Courageous Enough to Take Risks by Christian Torres

Growing up I was always a shy and reserved child.  When meeting new people, I found myself nervous and hesitant to speak.  Although I did occasionally play sports and interact with my peers, I preferred to stay inside and read books.  As an introvert, I found myself developing a fear of public speaking. In elementary school, I typically became nervous and stuttered when it was my turn to present in class.

In the 7th grade, I decided to run for class president because I knew it would help me get accepted into a high-ranked Jesuit high school. Also, I knew I wouldn’t have to give a speech because I was the only one running for the position. I decided to join the candidacy for not only personal success, but also in the hope that it would help me meet new people and make friends. Two weeks into the campaign, one of my teachers asked me, “You ready for your speech today? One of your classmates also joined the candidacy.” I quickly ran to write a speech. All I could think of was stuttering, getting stage fright, or the crowd booing me off stage. Before giving my speech, I became very nervous, trembling with fear. Then I thought to myself: how could I overcome this fear? I remembered a quote from an autobiography about Muhammed Ali, “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

Once I finished my speech, the crowd erupted in an uproar of applause. The next day, I won the presidency. Don’t ever be too scared to showcase your abilities.


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