How many times has your internal dialogue told you to be more like someone else? These days it seems like “influencers” are in every direction whose voices are so loud, the smaller voices get drowned out. We hear ourselves thinking “Maybe If I was more like her/him, then I’d be more successful.” Sound familiar? With social media at an all time high, we’re hardwired to believe that we should be more than we are. Maybe it’s just easier to copy whatever that “successful” person is doing, rather than finding your voice. I get that. But let’s turn the tables and remind you of why your voice is one of the most powerful tools you can master in all aspects of your life.
How often have you heard the following statements?
“You shouldn’t run your business like that.”
“You’d be more beautiful if _____”
“Doing ____ won’t get you noticed.”
“You’re never going to see results that way.”
“That’s a bad idea, it’s already been done before.”
These situations are probably at the worst end of the spectrum but nevertheless, society has a way of sending us these messages in very discrete ways. Finding your voice through these kinds of situations can be really tough. Where do you even start? Whether you’re trying to find your voice in your work, in your relationship, or even within yourself, let’s first consider where our voice comes from:
Your voice comes from your heart
When you speak from the heart, what kinds of things come to mind? Use your heart to identify the emotions that describe you or what you’re passionate about. We’re conditioned to believe that we’ll be more accepted if we round out our edges but those edges are what set you apart from the rest. Don’t do away with something because it makes you different, let that part of you stand out.
Your voice comes from your values
Your values are like a moral compass that guide you between what you believe to be right or wrong. In other words, they are basically an extension of what you believe in. Let’s say your values are to be honest and compassionate. Allow your voice to lead with Honesty and Compassion and these values will most definitely be heard among the crowd. And lastly, everyones values are different so don’t be afraid to let yours shine through.
Your voice comes from authenticity
This point, in my opinion, is the most important. I’m sure you’ve heard about authenticity before but nevertheless, according to Meriam-Webster, the definition of authenticity is being “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character is sincere and authentic with no pretensions.” I speak from experience when I say that being my authentic, true self is what made the difference between finding my voice and being a follower; someone generic. Authenticity is directly tied to being in tune with your heart and your values, so allow yourself the vulnerability and freedom to embrace the beautiful, unique person that you are. Make your voice heard.
Have you experienced a time when you felt like your voice was being silenced or challenged? How did you get back in tune with yourself and your voice?