I have been at odds with a crooked palm tree for a long time.

Every time I would enter my bedroom, my eyes would inevitably focus on this plant and I would sigh in irritation. For whatever reason this palm has grown sideways, twisted, and then just slightly upward. It defies the rule of a straight and majestic palm. It was not pretty to me. Since I can’t discard a living thing, I placed it in the master bedroom because it was less likely to be seen by guests. That decision prompted the lesson because I inadvertently positioned it in my eye line every day.

In truth, I saw it as a representation of how off-course parts of my life were. I had new business ventures and my learning curve resembled the path of an arcade pinball. Some days I would be right on track, then an unforeseen challenge would knock me to the side and I’d want to start all over. The tree mocked me. I scowled at it. I wished it straight. Then I’d wish it dead. I imagined how pretty that area of the room would be with a lovely “perfect” tree in its place. It taunted me daily.

Just this past weekend, we had several plants treated to their much-needed repotting and feeding; as the crooked palm was lifted back inside the house I was sitting with my business coach. I saw her eyes glance toward the offensive plant and I immediately quipped, “I don’t know what to do with that, It’s so ugly. I don’t know why it has grown like that.”

Her simply stated response was filled with the type of wisdom that comes naturally to a great coach. With an appreciative evaluation of the twisted trunk, she said, “It’s not ugly. Think of it as a lovely symbol of how the path to success is not a straight one, but as long as you are still growing, success is still being achieved.”

I contemplated the tree with this new filter.

Certainly, this palm was persevering, despite the odds that caused its deformity in the past. The leaves were bright and fresh green could be seen as new shoots were sprouting. It was still reaching for the sky, undaunted. It was really something beautiful.

I love this tree now.

How many times do we sigh in disgust at our perceived inadequacies, or try to hide our flaws at the cost of the progressive experience of learning to accept ourselves, as we are, where we are. I’ll admit I’m guilty.

I work with very smart, successful, talented individuals to overcome inaccurate perceptions of their shortcomings every day (Almost nothing can help with this better than a camera lens). Often, the very thing that we think of as an obvious personal weakness is part of our uniqueness that is so attractive to others.

A nursing professional doing an informative video for others in her field need not worry that she doesn’t have the polish and cadence of an entertainment reporter; it’s her down-to earth approach to her information and her subtle, honest humor that will create a comfort level with her particular audience. She is perfectly equipped.

I always recommend media training to really share information efficiently, of course, but I also firmly believe that we are perfectly and divinely gifted with the individual characteristics that enable us to best communicate with our desired audience. Our perception may be the only thing standing in the way of our greatness. Sometimes it takes an outsider to help us appreciate our most beautiful assets.

Where are the beautiful crooked trees in your life?

Author's Bio: 

Sandra Dee Robinson has spent nearly all of her life in front of a camera: as an actor (including Another World, Sunset Beach, Bold and the Beautiful, General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, Two and a Half Men, Criminal Minds, Secret Life of an American Teenager and TV movies) and as a TV host and product spokesperson. For the past several years, Sandra has been coaching entertainment reporters and television hosts and she founded Charisma on Camera to expand her clientele to professionals in any field. Her current clients include authors, life coaches, politicians, business men and women that want to solidify their presentation as a platform to establish themselves as an expert guest, successful speaker or even host their own show. Sandra loves finding the hidden "gems" in each individual that can magnetize an audience, and watching her clients¹ confidence on camera soar as they polish their personal brand for TV success.

To contact us: info@charismaoncamera.com