Today I had an honest-to-goodness “God spoke to me” experience. It was 10 hours ago and I’m still sort of dumbstruck by the whole thing.
First, let’s get this out of the way – if you don’t like the word “God”, substitute whatever works for you – Universe, Spirit, whatever. I’m not picky. Now buckle up, ‘cuz this is a long one and it’s gonna be quite a ride!
Since my high school reunion a couple weeks ago, I’ve been thinking a lot about how introversion can hinder or enhance my career as a personal development coach and teacher. I look at the leaders in the field who seem to have a certain “IT” factor. They have an absolutely natural charisma that oozes out of their pores.
I’m good in front of an audience and I know that I do really good work, but I don’t see myself as having that “IT” factor. I’ve questioned whether I could ever be successful in everything I want to do – books, speaking, teaching, radio, television, etc. – because they require building a large and passionate following.
I’ve mentioned Dayana Patterson a couple of times recently. Dayana channels an entity called AMAG and at the convention last weekend she offered to take some questions and email answers back from AMAG. I asked specifically about this subject – if there is a different way to look at introversion so I don’t feel like it holds me back.
This morning I got a wonderful answer back from her – there is so much information in so few words that it will take some time for me to unpack it fully. But the basic message is clear:I have charisma and extroversion linked in a way that isn’t necessarily accurate. The best way for me to teach is to be a demonstration of that which I teach. The charisma flows from there.
It makes total sense to me. I was excited because it felt like confirmation of heading in the right direction.
Here’s where things start to get REALLY interesting…
There’s a curmudgeonly man in our newsroom. It’s as if he strives to be cruel just to get a reaction out of people.
Last week we talked about a chorus that sings to hospice patients and he said that he’d rather die than have a group of people sing over him on his death bed. That’s a pretty standard conversation. (I feel okay saying these things publicly because if he were to read this, he would recognize himself, agree, and laugh. For the record, I don’t actually buy it – I don’t think that’s who he is at his core, but he’s perfected the act to a high polish.)
Mid-morning, I ended up alone in the newsroom with him. He turned to me and said, “There are some interesting people in this area.” I could only imagine what caustic remark would follow that intro.
Imagine my utter shock and surprise when these words came from his mouth:
“You have to be authentic. People can smell it if you’re not. Even on the phone. If you’re not being true to who you are, they’ll stop answering questions. They won’t comment.
So if you’re naturally reserved, you’re better off being reserved when you talk to them. If you’re naturally outgoing, you’re better off being outgoing when you talk to them. Don’t try to be something you’re not, because people can tell.
At the car dealership [where he used to work], everyone had a different selling style, but we each had what worked for us. Someone would come in and we’d all say, Thank goodness Steve is working today, they’re his kind of customer. Other customers would come in and they’d say, thank goodness I’m here, those people are a pain in the ass and I could sell them a car no problem. We all had our own particular style and we all sold cars.”
I don’t know if my mouth was gaping open, but my mind was melting with each passing second hearing such wisdom from a man who I’ve never, ever, ever heard speak like this. And on the exact subject I’d been contemplating all morning!!!
To top it all off, he turned to me and said: “I don’t know what just made me say all that.”
Gee, I wonder.
To me, it seems utterly clear – God had a message for me and used this co-worker as the vehicle. And truth be told, if I’d heard those words from anyone else, they might not have registered. Because they came from the LEAST LIKELY SOURCE – from someone who I wouldn’t in a million years expect to say them – I had to pay attention. I couldn’t ignore them.
I’ve got my lesson – I just need to be me. I need to keep doing what I’m doing and keep working at being the very best me that I can be – introvert and all. That’s my work. Whatever happens after that is God’s work. And because I believe that God put me here with the desire/passion/drive to do the things that God wants me to do, they will get done.
This is the first time that I’ve experienced God speaking to me through someone else’s mouth. It’s not something I’m likely to forget!!
Thank you, God, for choosing me.
Image found here. And oh my goodness, this just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser! When I did a Google image search for “God spoke to me”, this book cover was the first thing that popped up. Would you believe this is the book that one of my soul sisters published while we were studying together? I had completely forgotten that title, but there it was at the top of the results. So to my dear sister Valerie Love – girl, how I love you! :-) Here she is in all her glory: http://liveyourdestinytoday.com