I am a believer of all things possible. That’s what I told myself when things go wrong or when things are not moving at all. I am a believer, that for you to take on challenges you must have this drive, this will, this thing-that-you-cannot-explain out there for yourself to own.
Last January, I attended my political party’s convention due to my dear friend who told me to just try. Instinct told me that if I ever stepped foot on that place, I might be forced (encouraged was the term they use) to run for our student government in the University. Trust me, I didn’t want anything to do with the student government (mainly because I didn’t have any affinity to it). I just had a bad feeling about it, it’s something that I couldn’t explain that time, well heck, even, but I can describe the feeling back then as something weird and superbly wrong. But as an informed person, I made a choice and went there anyway to just to see what will happen. I knew deep down I’m not fit to hold higher responsibilities mainly because I don’t have any background about governing the student body and at the same time (as most leaders would say) I would like to take a rest and enjoy my last year as a student while at the same time focus on my academics. Something happened that day, I got voted to represent my party aka I’m running for office and the worst part was I’m running for presidency (it was really what I said: superbly wrong!). Mind you, it was my dream when I was still in high school to run for president in the student council, but many things happened along the way (hello, disappointments and heartbreaks) that when the opportunity landed on my doorstep, I freaked out and left after (literally left after!).
Many questions were running in my mind that time. As I went home, I slept on those questions hoping it would leave me, but it didn’t. I went to school the next day and as I looked at the students, I just chanted! (like I’m a crazy person talking to herself) Will I be able to serve them? Will I? Will I be able to do something when even I am not sure if I like it. Will I be able to do it even if I have this wrong feeling?
It’s been 8 months you see, and if you’d ask me where the questions took me, it took me here (at the council) and serving the entire student body. There are still many questions running in my head and many doubts that I encountered along the way. Almost all of the doubts and fears, I learned the basic values of leadership that I may have taken for granted by forgetting or just hiding it along the way.
Yet today, as I write this. I look at the coming days. I will soon deliver my State of the Council Address, and I begin to wonder what could have become of me if I didn’t take on the challenge? You see it wasn’t easy! I was not the friendly person much more I do not like people touching me because it makes me uncomfortable, nor do I like making my persona soft (as if I changed it, I became myself anyway when I campaigned) because that’s just not me when it comes to leadership. Plus I’m the aggressive-strong type which I gather that I don’t have any charisma at my possession. But right now, as raindrops fall on the window at my room I begin to reminisce the fear and the wrong feelings that I encountered months ago. What have become of me if I didn’t take the courage to say yes fully? I gave my half-hearted yes even until elections. I wished some miracle would happen to not let it be me and that’s the truth, but the deeper truth was that I’m afraid. I’m afraid that I’d fail the people who trusted me to do something. I’m afraid to have failed them and I don’t want to do that because I know the feeling because along the way, as I got on with my life people failed me as well and it was one of the saddest feeling that I felt and as much as possible I want to try avoiding that on my everyday encounters (you know failing people that I care about, failing people that I promised to take care of). Yet, it gives me this deeper reflection of myself, of my perfectionist side. I forgot that if I wouldn’t fail (since every first time is worth a try) how would I even learn?
Did I fail? A hundred times! But why did I still have to go back up again? Aside from it’s my responsibility and maybe because I developed a much thicker face to do it thrice again (lol). I also got to meet courage again along the way.
Courage told me that they were best friends with Bravery but what makes it different is that Courage is more of like a mental activity, it’s something that you do and decide but you do and you decide in a time frame that wraps you up in fears that you never imagined you owned. It’s Courage that I found when I want to just curl up in bed and let my visiting teardrops fall because I felt like a failure when I don’t get things done the way I imagined it to be. When I’m losing people that I had befriended, people that I value, I felt that losing them everyday and letting them slip in my own hands because of my own doing, because at that moment I was bubble-wrapped to even give time to care, I felt like I am failing not just as a leader, but as a person. Yet, how did I get up every day and even had time to shout to the world that I am fine despite everything? I guess my friend Courage always reminded me that finding other friends such as strength and bravery works. And I just have to trust myself that I can do it. That failure and that my friends who are slipping away are things that I have to experience to know what it takes to be courageous enough to face the reality that this happens. I always believe it happens for a reason and these are tests of my stamina to be courageous even if you’ve been broken hearted over and over again. Even if it hurts, you never stop being courageous.
I hope courage will find its way to you. I know it has. But if you doubt it will find you, you’d never find it. You need to lower a little bit of self-doubts to find courage within you. I lowered quite a lot of self-doubt-walls before courage even said hi.
I wish you well in your leadership journey. I hope we’ll meet again. Till next leadership stories!