Wednesday, October 3, 2018

"Developing Your Leadership by Facing Your Fears " By William Gaspard, State Vice President

October Blog

Let’s take a trip back to this year’s leadership camp. When it was debuted that we would have a zipline everyone was stoked but me. Heights and I do not agree. Airplanes, stairs, and of course, ziplines trigger an uneasy response in my chest like no other. On the last day of the last camp it was finally time to do the zipline with my officer team. We were given our harnesses and took the horrific walk up the platform. As we went higher and higher, I went to turn around, but my team wouldn’t let fact, they made me go first. I was hooked up to the strap, and it was go time. I looked at Sara...she looked at me. I looked at my team...they looked at me. I looked at the ground, and it didn’t look back up at me. I was scared; I was stricken by F.E.A.R. At this point in time, I had two options: Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise. I rose to the occasion and charged down the zipline and felt a rush of adrenaline like no other.
When faced with fear, we have those two options. The things that we fear usually have the greatest rewards at the end. The number one fear out of all others is public speaking. The thought of standing in front of a crowd and speaking scares more people than standing on top of the Empire State Building. Public speaking is a big part of the FFA and can have such great rewards. Public speaking is powerful. By using our voices we can make an impact and project what we believe in. In addition to this, we can gain pride, communication skills, and confidence. All of these are skills that will last a lifetime. I was talking with a good friend of mine and she told me, “Knowing that your voice can impact an entire world of people and using your ability to speak to others with hopes of making a meaningful difference in their lives can open up numerous opportunities both in your professional career and in your private life. Public speaking is a broad spectrum of everlasting tales that you conduct. It’s knowing you have the power in your words and NOT being AFRAID to use them.” Take that chance and participate in a Leadership Development Event this year. Whether it’s talking about an agricultural topic in Prepared Speaking, speaking about the future of agriculture in Creed, creating a lesson plan and teaching in Geaux Teach Ag, or debating and learning meeting room procedures in Parliamentary Procedure, public speaking gives you a platform to use your voice. I credit most of my success to the experiences and knowledge I gained through competing in LDEs. Because of Employment Skills, I am confident in an interview. Because of Parliamentary Procedure, I have no problem defending my ideas. And because of Creed, I know what it feels like to speak about my passion. The rewards are abundant, and it can be the best time of your life. If I didn’t go for it and zip down the zipline, I would never have overcome my fear heights. From this experience, I feel invincible and that I can face my fears and try to inspire others to do the same. Take that chance and compete in an LDE. Overcome your fear of speaking and be invincible. The impact you can make by using your voice will elevate you to the next level of leadership. Just go for’ll thank yourself later!

   Good luck,


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