Want to grow? Be prepared to get uncomfortable

Ever since I was a child, I lacked artistic talent.   Whether painting, drawing, coloring or cutting out paper snowflakes, my artistic efforts to create something of beauty resulted in a mess.  I did have a talent for making ash trays out of clay.

I recently decided to get outside my comfort zone, as I often ask my presentation skills clients to do.  I signed up for a painting class with some friends at Art of Merlot in Scottsdale to enjoy wine and conversation while channeling our inner artists.  My inner artist has been in a cave for a long time and the few instances in my life when she appeared just made her want to go back in the cave for a very long time.

The teacher provided us with a template to trace three lilies on our canvas.  We then got to pick our colors and begin paining our Masterpieces.

I had a rough time.  Perhaps it is poor hand/eye coordination, but I had a hard time getting the brush to do what I envisioned in my head, which made it a bit stressful.  Thank goodness for the wine.

I looked at the other paintings, looked at mine and felt defeated by a paintbrush.  It wasn’t awful but it wasn’t great.  I could have set fire to it when I returned home but instead decided to celebrate.  Why the celebration?  I decided to keep the painting as a reminder of where I started and commit to taking more classes.  My goal is not to be the next Georgia O’Keefe but to gradually improve and honor my spirit by celebrating progress not perfection.

As presenters, it is important to recognize that others may have skills that are different from ours.  They may be able to practice fewer times to get comfortable and confident.   But you, just like each unique artist, will have your own style.  Cultivate it.  Focus on progress not perfection.  And don’t beat yourself up for being where you are in your evolution.  Make the commitment to evolve by getting outside your comfort zone and stretching your presentation muscles, building strength and endurance.  Discomfort is not a bad thing.  It means you are growing.

Want to maximize your communication effectiveness?
Give Hilari a call at 602-795-5400 or email.

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