Blog of Sara Jakša

Breaking Up with my Toastmasters Club

I have decided that after almost 5 years, I am quitting my Toastmasters club. It was a decision that I have came to around a couple of months ago and even decided on the date, which is today.

In these years, I have noticed that a lot of people don't pull that much deliberation to thinking in which hobbies or organizations they are investing their time and in which they don't. A lot of people stopped coming, but when asked, they always replied that they will come back eventually. Most never did. And some live in the illusion for more than a year.

Some people do come back once or twice, realize that people changed, and then most of these ones don't come back either. But they have just wasted all these months thinking about coming back.

One analogy that I like to think about is to compare the relationships with people with the relationships with organization. Just like sometimes it is better to change the social environment, it is also better to sometimes rethink what kind of relationships do you have with organizations in your life.

For me, the reason why I started to attend Toastmasters was because I wanted to improve my social skills. I was still naive back there and I believed the books. I wanted to be an entrepreneur and all the books on the entrepreneurship said that social skills are important for it.

Let be honest, when there are two people which are identical, but one have a better social skills and the other doesn't, most people will always choose the one with the better social skills. Even if social skills are unimportant in that specific situation. And that does not hold true only in entrepreneurship, but almost everywhere.

So I came there, got a panic attack and loved it. I stayed, but over the years it went from something that I needed to calm down afterwards and sleep longer the next day to routine. It does no longer challenge my skills in this department.

I could be saying that I am going to be listening to my co-members and I am going to stay for the sake of the club. But that is never a good idea. The resentment would build eventually and on the end they would be forced to stop me by kicking me out. There is no need for that.

And I am not really a type of person to quietly sit by when I don't like something. I try to change it, even if it might be better to stay as it is.

Just like people break up, get a divorce or in some cases kill their partner, I decided to to the same with the club. And just like the clean break is the best possible way to do it, I plan to no go even close to anything Toastmasters like for at least a couple of months. I don't like to be reminded of the things that have passed, just like I imagine that immediately after the break up, partners don't really want to hear about one another.

That way, I am going to get a mental space that I could devote to the different pursuit. Attention residue was not really used for long term commitments, but tasks, I think it still explain what is going on in our head. As long as the task is not complete mentally and in reality, we have thoughts distracting us.

It is only by deciding to quit something that we can recover that mental space and use it for something else. What I am planing to use it for? I have no idea yet. But I am sure, that if I really needed an idea, I can always just ask my Ti to step aside and let the Ne have its fun.