You’ve got to find your voice they’ll often say. But what the hell does that mean? And why? And who cares? And what is a voice to begin with?
Well, no matter who you are or what you do, you’re voice is going to give you the space and the amplification to know that what you’re about is getting communicated to the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a bunch of meetings, writing to no one on the Internet, creating videos on YouTube, or simply doing your Facebook thing — you have a voice.
But often it’s hard to figure out…is this voice true? Is this voice yours? Is what you’re saying what you’re really about or is it just what the Internet, the people, or the society says you should be talking about right now? The confusion can be intimidating even for those of us who to do this as a living.
I often push the boundaries of questioning myself and what I say, what I write, and what I create to make sure: Is this what I really think? Or am I saying it this way because I’m worried about people’s opinions? By constantly asking myself these questions, I’ve learned a few ways to help you find where your voice really is:
By voicing. You don’t find your voice in your head. You find it by trying. You find it by stumbling, stuttering, and then starting again. Your voice is developed in a direct correlation to how willing you are to voice it. So if you’re trying to find your voice at work, speak up. And speak up again. If you’re trying to find it in your writing, write. And write again. You find your voice by voicing.
By isolating. When I was writing my book this summer, I was passionate about protecting my voice. To make it mine. To make it truthfully me. To make it real. And to do that I had to step away from so many of the people and the outlets I normally listen to, read from, or watch. When you’re trying to develop and produce your voice, getting lost in the sea of other voices can make it so that you barely can hear your own. And you have to be able to hear your own voice. Get space.
We all need you to know your voice. We need your truth in the world. We need your unique perspective, your honest opinions, and what’s on your mind. But we can only receive that if you’re willing to voice it.