Ever since my freshman year, ice breakers have terrified me. The idea of meeting new people and making myself available to their judgement and opinions scared me. I lacked the confidence in myself when it came to others’ ideas about me. While in FFA, I have gained many communication skills, I still have some feelings of apprehension. Imagine my surprise when I had the amazing opportunity to give a workshop to area officers on one of those things I had feared. Ice breakers! I worried for many days how I was going to instruct and impact the area officers on something I myself was still nervous about.
The morning I was preparing to leave, I was searching through my FFA file cabinet for some papers I needed. During my search, I happened to find a paper from a past area leadership conference with my name on the top and it said, “My first thought about Emily was…” and different people had wrote nice encouraging things about me. Seeing this paper reminded me, the judgement I had feared when first meeting others was just in my mind.
The next day while giving the Ice Breakers Workshop, not only did I have new confidence but also realized these people were excited to learn from me and held some of the same nervous thoughts as I did. It also seemed to comfort them that a state officer had fears as well. FFA members, sometimes we will be plagued with fears of judgement, the opinions of others or even just the lack of confidence in ourselves. You are not alone and this does not limit you. We must face our fears and take risks. Area Officer Institute (AOI) was not only an awesome place for area officers to grow and gain more confidence but for your state officers as well. I encourage us as successful FFA members to challenge ourselves by taking on new experiences that force us out of our comfort zones. Being an area officer and attending AOI may be just the place for you come next June. So remember, no matter what chance we are afraid to take, let’s all challenge ourselves to “break the ice” and discover new successes!