In certain areas in life, I have been a clutch player. For those of you who don't know sports, a clutch player is a player who comes through when the team needs it most, either with a spectacular defensive play, a hit that drives in the winning run, or any amazing play that secures a win for the team.
Ever since I played baseball as a girl, I saw the value of the clutch, and I made it my goal to be able to come through when my team needed me most.
This is why I am choosing to teach communication. I have read in about a billion places that people fear public speaking more than they fear death. While I love public speaking, that is not where my expertise lies. My expertise lies in one-on-one communication when it matters. When does it matter, you might ask?
I have a golden ticket which for much of my life, I saw as a curse. You see, I was raised by therapists. From the time I could understand language, I understood that my parents were analyzing my every move. From the time I could speak, they were forcing me to analyze my words, thoughts and actions to such a degree that I became overly-comfortable with sharing too much.
While this has been a source of embarrassment for several of my significant others and hundreds of friends over the years, it has also been a source of power for me. I am comfortable talking about almost anything.
When I find myself in a stressful situation, I can communicate. I communicate because I have practiced and because I know what is waiting for me on the other side of uncomfortable conversations; confidence, improved relationships and a deeper understanding of yourself and those you struggle with.
I would never call this easy. But, I do think that most of what keeps people in almost any situation from working better together is their reticence to talk to each other, due to fear of being exposed or vulnerable. It can feel impossible to be vulnerable when you feel threatened by someone, but very often, that is what is needed to create or improve trust. This is why good communication is so rare. Not many people practice vulnerability.
In addition to my early childhood training in analysis and communication, I have also had the unique opportunity to get a lot of training in different communication techniques from people other than my parents. I have taken multitudes of classes, workshops, conferences, all of them touting some kind of bulletproof strategic communication that will get you whatever you want in life. Unfortunately, the communication strategies are often formulaic and missing the most important element for improving communication skills: Practice.
The thing about communication is that you have to own it. You can't really take on someone else's idea of what good communication is because it feels false. It doesn't feel personal, and whatever else communication is, it should always be personal. Michael Jordan always practiced as Michael Jordan, not Larry Bird. Jordan never would have attained the success he did if he had been practicing to copy another player. Every great clutch player has made it personal through practice.
That is why clutch players are clutch. They have practiced that play in their way millions of times. They have spent thousands of hours in batting cages, entire afternoons trying to hit one shot from the three-point circle, every waking moment practicing small skills so that in a high-stakes situation, they perform flawlessly. Their practice is relentless.
Because of all of the practice, the moment does not rule the clutch player. The clutch player rules the moment.
This is how I can help you. I can help you be a clutch communicator. I can teach you to be comfortable enough in your own skin so that you will be able to express yourself thoughtfully and confidently in almost any stressful situation, at any moment.
I will help you communicate from your heart, not mine. You will learn to express your thoughts in your way, and with practice, you will be able to do this whenever the need arises.
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