Yesterday, I was in a club meeting when they asked, “Who here is artistically inclined or likes to draw….” (we were looking for a design for a new structure that was being built). A bit of background: I like art and drawing, and though I cannot call myself a ‘jaw-dropping talent’ like many of my upper classmates , I do have some artistic gifts. Nevertheless, as soon as they asked this question my mind began flicking back and forth, panicked. Should I raise my hand? Would that be arrogant? But it’s a time for me to contribute…
So I ended up half raising my arm, unconfidently, from my seat. One of the executive members who caught this, became annoyed (behind a smile) and said, “Wow, seriously?” He knew my interest and skill level at drawing and such. Suddenly, I felt like I was reduced to an ashamed heap of burning ashes.
In a desperate moment to avoid pride, arrogance, and attention, I had failed to acknowledge the facts and my strengths. Recognizing your traits is not pride. It’s awareness and a willingness to serve. It’s thinking, “So they may not be looking for who I am, what I do, but I offered what I could.” These are the people that step up to the plate – those are the leaders. In fact, those were all the executive members of the club at that moment, looking upon me as well as everyone else that had raised their hand.
Looking to protect my reputation was the true pride at play. I was not willing to open myself up, give whatever I had, and serve. Like everything, it takes practice.
With every opportunity, give. You can only get better at what you do.