As an editor/writer, it is easier to stand in the background. A few years ago, I was honored to be in a three-day, thirty-person mastermind with the renowned and loveable Les Brown. His key message is “Everyone has a story.” So of course, he asked me, “Heidi, what is your story?” I answered, “Les, my story is that I help everyone else share their story.” I don’t know if that was the answer he was looking for. I told myself, “We all have our own path.”

Some people seem to gather and share amusing or inspirational tales naturally in conversation. I love the mantra of “Get up, dress up, show up, stand up, step up, and speak up.” We are all being challenged to find our “voice” to share our story, to say what we need to say or do what we need to do—to fulfill our purpose.

But for me, this is a major challenge. The written word is where I feel safe. It is where I believe I can best represent myself. Words behave for me when I write them down. They become unruly little brats when I try to corral them while giving a speech.

A friend once explained why so well. He loved to speak to groups and he had managed to write a book. To write the book was by far more challenging than public speaking. He explained, “There are speakers who write and writers who speak.” At first I thought he was being clever; then I saw his wisdom.

Ask yourself, which is easier—speaking or writing? If both are equally fun for you, you are lucky. The rest of us need to acknowledge and understand. If speaking is easier for you than writing, forgive yourself. If writing is easier than speaking, forgive yourself.

Progress starts with self-awareness and self-acceptance.

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