Your Voice – and how to USE it!

I’m familiar with the feeling you get in your stomach, that gut wrenching, nauseous feeling when you should have spoken up for yourself or someone else and didn’t. I know what it’s like to replay the conversation in your head with everything you COULD have said, but didn’t. I then know how you beat yourself up, tear yourself down, make yourself wrong for not doing that OR saying “well, I was the one wrong anyway” or “it will get better” or “I will say something next time” or “I’m not worth standing up for.”

I’ve been there, I know. And, I’m so happy to say, I’m not there anymore.

These 3 resources changed my life and my communication:

  1. The Landmark Forum
  2. Nonviolent Communication (here’s a link to the book.)
  3. Supportive people who hold the space for me.

I finally was tired of feeling like I wasn’t enough. I started believing I was worth it. I began taking risks and asking for small things to gain my confidence and learn I could.

I’m inspired to write this because I was shown again how far I’ve come. I got off the phone with someone who I’ve given a position of power in my life. I had been feeling unsupported, unappreciated, and undervalued. I felt like I wasn’t being heard. While I still vented about it to people in my life, I decided I didn’t want to vent to anyone anymore. I wanted to leave the conversation with this person feeling support, heard, and valued. In the end, it didn’t matter their response, it mattered that I DID IT. 

A year ago, I would have called 5 people asking them to role play the conversation. I would have lost sleep the night before because I would have played out every scenario possible in my head to be ready for whatever was said. This time, this is how it went:

  1. I asked for 5 minutes of their time.
  2. I said how I felt.
  3. I asked for what I needed.
  4. I told them what I wanted moving forward.
  5. There was silence, an apology, and then we moved on.

I left the conversation feeling heard. I hope things change, and if they don’t, that’s okay too. I know I have it in me to say what I need to say, to not take it personally, and to be a leader in my life.

Communication is key for successful relationships, including the one with yourself. I have learned the tools and practices to understand what triggers me, what they mean, what needs aren’t being met, how to communicate them to others, and most importantly, how to fill them myself. I’d love to help you with that too.

So, I’ll leave you with this simple practice:

  1. What are you feeling?
  2. What happened to trigger it?
  3. What needs are not being met of yours?
  4. What could be done to help you feel like your needs are being met?

Write it down. Practice using “I” statements. Have a conversation.

Start small. Have important conversations out of love. You are allowed to have needs, your are allowed to voice your needs, and you are allowed to meet you needs.

Using your voice empowers yourself and gives others permission to use theirs. It’s time to speak up, ask for what you need, and know, you are enough. A first step in finding your worth, value, self-trust, confidence, and self-respect is by finding your voice and using it. Are you ready to take the first step?

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