We had the opportunity to apply for a small grant to run a workshop of our own…At first, we were both a little apprehensive, as neither of us had run workshops before. But, we believed our passion and enthusiasm would get us through. After a great number of planning hours and applications, we were finally accepted for the grant. We set about- like kids in a candy store- sourcing all the crafty loveliness that we required for the workshop. We were excited.
At the back of my mind, I knew this was my opportunity to take myself beyond zones of comfort, and express myself in front of an audience. I had a desire to communicate my passion, and do it in a calm and paced way – and not let the demons of social anxiety get in the way.
I had not succeeded to conquer performance anxiety before – often during my previous career, I was consumed by the Dark Whisperers of fear and panic. I could act a role out with exercise classes for patients – but I could not communicate new ideas and training to peers. Was this it? – my chance to shine? Could I do it? …
Awareness has become my new friend. I have cultivated it slowly over the last few years – an ability to be more mindful of when I am being judgmental, fearful, happy and such like. I was aware that in my newfound life – I had very little time to worry or feel nervous about our workshop.
I even volunteered to introduce the day and include the housekeeping tips. I kid you not, I could not have even entertained that idea 6 months or more ago 🙁 Even up to the day of the workshop I noticed that although, on the surface, there were a few ripples and waves of nervousness, there was a deep and calm knowing that everything was going to be okay. A resilience I had grown through struggle and pain. A transformation.
I now regularly tell myself ‘ Lisa, this is good-enough’…A way to keep me moving forward, rather than procrastinating myself into oblivion when frozen bunny-like in headlights, too afraid to do anything productive — for fear of criticism from others and particularly from myself.
The day came, and although a little shaky at the start, I did it! We had ten lovely attendees, some I knew a little, some not at all…What I realised very quickly was that by being myself, and just demonstrating my passion and interest in a subject was enough. Being me was enough.
I was transformed again, by noticing the low confidence in many of the people that surrounded me. They were like unhatched butterflies struggling to get out of their chrysalis. I wanted to assist them out of this state. I had the compassion and understanding to empathise with their angst…
I could have taken over, and wrapped them up in cotton wool and patiently instructed them on what to do and not do….Yet, my new coaching skills overtook me, and although I directed and suggested the odd thing, I allowed these lovely people to stretch their own skills and find their own path to producing something in their very own way, with their very own creativity. I witnessed ladies literally blossom before my eyes. It was beautiful to see. I was truly coaching 🙂 I provided a supportive and comfortable environment for people to grow in confidence through fun and skill-building. Forget the nervousness about my performance …. I noticed how satisfying it was for me to simply observe people grow in spirit. I was happy.
Reading the comments sheet at the end of the workshop left me warm and fuzzy-like inside –words like safe, kind, lovely, enjoyable and fun jumped out from the pages and gave me a cheeky little slap on my reddening cheeks. It was magical, but it was real. I felt all the keys for GREAT DREAM (Action for Happiness) had been met on this truly wonderful ‘Rags to Bags’ workshop day. Thank you all…