#AtoZChallenge 2021 – I am an Underdog


Some people are meant to lead. Some are meant to follow. I am and have always been a follower aka an underdog. I wrote about this in this 2016 post and nothing will ever change that, not my mom, not my aunt, not even Toastmasters.

In 2019, I was recommended to become a club mentor for Toastmasters – an organization to help people improve public speaking. Becoming a club mentor was one of things I have to do to become “Distinguished” which is the highest ranking in Toastmasters.

I didn’t know the first thing about being a mentor. A mentor is sort of like an instructor, right? A leader of sort?

The club I was assigned to met once a month. It was a fairly small club, barely enough members to meet its club status. I was there one time and immediately, the club atmosphere hit me like a bomb. All of its members were “Distinguished” and had been “Distinguished” multiple times. They were Toastmasters district leaders, area leaders. They were all leaders, period.

I am not a leader. I even declined my nomination to be district and area leaders for Toastmasters.

This was basically a club of leaders and suddenly, I felt like an outsider.

After a few more meetings, I began to feel this push like the other members are trying to mold me into one of them. I was beginning to feel a little uncomfortable. “Join the club,” they urged, “help us meet our membership goal.”

“But then, I can’t be the club mentor anymore.” I said.

“We can find you another club to be the mentor of.” One of the club member said. Another club? Were they kidding? Have they seen my work schedule?

“I don’t know. I just don’t have the time. I barely have time for this.” It was true. Commute took longer those days as I was taking public transportation and often found myself dozing off at these club meetings as it was during the evening.

I ended up quitting the mentorship for that club. Those people pushed too hard, even during my brief time at the club. I could see why they have difficulty retaining new members. Like I said, some people are meant to lead, some meant to follow. I am and never have been the leading type.

Theme: Of all the things I am

Click here to see all the #AtoZChallenge posts so far.

For more information about the #AtoZChallenge, check out this link.

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