Posts Tagged ‘local programs’

I was a very shy child.  Despite my quietness, I belonged to many organizations that included Girl Scouts, a bowling league, and an organized Sunday School class (that I simply would not miss).  But when it came down to day to day steps of putting myself out there, except for time spent with my closest of friends, I enjoyed relaxing at home.

I’ll give you an example of how shy I really was.   One day my family and I were dining in a McDonald’s near our home.  I was the one sitting on the outside of the booth.  My mother asked me to get up and ask for catsup (there were no catsup pumps in those days).  I refused.  I refused to walk in front of people.  I refused to ask the workers behind the counter for catsup! Mom, to say the least, wasn’t very appreciative of it.  She certainly mumbled a few words as she pushed by me.   

Many, many years later, the company I worked for placed me in a leadership training group.  Part of our training included putting together a presentation on a topic we felt strongly about.  We practiced together, we put materials together, but come the day of the presentation, my turn at the bat, I could not speak.  I could not get one word out of my mouth.  Instantaneous laryngitis, if there is such a thing.  Ugh!

I looked into the eyes of the group we were speaking to, probably 50 people, amongst them my boss, his boss, and the president of the company.  My thoughts were, “There goes my chance for advancement.”  I will never forget the look on my boss’s face as he crossed his arms over his chest, as he leaned back in his chair, grinning ever so slightly.

Nothing was said afterwards. 

A few weeks later my boss called me into his office.  He announced, “We are giving you a new assignment.”  You could have knocked me over with a toothpick.  He said I was going to be in charge of training in our area, holding a presentation type of training session every two weeks, writing my own training materials, etc… .  I sat in silence for a few moments before I uttered, “You did see what happened a few weeks ago” Yes, of course he did, and “they” thought this new assignment was exactly what I needed.

You bet it was.  I flew with it.  I loved it.  I learned from it.  I grew from it.

See, what I am writing about today isn’t about me, it is encouragement to those of you that think you cannot.  You can.

I get asked to do “programs” from time to time.  I have talked about social media, marketing, soap making, goats, my passions, and I even talk about my story (how I went from a corporate desk job to a farmer that owns a soap company). 

The first program that I did I experienced the instant laryngitis again.  It did not last long.  I learned to speak as naturally as possible.  I learned that people really were interested, even though I am still baffled as to why.  When the questions began pouring in after the first program I realized that I made a difference, and now I even encourage a few questions during the programs, and I treasure the questions like crazy.  The interaction is priceless.  I love to share my story, if it makes someone’s day. 

From the deepest of my being, I back this statement up, do not say or think you cannot do it, because yes you can.  It takes a lot of time, effort, and self-encouragement, but if I can do it, so can you!

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