A few hours after I posted this If I wouldn't be judged... on my blog I received an email from my book club. A facilitator was needed for the late Tuesday session as the usual facilitator would be on stage in a play.
I love helping people out and I struggle to say "no" so I thought about it and offered my help but only if they became REALLY desperate.
In all honesty the thought terrified me but I was confident that someone else, someone more suitable, would volunteer. I didn't hear anything over the weekend so I assumed (and secretly felt relieved) that someone had come forward.
You can imagine my shock when an email arrived on Monday afternoon from Gayle saying that she wanted me to facilitate. I pointed out that my blog post and she still wanted me to do it.
I felt really honoured that I was being asked to do it so I said "yes"! As soon as I pressed send I started to panic. I would have to talk. In front of people. Lots of them. They would all be looking at me and expecting me to keep the conversation going. I was petrified but I couldn't let Gayle down.
On Tuesday afternoon I sat going through the notes that she'd emailed, adding a few pointers and notes of my own and then the nerves really started. I felt ill and just wanted to curl up in bed. Friends didn't help by suggesting that I needed to picture the book club members naked or with cabbages for heads (??!)
Hubby dropped me off early so I went up to the gallery. I freaked out at the sight of 14 chairs from the previous meeting, thinking I can't speak in front of that many people! I then sat reading through my notes again and silently praying that no-one would turn up.
By 8pm there were 3 others so I started by introducing myself and pleading with them to bear with me as I didn't really know what I was doing! 3 more people turned up a little while later and I have to say that I was really pleased with how it went.
I was able to keep the conversation going most of the time. A few times there was that awkward silence while I quickly scanned my notes in desperation but generally it was a success.
I actually found that I probably talked too much. I'd ask a question and then answer it myself with my own opinions and then I possibly went on a tad too much. I'd gone from someone sitting in the background just nodding in agreement to not being able to shut up!
For someone with little self-confidence I'd say that's a big improvement.
I came home on a high and felt like nothing could stop me. I am so glad I agreed to do this and I'm honoured that Gayle had enough confidence in me.
I have been asked if I would like to facilitate another meeting in the future and this time I won't hesitate to say yes and I'm actually looking forward to it!