Patience

Patience is a virtue…something I have struggled with daily throughout my life.  I am learning that all the worrying and all the stress I have often created because things didn’t happen instantly, was a waste of my valuable energy.  What often happens is that when things don’t just go as I want them to, I start with negative self-talk.  You know the drill–“I am a failure!  I don’t know why I thought I could do this”.  How about, “No one wants what I have to give. ”

Then there is the, I’m not good enoughs, the feelings of rejection, the idea that the delays were because I was too inept or too stupid, or…. well, you get the drift.  Actually, sometimes it is a collection of things.  While I probably have some part in the delay, perhaps a lot of it is just timing.

Starting the Woman’s Study Center was a leap of faith.  I procrastinated as long as I could.  Suddenly the Universe conspired and I understood that all the excuses in the world would not get me to my goal.  So, I jumped in, ready or not, (and I wasn’t quite ready), and as Nike says, “Just Do It!”  Never starting is a sure-fire way of not accomplishing anything.

I trusted that once making the decision, the Universe would step in, and it did.  I started talking to people.  Inspiration rose and led me to all kinds of new ideas and solutions to problems.  The more positive was the reception by potential clients, the better I felt about it.  I scheduled a series of six workshops over three months.  I designed and printed up the fliers.  Oh, before that I had to find a place to hold the workshops.  That all fell into place. I got the days I wanted without exception and the times I wanted.  What more could I ask for?

After placing the fliers, I waited.  The first workshop was a lady’s organization I had booked because of an aquaintance,  and though only half the women arrived, we had a wonderful workshop!  It was successful and I got a lot of positive feed back.  Then I waited.  The second workshop was first in the actual series.  The lady’s group was my dry run.  No one called to register and I sat alone contemplating my shortcomings.  That’s when I realized that I needed to expand my advertising.  I placed a free community service notice in the local newspaper, went back to check on the status of my first flyer and found it missing from the bulletin board.  I replaced it and added the library.  I knew that it wouldn’t be enough but I waited again.  Once again I sat alone with a lot of time to think and plan.

I realized that I would still have to do more.  I brain stormed and realized that I had overlooked long-term opportunities.  These potential sources were not going to be quick fixes, but had the potential to provide a lot of people who would be introduced to The Woman’s Study Center in only two days.   There were two festivals in the town each year–one in the spring and one in the fall.  The entire town turned out for these festivals.  I needed to reserve a booth space at these festivals.  Not sure what I was going to do with the spaces but I needed to be visible to the community.

I also discovered one day that a local restaurant had a bulletin board where I could place a flier.  The down time, when no one had shown up, has given me time to really think about what I am doing and what I want to accomplish, not to mention how I am going to do it.  My normal pattern would be to wring my hands and feel sorry for myself.   I never panicked.  I never let myself feel down about it.  I simply went about consolidating the workshops so that I could still teach what I needed, even if it was in a more sleek and compact form.

Finally, the phone rang.  Someone was inquiring about the workshops.  They and a friend registered for the rest of the workshops in the series.  Funny, but I never once felt like a failure because people weren’t jumping at the chance to attend.  It was a learning moment and regardless of what happened, I am not going to let it stop me. ” I Can Do It!”, which is the slogan for my workshops, is the positive self-talk I have been using.  Was I disappointed, yes!  Have I given up and walked away in defeat?  No!  It has given me great insight into myself and the time to hone my craft and to figure out what works and what doesn’t.  In fact, the workshops will be so much better and I will be so much better prepared than if I had not had these delays.

I no longer take it all on my shoulders.  I understand that sometimes the timing is just not right.  Sometimes I understand that I need to do more to make it happen, and sometimes it is just the way it is.  After all, I have no control over others.  I can only control myself.  So, what have I learned from this?

PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE!

 

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~ by womenstudycenter on December 21, 2010.

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