Back in elementary school, I was pretty shy around people who weren’t my friends. If someone tried to talk to me, I would just sit there awkwardly and stare at my feet, nodding and muttering the occasional “Uh-huh”. Being the leader of anything had terrified me, so I never tried to take charge, or make suggestions. I just did whatever I was told. It was probably one of my biggest flaws, and thinking back, I realize that if I had had the courage to step up, my life would have been a whole lot easier. It never dawned on me how bad my problem was until the end of fifth grade.
It was the last few weeks of school, and we were starting our end-of-the-year project. Our assignment was to make a skit, video, or song about where to use commas. It was a group project, and my heart sank when my teacher called out my name with the names of two people I barely knew.
Right from the first day, I knew that our project wouldn’t turn out as my group hoped it would. Our concept was confusing and hard to follow, and we were biting off way more than we could chew. My partners wanted to have huge props and costumes that were impossible to make in the amount of time we had. But no matter how bad their ideas were, I never stepped in to fix them. I was worried that the ideas were only bad in my eyes and everyone else liked them. I was afraid of being wrong and making a total fool of myself. So I stayed quiet.
By the day of our presentation, I was prepared to receive a low grade, and a low grade was exactly what I got. I felt awful knowing that I could have done so much more to help, and by not saying anything, I had let myself and my group down. I learned to stop holding back, and to share my thoughts and ideas. Ever since I started getting more involved, I’ve been feeling better about being the leader. I hope I never go back to being the person I used to be.

One thought on “Leadership

  1. Well done, Sarah! I found this post inspiring and very perceptive. I think we’ve all backed away from expressing an opinion when we should have spoken up – and regretted it – but not everyone learns how to avoid it next time. You have!
    I do hope you keep sharing your opinions because you have something worth sharing there!

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