Failed first attempt to prove up on the EA

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by SeattleMason0613, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. SeattleMason0613

    SeattleMason0613 Registered User

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    I failed my first attempt to prove up, I have it all memorized but being in front if some of the brothers I just forget it, it's a confidence thing and an ego thing I get to strung up about not knowing something. Any advice? I also struggle with add and having some other issues that are clouding my mind


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  2. part on the square

    part on the square Registered User

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    In my lodge before the brother even stands his proficiency we examine him in a laid back setting with three other Master Masons. Everyone gets nervous in front a large group of people. So by us giving him a trial run with three Master Masons he is calm and can concentrate on his work and we know that he is ready. Then when he stands his proficiency we already know he knows his work and if he makes mistakes we know he was just nervous.


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  3. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    We do a practice in the Lodgeroom with the candidate and, during both the practice and the actual proficiency, seat the candidate with his back to the Brethren so that the only one he can see is his examiner. Seems to help.
     
  4. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    If you're able to recite the work with your instructor then ADD isn't the issue. Be open with your instructor and let him know your concerns. One thing...don't be embarrassed or let it discourage you. I can remember numerous times in the East when I forgot proper etiquette or the right wording :) We all goof up...keep up the hard work and your perseverance will gain the respect of your Lodge.
     
  5. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed, everyone makes mistakes and sometimes having a crowd doesn't help. I know when I was in the East I absolutely bombed every time we had an official visit. :)

    Mistakes will happen but that's part of what makes Freemasonry beautiful. There will always be someone there to help you persevere and over come. :)
     
  6. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    "Prove up"? Is this a Prince Hall term? Or a regional Washington one? I'm just curious.

    What I was told, and what I in turn tell candidates is, in no uncertain terms, everyone here wants you to succeed. Because everyone there (and here) does.

    I'm not sure if in your jurisdiction if you are permitted to use a book or some other printed word as a learning aide. If you are, and if you are using it, then set it aside and focus on working in front of another person, with other people, at all times.

    Your instructor should know when you are ready to go. You do have one assigned to you, yes?

    The bottom line is that by the time you are examined, you should have many hours of real world practice in front of other people. Repetition, in simulated circumstances of your examination - thats how you overcome nerves.

    Public speaking is the #1 fear in the United States, above heights and so forth - for good reason. Repetition is the key - it makes it routine, and routine things you can manage the nerves for a lot better.

    Also, consider learning the work to a higher level than you need to know it. For example, if your lodge does not require you to learn the questions - do it anyway. Don't deliver it that way in the examination, but know, in your bones, that you could. That knowing you know the work cold, 110%, removes doubt.

    Ask yourself, could you teach the work to another person? Without the help of a book or something? If the answer is no, then get to the point you could. That extra confidence will silence the mind when you hit a snag and allow habit to work.

    All the way around making that the goal, to get to the point where you could teach someone else is a great goal. Some of the best teachers in every field have struggled the most. Because they have had a setback, they can relate to their pupils, and understand their fears and challenges better than anyone.

    It might be helpful to you to decide to be one of those type of people.

    Good luck, Brother.
     
  7. SteveR

    SteveR Registered User

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    My brother, keep your head high.

    Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. Also remember, all those wonderful brethren on the sidelines, EVERY one of them are pulling for you...they have stood where you stand and are rooting for you internally as you give your proficiency. No one wants to fail you, but they do want to see that you understand the degree you just went through, before attaining the next.

    Good luck on your next attempt! You'll do much better I'm sure. :)
     
  8. tyree harris

    tyree harris Registered User

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    Keep seeking the light my brother


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  9. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Likely to be a common term in plenty of jurisdictions.

    Masonry makes good men better. Proficiencies/catechisms do this in at least a couple of ways.

    Many men believe they can't memorize. Then they work through their proficiencies and a self imposed limitation pops like a soap bubble inside their minds.

    Many men fear public speaking. Toastmasters is an entire service club that works to address the topic. Proficiencies work for public speaking the exact same way as for thinking you can't memorize.

    I petitioned for a lot of reasons. One of those reasons is I intended to go through the line because going through the line gets a vast amount of practice at public speaking in a supportive environment. Whatever topic you're talking about, when you do it at lodge there's a bunch of brothers rooting for you to succeed at the talk even if they intend to vote against your motion.

    I don't offer a method for getting over fear of public speaking. Sometimes the way out is the way through. Understand that no matter your fears you *can* do it. Understand that courage is not lack of fear it's acting even though you're afraid. Remember the story of "The Little Train that Could". Keep saying to yourself "I Think I Can" and keep trying.

    You'll climb that hill! All of us on the forum, all of the brothers at your lodge, all brothers across the world know you will. Go out and prove to yourself we are right. Go ahead and be afraid while you're doing it. Nearly without exception all of us were shaking when we presented ours. We've been there, done that, got that tee shirt. Step out in faith and earn the tee shirt yourself as well. It'll be hard. Stuff that's worth it is often hard. The degrees of Masonry are earned.
     
  10. SeattleMason0613

    SeattleMason0613 Registered User

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    Not a fear of public speaking but a fear of failing...but thank you all brothers for your support


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  11. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    We do the same. If someone freezes in lodge the other master masons vouch for him so he can continue on. One is usually a ritualist and the other your mentor or examiner for that evening. The third is usually the worshipful master.

    Edited: if requested to "test out" before going up stairs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  12. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Failure is temporary. You get to keep trying until you succeed. Success is permanent. Only you can make failure permanent for yourself. Keep plugging my brother!
     
  13. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Overcoming this struggle is one of the greatest opportunities Masonry affords us in our struggle for self-improvement. Good men gettin better ain't easy even in Seattle!! Keep studying Bro and it will be all good.
     
  14. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    In NM we call it "returning your Proficiency."

    Keep trying, Brother, let it flow in the Lodge just as when you're practicing it. You know you can do it, and the Brethren know it, too.
     
  15. Tx4ever

    Tx4ever Registered User

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    Place your chair facing North your mentor facing south, normally very few set in the dark....Look above the chairs and believe its just you and your friends. Good luck my brother.
     
  16. Gibson90kb

    Gibson90kb Registered User

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    Practice practice practice! Everyone around you is your friend, so there is no need to be nervous. Ask your mentor/any brother to practice it with you.


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  17. kaveman

    kaveman Registered User

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    I wasn't looking at anybody when I gave my proficiency I was looking just over their heads and thinking about nothing else but the obligation or tools I was giving I too hate public speaking but I've noticed if I look just over someone and not at them I can focus on the subject


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  18. kaveman

    kaveman Registered User

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    I'm also reminded of a line from Harry Poter- every great wizard started as nothing more than students if they can do it why not us


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  19. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    I practice with both music and a television going in the background because when I can get through ritual doing that, I can do it period.

    Always, always practice by speaking out loud. Don't whisper it or "say it" in your mind. Stand there and say it out loud.

    If you must....close your eyes. I know it sounds funny, but when you can imagine you are alone sometimes it helps.
     
  20. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    Another thing I just thought of; if you can practice in the lodge room, do so. You will feel less out of your element that way.
     

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