Anytime I am feeling really upset and worried that I cannot possibly do something that has been assigned for me to accomplish, I think of a list of things I have mentally titled: Things I Know I Can Do Because I’ve Done Them Before. And I always have this horrible fear for days or weeks before the event happens, and I always think, right after, that No, that was not worth it. But then, I let it all sink in, admit that Sister #1was right and I’m growing as a person, blah blah blah, and add it to my list of Things I Know I can Do.
Here are some examples of the things that I would have sworn to you I simply could not do that are on that list: move to a new city and live alone, go to a third world country to build a well, buy a house, run 5 miles, and the list goes on and on. Some things aren’t even as big as these things; sometimes I add things to the List like caulk the tub, put together shelves for the garage, or stop watching TV. You get the point.
Well a few months ago I was faced with a task that I knew I couldn’t do. I know for a fact, and I’m 100% confident, that I cannot speak in front of people. And I know that you do not understand this feeling unless you too have this paralyzing fear. It’s not rational. It’s not something I can breathe, train, or talk myself through. Even thinking about speaking in front of a group makes me sick; I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, and I can’t think or talk about anything besides the topic of what I have to present until it’s over. And then, no, I do not feel better about it after it’s over. It takes a few more days to even calm down.
The reason I am posting about this is because of some of the books I have mentioned on this blog and how they relate to this. I have been reading books about leading change management, a book about caring for our caregivers and doing so with a servant’s heart, and about being a teammate and coworker. You see, I really have been reading, I promise.
Four weeks ago I had my six month review at work. That day, a Tuesday, I was told I would not need to demo our product to prospective clients; that my role would be the trainer/implementer. I sighed a huge sigh of relief as I walked out of my boss’s office. That Thursday, my partner, the demo pro, became ill. Very ill. By Friday morning we knew he might be out for some time and would definitely not complete the demo a few hours away that following Monday. So I had three days to step it up. To help lead this change, to care for my coworker, to be a team player with a servant’s heart, learn the system enough to be the “pro”, and say, “yes, I can do this demo so we don’t ruin this relationship.”
And then I went home and cried to my adorable husband. I was worried about my partner. I was worried about the material. And I was petrified that I simply could not do this.
Surprise, surprise…I survived. And surprise, surprise, I have grown from this and I cannot even begin to explain the opportunities that have come from this one time of practicing what I preach. The demo went good. Actually, it went great (or so I was told…I couldn’t remember functioning through most of it). The one hour demo went three hours because the doctors were so engaged. The three hour demo led to a follow up call directly to me from the doctor himself asking for next steps. That call led to a relationship that I care about nurturing and growing with a little practice in Small Town, Nebraska.
As I was absorbing this over the weeks following the demo, I scheduled my second demo. And this time I only lost two nights of sleep. And the morning after that demo, I woke up and God had given me a wave of peace. I felt peaceful about my job and excited for the opportunities I would receive that day. And that same day I scheduled my third and fourth demos. I can see this snowballing. And I can see that I’m growing as a person. And I can see how much it meant to my partner to step up when he needed me to. And I can see that you can face your fears when people you care about need you to do so. And I can see how rewarding it is to meet new people and care about their practice and their patients. And I can see that I can do this. That I can add to my List. That I do not have to be the girl that cannot speak in front of people. And I know I can do it because I have done it before.