It’s In The Doing
Posted May 24, 2011on:
“The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can.” —Robert Cushing.
I love this saying. My friend Steve put this on our agenda for a discussion workshop we did recently with adults who stutter. We discussed fear and shame, and how we manage our stuttering in our daily lives.
Anything worth having is worth working for. I tell my students that all the time. Sometimes we have to make ourselves vulnerable and do things we think we cannot do, in order to achieve a goal. Then when we achieve the goal, it is often sweeter because we faced up to something we might not have dared to do.
Stuttering fits in this realm. There are lots of things people who stutter avoid out of fear or shame. For some, it might be public speaking. For others, it might be answering the telephone or placing an order through a drive-through. For still others, it might be speaking up at a meeting or answering an impromptu question.
Life is full of those moments when we have to decide what is most important. Sometimes we have to dive right in and just face our fears, so that we can feel in control, rather than our stutter controlling us.
Reminds me of an upcoming event I have scheduled. Next Wednesday is our high school awards night and our Honor Society induction ceremony.
I am the one who gets to be on stage, using a microphone, explaining the functions and what the different candles we will light actually mean. Then I will call each student’s name for their award. This is always challenging!
Even though it will be my fourth year leading this ceremony, I always feel that anticipatory anxiety. I stutter more when I am reading names.
When I read each student’s name, I repeat on the first and last name, without fail. I worry because I don’t want parents thinking I am mis-pronouncing their child’s name. Getting names right are important, especially when parents will be in the audience.
This is definitely an area that I might stand at the edge and think about the danger and cold, and wish I did not have to do this. But I will. Despite my boss having made negative comments about my performance after the first time I did it. (Not sure I will ever forget that!)
I could ask someone else to do it, but I won’t. It’s my job. It invokes anxiety for me, but I am going to do it anyway. It’s worth it to me to scramble through and do my best, for myself and my students. Even if I am not perfect.
Perfection is not the goal. Just doing it is! Right? Often, the victory is in the doing.
Can you relate? Have there been things you’d rather not do, but have done anyway? Why?