Thursday, March 2, 2017

#SOL17 Day 2: A New Kind of Challenge


Maybe comfort zones aren't all they're cracked up to be I told myself as I drove to our morning meeting.  Barely a week ago I had been asked to prepare an Ignite presentation for our administrators' meeting.  At first, I hoped they'd asked the wrong person, but after some checking, I found out I was indeed one of four people who would share their Ignite in less than a week.

I'd like to tell you the first thing I said was, "Sure I'll do that.  It sounds like a great challenge," but I'd be lying a bit.  I'd like to tell you my mind began to race with all of the possibilities, but that wouldn't be the truth.  I must admit my first thought was, "How do I politely dodge this one?"  Then I remembered that my word this year is STRETCH, and I reminded myself that my new position requires me to improve my thinking on my feet, to take new chances, to walk bravely into the uncomfortable, so I swallowed my NO and replaced it with a YES.  (Maybe all of those growth mindset lessons are starting to work.)

Once I knew there was no turning back, I did what I always do when I'm trying to write or create something new, I searched for mentors.  After watching a few Ignite videos, reading tips for planning, and brainstorming a list of possibilities, I got to work.  All the advice said to pick a main message, determine 3-4 key points, develop each, and plan an ending.  Sitting at our dining room table I began to brainstorm in post-its, lining ideas up into categories.  Then I found the 20 slides that would tell my story and began to write the 15 seconds of talk for each slide.  For days I practiced, sneaking in a few attempts each morning, a few more in the afternoon, and a final practice each night.  As I practiced I learned tricks to adjust when my timing was off.

When I woke up this morning, I knew there was nothing to do but push forward.  As I grabbed my bags to leave I tore yesterday's calendar page off to find today's message read, "With the realization that making a mistake was not a felony, she finally set herself free to take risks and enjoy her adventure."  That settled it.  All would be fine.

Driving along the familiar roads, I coached myself through my apprehension.  When I arrived at the meeting I reminded myself that comfort zones were made to be pushed.  Time seemed to move into slow motion as I waited for information to be shared and group discussions to be complete.  The Ignite presenters before me kept my mind off the challenge as I listened to them share their inspiring messages.  Finally, it was my turn.  I looked out at the large crowd gathered together, took a deep breath and dove.


For the sixth year, I will be joining the Slice of Life Challenge with the community of Two Writing Teachers.  I will be trying to put my fingers to the keyboard every day for the 31 days of March.  Stop by today's link up at Two Writing Teachers to read other posts.  




10 comments:

  1. I bet you were fantastic!! What a perfect calendar quote to start your day. And I loved YOUR quote, "I reminded myself that comfort zones were made to be pushed." YES! Thanks for expertly taking us down this road of opportunity with you.

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  2. I also love your quote, "comfort zones were made to be pushed." I will certainly have to remember that when presented with a challenge. Thanks!

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  3. Cathy,
    I knew you would rock this and so did the person who asked you! It seems you were the only one who didn't know you had it in you!
    Push- Stretch- Succeed!

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  4. I am sure you knocked it out of the park! Those comfort zones can sure be a pain sometimes. It is fun to see how our OLWs pop up in our lives in ways aren't expecting! Congrats on stretching your boundaries!

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  5. Yeah, this could have been your Ignite session! You are brilliantly amazing and I learn from you every time I stop by to read your stories. Wonder if that Ignite session was recorded ... posted anywhere. Way to push out of your comfort zone and stretch!

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  6. I'm so glad to hear it went well. I'm glad you went for the "stretch" and succeeded!

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  7. You are one brave gal! You always push me to want to learn new things. I probably shouldn't admit that I don't even know what IGNITE is!

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  8. I also don't know what Ignite is, but I'm guessing that I'll be finding out before long; this has been a big year for me to learn about new things. ๐Ÿ™‚ Count me as another person who likes your quote "comfort zones were made to be pushed".... you DO practice what you preach. ๐Ÿ˜„ ๐Ÿ˜„ ~JudyK

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  9. I'm sure it was an amazing presentation. I loved learning about your planning process. Now, relax and enjoy. You did it!

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  10. I have no doubt your presentation was terrific!

    Wow! You did it! Love this... "Then I remembered that my word this year is STRETCH, and I reminded myself that my new position requires me to improve my thinking on my feet, to take new chances, to walk bravely into the uncomfortable, so I swallowed my NO and replaced it with a YES."

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