Tag: Anna Capeder

Swimming and Leading

I’ve never been a skilled swimmer.  I used to dread the week in elementary school when we’d load up on busses and trek to the district high school for swimming lessons.  I always tested into the “beginner group” and feared what my peers would think of me. Throughout the week, I remember feeling incompetent and embarrassed as I gobbled up water while trying to coordinate my arms, legs, and breath.

Lately, I’ve had recurring dreams (well, nightmares, really)  where I am back in the high school pool, and my elementary gym teacher is telling me to “go down and back” a few times.  Oh, and she will be timing me and everyone is watching, so I better do a good job. I wake up in a panic every time.

This semester, I am enrolled in a mindfulness course (CSPH 5807).  It is an amazing class, and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.  Through the course and having undergone subsequent reflection, I have steadily

increased my  awareness of a few things:

  1. I am not balanced nor centered.  I am constantly looking to the future and this only heightens my anxiety.
  2. I am not living out my values. I work in Leadership, but I don’t currently see myself as a leader.
  3. I routinely feel as though I am back in elementary school swim lessons, unprepared and embarrassed, gasping for air.

So, what do I do with this information?  It is not a fun place to be, and I constantly teeter between two dominant voices.  One voice tells me this is an important phase of my life. I am learning, growing, and developing.  Growth isn’t comfortable, so keep on keeping on. The other voice tells me to take care of myself and let things go.  It isn’t healthy to feel this way.

Who do I listen to?  Do I perpetuate this “always busy, efficient, and productive” type of behavior so commonly awarded in our society?  Or, do I take a stand and actively choose to drop something in my life? If I choose this path, what do I prioritize?  What do I drop? I know what I would tell a peer or family member, but it is so much harder to be objective with myself. (Also, is it just me, or do you find yourself having similar conversations in your mind?)

As I continue to engage in this conversation with myself, I realize leaders can “step off path” every now and then; it is a natural human behavior, after all!  The key is how one responds and reacts.

Additionally, leaders take what they learn from self-reflection, consultation, and meaningful action and continue to apply it in the future.

What I will do now?  I am still not certain.  But, what I do know is this is not sustainable and if I continue down this path, it is because I actively chose it.  

Writing this blog post opened up space in my mind to introduce and play with creativity.  I’ve found a solution (and there are probably 100 possibilities) I am happy with, and I am pursuing that path for now.  Oh, how helpful the process of writing can be! Thank you for allowing me the space to work through this, dear leader friends!


Optimism vs. Positivity

Anna Capeder

Recently, I had a revelational self-discovery.  I wanted to share this with others, in case it resonates with you, too!

If you know me, you know I am undoubtedly a positive person.  I look on the brightside, find the silver-lining in everything, and try to make others smile.  Therefore, when I took THIS quiz (originally published in “Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life” by Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D), I was astonished when the results indicated I was “very pessimistic” (I mean, I scored a NEGATIVE number!).   Continue reading “Optimism vs. Positivity”

Yep, it’s midterms.

Anna Capeder

Yep, it’s midterms. Literally and figuratively. Students and Instructors alike are consumed with projects, papers, quizzes, exams, assignments, speeches, etc. It seems like everyone is overly tired, a little disoriented, and a lotta stressed out. We stay up past our bedtimes, and wake earlier than our alarms. We offer excuses for why things aren’t done, or why they aren’t done as well as we hoped. We ask to reschedule our commitments, and purposefully postpone anything that requires our precious brainpower. We criticise ourselves and participate in negative self-talk. We want someone to hold us, tell us it’ll all be OK, and this too shall pass. It is our version of Alexander’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day [or week(s)!]. Continue reading “Yep, it’s midterms.”

Reflecting on (& Progressing in) Our Leadership Journeys

Anna Capeder

I found the Leadership Minor as a sophomore student.  My roommate was a transfer student and her advisor encouraged her to take Personal Leadership in the University to build a sense of community at the large University of Minnesota campus.  Throughout the semester, my roommate continued to “bring leadership class home”.  Some days, she was furious at the instructor and asked for guidance as she composed frustrated emails.  Other days, she was inspired and couldn’t wait for the next class.  Understandably, her actions (and reactions!) sparked my curiosity and I knew I had to enroll in the class during spring semester to figure out what this whole Leadership Minor thing was about.

Continue reading “Reflecting on (& Progressing in) Our Leadership Journeys”

Love What You Do

Anna Capeder

My partner and I enjoyed a delicious meal at Hell’s Kitchen this past weekend.  We sat in the Underground Room to enjoy the wonderful live music, compliments of The Flood Brothers (as a side note: we really enjoyed the band! Check them out!).  Towards the end of our brunch, the band took a well-deserved break.  As they transitioned back into music, the singer spoke on behalf of the band, stating,
“We love what we do.  Do you love what you do?”

Continue reading “Love What You Do”

Constant Reminder to Self: SLOW DOWN!

Anna Capeder

Do you ever walk into a room and look for the nearest clock?  I know I do.  I have to know what time it is, all of the time.  Not knowing the time drives me absolutely crazy.  You’d think I’d wear a watch, but that is a completely separate fashion-related conversation I won’t bore you with.  Although it is a generalization, I believe American culture places value on efficiency, speed, punctuality, etc.  I hold true to this statement as I have a deep (and irrational) fear of not being timely.  Although I am cognizant of this fear, I had a wake-up call recently that I’d like to share with our readers.  

Continue reading “Constant Reminder to Self: SLOW DOWN!”

What would you do?

Anna Capeder

Since working at the U, I’ve become a strong supporter of public transportation.  I love (almost) everything about public transportation including: extra time to complete quick tasks that I couldn’t squeeze into the work day, time to decompress and reflect on the day’s events, the opportunity to have conversations with random people, and most importantly, not having to navigate busy highway traffic on a daily basis.  For the first time ever, I view my commute as “me time” and although I haven’t confirmed with my doctor, I am confident my blood pressure peaks less times in the day.  

Continue reading “What would you do?”