Your voice. There’s a lot of power in it, but for so many reasons, sometimes we don’t realize it. Or believe it. Or trust it. Or choose to use it. But, it’s there – waiting for us to use it.
How many times have you caught yourself in a meeting or even in a small group conversation wanting to say something… really, really wanting to speak-up and say something, but you didn’t because it felt too uncomfortable?
Or, on the other hand how many times have you found yourself in a meeting or conversation and you just had no desire to even try to engage? You just went into the meeting knowing that you’d be unlikely to say anything because… well, you thought… your voice really doesn’t matter.
There are far too many times when we remain silent and on the inside we’re just dying to speak up. Or we get used to not speaking up because it feels easier to just not say anything at all. What holds us back from saying more, more often? What exactly are we afraid of?
There are many, many possible answers to these questions, but the important thing is to figure out what your answers are. What’s really holding you back? What’s making you feel uncomfortable? What is the worse that could happen if you did say what you wanted to say?
It’s no small thing to say that out of the billions of people in this world, no one else has the same thoughts, opinions, reasoning and heart that you have. When you express yourself – sure it may be similar to the views of others – but, the complete package, background, understanding and expression that it is born from is 100% you.
You have something unique and special to offer to this world – you just have to believe it first. And you have to remind yourself that if you don’t say it, there’s a chance that no one else will. So, that means that sometimes you’ll have to take a risk in the conversation – and even though your stomach may be turning and twisting knots on the inside, take a few deeps breaths, raise your hand or jump right in, and say what’s coming up inside of you to say.
It’s your voice… How do you want to choose to use it?
What’s happening in your life right now? What feels right? What doesn’t feel so right?
Take a moment right now to think about these three questions. What’s coming up for you? Any surprises? Anything coming up that you’ve been feeling for the last year… or two?
Our lives are often moving and shaking – we’re going from one task to another, marking one thing off of our to-do list only to go to the next… and then the next… and then the next. Sometimes this actually feels good – we’re happy to know we’re being productive and getting a lot of stuff done. Then, there are the days when it doesn’t feel so good. When we realize we’ve been caught up in all that stuff, and life is passing us by. Our dreams aren’t being realized; in fact, we’ve lost sight of our dreams and what they really are. And, the things that matter most in our lives – our families, loved ones, sacred time and space, good ole’ me time – are unconsciously being reprioritized to a much lower level of importance simply because we’re trying to keep up with “what needs to get done.”
What would shift in our lives if the tasks that ruled our world, became the things that actually mattered the most to us? So, instead of starting with the list of things that typically clog up your time, you shifted to prioritizing: Spending time with your partner, expressing love to the people who matter the most to you, carving out time to feed your passions and interests, exploring new things, holding time to do nothing simply because that’s what your mind and body are calling you to do.
Imagine a world where these things came first, then all the other stuff fell into place after what mattered most was taken care of. What would look different in that world? What would feel different?
What is calling out to you right now that needs to come first? Choose to shift one thing in your life today to make space for something that really matters. What’s it going to be for you?
There’s always lots of moving pieces in life. Home responsibilities. Work responsibilities. Relationship responsibilities. Some weeks it’s easy to feel like we’re on top of the world, and the very next week it can feel like the world is crumbing down… right on top of us. Been there, done that; and I know you have, too.
And, I know that what we also know is that it doesn’t stay that way. Life doesn’t stay buried on top of us like that forever. Sure, we can have an overwhelming week or month or even year. But, it doesn’t have to stay that way. Life and the world around us are going to shift and change, and we need to be there to shift and change with it. There’s no need to stay stuck in anything that’s not moving us forward. Easier said then done… yeah, maybe. Sometimes it takes work to get over that hump, but it’s work well-worth doing. Here are five tips to help you make moves.
Get out. Don’t let yourself stay trapped indoors. I know there are days when it feels great to just lounge around at home and bask in the greatness of your couch or bed. But, don’t let that be the norm for you. The great outdoors really does have something great to offer you, so get out there. Take a walk. Go on a bike-ride. Or just sit and stare at the world around you. There’s healing to be had in being outside with nature. Get out there.
Write. Sometimes we just need to get things off our chest. Sometimes it helps to talk to others, while other times just writing out our thoughts can be helpful. Put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – and see what happens. Let the thoughts that are trapped in your head out; give them a new home. Journal. Write a story. Simply brainstorm ideas. Make moves – write.
Move your body. I’m a dancer. Okay, let me clarify… Not a professional dancer – nowhere near that, but I like to dance. I think it’s a lot of fun. It’s also a release for me. I can get lost in dancing for hours if I’m able to. And, you know, I just feel good after dancing – it gives me energy in ways I can’t explain. You don’t need to go out to dance – turn up the music in your living room and move your body. Let yourself feel alive through movement; let go – no one’s watching.
