When people see me on the stage, they are like "Oh! Look at her. She is so confident!" and what they can't see is the invisible truth behind that confidence, i.e mental breakdowns and anxiety.
Hola! I am Aastha and I am 16-year old entrepreneur, high-schooler and a big-time procrastinator.
Within this year, I have pitched at various events. Whether be it in the States or at a platform which sees more than 800 startups who are all owned by entrepreneurs above the age 20!. However, if you rewind just a year ago, you would see me as way less confident as I am today (I am still not there yet!).
How did this happen?
Well, I allowed myself to have breakdowns, I surrounded myself with people who could understand my breakdowns and guide me in the right direction.
When I was in San Francisco this summer, I had many breakdowns. As soon as I reached the hotel room and when I was all alone in the room, I broke down, I cried for a full 20 minutes. Called my mum and cried. In fact, I shot the entire breakdown. You may ask why?
First of all, we need to understand that our mind is a booby trap. To elaborate, a human's mind is always unsatisfied and brews up all the negative thoughts in itself. It forces and tricks us to believe that we are to blame or we are not enough.
Now connecting it to my first breakdown at SF, I started sobbing as soon as I reached my hotel room and in that instance I had two voices in my head: One that told me that I was weak, I was miserable, I didn't deserve to be there (at a Global Platform), I have faked all my way through, I am hopeless, I messed up even before we settled in our rooms (Kept my room keys in my pocket and then forgot where I kept it after just a couple of seconds). On the contrary, the other voice told me that it's 'OKAY' to cry, crying doesn't not means you are weak, it's your first time traveling without parents and that also literally the other part of the world, give yourself some time to relax, adjust, you just travelled for more than 24 hours.
How much ever tempting the first voice was to accept, but my mom helped me fight my way through it and guided me in choosing the second voice ( the positive one). At that instance, I knew that if I don't document my emotional breakdown at that time than in the future when the evil voice inside my mind will provoke the feeling of being weak and harsh towards myself, then I can just see the picture of me crying and will compare it with the video of me pitching at the stage and I will remind myself that "I am not weak. Mental breakdowns are part of my success".
In a nutshell, I am in no means telling you that in order to be a confident person you need to cry, I want you all to know that confidence takes time and letting yourself feel your emotions doesn't make you a weak person, on the contrary, it makes you a stronger person than you were before. Give yourself time, be kind to yourself, trust yourself and be surrounded with people who you know will always guide you towards the right path.