Up until I finished high school I used to be crippled with shyness. Now don't get me wrong, when I was with my friends I would be absolutely crazy. But whenever I was in a situation with strangers and new people, I used to fall silent. My parents used to get so frustrated with me, as I even used to be to afraid to talk to waiters or shop assistants. I think it was the feeling of entering a situation and not knowing how people would respond to me and my thoughts that would absolutely terrify me.
However at the beginning of the year, I was almost 18 years old and was looking at an empty bank account. I knew that I needed a job in order to pay my ways. I had only had one previous job at a local cafe, which I absolutely hated. Up until now I had only been applying for jobs online, and time and time again I would be getting knocked back. So after constant pestering from my mum, one day we ventured into the city with a mission to secure me a job, or a least an interview. So with my shaking, clammy hand desperately gripping my résumé, we set off.
I went into a food market and awkwardly looked around for a few minutes. After an inspirational pet talk from my mother including the phrase "the worst they can say is no", I managed the courage to go up to the friendliest looking employee I could find. I nervously asked "umm, could I please speak to a manager", trying to exude as much confidence as humanly possible. She reassuringly smiled, which instantly calmed my nerves, and went to fetch the manager. Little did I know, I was about to be offered a job then and there.
So after a tortuous ten minutes of the interview, I was managed to get a job. Success! When those words left her mouth I could barely control the smile extruding from my mouth. I quickly hurried back to my mum, who had been attempting to eavesdrop on my interview, to enlighten her with the good news.
I have now been working there for 6 months and I am absolutely loving it. I enjoy hearing about the different lives of people who come through my counter, and everyday is a completely new experience. This job has taught me art of small talk, which I am now a master of! Without this kind of confidence, I doubt I would have made any friends at University and would still be sitting by myself.
So my advice for you is put yourself out there. I know it sounds cheesy, but it's the truth. Go for different experiences and don't worry about being knocked back. I know it's terrifying to think about that word "no", but in the big scheme of things, it won't kill you. Trust me, once you have put yourself out there, you will be greatful you have.