Each of us has a voice. And it is our responsibility to use that voice.
Yet, the majority of us live in fear of speaking up. How many times have you kept your brilliant ideas or burning questions to yourself because you were afraid of being judged?
But your voice makes a difference —and you don’t have to wait to get on a stage to use it.
Lisa Nichols, motivational speaker and CEO of her company Motivating the Masses, says, “The place where your voice will make the most difference is in the trenches: in bedrooms, living rooms, meetings, offices, and community events.”
But how do you use it to permeate every single person in your proximity?
Lisa mentions 3 ways on how to use your voice to inspire every life you’ve touched.
First, Recognize You Have A Voice
Stop looking. You already have a powerful voice. No matter your past, it MUST NOT be silenced.
It should be magnified to speak your truth, to speak their truth, and to speak the truth.
You should not be speaking up in spite of your past. Rather, it is because of your past that your voice is perfect.
Lisa is a world-class speaking coach now, but even she didn’t know she had a voice once.
It was difficult when she first started out. At school, she was teased every day. At one point, a classmate told her that she was ‘God’s mistake’.
She auditioned to be in Charlie’s Angel and the Bionic Woman, but she was rejected, despite winning every event in the tryouts.
The judge told her, “We couldn’t choose you because which Charlie’s Angels or the Bionic Woman will you ever look like?”
Since then, Lisa has questioned herself and dealt with severe self-esteem issues which lasted for the next 15 years.
“Why am I here? Why me this skin, why me this family?”
She sat inside self-blame and shame and tried her best to prove that she was good enough.
Her revelation came to her when she received a standing ovation from an audience of 15,000 people after her poem recital at church – one of them being TV’s Bionic Woman, Lindsay Wagner.
Lindsay told her, “Sweetheart, I’m an actress in Hollywood. You with your journey, you are the true Bionic Woman.”
It was then that Lisa realized the answer was not in trying to find validation in others. It was in self-love. Though it took her 15 years to learn this, it was a journey she had to go through.
And because of that journey, her voice became so much more powerful.
Instead of letting it become a fortress holding you back, use your past as fuel to develop your authentic voice.
Second, Do Carefrontation, Not Confrontation
Confrontation raises people’s defenses against you, but “carefrontation” melts people’s walls down.
Confronting starts with what’s wrong, but carefronting begins with what you care about your listeners.
When you show your imperfections and love, your listeners will show theirs too.
For example, if you want to have a difficult conversation with your spouse, begin with, “What I love about you is ________, or what I appreciate about you is _________, and I need your support in _______.“
If you want to build a deeper connection with others, you have to be willing to be vulnerable.
Lisa says, “when you show your imperfection and love, you’re giving others permission to do the same.“
Third, Be Willing To Disrupt And Be Disrupted
To use your voice at the highest level of truth, you need to disrupt your own life.
Give yourself permission to re-invent, re-discover, to fall, stay down — maybe for a long time and then, get back up mighty and strong.
It means letting go of who you’ve been and allowing yourself to transform, shedding away the “my voice doesn’t matter” identity, and wearing a shining layer called “my voice matters.”
Speaking up with your voice requires you to disrupt other people’s lives.
You may feel afraid to voice out because people may judge your idea. You may feel scared to give feedback because the other person might get offended.
But the truth is, your voice is a service for others and yourself. When you speak what you stand for, you’re rallying a movement to make this world a better place. You awaken people’s dreams and desires and give them the courage to use their own voice.
The question is:
- Are you willing to disrupt and be disrupted?
- Are you willing to rise above your own fears and wounds?
- Are you willing to speak your voice so that the people who hear you become a better version of themselves?
You’ve been given a gift —and it’s important for you to share it.
Recognize and accept your voice. When you show your vulnerabilities with carefrontation, your listeners will show theirs too. Be willing to disrupt your own and other people’s lives with your voice.
You’ll realize just how powerful your voice is.