This week we will be reading stories that remind us that shame silences… abuse muffles …and fear mutes our voice, allowing a perverted code of silence that keeps children and spouses alike from speaking up or speaking out. Like Hana here:
If you grew up learning “WORDS CAUSE PAIN”, you grew up believing the best way to keep from getting hurt was to stay silent.
As you discovered the cost attached to using your voice, did you choose silence?
Did you find yourself ADJUSTING your expectations with others to keep from feeling rejection?
Losing your voice has consequences. One of these can be depression. Several years ago, a psychologist, Dana Jack, did a study about women and depression. She was looking for a connection between “self-silencing” and women who suffered from depression. Her thought was that when a woman loses her sense of “voice” in a relationship, she is more likely to experience fear, insecurity, sadness and anger. Because women tend to highly value relationships, if you are not able to bring your voice to those relationships, a sense of powerlessness, bringing with it a feeling of hopelessness occurs.
We sometimes silence our own voice if there’s a chance our opinion will be rejected, dismissed or bring abuse.
“A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.” ~ Melinda Gates
Here Are 5 Ways To Pump Up Your Volume!
1. Find at least one friend that will encourage you to speak up this year. And if that friend is a girl, don’t forget to be ‘that person’ for her too!
2. Face your fear of being rejected when you speak. Hey, if public speaking is the #1 fear – then you aren’t alone! Everyone has those times when our words fall flat. When we’ve made a remark that made us feel stupid. We have all lived through awkward silences or nervous giggles following our words. It happens. It’s part of being human.
3. Give yourself something to talk about. Invest in knowledge. Pursuing a passion and educating yourself will give you courage to speak up. It’s easier to be confident and assertive when you’re knowledgable about what you’re saying.
4. Shoulda… Coulda… Woulda… So many times we save our real voice and best thoughts for the moment we’re EXITING a relationship or job! For lots of women, it takes the decision that “I’m outta here!” before they’ll be honest about how someone is making them feel or how a situation is really working out. If things need to be said, or if something is bothering you- don’t hold your thoughts or words back, say it THEN. In that moment. Start small. Saying small things all along the way- may actually save the relationship, or job if you are honest in that moment. This must be practiced. Start somewhere. But do it. This is what healthy communication looks like.
5. Speak with insight and conviction. Comments made “off the cuff” – that we haven’t thought through much, are difficult to defend. The insightful and passionate voice needs to be developed and it begins with the ability to know yourself. Find out who you are. What makes you laugh? What brings you to tears? (besides hormones!) What cause stirs passion in your soul? Our voice strengthens as we learn to give our unique perspective to the world.
YOUR VOICE. You can’t buy it – but you can lose it. Have something to say and then pump up the volume!
The Lovely Experience is coming in 12 days….