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In today’s guest post coach Gail Gaspar shares her experience and knowledge as she shares the message:
By Certified Career Coach Gail Gaspar MA, ACC
Your unique voice is a gift to the world. Your voice does not need to be fixed, squeezed or formatted into an acceptable template according to the standards of others.
We learn early on to take our cues from society and others. Negative self-talk and limiting beliefs are tethered to our perceptions about what will others think. If we continue to cue up unconsciously and hand our voice over to others, we lose our ability to trust ourselves. We must trust ourselves before others can trust us.
Let’s begin with some backstory. I got my first and last chance to be a singer in a rock and roll band when I was 16 years old. Much to our delight, my two best friends and I were invited to band practice in the guitar player’s basement. My friends jumped at the chance to sing with the band. Like any self-conscious teenage girl worth her bell-bottoms, I hung back, quite relieved to sit this one out.
When the song was over, one of the band members turned to me. How about YOU? Let’s hear YOU sing. Picture me resisting, shrinking, embarrassed by unwanted attention. They literally had to pull me up to the microphone to sing Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. For the record, it clocks at 8:02 minutes. When the song was over, the band members made a fuss about my voice and did not mention my friends’ duet. My friends were mad. They did not speak to me the entire ride home.
I apologized to my friends. It was not the last time I did not OWN the sound of my own voice.
One of the band members showed up at my house the following day to ask my parents if I could join the band as a singer. My parents were not at all agreeable. They forbid me to sing with the band. No daughter of theirs was going to be a singer in a rock n roll band, and all that. Of course I was furious with my parents. But more than anything, I felt the wrath of my friends. My voice had landed me in an enviable position, and I did not want to lose my friends.
This circumstance fueled a powerful story I carried around for years. My ability to shine would have adverse consequences. And so, for a time, I dulled my shine and squashed my voice.
Do you trust the truth of your voice? Where are you voicing what others want or expect to hear? Is your voice story supportive for you?
In my line of work as a Career Coach, the ONE thing that stops more people from acting on more dreams is the refrain, “What will OTHERS think?”
I see it going on all around me. Recently, I met a lovely woman who was an opera singer. She confided to me, I’d like to audition for a solo. I’m good enough and yet stay in my comfort zone singing as part of the ensemble. The truth is, she said, I don’t trust the sound of my own voice.
When our consideration is primarily externally focused, the result is a tempered, vanilla voice that does not sing true or support us in doing what we want to do in the world.
Intellectually, we may know it is best not to feel needy, attached to outcomes or what others think of us. But sometimes, as you also probably well know, it’s hard!
So how do you stop yourself from being driven primarily by external expectations and tune in to your inner voice?
Lose your mind. Get physical and check in with your body to discover what’s true.
Let go of the need for perfection and struggle. Your true voice is best coaxed from non-attachment to outcome, willingness to make mistakes and belief that voicing your truth trumps it all.
Give yourself permission to honor what YOU want. More free writing? Play time? Sitting still each afternoon for a cup of tea? Whatever it is, recognize and create space to honor what’s true for you.
Cultivate faith and trust. Even though you can’t see what’s ahead, you have something important to say and the world needs your gifts. If you hide or hoard your gifts, you are depriving others who need to hear what you have to say.
Go big or go home. Shake things up. Question the way things are. Take more risks. Say it proud. Everyone doesn’t have to like what you say. Those who can and need to, will hear you.
Led Zeppelin did not know when they were composing Stairway to Heaven that it would become one of the greatest rock songs of all time. They put their voices out in the world.
Allowing your inner voice to drive the action will result in rewarding opportunities. The good news is you can create a new voice story at any time and from wherever you are. You never know who your voice will touch, how your authentic voice will carry forward. Until you try.
Do you tend to heed or ignore your inner voice? What is your voice story? How is it serving you? Is it time to take action on your story? We all benefit when you share your voice to comment below.
Gail helps women entrepreneurs activate powerful truth, awareness and intention for more impact, freedom and fun.
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Article Source: Why You MUST Stop Squashing Your Voice
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