We are actively watching the weather for our Black SEL Summit. As of today, September 30, the event is still scheduled as planned. Please check here for regular updates as we hold the safety of each attendee and participant as our highest priority.
More Info Get Your Tickets Donate
  • “The position of your mind determines the posture of your life” - Kristen Hopkins

brenda dubois

brenda dubois

-

Dangers Of The Mind Story:

My name is Brenda Dubois and I’m from Belgium. I arrived in DC end of August thanks to the program The Washington Center to do an internship at Hispanic Heritage Foundation until mid December. It’s the first that I actually left my country for that long, so I’m facing different “dangers of mind” like fear and shyness.

Before coming to DC and during the whole preparation of my trip I didn’t feel fear, it was more excitement, but once I landed fear started to take over. What if I don’t understand what they are telling me? What if I don’t like it? What if I can’t adapt to this new environment? There were so many questions in my head and I didn’t know how to answer them. At some point I just realized that everything was going to be alright. I have to remind myself every day that it is one of the reasons why I wanted to come to DC. I want to learn how to get out of my comfort zone, how to adapt to a new environment and to new situations. At some point I adapted really quick to my new life, but still sometime I wake up with that feeling in my stomach that just reminds me that I’m not in my environment. Thankfully I have strengths to push myself out there, and making the best of it.

The other danger of my mind is shyness. I have always been a shy person, but I never felt it as a barrier until I landed in DC. People here are so open and ready to talk to everyone. And for the first time I felt that my shyness hindered me to talk to people. Back home I always had time to first analyze the person and to analyze the situation, but here I don’t have the time to do that. Everything and everyone is moving so fast. I have to force myself to get out of my comfort zone and just tell myself that I have nothing to lose by talking to people I meet. There are days were it’s easier than other days. Also the fact that English is not my first language made my shyness more explicit. Sometimes I find myself in a situation where I start to get frustrated because I’m not able to express my ideas as well as if it were in French. In these kind of situations I just close up and end up saying nothing at all.

The biggest step was actually coming to DC, the rest is a challenge and kind of a new adventure. I am learning how to deal with my weaknesses and I hope that after those 4 months I will have learned how to change those into strengths. It’s also a way to find myself and find what I really am and what it is that I really want.