, I was quite noticeably shy. I didn't have many friends because I was too afraid to talk to my classmates. I typically tried my hardest to keep my social distance from others. Generally, I thought that if I was their friend then I would have had something to lose and I couldn't take the chance of them intentionally leaving. I went to school with about the same people who I do now and I say with most certainty that over 50% of them know nothing about who I am, due to either me keeping my personal distance or them physically not caring enough to get to know me.
I never used to think that not talking about my personal feelings would severely affect my life. I had absolutely no idea, but even if I did know, I wouldn't have possessed the slightest clue how to go about doing so in a calm and collective way. Until one day as I was scrolling through our school's morning announcements and I saw this page that said “speech sign ups in the office, go for it we promise you won't regret it.'' I chuckled in my head as I thought about how Awkward I would be. Me in speech that was just out of the question I could never, I would be so nervous I'd pass out. At that time joining speech was out of the question, there was a zero percent chance of me ever getting up in front of a bunch of random people I didn’t know. Absolutely not. That night I went home and told my sister about what it was about and thought she would think it was funny, me in speech.But she had thought it was a good idea and she then proceeded to sign me up the next day, without my permission I might add. It had made me furious, she had no right to sign me up without my consent. I couldn't do this. I'm too shy and socially awkward. There was absolutely no way on earth that I, myself could be in speech. I had to find a way to get out of it. I considered going to the office and scribbling my name off the list, but then I got to thinking what harm could come from just attending the first meeting? I could just go to one. No commitment and no embarrassment, that would work wouldn't it? And so afterI revisited the idea a few times, I had ultimately decided that I would go to the first meeting.
And so I went, it was quite strange, there were people talking to walls and walking around pretending to be marshmallows. I certainly did not belong here, everyone was so outgoing and confident, I was none of that. I had absolutely no idea what was going on but I undoubtedly remember the speaker they had that day. He was tall with short brown hair and looked very confident in himself. He had us all circle up and he presented each of us with a set mouse trap. He said that on the count of three that were slam our hands down onto the trap and hold the trap shut, so that it wouldn't go off.
Everyone was very skeptical and hesitant to do so. But he reassured us that he had done this exercise with hundreds of schools all over the country and he had never had anyone get hurt. And so he began to count down backwards from three and when he got to one we slammed down onto our traps. He subsequently told us all to pull our hand away rapidly and hurl them at his feet on the count of three and so we all did as we were told. After they had all gone off at his feet he had us instantly look at our hands, there were these deep indents on mine way deeper than anyone else's.
He continued on and said that the deeper the indents we had on our hands the stronger we had been holding onto our fears. When we released those mouse traps it had extracted all of our fears and now all we had to do was give it our all. I stood there carefully looking at my indents in evident amazement. I was in such a tremendous shock that I couldn't move. All I could think was that it didn't matter if everyone here was more outgoing or more confident than I was. It was unlikely that they had started that way, it takes time for some ,including me, to get to that point. I knew at that moment that this would be my family. So I went out and picked a speech of course I wasn't very good my first year, I was so nervous that I almost had a heart attack the first time that I went up in front of an audience.
Over the next few years I got better and better until I placed first at sub sections. I have seen myself improve majorly over the past few years. I am a much more open person now. I can say with confidence that I am the person today because of speech. it helped me come out of my shell and into the open air where I am no longer anxious to display my emotions. Not merely did speech give me a sense of who I am, it taught me how to properly communicate in a healthy and kind way.
My childhood was definitely a factor in my struggle to communicate, and I now understand how physically important it is not to keep all of your emotions bottled up inside. As it may have negative effects on your ability to think clearly. I'll admit that yes, I do know how to communicate my feelings now, but I still struggle sometimes to find the courage to tell people what I need. Speech has definitely helped me but I still have a long way to go to become better at this whole social experiment.