How do you find your voice?
How do you zoom in on the distinct note that’s yours and speak in a way that authentically expresses what you want to say? And how do you express what you want to say in a way that can be heard?
Sometimes finding the will to voice our opinion is challenging because we’re worried it isn’t in the majority. At other times we might not feel confident sharing our needs because we fear they might not be met. And with so much access to information and outside opinions telling us what to think and feel, it can be difficult to know what we truly value let alone express it.
But finding your voice matters – whether you’re communicating with colleagues at work, friends and family at home or with strangers within a group. When we respectfully share an opinion we enrich the conversation with another perspective. When we lovingly express our needs we honor ourselves and learn to more intimately connect with others. And when we understand what we believe and are able to effectively communicate it we become empowered.
Speaking up for yourself isn’t always easy, but here are a three suggestions to help you find your voice as well as the courage to express it.
1. Pause and Reflect.
It’s easy to get caught up in our reactivity and reflexively say whatever enters into our mind. But often, finding our true voice requires taking the time to allow the swirl of thoughts, emotions and physical sensations within us to settle. At other times finding the courage to speak up requires us to turn inward and find our resolve. If we allow ourselves time to pause and reflect, we can often discover what’s most meaningful to us to say. Taking time to connect to our values also can motivate us to share our opinion – even when it might not be popular. Sometimes, pausing might mean taking a few moments to listen to what everyone else has to say before speaking. At other times, it might mean spending some time alone, observing our thoughts and feelings in a nonjudgmental way before we know what we truly want to say. The practice of pausing and reflecting before you speak ensures that no matter what you say – whether it’s popular or not – will be a thoughtful addition to the conversation.
2. Creating space for meaningful conversation.
When it comes to expressing our needs, sometimes timing is as important as knowing what to say. If we’re overwhelmed with emotions or if the person we wish to communicate with is not in a place where they’re able to listen, it can be difficult to respectfully express our needs and have them be heard. Finding the right time and place to express our needs and also listen to what someone else has to say lays the foundation for meaningful conversation. And whatever we end up saying, we’ll know that we’ve shared it in a way that honors who we are. By taking the time to engage in a meaningful conversation, we’ll also know that we’ve listened fully to someone else and respected their needs as well.
3. Unplug and listen in.
With the cacophony of information and opinions constantly streaming through our digital devices, it can be difficult at times to know exactly what our opinion is and what we truly value. Sometimes diving into all the information can help us form an opinion that aligns with our values. But at other times it’s necessary for us to unplug – to turn off the television, avoid social media and listen in to ourselves. Spending time in silence, listening in to our deepest thoughts and feelings can inform us in a way that the external world can’t. With practice and over time we can discover the patterns of thoughts and feelings that feel most authentic to us. Spending time in silence, might also give us the confidence to express our opinions and add our voice to the ongoing conversation.
Finding your voice and speaking authentically is a practice.
Taking time to pause and reflect, knowing the right time to speak and listening in to your deepest thoughts and feelings requires a bit of mindfulness. Whenever you feel like turning your attention inward to discover your truest voice, eM Life is there for you. Access eM Life today and begin to discover a new point of you.
Article written by eM Life
Read more on the importance of self-care.
Also published on Medium.