Last week I wrote about how old beliefs you learnt earlier in life hold you back from finding your voice and how to identify and change them:
In this post I’m going to share practical tips on giving yourself your voice back so you can express yourself without fear. These are things that have worked for me or my clients.
I know it feels like you’ll have to shout and push yourself to the front to be noticed, whether it’s for a new business, your career or something personal, but these tips focus on finding YOUR voice, whether that’s loud and forward or calm and gentle. You’re unique and you’ll evolve your own approach with practice.
6 Practical Tips To Express Your Real Voice:
- Find one place you’re comfortable, start from there and focus on finding what works for you, not what works for other people. Being ‘out there’ comes more naturally to some people but it’s a skill anyone can learn, you just need to find the right way to do it. For you ‘comfortable’ may mean a social media platform you’re familiar with, blogging or other writing, taking and sharing photos or videos, making audio recordings or art. Look at the options beyond the obvious and see what appeals to you.
- What’s your message and who is it for? Be clear on why you want to be heard, by whom and what it is you want to say. Not everyone will be interested in what you have to say or benefit from it, but some will and they’re the audience who matter. Or is it that you want to have a voice among people closer to you, who you feel overstep the mark? Get clear on where you want to be heard.
- If I were to ask you why it matters to you to have a voice and be heard what would you say? Discovering your motivation is key to deciding how and where you’re going to focus. Knowing why it’s important will also help you to keep going when there are difficult days, when you’re frustrated with the outlet you’re using or wondering if anyone is reading, listening or watching.
- Accept that not everyone will agree with you and have a plan for it. It’s scary thinking that however you choose to express yourself others could disagree with what you have to say or belittle it. Just as you have the freedom to express yourself they have the freedom to disagree, even if it’s not in a mature or constructive way. However, if that happens you have a choice over how you react. Think of any space you create for yourself to speak, write or create in as like your house; you have some control over who you allow in. How you handle things like this is up to you, and even if it’s uncomfortable or it winds you up it won’t destroy you.
- Get to know your platform. Whether it’s a blog, shop, social media account or a physical place get to know how it works and what you can do to set your preferred level of privacy. For example if you’re running a group decide on a code of conduct and share this with new members. Find out what is within your control so you can set down your foundations and boundaries firmly.
- Get more comfortable with yourself. Yep – easier said than done. But I wouldn’t include it here if I hadn’t done it myself, despite it once seeming impossible, and if I hadn’t witnessed the same transformation in my clients. How do you even begin to do this? OK, this is a huge and complex topic but here’s one thing that’s helped me to build confidence in myself quickly: Commit to gaining experience expressing yourself. If you wait until you feel confident and comfortable you’ll never make a start. Expertise – and confidence – come from experience, and as you try out different ways of expressing the real you you’ll get to know yourself better, and that will enable you to become more comfortable with yourself. And that’s more important than any validation you’ll find from anyone else.
Finally, not a tip but a request: Keep going! I believe that the world would be a better place if every kind, caring person had the opportunity to do what they’d love to do, but I know we get discouraged because it seems impossible sometimes. The world needs you to keep going with trying to find your voice because we need to share the one of a kind light that each of us carries.