A lot has been said about women finding “their voices.”
What does that really mean?
I believe a woman’s voice represents her power and presence. It’s an outward representation of who she is and what she wants for herself and the world around her.
Voice is so much more than the sound you make when you speak. Talking is easy; we’ve all been doing it since we were 2-years-old.
Finding your Voice is bigger and deeper than that.
- It’s HOW you show up.
- It’s taking a stand or position on something that matters to you.
- It’s WHO you are in the workplace (and at home).
- It’s courage, authenticity, determination, and passion.
- It’s connecting to your deeper WHY.
When you choose silence over speaking up, or you refuse to fully show up because you are afraid, you lose.
What about your team, your company, and your community? Let’s face it, when you shut down your voice, they lose, too.
So what stops you from expressing your Voice?
Typically, it’s the voices in our heads that hold us back from finding and expressing ourselves.
How many times have these limiting thought reels played in your head?
- What if I’m wrong?
- I don’t know enough!
- They’re going to make fun of me.
- Who do I think I am?
- My opinion doesn’t matter.
- What if I sound stupid?
- I don’t want to feel like a fraud.
- If it was a good idea, someone else would have already said it.
- I don’t want people to get mad at me.
I could go on and on, right? These fears are like unwanted house guests who move into your head and never leave.
The good news?
You’re not alone. Really. Every single one of my executive clients has had all of these thoughts. And what’s worse is, the more responsibility you have, the louder the voices become.
So how do you reclaim your power and send these voices packing? By re-framing them.
It just takes consistent practice. Think about it: If you go to the gym and focus your workouts on your biceps, you will eventually start to build your endurance, strength, and muscle tone. You will see improvements over time. The same thing happens here. You strengthen your Voice muscle and find your power.
One way to overcome the voice of your self-criticism is to re-frame the negative statements by flipping them around. Here are some examples:
- I wouldn’t be in the room if I weren’t valuable.
- I provide a different perspective.
- I’m not a Bitch!
- I know I’m genuine.
- It’s OK to be wrong.
- It’s OK to fail.
- My ideas are worthy of being heard.
- I can only control myself and I’m ok with that.
Another way to honor yourself and take control back is to set a declaration. Decide on one thing you will say YES to, and one thing you will say NO to.
When you say yes to one thing (staying silent, listening to the voices), you’re saying no to something else (helping the team/project move forward, someone feeding off of your input and together, creating something extraordinary).
Here are some examples:
I say YES to…
- Being authentic
- Knowing I am genuine
- Sharing my opinion
- Being happy and connected
- Being fearless
- Speaking out when I have an idea
- Acknowledging my skills and experience
- Being confident in my ideas
I say NO to…
- Fear that I sound stupid
- Judging myself
- Feeling inferior
- Holding back my opinion
- Allowing small things to trip me on my way to success
- Allowing fear of failure to hold me back
- Being silent
- Feeling I don’t know enough
- Undervaluing myself
- Not giving my opinions in meetings and giving away my power
What declaration will you make for yourself this year? What voices are you ready to re-frame and flip on their heads? What will you say yes to? What will you say no to?
Share your declarations in the comments section below. Let’s start a movement and support one another in owning our voices and declaring our power!