This is an archived blog post from Green Alder Coaching
Alison and I had attended a two-day textile workshop last November 2011. It was called ‘Tailor-made’, and whilst its underlying premise was about the need to recycle textiles, it was also an opportunity to play and express our creativity. It was all about craft, textures, colours, techniques, imagination, and sharing whilst helping us connect to the needs of the planet.
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 my 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 in conquering 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 were 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 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, 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 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…