Let go. Ah, that’s a big one. Sometimes there are things in our lives that we need to let go of. They linger over us like a huge dark cloud, and weigh us down like weights on both of our shoulders. There are some things in life that hurt and don’t feel good, and are not easy to get over. But, we have to try to move on when it’s no longer serving us to stay weighed down by negative emotions. If there’s something that’s coming to mind for you right now, get clear on what it is that you need to let go of and commit to finally letting it go.
Love yourself. Sometimes what we need most is a little – or a lot – of self-love. At times, we can be our own worst enemy and we can make it so hard on ourselves that it doesn’t make any sense. Back-off; give yourself space to be you and love who you are. There’s no one else on this earth like you – no one! How incredible is that? There are literally billions and billions of people in the world, and there’s no one who is like you. You’re here for a reason. Give energy to your greatness and live from that. Love yourself for who you are and give the world that fully.
What else comes to mind for you? What other ways can you get over the hump that’s holding you back? Share your ideas and thoughts in the comments.
You’re feeling stuck. Again. You have that great idea that’s going to transition you from working for someone else to doing your own thing, but you just can’t seem to get anything off the ground.
It’s amazing how the cycle goes: good idea, excitement, you’re ready to do it… but then nothing happens. Days go by. Months go by. Then, gasp – years go by and still little progress. What’s the problem you ask yourself? You’ve been excited about doing your own thing, you were excited about your idea, so why can’t you just get it together and make it happen!
There are a few things to point out when you find yourself in this situation. The first is obvious: That you’re feeling stuck and you know it. There’s no question that forward movement is not happening in this particular area of your life right now. Another point that may fall into the not-so-obvious – at first glance – category is around how you feel about that thing you need to do. At first thought you think, yeah, it’s totally something I want to do. In fact, I definitely want to do it.
That’s where I come in and say, hold up wait a minute. There’s something else going on here. If you really want to do this, then why isn’t it getting done? What are the barriers? What’s holding you back? Could it be that it’s actually something you’re not really feeling connected to at all, and you’re trying to force yourself to do it for some reason.
And, there it is. That’s what’s been holding you back – you’re trying to make yourself do something that you’re not feeling connected to. Before we go any further, let me say this: sometimes what you feel connected to – like the idea of starting your own business – can be mixed in with something you don’t feel connected to – like doing it a certain way or getting certain tasks done. It’s important to be aware of this so you know how to deal with it when it happens.
When I transitioned out of my traditional career path, I was both excited and really scared. I wasn’t exactly sure of a lot of things, but I recognized that at times uncertainty is all a part of doing something new and different. It’s part of the process. I had a lot of ideas and I was eager to get things moving, but at the same time I often felt like time was passing me by and I wasn’t making the movement that I wanted to be making.
After going through this for quite some time, I realized I needed to just take a step back and figure out what was really going on with me. In doing so, one day I sat down and made a, “What really excites me about what I want to do?” list. I didn’t include what I thought I should be doing or what other people were doing that seemed to be working for them. I just focused on the stuff I knew made me happy and excited to think about and to do.
After completing that list my energy shifted and I re-directed my focus. Instead of fretting over stuff that I wasn’t really into, I got really excited about the stuff that guess what – made me really excited. And a strange thing happened. That not so exciting stuff that kept me stuck in my tracks? Some of it got weeded out into the, I’m not going to try to force myself to do this anymore category. While I surprisingly found myself doing some of the stuff I’d previously been avoiding, because I saw the value of it in connection to what really excited me about starting my business.
What have you been trying to force yourself to do that deep down you really aren’t connected to? How can you shift your energy towards what gets you really excited? I want to hear from you, so be sure to share your responses in the comments section.
I’ve noticed something lately, and I think it’s about time to take it head-on: the trap of perfectionism. We get stuck in the middle of trying to do everything “right” while the gates of perfectionism slowly start closing in on us. Then, there we are stuck in its confined space – a space that doesn’t let us see past those suffocating gates towards a life that just lets us live and be. The result: not living the life we really want to live while also falling into a cycle of being way too hard on ourselves. I don’t know about you, but that’s not cool with me and I’m not willing to accept it.
You don’t need to be “perfect” to rock it. You don’t need to have it all together and to have all the answers to stand confidently in who you are. You as you are is enough. Your experiences, your joys, your achievements, and your failures… those all make you who you are. You were put on this Earth to be uniquely you and to shine in that light. Do that. Let go of trying to fit yourself into a box called “perfect”; that box is only going to hold you back from living life more fully.
Let this sink in. Let it permeate through your bones. You don’t need to be perfect, and you shouldn’t want to be perfect. Your imperfections, your quirkiness, your life experiences make you exactly who you are – someone unique and special who has something to offer to the world. When we are able to open ourselves up to doing just that – offering who we really are to the world – a weight is lifted off of us. We are really free to be who we are.
Yesterday is yesterday and today is today. Choose to do something differently today. Choose to say that you are ready to accept who you are and live more comfortably in your own skin today. And when you slip-up, and notice yourself being self-critical, acknowledge it then let it go. Remind yourself that perfection is not the end goal. Living life authentically you is, and that includes falling down at times but knowing you can get right back up and keep going your way.