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7 Signs You’re A Natural Born Artist Even If You Don’t Feel You Are

7 Signs You’re A Natural Born Artist Even If You Don’t Feel You Are

You are a born artist. You know it. You feel it, even if sometimes doubt creeps into your life that you weren’t “meant to be an artist.” Let me tell you something. If you were born an artist, you will forever have the potential to be an artist. It’s up to you to be able to recognize those qualities within yourself and nurture them throughout your life. So, how do you know if you are a natural born artist? Here are 7 signs you were meant to express yourself.

1.You Enjoy The Beginning As Much As You Do The End

Do you know what our society focuses on?  Results. We want to know the Return on our Investment, the big reward, the ending that confirms we did a job well done. But the reality is, by focusing on the end you completely miss the true reward of the journey—and even more, the messiness of the beginning. A natural born artist loves the beginning (and more often than not, struggles to get to the end). Artists love diving into new projects, exploring the unknown, and take as much pleasure in approaching a blank canvas as they do stepping back and looking at the final product. Actually, there is no “ending” for artists. A finished painting or song or sculpture is just another stepping stone on the journey.

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2. You Love Appreciating Other People’s Art And Are Somewhat Hesitant To Share Your Own

The true mark of an artist is this: You love appreciating the work others create and yet you are a little nervous to show your own. It’s a common trait among those who pour their heart and soul into everything they do. A natural born artist feels compelled to connect with other likeminded people, and thoroughly enjoys hearing about someone else’s process and ideas because it fuels their own.  But when it comes time to share yours with the group—gasp! You freeze up. Well, take this as a sign of approval. If you’re scared or nervous or hesitant to show what you’ve made, it’s because it was made from the heart. That’s a good thing.

3. You Are Sensitive To Your Surroundings

Everywhere you go, you feel in your skin and bones what is happening. You can feel people’s joy, their pain, their fears and their excitement. When you are with a large group of people, you can feel the way everyone is interacting with each other. When you are by yourself, you are very in-tune with your own emotions. You love spending one-on-one time with people because it gives you the opportunity to share an intimate connection. You are sensitive in all these ways and more and that’s what fuels your art. No matter what you are feeling, you can channel it into whatever you create.

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4. You Are Your Biggest Fan And Your Own Worst Critic

Natural born artists often times get criticized for being overly confident, cocky, even narcissistic, because they love their work. They believe in what they are making and they are ambitious about putting it out into the world (even if they are slightly fearful to do so, as mentioned in #2). But with that element of self confidence there is also a high level of doubt and forceful critique. You are constantly faced with feelings of imperfection, wondering if what you are making is “good enough,” and have convinced yourself time and time again that it’s time you just give up…

5. You Always Return To Your Craft

Building off #4, a true sign of a natural born artist is someone who, no matter how hard they try or  how many times they are told to quit, they can’t. As an artist, you know deep down that regardless of whether you become a multi-million dollar mainstream success or a creative soul that no one knows except your closest group of family and friends, you always return to your craft. You pick the brush back up, you write another song, you tell another story—and no matter how much time goes by, it always feels like home. You remember why you loved your art so much in the first place.

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6. You Have Notebook After Notebook Of Ideas

An obvious sign of a natural born artist is the notebook. You have dozens of them—all over your apartment, in your bedroom at your parent’s house, and always one in your backpack. This is where you jot down notes of short stories you want to write, inventions you wish someone would invent, lists of songs you love, all the places you want to travel to and long rants against the barista who didn’t get your order right and the government for making you pay taxes. Your notebook is your safe haven and it’s filled with all the scraps of your artistry in progress.

7. You Care More About Personal Expression Than You Do Acquiring Money Or Belongings

Everyone wants to be “successful” in their own way—and to a natural born artist, that means having your voice heard by the world. You would rather be poor doing what you love than wealthy showing up to a soul-sucking cubicle every day. You care less about brand new clothes and more about brand new paint brushes or guitar strings. You spend your money on your art. You invest in yourself. You find coffee shops and art galleries where you can practice in front of an audience, and having someone give you feedback on what you’ve made is worth more to you than any paycheck (although you still have to eat, so you like that too).  The point is, you know your purpose, and that purpose is to share who you are through your creativity.

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Featured photo credit: Chamille White via shutterstock.com

More by this author

Nicolas Cole

Author, Writer, Columnist, Ghostwriter

7 Signs You’re A Natural Born Artist Even If You Don’t Feel You Are

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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