A week or so ago, rehearsals for the annual choral concert started up, and as I struggle with this new music, I’m feeling some familiar feelings. “This is supposed to go how fast?” “Wait, wait, go back!” “That must be a misprint.” “Oh boy, I’m never going to get this.” “Why did I sign up for this again!”
And yet I know that when the concert rolls around, it’ll be beautiful. And I know I’ll enjoy it. And I know these things because they’ve happened before. Actually, they happen every time, and I’ve been doing this for a long time. The concert always turns out, and I always have a good time.
So where does that icky, anxious, get-me-out-of-here feeling come from?So where does that icky, anxious, get-me-out-of-here feeling come from? Click To Tweet
I think I know. You see, like most of us, I know how to do some things fairly well, and that feels good. I’m used to being a competent chorister. But when the director puts a new piece of music in my hands and says, “We’re going to learn this!” I’m a beginner all over again.
And that’s uncomfortable. But before long, I’ve learned enough of the new thing to feel more at ease, and before much longer, it’s even fun. All I have to do is get past the beginner stage.
We all go through it, that awkward beginner stage, every time we start something new. We’re living into an All Anew phase in the life of our organization, and we’re trying some things that feel kind of awkward and uncomfortable. Going through the awkward stage is the way to get past the awkward stage. So let’s get going–so we can get through it!
Audrey Novak Riley is director for stewardship and development for Women of the ELCA.
Photo by Gabriel Sanchez on Unsplash