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Finding Your Voice

By: Natalie

We use our voices in so many ways. We sing, speak, and write everyday, but how can we use our voices in a way that is distinctly unique to who we are? How can we channel our voices to become a source of confidence, instead of allowing us to shy into the background?

I had a teacher that once said that when you write something, you need to leave a little bit of yourself in every line. I left her classroom with a deep passion for finding my voice. Her takeaway applies to all channels of communication as well. Through written sentence, speaking up in a meeting, or even via body language, finding our voice and the method of communication that speaks true to who we are is a personal journey that is worth every second.

Finding and using your voice is about being authentic to who you are. It is about using your unique traits to find focus and purpose in all forms of communication. It is about finding confidence and pride in everything that makes you an individual.

We all have a message and a story to share. And by using our voices, we can better express our unique messages and stories to loved ones, co-workers, and friends. Regardless of being an introvert or an extrovert, we can use our unique personality traits to curate our message and voice.

How to Communicate Effectively in Your Own, Unique Voice

When I started the process of finding my own, unique voice, I created a short checklist. After communicating, I would go through the checklist to see what did and did not occur within my message and through that, I found it to be used effectively to show where I could improve. These are tools that can last a lifetime and are all about being authentic and confident in who you are!

Define Your Message & Focus

Our voices are our primary vehicle for effectively sharing our purpose with the world.

Lately, I have personally defined my message as seeking to inspire others through my creations and encouraging others through positivity.

First, I wrote that message down on paper. I thought about it for a few days and came back to edit where needed. Then, I started to be more conscious of how I want to spread and embody that message.

Ultimately, I have chosen to use my voice to spread my message and develop my hopes & dreams. By finding and growing my focus, it has been easier for me to see how my voice has shaped my purpose.

What are your goals in the short- or long-term future? What skills do you love to show off and how might you share them with the world? When do you feel the most confident in yourself and why?

Using these guiding questions, consider what your message and focus might be. This goal or statement might change on a day-to-day basis, as we are ever-changing humans. Though it will help to know what you want to share with the world so that you’re intentional on how your voice can help in that process. Your guiding focus is about you and what makes you happy.

Connect Your Message to Context

After coming up with a guiding focus, I consider how I might spread and use my message in my daily interactions.

I made a list of all the different audiences and contexts in which I speak or write. For example, I speak to my family and friends in-person, on the phone, and through text messages. I communicate to colleagues through email, on phone calls, and in daily conversation- and the list goes on.

My message and voice play a role in all contexts, but I might have to adapt my voice to best provide that message to the right audience. Who do you talk, present, or write to on a daily basis? How can you share or embody your message to these various audiences in the best way possible going forward?

Be Mindful with Your Message

Though the methods in which we communicate in various settings might change based on the context and audience, it is important to remain true to who we are. Setting really applies to being mindful of your voice. When does it feel scary or intimidating to be yourself? How might an audience perceive different messages or specific verbiage?

How we talk to our childhood friends is very different from how we talk to a boss or a co-worker, but that doesn’t mean that we have to lose the bits of magic that make us unique. We can still use our guiding focus in all settings while remaining conscious of changes in formality or context.

Being mindful of thoughts and feelings is a step to finding authenticity in voice. To develop my voice and practice being authentic to me, I wrote down different past experiences of when I felt I couldn’t use my true voice and then I considered how I could have used my message and focus to guide that situation in a different manner.

It is not easy to be 100% authentic all the time, especially given changes in audience, but being mindful, it becomes easier to adapt our voice while still being authentic. What situations have made you nervous or scared to use your voice? How does your message and focus play a role in that experience?

Find Joy in the Voices of Those Around You

Another way that I have learned to develop and be mindful of my own voice is through celebrating the voices of those around me.

A role model of mine is strong, independent, but without a doubt, the sweetest person I know. She speaks her mind and can effectively bring issues to light, while still remaining true to the positivity she represents. She has found a great balance in maintaining authenticity while still sharing her message. I have found so much inspiration from her stories, messages, and goals, and I have let that shape my own voice.

We can find inspiration and empowerment from those that speak with a voice that is authentic to who they are. I constantly seek to improve and develop my voice, and I do that, in large part, by finding joy in the voices of the people around me.

Who are your role models and how do they use their voice? Have you ever heard a great speaker? If so, how do you feel that they spread their message in an effective way?

Love Your Message and SPREAD THE WORD!

After creating and defining your message, it is time to start pouring your love into your guiding focus. Your voice comes from the passion, joy, and happiness that is in your message. Love your skills, traits, and unique abilities that make you who you are!

Share your message with loved ones. Share your message with friends. Share your message with the world!

How Will You Build Confidence in Your Voice?

Your voice is unique and authentic to who you are. By leaning in to your focus, you can find confidence in being you without boundaries.

Love your message, be confident in what you represent, and find joy in being your authentic self. Everyone brings their own stories, purpose, and message to communication- celebrate your voice and who you are. Let your true self shine, girl!

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