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I was too timid, shy, aloof, introverted, and whatever else you want to call me when I was younger, to the point where I don't even like socializing with my relatives and family members. My life seemed to revolve inside my cocoon. Even when I was able to speak, I felt like mute and hesitant to speak out.
This personality remained with me even as I grew older. The school was a real struggle for me. I detested oral class recitation the most. It was in secondary school, and we had a lot of oral recitation, and I always wanted the day to end quickly, wishing my teacher would call my other classmates instead of me. It's not that I didn't know the answer to the teacher's question; it's just that I lacked the confidence to face our class, and I doubted my answer as well, as I always did.
When my teacher calls my name, it seems like butterflies in my stomach flutter, and a trembling sensation spread from my auditory system to various parts of my body. My heart would beat so loudly and quickly that I couldn't hear my words anymore. My mouth would tremble, and I couldn't speak clearly because of my shaky voice. My face would become pale, and sweat would form on my brow. Seriously, when I'm at rest and just listening, my mind talks well, but when I pull my thoughts out when needed, they seem to be dispersed in the air, and I can't put them into the right words. And it would take some time to get back to normal.
In short, because of a lack of self-confidence, I frequently experience mental blocks and feel dead and cold in the middle of class. Except for my loud heartbeat, everything seems to go silent. I dislike reciting poetry or long phrases. I don't even like giving presentations in class about school projects and research because my mouth trembles when I'm nervous, lol.
During our last Thesis Defense in college, my heartbeat was louder than my voice throughout the presentation. Even taking deep breaths in and out and putting a coin in my shoe (as they claimed) didn't work. But I was still fortunate to be able to present our book, and our group eventually passed the defense.
I was full of dreams when I graduated from college and decided to enter the corporate world. I even hoped to advance to a higher position in the corporate world someday. However, those dreams were dashed due to a lack of self-confidence, particularly during job interviews. There were always a lot of what-ifs in my head, and I was always doubting my abilities.
Even phone interviews cause me to become nervous. I frequently asked myself, "WTH! Why are you so worried about a phone call?" Sometimes I just want to stop breathing in order to stop my heart from beating, but I can't.
I thought I wouldn't be able to work abroad when I first planned it. I didn't think I could live in a different world with people of different races. But, because I was determined to achieve my goals, I stepped out of my comfort zone and into the beehive.
During my years abroad, I somehow learned to socialize with others, mostly strangers. That is who I am. For some strange reason, I prefer to socialize with strangers rather than with people I know. When I talk to random strangers on the street, I don't feel like there are any boundaries or restrictions. If I want to, I can even spit a bean. Nobody would care. They don't even know who I am.
I frequently meet people while traveling, whether on the mountain trails, at the bus stop, or simply walking down the street, eating at a restaurant, or shopping at a mall. It would begin with a random conversation and progress to a more sensible topic. Although it doesn't take long, like a few hours or more, those moments boost my confidence to talk with strangers in public places, which I didn't like doing before.
I used to be afraid of crowds, but after traveling, I began to embrace them without regard for what others thought of me. Another thing I did to boost my confidence was to change my mindset. I used to believe that everyone who saw me would say something negative about me. I worked abroad where people don't care about what you'll do or your physical attributes, and that's when I stopped caring about others and focused solely on myself.
I changed my physical appearance and dressed decently and beautifully to fit in with the modern era while also gaining confidence. When we believe we are unattractive, we tend to avoid social situations and wallow in self-pity. But guess what? There is no such thing as an ugly human (except those with monster characters). We are all beautiful in our own way; we just need to recognize it. And if you love yourself, you will begin to feel beautiful and will be able to walk confidently in a crowd.
I have many flaws, but no one notices, so why should I? That makes perfect sense.
And did you know that interacting online can boost confidence as well? We may not see each other, but it appears that we are physically conversing. And the knowledge we gained online can also be applied in real-world situations.
I'm introverted, but depending on the situation and my mood, I can be extroverted. I can say that I am better now than I was before. Well, I'll have to prove it once I return to my homeland, where people are so judgmental and there are so many "Marites" gossipers all over the place, lol. But for the time being, I'll embrace this positive personality trait I've developed and continue to face the world, or rather the universe, confidently beautiful with a heart like Pia Wurtzbach 🤣.
You can also reach me on my socials and let's be connected: