Once, while co-leading a workshop with Alexis Ryon-Melcher, a participant raised her hand and shared, “I’ve just discovered a new Soul Sucker.  The ‘I’ll never be as good as Lauri’ Soul Sucker.”

I was simultaneously shocked, humbled, perplexed and empathetic.

I wanted to jump in and make it okay – to put that thought to bed by letting her know that I created The Vocal Presence Path initially to help myself – and that I’m still walking the path with everyone else.  I’d been a sensitive, quiet, hiding in the corner person for much of my life – except for when I was on stage.  In the moment, that wouldn’t have been the strongest choice.  We handled things without trying to “make it go away.”

Last week, this happened…

I was in my first meeting with my new mastermind group.  I’d joined with excitement feeling abundant and aligned.  At the beginning of the meeting, the leader mentioned that the three speaker coaches present that evening would lead exercises with everyone else.

And then … she mentioned three other people.  She didn’t mention me at all.

What?  Does she not remember who I am?  We spoke during my enrollment call about how I would be one of the people contributing to the group in this way.

In that moment I felt invisible.

And then …

I said nothing.

I could’ve reminded her “part of what I do is coach speakers – If there’s time I’d love to offer something.  If not, since this is my first time here, I’m happy to observe this time around.” Did any of that come out of my mouth? No.

Silence … Smiling … Porcelain doll Lauri.

I learned a lot from the experience.  There are plusses and minuses.  From the “hidden in the shadows”, “fly on the wall” mode I really saw the other three women who coach speakers.  I came away with an understanding of how I fit and what I have to offer the group.  While we all coach speakers, we are all different.  I felt much more connected to abundance than scarcity – which surprised me.   Not jumping in gave me clarity.

I chose porcelain doll Lauri instead of deranged mannequin Lauri – which for me is growth.

I think the deranged mannequin version of me would’ve reminded her “hey, I do that too.”  I would’ve been focused on getting – sharing what I do in order to GET clients.  Instead, I gave.

I contributed to the mastermind conversation during the evening.  I asked powerful questions.  I blurted creative ideas in support of others businesses, all without sharing who I am, what I’m passionate about, what my business is or anything about my mission on this planet.  On my way out the door, two people asked for my business card.  Huh.

I’m sharing this because I want to give people an antidote to any “I’ll never be like Lauri” Soul Sucker.  What’s the kernel of truth in that Soul Sucker’s message?  “Nope.  You’ll never be Lauri – and you’re not supposed to…  You’re you.  Beautiful, unique, you.”  And, just in case the Soul Suckers haven’t fully digested this yet: Lauri is not perfect.  I might’ve created the Vocal Presence Path, and I’m still using it myself.  While I’ve managed to pull out a lot of learning from the experience, it still pains me that I didn’t speak up.

What’s my next step on the path of growth?  … To show up as authentic Lauri and speak up while staying focused on giving, giving, giving.

This is why I created a PATH, rather than attempting to turn it into a quick fix or magic steps.  We are never done.  Once we start, we can stay on this path for the rest of our lives.  All of us – including me …

With love & passion,

PS – There’s still time to join the next FREE Audio Series: Voice Matters: 7-Day Quiet Leadership Experience