Francesca has a B.A. in Psychology. She’s a writer, wife, expat (living between Los Angeles & Switzerland) and a bookworm.
Most of us communicate regularly to those around us. But are you genuinely familiar and intimate with our authentic voice? In a noise-addicted world it’s becomes harder and harder to find your voice. To know who you are.
Terry Tempest Williams beautifully dives into the process of finding her own voice in her book When Women Were Birds:
“For many years, I wandered through the desert in search of a narrative that was not mine. I did not feel I belonged here. I was borrowing a landscape until I found my own.”
Many times we wander grasping for narratives which don’t belong to us. Perhaps out of fear or shame. Believing we don’t have a voice worth finding. We do though. We really do.
Finding your voice means you know who you are at your core. Void of outside influence. Then using this voice to speak up and tell the world you matter even if you feel otherwise. It takes courage and faith to own your voice.
Below are 5 key components to finding your authentic voice. These are must haves for sure!
1. Be Unafraid of Being Alone
“Terry, each woman must come of age herself — she must find her true center alone. This is such an exciting process and you will find fulfillment and self-growth…If everything is right within you, nothing that happens to you can go wrong.” — When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams
The only way you can find your true center is alone. It’s exhilarating and…scary. Heck it sounds lonely. But, truthfully, I’ve felt more alone looking to others for fulfillment and answers to life’s problems than I did when looking inwardly.
Be honest with yourself about where you’re at in regards to knowing yourself. It’s ok if the answer isn’t what you want (if it is then great!). The beauty is, by knowing your starting point, you can track your progress.
Allow yourself to answer the calling of what pulls you in. Pay attention to what makes you feel alive, connected and inspired. Create quiet time where you can connect with yourself and the spirit of energy around you.
Once you connect with your voice, the loneliness will lessen and you’ll feel more alive than ever.
2. Walk Your Own Path
“Far too long we have been seduced into walking a path that did not lead us to ourselves. For far too long we have said yes when we wanted to say no. And for far too long we have said no when we desperately wanted to say yes.” — Terry Tempest Williams
As children, we’re bold, unapologetic and unashamed coming into the world and somewhere along the way conditioned out of self-love. Most of us anyway. What happens?
We start caring about fitting in, being loved, etc. We define ourselves with external factors. Placing more weight on what’s happening outside of us rather than inside of us. Conditioned by fear. We teach ourselves we’re unworthy by betraying our experience of life in favor of pleasing others.
The good news is we don’t have to stay this way. We can reconnect with ourselves and use our voice the way it’s meant to be used. Free from fear, guilt and a desire to please others at the expense of your happiness.
Pay attention to how you betray your voice.
Do you have a problem saying no? Do you push aside feelings of discomfort and agree to something you know will distract you from your goal? Are you suppressing desires you have because of fear and insecurity?
Instead of basing decisions to conform, start basing them on YOU. Your goals, desires and dreams. Walk your own path.
3. Get To Know Your Voice Without Judgment
“When a woman cries, she is the closest to her most authentic self” — Terry Tempest Williams
By distracting ourselves from feeling our emotions we deny ourselves true experience. In the book Learning to Love Yourself by Gay Hendricks, Ph.D he talks about how resisting our life experiences causes us to lose a direct relationship with life.
“It seemed like my whole life was one big resistance: against my feelings, against love, against my own energy and potential.” He then states, when we resist, we see life through “a fog of our beliefs, opinions, and conditioned responses.”
Your voice is meant to be completely different than anyone else. Which is why it’s hard to recognize.
What can we do? Be still. Sit in silence for ten minutes and observe.
Allow yourself to surrender to your emotions and take note without judgment. In meaning, don’t “think” about or intellectualize what you’re feeling. Let it be.
As William S. Burroughs beautifully said, “Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for an answer.”
It’s in the silences we can learn who we truly are and how to help ourselves. Where we find our voice. But you can’t partake of this wonderful gift if judgment is involved.
Every morning, I meditate for 10 minutes using my Headspace app. Meditation has become a treasured tool in my voice finding journey. My spirit feels centered and connected afterwards.
4. Be Honest With Yourself
Honesty is tough. Which is why most of us distract ourselves with constant noise (watching tv, talking, being busy, etc). We don’t want to face the truth for various reasons. But if you want to find your voice this work has to be done.
“When we don’t listen to our intuition, we abandon our souls. And we abandon our souls because we are afraid if we don’t, others will abandon us. We’ve been raised to question what we know, to discount and discredit the authority of our gut.” — Terry Tempest Williams
Connect with your gut again. Your intuition. In each situation you encounter observe the emotion you’re feeling. Then take note: Are you trying to suppress it? Or are you willing to experience it? Each emotion is a confirmation of where you’re at in life and who you are.
If you don’t like something about yourself: change it. Distracting yourself won’t remove issues beneath the surface. The sooner you can be honest, the sooner you can have authentic freedom.
5. Act Upon Your Creative Calling
Creativity is the closest we get to our authenticity. Our connection to something greater than us. Ethereal. That’s where your voice can be found as well.
Do what you love with no strings attached. Experiment and do something out of love and respect for your unique, divine voice. Create in order to heal and express yourself and hopefully you’ll inspire others along the way.
These are some great tools to use in the beginning stages of finding your voice.
Connect with yourself, become familiar with your authenticity void of judgment or comparison and experiment with things which pull you. Envision yourself creating your own narrative.
If you want to jumpstart your self-love journey by creating your own affirmations download my freebie!