I made a list of 100 things I should do that scare me. In 2020, I plan to complete all 100.
This is the first one for which I feel like this challenge has really been paying off. I can honestly say I don’t know if I could have done this before this year.
I'm not exactly "afraid to advocate," but there were a few situations in which I needed to advertise one thing or another, and that's a scary thing for me. I faced this fear in multiple ways, which I’m really proud of.
- A friend of mine runs a bimonthly game night with middle schoolers. I’ve really enjoyed helping out with it, but unbeknownst to me, it was fizzling out and he was going to let it die quietly. Apparently my repeated questions about him spurred him to start it back up! However, he didn’t have enough adult help, and I offered to help with recruitment. It wasn’t hard to make the game night sound fun, because it is, but bringing up the topic and inviting people to attend was a bit scary. I did though, with a bunch of friends! We’ll see who comes, though . . .
- As a physics teacher for a school where physics isn’t required, I don’t usually advertise my class. I should be, but I haven’t. This year, I decided to change that. I didn’t end up having to do much, but I did speak to the department chair for the science department, and a lot of students ended up getting sent to me to talk about taking physics or honors physics. It was just a little extra initiative on my part that I don’t usually take.
- I direct a community Christian kids’ choir whose members come from 19 different churches in the area. It’s been awhile since we’ve put any effort into getting the word out, but now that we’re settling in from some recent structural changes, it was time to get the word out. That meant contacting leadership from the major churches in the area. It shouldn’t have been scary, but sometimes it was. For example, when I didn’t get a final confirmation from one of the youth group leaders and decided to just try showing up anyway. I never, ever would have done that as recently as a month ago, but it paid off and it wasn’t even that awkward!
I don’t know what I’m afraid of when I invite someone to something like this, or make a request to advertise. Worst case scenario, they’re going to say no. Granted, that’s scary, but not nearly enough to warrant the massive adrenaline floods I experienced throughout. Easily a level 4 fear.
But this was probably the most awesome and worthwhile fear I’ve faced so far! It was rewarding, and whether or not the advertisements hit home, it helps me feel like I’ve done my due diligence to make the programs I care about succeed. I'll definitely be doing more of this!