Stumble, recover

There are moments when I lose focus. This is less often than it used to be, as I’ve found strong purpose in almost all my present endeavors. This purpose works like a current beneath me, carrying me in a certain direction. And though I believe it is the right direction, it is not always easy to swim to the side. I’m not the best at resetting or stepping back as a form of self-preservation.

I stumbled last week. On stage, in front of a room full of colleagues I respect and admire, I stumbled. It was not the best seven minutes of my career. No matter the situational attributes of the moment, the fact is this, I lost focus because I ignored my purpose.

Here’s why. It was personal. In the moment, I made it about me, about what was happening to me, and not about the importance of delivering the message I was up there to deliver. I was on stage to educate the people in that room about a topic I know, a topic I talk about every single day.

Instead of looking at my colleagues and thinking about the importance of their assessment of the information I was providing, I focused on their assessment of me. I stumbled.

There were so many in that room who wanted me to succeed, and still, I could not catch my breath. A few of those people offered advice, teaching moments to influence the process of growth this will become. They are my champions, and are responsible for the current under me in more ways than they know.

Big picture, this is not that big of a deal, but it has allowed me to realign directly with that strong sense of purpose that has been guiding me so successfully. My dedication to our profession and the patients we serve is real and substantial. It is not a talking point or starting line, it is everything.