I write this blog to thank those who have been a part of the Laurie Burton Training experience. I love what I do! Helping people to be the best communicators possible is the greatest privilege I can imagine. It’s so exciting every time someone realizes their true potential and is able to embrace their individuality. And yet, there are times when life forces me to also “practice what I preach.”
The Greatest Communicator
All of my life I’ve been attracted to art, painting and drawing, but I would never attempt it, because in my mind my drawing ability was not very good. In fact, I thought it was awful!
My mother, father and stepfather were all gifted artists, so this alone was intimidating – plus the fact that I could barely draw a stick figure. Put it all together and it was the kind of overwhelm so many people feel about speaking and presenting in front of a group! It’s just easier to avoid it.
Six years ago, I started doing sketches of mountains and trees. I tried western-style painting and even figure drawing (where you draw real-life naked models)…a real experience! The bottom line (no pun intended) was that neither the approach, nor the teacher, appealed to me.
One day, a friend recommended that I try Chinese Brush Painting. It not only sounded really interesting, but I found a teacher with experience in my local area. Let me shorten the story by telling you that I fell in love with Chinese Brush Painting! It speaks to my spirit and on top of that, my teacher, Nan Rae, is such an inspiration and gifted artist. The experience has been more than I had hoped for.
The Right Reactions for Success
A month ago, a fellow artist and friend told me about an art show and suggested I buy a space and show some of my paintings. Surely, my work wasn’t that good. How could I compete with all of the “real” artists in the show? (Do you find yourself having similar reactions about your abilities, gifts and passions?)
These are the same thoughts and reactions my clients have when facing their personal fears, considering how much of themselves they must put forward in order to speak, present and communicate with success.
It’s easy to believe that people are going to judge and compare you to other presenters and speakers, isn’t it? It’s easy to believe that you just don’t have the “talent” or “personality” to take that on…to put yourself center stage and own that presentation. Life was communicating to me via this new experience and it was up to me to learn.
- I had to practice what I’ve been preaching all these many years.
- I had to be willing to check into the facts – the ‘why’ behind my insecurities about my paintings.
- I had to look at how I have never been afraid to try something new in my life and why this was different.
- How did I really feel about my work?
- Why did I question whether I was “worthy”?
It came to me again, that life-long lesson that even the greatest communicators have had to learn: It isn’t about what others think! It’s about how you feel about your work.
In this case, the work was my painting, and how I approached it all changed once I was able to:
- Get out of my own way
- Get out of my head
- Get into my emotions
I love Chinese Brush Painting and if I could, I would do it every day. I’ve created six or seven pieces that I can truly say I love. (There were also many more that were not very good) but the point worth making is this: You only learn to paint a bamboo leaf by painting thousands of them.
Once again, life has proven to be the greatest communicator, offering up an incredible learning experience that I can use to benefit others.
You must open your heart to yourself as well as the others you interact with. What you love about yourself is what others will be able to love about you. And when you are willing to share this with the world, it will be what brings you success every time you are communicating!