Having the confidence to go onto the floor in front of others is something that most people struggle with. Being under scrutiny is a feeling that a lot of the time stops us doing something we really want to do. The embarrassment of maybe making a mistake, people watching your every move can be extremely nerve wracking.
However having the confidence to stand up in front of others and not care if you make a mistake and not allowing others to effect what you want to do is vitally important if you want to live your life to the full. Martial arts teaches us to have confidence in our own ability and to simply try our best and not be affected what other people may or may not think. Remember failure is an amazing way to learn what doesn't work, it's building valuable experience it's all positive. NEVER, EVER be afraid of failing, it will stop you doing things you didn't even know existed. Always try everything once.
This often has nothing to do with age. Adults as well as children suffer with nervousness and lack of confidence. Your Instructor will help you find faith in yourself by starting slowly and then building. The more gradings you attend, the more competitions and seminars you do the more your confidence will build. This is why gradings and competitions are a test mentality as well as physically, they are there to apply some pressure and see how you react, the same way as if you were attacked and placed under pressure. Once you know you can get onto the floor and do a competition, the next time becomes easier. Like everything it's getting over that first hurdle that's the hard bit. Martial arts mentality is your Indomitable Spirit. Never quit when it gets hard, never let anything get the better of you, always try even if you fail, that's ok.
So face your fears head on, tackle them and overcome them and learn that with time, practise and experience you can overcome anything in this lifetime. All you need is the belief in yourself to achieve your goals and your martial art will do just that for you. Fingers crossed one day as an Instructor yourself you can give back this precious gift to others who struggle like you once did.