When was the last time you felt like you didn’t have a say in something? A time when you felt like nobody heard what you had to say?
I wouldn’t say that I get sick often, but when I do it seems to be with something odd. A few weeks ago I woke up to a big lump on the right side of my neck. It was just the one side, I could breath fine, but I knew that I had to get it checked out right away. While sitting in Urgent Care, I wondered what had caused this growth so suddenly? Where did it come from, what had caused it? I had a fever a few days previous to waking up to the lump, could they be connected? So many questions running through my mind as I sat there waiting to be seen. Have you ever had some ailment happen to you that made you question what the heck was going on with your body?
There are many things in life the ‘pop up’ unexpectedly, and we often think, where the heck did that come from, like the lump on my neck that I mentioned? In my Master’s counseling program, we constantly talked about finding out what our triggers are and where they come from. It’s an unexpected surprise, to be caught up in things that trigger our emotions or physical ailments that are not anticipated, yet we all know that life is full of unexpected surprises.
When I was called back to see the doctor I was nervous to hear about what was going on with me. She reiterated several times that it seemed to be just a blocked salivary gland, but if anything got worse, if I had a fever, if I couldn’t speak, then I needed to go to the emergency room right away. Cue the nervous thoughts! Later that evening I did start to get a fever. My body went in and out of the sweats that evening, trying to fight off this foreign thing in my body. My biggest worry through all of this was the thought of losing my voice because that would mean that I would need to go to the emergency room. This is so similar to life. We worry and worry about the things that could happen and often times that silences us into not taking action in our own lives and businesses because we don’t know how they will turn out. I didn’t end up having to go to the emergency room, but it did put things into perspective for me about having a voice, and what all does that mean? What are the things that matter? When do I need to speak up and speak out instead of letting fear, worry or stress stifle that big, beautiful voice?
There are many events that come to life unexpectedly. We are unprepared and the outcome is unpredictable. The thought of literally losing my voice was a big worry, but even more so, the thought of losing my figurative voice was even more troublesome. The thought of not voicing what I feel deeply about or losing my identity because I don’t speak up scares me. Who I am without a voice? I am finding that as I age, and taking in all that I learned in my graduate counseling program, that we are all works in progress, and we are always learning more about ourselves so that we can feel comfortable in working through what is causing my stress or fear, then we can take steps to becoming the strong, confident person we intend to be.
What are the things that may stop your voice from being heard? How do you figure out where that is coming from and what do you do to strengthen your voice? What makes you feel heard?
In our lives and businesses we will encounter many surprises and various emotions that can sometimes stop us in our tracks in voicing our opinion or beliefs. Instead of approaching these circumstances with worry or fear, what are some strategies that will help with acknowledging the silence?
What are some strategies that will help in uncovering that sometimes lost voice? When I am faced with unexpected situations, like the lump in my throat or an unwanted criticism, I try to work through what I can actually control and what emotions are coming up for me. To feel stronger in sharing my voice, I think about how important it is (because your voices is important) to not feel locked up in your own existence. We may run into struggles, but what we do with those struggles and how we persevere through them shows the world that we are about to do something brave and exceptional.
Currently, is there an area in your life where you feel unheard? How do you plan to implement small changes in your thoughts to squish worry and fear so that you don’t become lost? I challenge you to pick two small affirmations to help you navigate those tough situations. I have chosen to tell myself that what I have to say matters, and to tell myself to not let this moment of worry take over who I am. Find your voice. Sing. Yell. Whisper. Talk. Converse. Do what you need to keep that voice, no matter how big or small, to stay true to yourself and continue to work toward what makes you shine in the first place.