The Myth of the Natural

speaking pic


Today, I want to talk about something that struck me as interesting the first time I heard it. I had just finished a speaking event and a friend of mine, who attended the event, shared on Facebook how she’d received value from my message. Another friend, who’d also recently heard me speak, responded to the comment by saying that I was a natural, referring to being a speaker. I knew my friend was being encouraging and kind in her response and it got me thinking, what does being a natural actually mean? After a quick Google search, I pulled a quote that states it is, “to do the thing so well, it is as if it was naturally intended.” In my experience, appearing to be a “natural” takes a lot of working through the unnatural by getting a lot of experience.

I’ve shared this before, but I thought my late husband, Andrew, was a natural when it came to speaking and I used that belief as an excuse to discourage me from my interest in becoming a public speaker. I bought into the myth that speaking either comes to you naturally or it doesn’t. After watching Andrew speak and thinking he was born with this gift of public speaking, I concluded I didn’t have “it” naturally. He would say, “Bailey, you’re comparing you as a first time speaker to me after three years of speaking experience.Those aren’t comparable.” In my stubbornness, I’d already given up on myself. Wish I had heard him. Hindsight is 20/20.

Now, after several years of speaking experience, I know exactly what Andrew was talking about. This applies not only to speaking, but to so many other areas of our lives. We all start at the beginning. After Andrew passed away, I felt I had a powerful message to share and I really wanted to fulfill Andrew’s dream of having lives impacted through his book, A Gray Faith, so I decided to just get started as a speaker and to accept the fact I had a lot to learn. I was pulled by the message I felt called to share, which gave me the courage to say yes to new opportunities and to make mistakes as I developed my communication skills through experience and feedback.

Recently I’ve gotten the input from those who’ve heard me speak in the past that they’ve seen so much improvement in my speaking. That means a lot to me because I’m putting in the time and effort through preparation, getting experience, and hiring coaches to help me improve my communication. Once I made the decision to get started, everything else fell into place. In my experience, when we know what we want to do, the how we’re going to do it unfolds while we’re taking action on the what. What’s something you’ve always wanted to do, but because you didn’t think you were a natural at it, you walked away? I encourage you to get started today moving in the direction of the thing that you want. Vincent Van Gogh said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” You’ve got this, just say yes to the first step! Enjoyed spending time with you today. Love and Blessings.


PS – Do you or someone you know have a group in need of an inspirational speaker? If you want me to come speak and sign some Ellie Project books, shoot me an email at [email protected]. My presentation is powerful, inspirational, and about living your legacy today! It’s good for men and women, corporate groups, mom’s groups, Bible Study groups, community groups, etc. I am excited to come share this powerful message with you!

PPS – Are you searching for new, fun, and meaningful ways to connect with a child in your life? Share the gift of building lifetime character lessons for each letter of the alphabet with The Ellie Project! To get your copy of The Ellie Project or The Ellie Project Stationery Set, click here!