Putting yourself out there. It can be terrifying, but would you rather try and see how it goes, or live with regret?

I’ve been writing this column for a year now and I can safely say, I have loved every minute of it. So much so that I am continuing it in my third year. Having my voice out there on this platform is an amazing feeling, even if its small, I hope I have managed to raise some awareness about mental health this year.

However, when I first read in the Spring of 2017 that CUB was looking for its new columnists, I thought it was something I could never do. Although I’d written a couple of articles as a Contributor throughout the year, they were sporadic, and I hadn’t done anything majorly in-depth. Therefore, because they were once in a blue moon and not consistently on one topic, let alone having their own section, I didn’t think anyone would read them, and definitely not connect them directly with me. Whereas the idea of having an entire column solely under me was quite frankly terrifying. 

I think I would be right to say that a lot of people are scared to put an idea, project or piece forward for something. And therefore, out there for all to see. The reasons can be a combination of, disbelief if whatever is produced is any good, and thus how people will react, the anxiety of claiming it as yours (and therefore in association with you) and even if there’s any point – nothing will change will it?

However, on the flipside, what if you don’t? Then you’ll never know if what you’ve created is worth something and the possibilities that could happen. Having this column has helped me in so many ways. It has increased my confidence in my abilities vastly, has made me realise I want to work in advocacy after graduating and by having this space to talk about my issues, my mental health has improved.

I’m not saying what you’ve produced will go down in the history books, or be a number 1 in the charts, or a bestseller. Sometimes your ideas will get rejected or not pan out exactly how you planned. But with perseverance, your voice and talent will be put out there for everybody else to see. Whenever I get a message or a comment from someone that my article helped them, or they enjoyed it, I am ecstatic in the knowledge that not only is my writing at least semi good, but also that in a small way, it has made a difference.

Honestly, putting yourself out there not only shows others what your capable of (family, peers and employers alike), but also yourself. 

Don’t let lack of faith in yourself stop you from pursuing a dream you have. You don’t know what the outcome could be until you try.

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