Don’t let your communication problems stop you from communicating.

When I was little, I couldn’t pronounce my ‘R’’s so I would get “Weally, weally cwoss” and my father told me I would be OK so long as I didn’t marry a “Wobert”.

I had elocution lessons (as they were called then) to help me change ‘Weally’ to ‘Really’ and ‘Wobert’ to ‘Robert’ … which was lucky as the man I’ve been married to for the past 32 years is, of course, called Robert.

As a young child I didn’t like to speak in front of strangers, and I would avoid words that began with or included an R. I knew people laughed at me.

It could have defined me … but it doesn’t. I worked hard to make my “R” more “R” than “W” with daily mouth exercises. And now (unless I am very tired or I’ve had too much alcohol) I no longer have to worry about losing my ‘R’s’.

I wouldn’t have believed you then, if you had told me that when I was grown up, much of what I would do would involve getting up and speaking in front of strangers and indeed,  helping some of them to stand up and speak out too.

Just as that 8-year-old me didn’t know she would be able to speak up by the time she was 12, so you don’t know what you are capable of or could be doing in just a few months or years. So, if there is something about the way you are communicating that you don’t like (the way you sound, how you blush when you speak, those gestures that let others know how scared you are) don’t let it stop you or define who you are … or will become.

They are your current life but they don’t have to be your forever.

Decide you want to make a change, find someone who can help you and then take action.

And remember … measure yourself from where you have come, not where you want to go.

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