Today….I found my Voice.
Actually, I began finding it a few years back at the start of this incredible journey of leaning in to fear, hoping to empower others and creating something I’m passionate about. In doing so, I’ve been doing much self-reflection and today…well, today was the culmination of all of this where I can honestly, proudly and slightly giddily state: I found my voice!
So where does the tiara come in you ask? I’ll fill you in later on…
I was asked to speak at an event celebrating International Womens’ Day in Kingston for RBC. Talk about tickled (pink of course…). My first thought was “me?”. Really: ME?? However my response whilest thinking this was a resounding HECK YES!.
Timing is everything; had I been asked to do this a few years back, it would have been something so nerve-wracking I’m not sure I would have said yes. I would have wanted to – since public speaking is a passion of mine and something I’ve always wanted to do – but I don’t think I would have taken this on. You see …. up until a few years ago I didn’t believe in “me” and what I had to offer the world. I was happy. I was content. I just didn’t have the full confidence to step up and lend voice to my story, journey and lessons.
In creating my presentation – I looked back at life experiences and how they had affected me. How situations I thought nothing of previously now had such relevance. Helloooooo: such as the day I was lying in a hospital bed and didn’t want to “use my voice” and “bug” the nurse to let her know I couldn’t breathe. It took me a minute or so to realise I TRULY couldn’t breathe and when I finally did bow down and ask her for help…well….I’ve never seen a code blue (literally) happen so fast.
I nearly died that night.
For fear of using my voice.
I’m not sure when there is a more desperate, needed time to speak up than when life is slipping away. And I nearly didn’t do so.
This, as you can imagine started me on a journey to find out a few things: One: what the HECK was wrong with me that I couldn’t speak up when faced with a serious life-situation??? And two: For someone outwardly confident….why did I find it so hard to use my voice sometimes when needed?
And so the search began. What a search. What an incredible experience it has been. And ……. what amazing outcomes. This need to change (in a positive way), to be heard, to not care so much….finally took hold and about time at that.
So finding your voice? To me it’s imperative. It can help you FULFILL your life (or as in my case….literally save it). We need to value ourselves enough to know our opinion is worthy. We need to own those compliments when offered. We need to offer influence to others in the world to help empower them. By staying quiet, you never know what the world could be missing out on! We need to ignore the chorus of negative voices that can abound in our head…and that can be voiced in the form of self-deprecation and we need to not give in to elephantine fears that might hold us back.
I speak from experience on all of those and LOVE the last one especially (not just because it’s about elephants!) since without confidence and belief in myself, I never would have stepped out of my comfort zone to create impact events for youth. I never would have faced the multitude of fears in the face. And I wouldn’t have found the value of my voice.
If you give in to fears; you are holding yourself hostage. Hostage to what could be. The world might miss out on something incredible just because there’s some fear there. I say this:
Don that sparkly tiara
See? It came in at some point. I want you to always imagine you are wearing that imaginary tiara. You need to walk tall to balance it – and you truly feel like you shine wearing it. Fight back the fears….and let the world hear what you have to offer.
Since you may not know this: but there are many people around you whom you inspire on a daily basis. Your smile changes their day. Your attention on them MAKES their day. You just may not believe this yet.
You have much to offer. Take a page out of my book – and kick fear to the curb……grab the megaphone……
And find your voice.
Coach C x