The first guest feature of 2021 is written by Pooja, founder of The IT Word blog. I contacted her via Instagram (@theitword), asking if she had a personal story that she would like to share on Free to Spiel. She was up for it, and so I’m pleased to introduce her journey from shy and introverted to a community changemaker!
I’m Pooja. I’m a 16-year-old advocate for change, from Mumbai, India.
A couple of years ago, I was known as the extremely sensitive and shy kid. However, in the past two years a lot has changed for me!
I discovered one of my greatest passions: being an advocate for “change”. It all started in my second year of high school, around the time of our annual Student Body Elections. I don’t really remember what came over me, but I got up one morning and said to myself: “What am I really doing in life, except for just looking out for myself?”.
I had never taken the initiative and volunteered to lead ANYTHING before; I had always been the kind of person who’d go up after most students, to avoid drawing too much attention to myself! The annual School Body Election was definitely a turning point for me though, as it’s when I began reflecting on what I had done for the community all these years and realised that I needed to make a change, no matter how small it would be at the start. So, I gave the Elections my best shot, but I didn’t get selected. Ouch. I absolutely gave up and the spark fizzled out, until this year.
Covid-19: the world has stuck together, and I decided to start my own Instagram & blog: “The IT Word”. I thought to myself, what could possibly go wrong and how hard could it be? People need inspiration during the pandemic, and maybe I can help – it’s not like the entire world’s population will tune into my work, but I believe that I can have a positive impact on my community and probably start my own little online community too!
Since this has all happened, my family and friends have definitely seen a change in me. My past self would think twice before placing an order at McDonald’s – this may seem lame to most people, but I was really that introverted and shy. Now I’ve really grown out of that shell, and they’re so proud to see that!
My top tips to help others pursue positivity in life are as follows (you’ve probably heard them before, but they really worked out for me):
- Always believe that you’re capable – Trust that you have the ability to accomplish, whatever your goal may be. Just keep consistently working hard.
- Don’t have the fear of being judged – I still struggle with this. I’m often worried what people around me will say, but honestly it’s your life and other people should have no say whatsoever over what you choose to do.
- Finally, trust that things will work out – Don’t procrastinate over things you know you don’t have any control over. Focus on the present.
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