Recently at a conference where I had to do a presentation on the state of our ministry, I found myself learning about me and how I deal with stress. Since I had not planned on doing this presentation earlier, I wanted my director’s notes on this presentation and what he wanted represented.
It turned out pretty frustrating when I discovered that all of his notes to me were just a plain old power point presentation.
I was flustered. I was also very tired since I was already very busy at the conference.
However, I did have some excitement as I love giving the direction or the vision of our ministry.
During those 24 hours, I found myself face to face with the real me.
My first encounter with myself again was to realised that when I am stressed, I turn into a more time conscious person. I also had a strong incident with my teammates because I felt they were not aware of the time. I sort of snapped at them. They were gracious. I did apologize once I heard my own voice of emotions or reactions. I heard my own voice of reactions or my heart.
I also found out that I am different from others who cannot embrace doing things like doing a power point. Although I do not prefer that style of communication as it feels so corporate and not as friendly, I can do use it if I had to. I learned that I definitely prefer a different style. I again found that I have been richly blessed with a different set of experiences as a woman leader than most. I have had to make many more of these types of presentation and I was not overwhelmed by it as much as others who were on my team.
Secondly, I discovered that when I was stressed and tired that I am not as calm. I saw this in myself in how I led the first part of our meeting. I was just nervous or stressed or tired.
I could feel it. I so long to be that calming leader. And yet, I see that I may never be that.
I was a bit down on myself when another older woman leader from another ministry commented on how the second day of my presentation, that I was really in my stride (which I felt as well.).
She noted that I was very much myself (which I always pray for.) and was able to engage all of us since I was so open about myself. She appreciated that.
Upon reflection, I was grateful for her comments. Because in some ways, I love the idea of being a calm presence, yet, I am not sure if I will ever be that given my personality. Perhaps the non anxious presence of leaders that help move a nation or a company or ministry to great works will never be my prototype. I am not sure? I do know that I can provide a presence that looks inward to being ourselves and being open to trust God for what he has for us. I think I can communicate the heart of the matter with a heart to connect with others. I think more than anything else, my desire to be myself can be my best gift to those that I lead and serve.
So, I think I may never be that calming non anxious leader. But I can be me.