How to Find YOUR Voice – in a Noisy Distracting Bullying World
Who Are You?
Are you a chameleon or are you living the authentic you? When in a group of people do you speak your mind or simply agree with the majority? It takes confidence to stand alone. It takes confidence to be different. If your job challenged your morals and values would you do it or have the courage to say no? It takes courage to be authentic to your honest opinion when the group disagrees. Do you have the courage? Do you stand in your confidence? Can you stand alone?
What’s your voice?
Google defines courage as the ability to do something that frightens one. Which leads me to a very important question, when faced with the anxiety of fear, do you choose the safe route or do you choose to use your inner strength? Standing alone builds a better you. You are the only you, you have. You have to be the best you, for you, you can be!
I don’t think of ‘standing alone’, as difficult. That just means, it’s where my grace lies. We all have grace. It is the blessed strength to find a task easy that other finds difficult. I didn’t realize it until recently because I’ve been this way my whole life. When I was nine years old, I stood up to one of the fathers in my neighborhood and refused to back down. He kept his son in the house, away from the other kids in the neighborhood, trying to teach the son he was better than the rest of us. The father came home one day, caught his son playing baseball in the street with us…..and I, the nine year old and only girl with eight boys – went off! I told the father, his son was no better than any of us, he went to public school just like us, lived in a middle class neighborhood just like us, deserved a childhood just like us and keeping him in the house wasn’t going to make him better. The father and his son went home, called my mother and she marched me back up the street to apologize…..he has not received an apology yet.
Finding Your Voice
To find your voice, you have to have experiences – standing alone. It teaches you, your grace, boundaries and authenticity. Only in adversity will your true character come forth. Only when all you have is you to rely on, you learn who you really are.
- Know Your Grace
@iamSteveHarvey calls it a Gift, (click the link to view the video). He defines it as ‘the thing that you do the absolute best, with the least amount of effort’. You probably disregard it because it comes so easy to you. Spend the next 20 days, journaling everything you do. EVERYTHING! If you need a calendar or planner with 30-minute time slots, print one and begin filling it out. Like got dressed, did my hair, cooked pies, wrote a proposal – write down everything. If you need to keep a couple of post-it notes in your pocket, then drop them in a box at the end of each day – it’s a journal, do it. Then in days 21 – 30, highlight the tasks you found easy, but others found very helpful because they would find it very difficult to do themselves. Your Gift, will shine through. You’ll see it.
- Know Your Boundaries
Think of your life as square box. Top, bottom and two sides that are all equal width and length. What type of people are allowed in the box? What type of people exist outside the box? What type of behavior is allowed in the box? What type of behavior exist outside the box? First, let’s look at morals – make a list of your ten closest friends (not family). Assign each friend one word, an adjective that describes them as a person. Consider words such as, honest, trustworthy, dishonest, encouraging, self-controlled, manipulator, caring, fair, selfish, just, responsible, stagnant, dependable, compassionate, etc. Now, go back and look at each word, why do you allow that characteristic in your life? Now let’s look at values – your values are simply a prioritization your morals. It’s what’s most important to you. Look back at the list of morals, rate them one through fourteen, based on which is more important. This is the picture of who you are, do you agree?
- Know Your Authenticity
Get real with yourself, separate your representative from the real you. Think of the last three situations in your life that scared you. Write down ten adjectives that described how you felt during the unfolding of the situation. Words like anxiety, joy, excitement, confused, outraged, lonely, shamed, horrified, frenzy, panic, distress, rage, etc. Next write down how you handled each situation. Write down action words describing what you did to solve the situation. Did you do nothing? Do you ask someone else to handle it? Do you stomp through it? Did you solve it? Did you decide to just live with it? Now read an adjective from the situation list and match it to a word on the list of how you handled the situation. Complete this sentence, “when I feel _____, I _____ people”. For instance, when I feel anxiety, I stomp on people. You’ll get the picture.