Thursday, March 5, 2009

Little Lessons

I don't think I have ever spent so much time emailing for little details as I have on behalf of planning for the Conference. It is amazing to me. But all the little things behind the scenes are boggling my brain tonight.

I am amazed though at the turn out, besides all the nerves and stuff and personal anxieties that I have about being in front of people today I think I'm handling it much better. Go me! Ignore the worries until there is a reason for fretting about them. Thing is this conference is just going to be great and I doubt there is anything I could possibly do to spoil it.

Tonight I got a chance to talk to one of the presenters and it just verified to me one of the reasons why I'm doing this to begin with. Because it is just neat NEAT to rub shoulders with people who mirror your passion in literature and the arts. Kindred spirits! Finding them makes you feel all warm inside especially when they say something that you've always thought in your own head and just never have had the chance to say.

One of the goals that I've wanted to continue on the Board while I'm in office is to keep growing! If it is great at 192 members it will be even better at 290! (No that is not a prediction, we just want to keep growing!) At our last meeting we set a small goal to bring 1 new person in the next month. I didn't set this and honestly when I heard that my first reaction was a little bit of anxiety. Do you see a trend here? I MUST be an anxious person! eheheh

Actually it is good for me to not be always comfortable so bare with me on the little insecurities that I have.

Anyhow, I chided myself a few seconds later for being resistant to talking to someone about ANWA. I encouraged myself to just be positive and see what happens. Can you believe it that I've actually talked with a few people about ANWA since then? I mean, I was nervous cause I wasn't sure what to say. But I did it. I think that is pretty darn good of me. I guess my hang up is how do I completely express exactly how I feel about ANWA in one sentence? Right now that is really hard for me because I am overly excited about it. My tongue ties in knots and my brain hangs up on the words. Probably because I'm nervous about talking to people. Writing, no problem, but talking makes my knees quake.

And it IS my goal to over come that! Baby steps and all that personal encouragement!

One of the reasons why I'm verbalizing all this in my blog has a lot to do with a few things that I recall hearing. You know how little snipets of things people say stay with you. Each person hears something and can get something different out of the same message. Well, for some reason I recall a snipet of something that was said to me at the retreat this last year. It was said to me personally and I took it to heart because I often considered it when I was debating on running for president. See I wasn't sure if a person like myself, who was unpublished, busy, tongue tied, and inexperienced in leadership should run for president. The current President at the time reassured me, several times in fact, all that was required to do this job was to have a love for the members. And she was absolutely right. I have little experience and most of the time have felt like I'm free falling into space when it comes to knowing what to do or having the knowledge of how to run things.

All of that doesn't matter. It runs itself and honestly there are so many people who love this organization it isn't going to go belly up anytime soon. Why I was so hung up on the fear of not being able to do it all probably had more to do with my mental state at the time. And those little discouraging mental conversations that we have with ourselves when we are on the cusp of doing something that is actually good for us. Being where I am right now is really good for me on many different fronts. Everyone has their own journey, this is mine.

I'm saying this mostly because I hope that someday if there is someone else in ANWA that is avoiding running for office, that you rethink your fear about that. We need leaders even if it is just in name at first. When you get your personal reasons for doing it, then you make great impacts. Sometimes it is just the first hurtle to say "I'm going to do this even if I don't think I'm ready or able." Being in this position is making me ready. I couldn't see that at first when I was first asked to do this. But I get it now. Just be brave and have faith in yourself. And it isn't very hard. It's the same concept we have in believing in ourselves to write and publish. If you don't believe in yourself you aren't going to get very far.

I believe that I can do this job and do it well. Hopefully when I look back I will be able to see that I did it and I'll come back and serve again.

And then again, if believing in yourself is your biggest hang up, because I'm sure there are a few of us out there. Baby steps. Start somewhere.

The other thing that I've learned is everyone is busy. Not just me. But everyone. REALLY! I think it is our tendency, or maybe it is just my tendency, to think that we have so much going on that we can't see other people do to. If ever I think "I just don't have time to do this, what was I thinking?" I go and I listen to other members. Especially board members. That silences any lingering doubts about being too busy. We all are busy. We just find the time one way or another or plan MONTHS in advance so we can get the things done that we need to. Sometimes I just write a "To Do List" and then go down the line so I don't forget what needs to be done. It amazes me how much planning has gone on for the conference that is taking place this weekend! Way before I was ever elected. So the ball was moving way ahead of time.

Despite how excited I am though, I still feel green about this position. But I'm not afraid like I was. Actually I take that back, I still can be fearful, I just take the seeds of those fears out back and shoot them IMMEDIATELY! Sometimes I have to shoot them more than once and they have a nasty habit of resurrecting and coming back. I get the whole idea now about how a leader can still be afraid but yet not let the fear take over. I just keep saying to myself that it's okay to fear and it is even alright to just get comfortable with it and then I'm not so afraid.

I'm sure there are many applications to using that in life.

Moral of the story is silence your negative internal voice, don't say you can't when you really don't know until you try, and just do it. All sage and great advice to live by. To bad I didn't invent them. They have been floating around for years this is just my application of them in my life.



Sarah M Eden said...

This is precisely why the writing-related goal I set for myself this year deals so directly with my confidence in myself. It is so easy for our inner negative voice to keep us from moving forward.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Best of luck this weekend!