Your authentic voice is important.
What does it mean to you to “speak up?” What does it mean to assert yourself? What does it mean to tell someone who you are and what you believe in? Do you know what it feels like to be fully empowered in your life? Many people would say “NO”. Some people are afraid and some don’t even know they aren’t using their voice.
It’s easy to lose our voice, but there are ways to find it, develop it and from it, become more fully empowered.
“Finding your voice”… most people might not initially know what I mean by that. I mean that it is that deepest part of your being that is WHO you are inside… Some say “your soul.” I believe it is that thing that when you know it, you know it is ultimately who you are and feels like your “purpose.”
Many humans and especially women have faced the reality that their voice has been shut down. Sometimes it is subtle and sometimes, not so subtle.
What are some of the ways we can be shut down?
As little children, we may be given messages to “not speak”, or worse…to “shut up!” Some of us might be made to feel something is wrong with us if we assert ourselves. Others may have more severe issues like childhood abuse or societal abuse and bullying. So, our experiences can cause this in some people. Witnessing others being shut down, abused or hurt emotionally is also another way we can be shut down. Being made to feel small, insignificant or worthless adds to this. Even in some religions, people are put down and shamed for having opinions. Our society, although there are huge movements for acceptance, is still quite narrow and shut down to ideas of difference. We are at each other’s throats politically, spiritually and racially. Contrary to this, grace is a central thing that can begin to help people heal. Grace, the way I am defining it is unconditional acceptance and trying to understand each other’s views on all things. Acceptance. We can accept one another’s opinions without agreeing with them.
There is no place for shame in finding one’s voice. Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly, The Gifts of Imperfection, Rising Strong, and The Power of Vulnerability are excellent books discusses shame and its effects on people in our society and the value of being yourself in this world. None of us like the notion of conflict, not fitting in or worse yet…people not liking us but at some point, that issue has to be faced and acknowledged and dealt with. If we don’t, we may never find our true and authentic self, purpose or be fully empowered as human beings.
It’s also true that if you don’t speak up, there are those that will decide who you are and they will sometimes spread their truth. So, it makes sense on many levels to begin to find your own true voice, express it and begin your journey to true empowerment and purpose! It is fine to do it in strategic steps as long as you are trying to grow.
I can tell you one true thing: The closer you get to that goal, the fuller your life and sense of self will be. Start EMBRACING YOUR LIFE!
7 Strategies for Finding Your Authentic Voice
- Get a coach to help you strategize and set goals and work through clarification of goals.
- Make a list of your interests and passions.
- Do an assessment to determine your strengths (VIAcharacterstrengths.org)
- Practice speaking up and getting feedback where you can.
- Keep growing and focusing on what you enjoy and what you are good at.
- Read or listen to podcasts that teach about areas you are interested in (keep growing every day).
- Work on self – esteem, goals related to that and stretching yourself where you are fearful.