Oh man, I remember it like it was yesterday. Sprint walking my way to the drama department and shakily moving my finger down the cast list, unable to contain my nerves as I discovered where exactly I had been placed. And, of course, each time it was always the same. Somewhere near the bottom, 3-4 lines if I was lucky but more often than not I was lumped into ‘chorus’. *sigh*
Actually, funny story, one time we were given multiple roles in a play because there were so few of us, and I had to be re-cast as one of the main characters because the drama teacher had allocated two main roles to one of her faves (who would have had to have conducted a full five minute conversation with herself…) not great, but a win nonetheless for lil’ miss shy over here.
I was never the lead in school plays, I had such a passion for drama but I was too shy to take the leap and really explore it, so I was always ‘chorus’ or ‘shepherd 3’ and now I think about it the way I was cast in plays was pretty reflective of the way I perceived (and presented) myself at that age. My confidence was pretty much at ground zero, I felt almost embarrassed to exist, I shied away from attention and preferred to just keep my head down but…I longed to be in the spotlight. I fantasised about those lead roles, about putting my talents on show and reaping the rewards of my boldness.
I think it’s fair to say I really came into my own in my 20s. The person I am today is pretty much polar opposite to the girl clutching onto the fringes of the stage I was when I was a teenager. As I’ve matured I’ve found value in who I am, and what I have to offer and I’ve developed a confidence in my abilities.
Now, I know I deserve to be the lead. I deserve the opportunity to show my talents, and say HELLO, HERE I AM! We each have so much to offer this world, but unless you march onto that stage and command people to take notice, how can you expect people to know what you have up your sleeve?
Five years ago I might have shied away from promoting my blog and encouraging people to read it. You wouldn’t find me sharing my posts on Facebook (because, god forbid Dave from year 10 read my post about L’Oreal lipsticks and thought it was cringe) but now, I’m spreading this stuff EVERYWHERE and I’m putting myself front and centre of my social media channels.
Since I started seeing myself as ‘the lead’ and not ‘tree 5’ I’ve found more and more opportunities coming my way. So if, like me, you tend to shuffle to the side instead of boldly taking centre stage I suggest you take a deep breath and step into the spotlight. You would be surprised just how far a bit of confidence can get you…
And hey, the worst that can happen is that you’ll learn where your weaknesses lie, and what you need to improve on to take that lead role, which is pretty win win as far as I’m concerned!