Pushing your boundaries and exiting your comfort zones
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If you know me personally, then one thing you’ll know or heard me say is how shy I am. It’s something that I feel has held me prisoner for years. My lack of boldness has prevented me from doing so many things I strongly believe I would’ve excelled in. I’m an alright singer now, but was exceptionally good when younger. Sad thing is I’ve never sang on stage, ever. I recall reading my old school report and the music teacher describing how amazing my voice was but all of a sudden I just began to close up. It was a pattern that soon spread to other areas of my life. I’m naturally very shy, but with time it progressively grew worse. In hindsight I can identify some of the events that led to this happening, which I’ll explain in a later post. There’s several areas of my life crippled by shyness, funny thing is I’m too shy to type them now. Especially as people may observe or look out for it, when they next see me.

Story time.

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Warning: there will be excessive use of the word “shy” 

My first few girlfriends in primary and secondary school, I avoided them like the plague. That was the extent of my shyness. I didn’t know what to do in a relationship or even what to say, so I hid from them. They all of course ended up being dumped, and even that was a struggle for me. Fast forward to year 10. There’s a girl I would see every day at the bus stop. (The awkward thing is there’ s every chance she will see this post). I thought she was stunning, she had long natural hair and the prettiest face I had ever seen. As much as I fancied her I was too shy to approach her and months went past with me just crushing from a distance. (This sort of sounds creepy now lol). Fast forward to the summer holidays and I was in Nigeria practicing my chat up lines….. Yes, I was so frightened of talking to her I had to prepare for it. I had vowed that I would get her number as soon as the new school year began. The first few weeks of year 11 flew by and I was still nervous, until one morning I faced myself in the mirror and said “Ves today is the day”. As I walked to the bus stop I spotted her, the script embedded in my mind. Precisely as I approached her, stage fright hit me and all my rehearsing went up in smoke. I began free-styling, till this day I’m not certain why she gave me her number, but she did and we ended up dating for a few months.

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Now if I told some people I was too timid to talk to females, they wouldn’t believe me. Part of the reason I was so petrified is due to the fact I have a stutter, it used to be bad before, but it’s seized quite a bit now. Could you imagine approaching a girl and your first word is a stutter? Well, I don’t have to imagine because it’s happened to me lol. There’s several stories I could tell you in regards to my shyness holding me back, but I’ll save them for another time.
So often people tell me I’m not shy and that I blog and take high resolution pictures. What they don’t know is that it took 2 years to set up this blog. I nearly had a panic attack taking my Instagram off private. If not for my friend Annie and Kwame I probably wouldn’t have started one. Additionally, every time I post a picture or blog post I have to persuade myself for several minutes and sometimes hours to press post.

So why set it up?

 

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I feel like my whole life, my lack of confidence has restricted me. When I believed I was destined to be diagnosed with a terminal illness. I had a direct message from God. He instructed me that from now on, I had to push my boundaries and exit my comfort zones. I’m not one to pretend I hear God’s voice, but I had never heard it more vividly than that exact moment. Ever since I’ve started defying my shyness and doing things which make me very uncomfortable. I won’t list all the things I’ve done or have agreed to do, but I’ve been extending my boundaries.
I remember talking to my sister and telling her how I regret not doing so many things due to my shyness and stutter. She brought to my attention the story of Moses who like myself was a stutterer. When God first called Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery he balked.

“Then Moses said to the LORD, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”

‭Exodus‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Moses response is almost word for word something I would say. Furthermore, what he says after is identical to what I would’ve said in that situation.
God reminds him that he created all men, the deaf, the mutes and those with the ability to speak. He instructs Moses to follow his initial commands and reassures him that he will be his voice and be with him every step of the way. In typical shy fashion, Moses asks for someone to speak on his behalf. I remember making a similar request to my friend when asked to speak at my other friends memorial service. I tried everything to find an alternative to me standing in front of 1000 people. After a couple days of persuasion, I gave in and that unlocked a whole other level to my boldness.

So, what did God do?

God was angered by Moses, but still gave him, an interpreter called Aaron (his brother). He gave authority over Moses to bless his mouth with the correct words, while God put the words in Moses mouth. Leaving Aaron to be the spokesman and God’s word was ultimately delivered. The story goes on for a few chapters, but during it all Moses grew in confidence, he challenged Pharaoh, and he was able to address his people. He showed a lack of self belief throughout and even challenged God on the tribulations he suffered along the journey, but God assured him that all would be well and Moses continued to honour his calling. Through all this Aaron became a prophet and an influential man of God.

Morale

No matter how shy you are or think you are, you can achieve great things. You can be amazing in your community, workplace, school or whatever it may be.

“God can and will use you even when you think you’re obsolete”

He will you use to uplift others just like Moses did Aaron. He will use you to inspire a generation like Moses did the Israelites. This year or from now, I would love for everyone to start pushing their boundaries.

Let me know when shyness has restricted you or what you will do to push your boundaries

Note: The things you think you can’t do, prove YOURSELF wrong and do them.