I’ve heard it said recently, from various sources, how hard it is to find your voice…so I know it’s not just me!
When you’re a small business owner, and you want to communicate your message to those who need to hear it, how do you find what’s inside you that needs to come out?
You feel ‘blocked’ with all the conflicting thoughts and worries in your head about “what will people think”, so you find it hard to tune in, to hear the message that you really want to share. And how do you find the courage to share it once you do know?
How DO you find your voice, and communicate effectively from deep within your heart ?
Well I know one thing for sure, even though you might spend a long time thinking and ruminating, learning comes from taking action, however small.
Have you ever watched a young baby in her first efforts to move around ?
I’ve seen various methods from bottom shuffling, to straight away crawling, each equally effective to the budding explorer! I remember when my daughter was a baby she used to drag her little body forward using her forearms, and could pick up quite a speed doing that!
She very soon progressed to pulling herself up on the furniture, and her little arms would get stronger every day!
Each time she pulled herself up, eventually she’d fall down again ( I was still into cloth nappies at that stage, so her bottom was very well padded!)
She’d sometimes look a bit frustrated, but then she’d just start again, pulling herself up, with relentless energy it seemed. And only a very short time later (any parent of a toddler will confirm it feels like the blink of an eye!) she started tottering her first little steps, without holding onto anything…! (I have the film footage to prove it!)
She didn’t need any encouragement to do this, it was just a natural progression, fuelled by a desire to ‘get out there’ and explore!
A bit like the way you might ‘find your voice’ …
Once you have the desire, it’s a case of taking action, baby step by baby step.
“Well that’s all very fine and dandy”, I hear you say, “but how do I even begin to find my voice?“
In my experience, the first step to find your voice is to listen.
Yep, that’s right, listen to your body, which has a deep wisdom, and will tell you what you need to hear.
“Eh? How do I find my voice by listening to my body?”
Well, for example, you might choose to close your eyes, and bring your awareness to the different parts of your body, from your toes up your legs and torso, and up into your chest and head. Notice how your body feels when you think about ‘finding your voice’.
“Ok, this feels a bit silly but I’ll give it a go. As I feel into the different parts of my body, I notice that my left knee aches a bit, and I’ve got an itch on my arm.
But when I bring my attention to my middle, I feel a big emptiness in my stomach, like there’s a big gaping hole there. As I scan further upwards, I can feel the tension in my throat, almost choking me!”
The second step is to choose one place in your body that seems to be drawing your attention the most, and ask that part what it wants to say to you.
“Eh ? What it wants to say to me? Oh I don’t know about this.. ok … deep breath and focus.
Well, when I bring my attention to the big empty hole in my stomach, I can hear words that seem to say, “Nobody will be interested”, and “People are far too busy to listen to me”.
As I hear these words, I feel my eyes well up with tears!
Gosh I had no idea I felt this so deeply!”
The third step is to say something comforting.
“Comforting? What do you mean?”
Well, imagine that those words you’ve just heard are being spoken by a young child (yes, you have a little child inside you who longs to be heard).
What would you say to this young child to comfort her?
“Well, I feel very silly talking to myself, but ok, here goes:
When I hear “People are far too busy to listen to me”, I feel like saying to her “I’m here, and I’m listening.”
“I’m always here for you, and I will always listen.”
“What do you need from me?””
The final step is to listen again.
When you’ve spoken your comforting words, you might notice a shift, and a difference in feeling in that part of your body. Listen again for any further words.
“It’s really strange but I do feel different, like the empty feeling in my middle is not empty, it feels sort of ‘filled’ again. And I’m sure I heard the words ‘listen to me’…”
So it seems that to find your voice, the real key is to listen to yourself…
…so that your whole being can feel deeply witnessed. Before you can feel confident that other people will want to listen to you, it’s vital to first make sure that YOU are listening to you!
And eventually you can be sure that the deep well of compassion and love that you have for your clients can pour forth, as you begin to find your voice, baby step by baby step.
And eventually that worry about “what will people think” won’t be so powerful anymore, because your core messages will be clear to you, and your ‘right clients’ will be longing to hear your words.
As you listen to your own self, you’ll begin to build the strength that will sustain you as you set out on your own exploration (and remember to keep those baby shoes as a memento! You’ll be amazed at how fast you’ll outgrow them once you start moving!)
Over to you!
I’d love to know how this resonates with you – what helps you to engage with your real voice ? And how have you found the process of discovery?
Please share in the comments box!
(With thanks to JohnLoo for the photo)