Things don’t always go according to plan. Understatement, right? It’s never fun when our plans go awry, but sometimes it gives us a unique opportunity to witness a view we don’t often get to see. That happened to me last Friday.
I was scheduled to give a five minute talk at a local event, Ignite Craft Boston. I must have run through my talk a few dozen times during the weeks leading up to it. I’d figured out where I was most liable to stray off topic or get stuck for words, and the best ways to rescue myself from any of those mistakes and get back on track. I was nervous (who isn’t, before speaking to 100+ people?), but I was ready.
The evening started, and it was time for me to talk (did I mention that I was somehow going first? I was). I stood up, took the microphone, started my slides, and began to talk. It was amazing! Despite being in front of all those people, I was more confident, more poised, and more energized that I’d ever been talking to my computer.
Then my microphone stopped working. Pausing to figure out what went wrong would have meant losing some of my precious five minutes. I didn’t really think about it – I just kept talking.
After my talk, during intermission, a number of people came up to congratulate me on handling the snafu so well, which confused me. What else could I have done? Other people did not see it that way.
Lest you think that I am someone who naturally rolls with the punches, let me assure you: I am not. Historically, my inclination when faced with “disaster” is to slink away and give up. I always get back up and try again, but first I give up.
For whatever reason, I was not that person on Friday. On Friday, I was the confident woman who kept skipping along without a second thought.
Where did that person come from?
Partially, she came from preparation. As I said, I practiced that talk dozens of times, and could probably have done it in my sleep.
Partially, she came from years of practicing my life coaching tools.
Partially, she came from using crafts to calm and center myself, as I’ve written about so often.
In totality, she was the result of a number of small steps, steps that I may not have even seen myself taking as I took them. It’s easy to feel like your attempts to grow as a person are fruitless, to feel like you are the same scared, inadequate person you always were. I know it is for me. But it’s not true. Just because you can’t see the progress you’re making, that doesn’t mean you aren’t making any.
One day, you’re going to turn around and surprise yourself. When you do, I hope you’ll tell me all about it while we play with some yarn.