I recently received in my actual mailbox (not email) a beautiful thank-you card with a handwritten note from a lovely young man who had attended several of my talks, and I’ve excerpted it here:
First off, I’d like to say thank you for the work you do and the value you provide. You are as genuine and authentic as it gets and that is very refreshing especially nowadays. … Keep doing what you’re doing. The world needs more people like you!
As many of you know, it’s been a journey for me to be able to stand in front of a roomful of people to share my ideas regarding work and life. I’m an introvert by nature who used to be, and at times still is, quite shy. I would get stiff necks and have coughing fits prior to presentations. I am much more a behind-the-scenes kind of gal; my comfort zone, and where I excel, is working with folks one on one. I utter tons of umms, you knows, sort ofs, likes, etc., use more hand gestures than your old Italian uncle, and tend to ramble or go off on tangents, and the words I am looking for often escape me.
But I had something to say, which overruled any trepidation or limitations I thought I had about public speaking, and the feedback I always received was positive regardless of how I thought I did, so I kept doing it. My passion for what I wanted to communicate was stronger than any fear I had about the technical aspects of how I was communicating it. Turns out, the way I communicated was often what people liked and responded to the most!
In January 2010 I was frustrated with all the New Year’s messaging out there and felt compelled to say something. I also needed a newsletter for my two-and-a-half-year-old coaching business, so I thought, why not combine the two?
Didn’t know what I was doing. Barely had a website. Don’t really read. Am slightly dyslexic. Am terrible at grammar. Have limited vocabulary/am not a wordsmith. Wasn’t even someone who appreciates words or writers or, like I said, reads books.
But I just put it out there. And people liked it. The feedback was encouragingly good. Who knew I was a … writer? (Still have a hard time calling myself one.) I committed to writing every week (each Personal Growth Gab, or PGG, taking 8–12 hours to complete) which I did for two years straight, until I realized I could rerun some of these essays (duh). The writing and design improved, I found my voice and continued to receive positive feedback. I enjoyed getting into the groove of their creation and consider them my art.
So all these years and 150-plus original essays and a published book later, here I am. Apparently this whole other part of me needed to be born, and I allowed it to be.
In response to my year-end request for feedback on my PGGs, I found a generous and thoughtful Amazon review posted on January 2 (thanks to whoever wrote it!), a portion of which I quote here:
It’s very different than others, but Kristina’s method really builds up a strong foundation in an individual by first solving the deep issues then growing from there. … Kristina is really unique and I’m very grateful she’s out there.
My point in sharing all this with you for some inspiration is twofold:
1. DO YOU. If you’re inspired or want to do something, don’t think you have to know exactly what you’re doing or need to make it “perfect” or do it like anyone else. Express yourself in your own way — you never know where it will lead or who you might be helping as a result. Don’t be afraid of the unknown. Allow yourself to unfold naturally. You will grow and surprise yourself, no doubt.
2. Never, ever underestimate the power and impact of letting someone know how their work, their assistance, their understanding, their EXISTENCE has impacted you in a positive way. You can’t possibly imagine how the expression of appreciation — the more personal the better, in the simplest of sentiments or grandest of gestures — can make or break someone’s day, life, journey; how that can encourage them to keep on keepin’ on even when things get tough, so that they can be who they are and do what they do, and impact even more people in a positive way. And we need positive impact more than ever.
We are entering an era in which you will be more urgently required to express your highest and best potential, to be who you are and do the things you are meant to do, and above all, be as human as possible and acknowledge the beauty and spirit of each others’ existence as graciously and as often as possible. We must remember who we are to ourselves, and to each other.
Not sure how you can express the creativity and passion within you? Give me a buzz and I’ll help you to trust that a 5-star review starts with the courage to take a groovy walk down whatever path is right for you, accompanied by a little funk along the way!
Originally published on www.kristinaleonardi.com on January 4, 2017
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Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)” In this excerpt covering the final ten minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.
If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person! Click on above links for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today.
Read more about me and my work in these past PGG’s: