Monday, August 5, 2013

Reaching Beyond What I Am

I struggle sometimes with being a member of a church where you are often called upon to do things that don't come naturally to you. Not that I doubt the doctrines or the reality of the gospel within the church, but sometimes it's hard to be asked to be something that doesn't come naturally to you.

Take leadership positions for example. I am a classic introvert with social anxiety the last place I want to be is up in front of people or being in charge of a group of people or a program. I am most comfortable working behind the scenes, often doing things that aren't as noticeable but can still make a difference. I'm willing to put in plenty of time and hard work to serve in the church, but my preference is (and probably always will be) to do so in non-leadership roles.

I think that we are often expected to happily (or maybe even grudgingly) accept leadership callings and to have the faith that we will suddenly be transformed to be able to do everything that's required even when that doesn't come naturally. I've done fairly well about accepting the callings, but if it's faith that produces the necessary increase in extroversion and ability, I'm afraid I'm still lacking. I manage to get by and through great effort am able to put on a fa├žade that convinces most people that I'm competent and maybe even comfortable with what I'm doing.

The truth is that I'm often expending a large amount of mental, spiritual, and physical energy just trying to keep things running somewhat smoothly. To those who are comfortable in management or leadership roles it may seem like I'm unmotivated and am just doing the bare minimum to get by. If you really understand introversion, though, you know how utterly draining it can be to put on a show for a few hours on Sunday as you try to be something you're not.

This isn't to say that I don't appreciate the leadership callings I've been given so far. The challenges of each calling have forced me to overcome my social anxiety disorder to a degree, and have taught me how to try to motivate others using my innate talents and abilities. I've learned that being true to myself is okay if I still allow myself to be pushed to grow and become more and better than I am right now. It's not in me to ever become an extrovert, but I can work to be more social and to reach out to others, and I can continue to work on skills that will help me be a true leader, and not just someone who's in charge.

My goal is to someday have the confidence to be able to happily accept any leadership calling with a smile, knowing that I will be able to rise to the challenge. Until then, I'll just keep plugging along and doing the best I can, and pray that God helps my best to be good enough.


Stephanie Turner said...
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Stephanie Turner said...

For what it's worth, I think you are doing a fabulous job. Whether or not you will ever be comfortable, you are extremely competent. I don't think you come across to anyone as "unmotivated and just doing the bare minimum to get by". Anyone who has taken the time to look knows that you genuinely care about your calling, the Lord, the people (even little people) you serve, and the people with whom you serve.

Mama D said...

"I've learned that being true to myself is okay if I still allow myself to be pushed to grow and become more and better than I am right now."

This is the key. I love that you are true to yourself and know your limitations without being scared to stretch and grow.

Continue on, doing your best.