Looking back to where I was three years ago, I see myself sitting in class, very insecure, afraid to even stand in front of the class and blushing if a teacher gave me a turn. In High School, you experience a few years of struggling with insecurities, making and losing friends and self-discovery. After High school, I realized how absurd my overthinking and struggles were. In my first year of studying in Breda, I became friends with a guy who knew exactly who he wanted to become. He helped other people like me to learn more about themselves. He taught me a lot about how I could change my insecure attitude and why you shouldn’t be thinking about what other people are thinking about you. If I could give my 16 years old self any advice, it would be ‘do not care what other people think of you and be confident. ‘ 

 A confident attitude is useful in any workplace in the future. Being confident is more difficult than it seems. How can I become more confident? Well, here's my advice: 

Set goals 

 First of all, visualize yourself as who you want to become. Set difficult, but achievable goals of how you want to become that person. This will give you an indication, of what still needs to be done for you to become the best version of yourself.  

Change your thoughts 

Start thinking positive and try to overcome your negative thoughts. You can do this by looking at the positive sides of negative thoughts. A negative thought can be: ‘I have to give this difficult pitch to 100 people.’ Make this a positive thought, such as:  Because I've prepared this pitch so well, I know I'm the expert on my topic and I will make my audience believe in my story.' This will give you the last confident boost you need, to nail that presentation. 

Get out of your comfort zone 

Another thing I definitely recommend you to do is to get out of your comfort zone more. Two years ago when I started my study at BUas, I moved out of my family house. This may sound familiar to all the international students at BUas. This is a huge and scary thing to do. You chose to move to a new and unknown environment where you probably didn’t know anyone. It takes a lot of courage to do this. Getting out of your comfort zone might seem scary. People enjoy sticking with the things they already know but for your self-development, it’s important to choose the difficult and scary options. When you choose the difficult option, you will be put in an environment you are not familiar with. Now, see the bright side, because you got out of your comfort zone you can learn so much more. You get to experience things you wouldn't have done if you stuck with what you already knew. This is great if you want to have more experience for job applications for example. 

Forget what people say 

The last thing I suggest is to really not care about what people think of your actions. Think about it. You have probably done something in High School that you were so embarrassed of. It felt like the end of the world. However, if you look back at it now, how bad was it exactly? Is there someone who still remembers that moment? Did it affect you all these years?  ‘no’, is probably the answer to that question. When you are doubting to do something, ask yourself this: “does it affect me tomorrow? It probably will, however then you’re going to ask this question: “Will this have any effect next week?” You continue, “will this have any effect next month?” “Will this have any effect next year?” The last question will make sure you are not doing anything that will guarantee you any jail time. These questions will give you an indication of how embarrassing or how much impact it will have in your life. Mostly this helps you to stop overthinking the situation and you will be able to just do it. 

To become the best version of yourself there are a few steps you need to take. Be confident about your actions, dare to do something that scares you and do not care what other people think of you. It sounds scary but afterward, you will see it wasn’t that scary after all. Besides, it will give you so many more possibilities. I'm sure you can become the person you want to be!