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Do something that scares you...

There is one type of person i just cant tolerate, and thats a person who says "i'm not changing for anyone". People take some strange pride in inflexibility, stubbornness, tunnel vision and lack of aspiration. Personal development is essential to personal growth, and being willing to change who you are is essential.

What these people generally mean is "i'm not going to be someone that i'm not", and that is totally understandable. What is important is the willingness and ability to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and make life changes that compliment strengths and improve on weaknesses. Once you learn how to do this effectively you will realise that most weaknesses are in fact strengths if you understand them well enough.

My biggest weakness has been not making choices that push me out of my comfort zone. Although i am willing to try new things practically, taking social risks has always been a challenge. What i have learned is that taking personal risks is the first step to really discovering who you are, and it moves you on from being an "i'm not changing for anyone" type of person to a "i take risks to see what i'm capable of" type of person.

A few months ago, while i was in a hospital bed and at my weakest both physically and mentally, i was asked if i would like to take part in a fashion show. My initial response to something like this would be an immediate no. However in recent years i have learned to take risks, and i try to always do the opposite of my initial gut reactions. I wanted to take a step out of my comfort zone and challenge my weaknesses in the hope that i could conquer them.

There are some things i am confident doing. I am confident standing in front of a classroom of lifeguards. I am confident in making the decision to arrest someone. And i am confident in taking part in a debate at uni. What scares me the most is an audience. I have a few crown court appearances coming up and i am petrified of standing in the witness box. I could not stand up and give a lecture to a room full of people. And i could not, so i thought, walk down a catwalk as a model.

I procrastinated for a few months on this fashion show, but turned up at the venue on Tuesday ready to take the plunge...and i was terrified. I met the other models...who were all also terrified. We all looked nervous as we walked up and down the catwalk, but we looked nervous together. We got through it by supporting each other, and i am not so glad that i forced myself to do something that scared me.

Had i initially said no i would not have met some great people, and would have regretted the missed opportunity. It has shown me that a lot of my social fears are purely emotional and based on no factual evidence. Putting yourself in what you consider to be a socially dangerous situation is a great way to prove to yourself that the situations are not at all dangerous.

So next time you find yourself avoiding certain situations...take some risks. I guarantee that you will feel good about doing it, even if you didn't enjoy it.