Psychology has changed my view of the world and human beings to a great extent. I do not interpret things at their face value but use my psychological knowledge to understand everything that goes on around me and in my life too. One concept that stands out for me is the issue of motivation. An analysis of my life to this point expresses how influential motivation has been in my life. I was always a shy individual for as long as I could remember and being in crowds would make me nervous to the point of being numb and lacking the ability to communicate with others. If I were called upon to talk or even answer a question in class, I would become so afraid that I would start shaking and my mind would suddenly become blank. My parents were also aware of how reserved I was, and they had tried several ways to help me deal with my problem but to no avail. Time, however, came when it was necessary for me to stand in front of a reasonable crowd. I have always been good in art and had engaged in a competition in which my progress was amazing. It involved numerous schools, and I was among the top five, which meant that I had to present and explain my work before a panel of judges and numerous students. I had successfully made it to this point because my work was judged without requiring a lot of my involvement.
I had the desire for my work to be recognized and rewarded at the same time. However, I was afraid of presenting my item in front of the crowd that I wanted to give up before the presentation came. I, however, knew that my work was among the best and had a high chance of winning the competition. At this point, I had to identify what was crucial, my fear of crowds or my work. My parents were also with me, talked me through every step, and helped me identify various ways through which I could address my fear of standing in front of crowds. In the end, I managed to present my work to the audience and the judges. Looking back at the incident, I am sure that motivation worked for me. Intrinsic motivation was the voice inside that helped me identify that my work was important than my fear. My parents and the recognition from the judges and the audience acted as the extrinsic motivation. My experiences continue to help me identify many other psychological concepts including phobias.
I was afraid of crowds, but the class has helped me identify that my fear had not reached the level of a phobia. A phobia occurs when the individual develops an irrational fear towards something, and he or she goes to great heights to avoid it. I realized that I had a fear of small spaces or claustrophobia. It was an unconscious behavior I would engage in without realizing that it was a phobia. I would prefer to use the stairs than taking the elevator, I found it hard locking myself in the washroom and would not engage in activities that involved small spaces. Through the class, I identified that I had developed claustrophobia, but I could not recall the exact experience that causes it. Therefore, my assumption was that the phobia developed as a result of an experience that happened when I was still young and therefore could not recall it. I realized that the phobia continues to interfere with my normal daily functioning and it is necessary that I address it. Luckily, we identify various forms of therapies in class that will be effective in helping me deal with the phobia. I believe that through working with a therapist, I will deal with the phobia thus restoring my optimal level of functioning.
The class has also been influential in expanding my knowledge on sexual orientation. For the longest time, I only identified with the heterosexual orientation. However, with the ever changing society, I have come to learn of the LGBT community. I understand the various issues they encounter and how their sexual orientation may come about. I encounter members of the LGBT community frequently because now they are freer and they can freely express themselves in public. However, these individuals often get harsh judgments from members of the public who feel that they are wrong to feel and behave the way they do. I admit that initially and before I encountered the psychology class, I would similarly judge them. I believed that what they were doing and the sexuality they identified with was wrong. I would sometimes develop the desire to change them and direct them towards a heterosexual orientation. If a friend from the LGBT community came to me seeking help, I would have probably concentrated on his or her sexuality and how it was a problem than what the individual was truly experiencing. However, I am now more sensitive to the LGBT community and the issues they encounter. Psychology has helped me learn that they identify with a different sexual orientation than mine. It means that in the instance that I encounter a member of the community; my focus should not be their sexuality if that is not the problem at hand. I have also realized that sexual orientation could interfere with me helping members of the community especially due to my personal biases and values. I, therefore, continue to increase my knowledge on how to effectively interact and help members of the LGBT community.
All these experiences and much more that I have had so far show the influence the psychology class has had in my life. I continue to learn more about myself with each class and through the interactions, I have with other people. I now understand my personality I a better way and can effectively check on areas that act as interferences in my interaction with other people and my day-t-day life. I know that I am not only improving my level of competence but I continue to improve my quality of life and that of those I encounter.
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