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can I have a do-over?

I spoke at a women’s conference this weekend. I was so honored to be asked to be a workshop speaker by one of my favorite people in the world and immediately wrote out my notes feeling inspired and confident.

When I got to the conference, I heard the key note speaker and she spoke on a subject different than what I thought the conference was centered on. So I decided to adjust my session a bit. And then I realized that I had really geared my talk towards middle and high school girls (the conference started out just for them but then grew to accommodate all ages) and when I got into my breakout room, there were more post high school women than anyone else.

So I started talking and suddenly decided to change things up a bit to better reach my audience. This begins my train wreck. My organized thoughts suddenly became a mess in my head. My main points were scattered and I could see it in the eyes of the 50 or so faces looking back at me. I think pregnancy brain was also messing me up a bit. But I kept going. I tried to get it back together. But then Mean Voice started to talk louder. Mean Voice was seriously crowding my thinking saying not helpful things like, “tell me again why you thought it was a good idea to restructure this talk while giving it?” and “pretty sure you’re not saying anything insightful or new. You can tell everyone has heard all of this before.” And the more I battled Mean Voice, the more I sped through the stories I had to tell, the more I brushed over relevant points without giving each thought the depth I wanted to share. Mean Voice made me want to get out of there…fast.

In the end, my session concluded and the 50 women in there probably thought I was just a nervous communicator. But I knew better. I know that I had something to share and that I really botched it up.

It’s such a bad feeling. Rory was there watching Ivar and afterwards he took me out for a big chocolate chip cookie and we came home and pulled the curtains, watched a movie and I took a long nap. And when I woke up, I still felt crappy.

The crazy thing is that I know how human this is, and how normal it is just to blow it once in a while. So today I’m working on forgiving myself and finding the grace to do so. I’m trying to tell myself that this is just one experience and not to let this one throw me for future speaking opportunities.

But sheesh, I hate these life experiences! And I hate Mean Voice.

In the end, I suppose all that really happened through this experience is that my pride took a hit and I was humbled again realizing that I, too, have really off days that are painfully refining. Ugh.


margaret harrington said...

Hey Becca! I know a wonderful warm place to come and relax and know you are loved! And there's an opening on Thursday and it will be between 69 and 72 degrees for 5 days!
Love, Mom

Nancy Holte said...

Oh Becca, I feel your pain. I've had that very same thing happen. That Mean Voice is the Enemy trying to steal, kill and destroy. Pay no attention to him. I'm sure it wasn't nearly as bad as you thought it was and the God's message for those women got through despite Mean Voice trying to take over.

April Dietz said...

Hi, Becca!
Congratulations, again, on your bundle of joy! :-) We miss you here in Nebraska!
I'm so glad to hear you were a speaker! You are a wonderful voice and have a great message to share!
I always figure whenever I bomb it just means that taking the opportunity to stink today means by the time I'm retired and have life all figured out (right? ;-) that I will be a better communicator and contributer. Of course, God will use us all the time, even when we think we fail He has some good purpose that we may never even know about.
Sorry that it was a rough one for you, but I am so encouraged to know you are sharing the message that has been given to you! Since I haven't said it lately, you are an inspiration to me. :-)
Much love and blessings to you and your growing family!

Nicki said...

You are so brave to even consider speaking at a conference. You are a gifted speaker and storyteller. Tell Mean Voice to stick a sock in it! :)

Jamie Willow said...

oh girl, I totally totally totally understand.

my crowd only had like 5 people in it and I was running a major fever but I felt awful afterwards for wasting those 5 people's time. I cancelled the rest of my work shops at that conference and just went home.

It is a sucky feeling.

But people are way more forgiving of us than we are of ourselves. So just learn from it and move on. plus you may have changed it up and spoken one thing into someones life that was way more meaning full than your original plan...even if it came out all just never know...

chin up girly girl :)

Lindsey said...

Becca, I really have no idea what you're talking about. I thought that everything you shared was so insightful and full of wisdom. God has used you to speak straight to my heart and encourage me in so many ways. Mean Voice is so wrong. You did a great job yesterday and I know God used you to change hearts :-)

Ria @ Life as a Wife! said...

I just found your blog... I was one of the coordinators for {em-pou-er}. I don't think ANYONE felt this way about your session, Becca. Seriously! I heard amazing feedback and know that God used your message to speak loud and clear to the ladies. I am sorry that your information was misleading... but despite that I think the message you had to share was inspiring and SO relevant to a lot of the ladies in that coffee shop. Please know that and don't let the enemy try to mess with you concerning it... Seriously!!! God for surely used you! bless you!