Starting A New Business? 7 Key Points To Keep In Mind.

I Was Painfully Introverted And Socially Anxious — Here’s What Saved Me

Some presentations and vivas later, I finally gained the confidence to speak. I started speaking. Be it for internships, volunteering, competitions, and EVEN small talk!

“Megna, come here,” my class teacher said, “Don’t be disrespectful to your teachers. If you see them in the corridors, you need to greet them, not ignore them.”

Eye contact was scary. Any interaction was challenging. I sensed that she didn’t try to understand how I felt. I have been judged not only during this incident but multiple times for being rude to people, but in reality, I was introverted and didn’t know how to open up. I didn’t have the energy for small talk, let alone make friends and socialize. And evidently, I never signed up for public speaking during my high school days.

But life is not always a bed of roses, isn’t it? The mandatory public speaking assignments started coming in, especially in English class.

I was a painfully introverted child

I remember I used to have a nerve-racking, hair-fall-inducing dread of presentations. I could never memorize a speech and recite it as it is in front of an audience. I always used to forget lines in between, blank out and get embarrassed. Even if not ridiculed by others, by my own myself. It is rightly said, “All pressure is self-inflicted. It’s what you make of it or how you let it rub off on you.” ~ Sebastian Coe

I used to relive time and again the horrific moments of my embarrassing presentations. I deviated from my script by forgetting most parts and tried to cover for them in a ‘mortifying’ way. Looking back, I know I had extremely low self-esteem. Well, I was under the impression that I could get over these traumatic high school memories by burying them at the back of my mind and moving forward. A fresh start, university!

But, my ‘happiness’ was short-lived. I had more socializing to do, and university life was completely different. There were way more presentations, interactions, and group work, and that’s when I was at my worst. I realized not all people are your ‘friends’ and that not setting boundaries is a big mistake.

Going online during lockdown was my chance to find my voice

At this point, the COVID-19 pandemic hit hard, and there was a lockdown. During this period, I learned to put the internet to my use.

I wanted to do something alongside online classes to keep my mind occupied. I started volunteering, then applied for paid content writing internships. I slowly started to write and realized I have a knack for writing blogs. At the same time, I also had project presentations online through Teams. I had the same fear as I did earlier, but speaking behind a screen gave me the confidence I didn’t have before. Some presentations and vivas later, I finally gained the confidence to speak. I started speaking. Be it for internships, volunteering, competitions, and EVEN small talk!

Never miss real stories from India's women.

Register Now

I had a few achievements in my life thanks to overcoming my fear: I won runner-up in a research competition, published a research paper, secured internships, and gained knowledge and experience through courses (All of which I did online!).

I would say that the lockdown, particularly the internet helped me gain confidence! Although I wouldn’t give full credit to the net, it helped me. I’m grateful for having access! Of course, I also put in a lot of work by attending counselling (online), boosting my self-esteem, and journaling. I guess not everything on the internet is evil if we know how to use it wisely.

I’m still not free of the worry of giving presentations, but I like to think of the times I did a fantastic job to keep me going. I wouldn’t be able to write this piece if it wasn’t for the internet. I wouldn’t be part of such a wonderful community.

My closing statement would be: To be successful, one must understand the beneficial and constructive uses of the World Wide Web. We can pick what is essential for the day if used constructively.

Happy #InternationalInternetDay on the 29th of October, folks!

Image source: Boogich from Getty Images Signature

Liked this post?

Register at Women's Web to get our weekly mailer and never miss out on our events, contests & best reads - you can also start sharing your own ideas and experiences with thousands of other women here!


About the Author

Megna Rajagopal

Megna is an aspiring writer trying to make it in this world. read more...

18 Posts | 4,863 Views

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

Women Leaders in Communications Discuss The Responsible 5G Revolution We Need

All Categories