Thanksgiving 2019. My family and I were in the mountains in New York State and one night we were at a little dive bar. It was karaoke night and a woman in her 50s with gorgeous, really long, white hair, got up to go sing “Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About” by Bonnie Raitt. This tiny little woman at the best 5’5” started belting out this song. If you haven’t heard the song before, you have to listen to it here. It gives me chills every single time! This woman’s voice was beyond amazing! She was fantastic! She could have a singing career if she chose to do that. That’s how good she was.
As soon as she finished, I went over to her and complimented her on her voice and how amazing she was. I really wish I had a picture of her so I could post it on social media and find her. She looked me dead in the eyes and said: “You’ll find your voice too, you have it in you. It just takes some time to find it” and that has stuck with me ever since. I honestly think about that conversation at least once a month.
Finding my own voice
If you’ve been following along on my journey over these past few years, you know that I’ve personally experienced a lot of growth. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my business, and I’ve worked really hard to peel back the layers of other people’s voices and really find my own voice and truly understand what voices are mine and which voices are other people’s voices.
I believe this is a really important conversation to have because it can be so easy to take on voices that aren’t ours. Whether it’s our parents, siblings, friends’ voices, or voices from coaches we’ve worked with or people who have influenced us.
Don’t be untrue to you
It is so easy to get lost in social media and what we “should be doing, what’s working, and how we should show up in the world” and ultimately it can lead to a lot of disappointment in yourself. Glennon Doyle talks about this in her book Untamed. She says to her kids: “If you have to choose between disappointing me and disappointing yourself, always disappoint me because I can manage that disappointment. But never ever disappoint yourself.” I tell that to my kids all the time: disappoint me, don’t disappoint yourself. Don’t let yourself down. Don’t be untrue to you.
I have spent so much of my life not necessarily being true to me. Ironically enough, I was writing a note to my coach, and we were trying to figure out why I feel so much resistance to doing some of this social media stuff. Why do I resist doing social media content prompts or break down things in social media?
It all kind of goes back to my agency days. I was in a toxic situation with some people in my company and essentially I didn’t trust myself anymore. I abandoned what I knew to be true in my gut in order to save face and ended up ignoring this piece of me that was screaming inside of me. I still feel guilty for abandoning myself and I’ve done a lot of work around healing that piece and really peeling back the layers. I believe oftentimes we can get lost and take on these masks or this armor that isn’t ours.
Using your voice
I don’t think this is talked about enough in the online space. Finding your voice and using your voice can really be challenging because the work that you need to do isn’t always super fun or comfortable. You’re digging into these different emotions you have and realize that many of the decisions you made, you may have done with a voice that wasn’t yours. You were influenced by something outside yourself. Part of me finding my voice is also learning to use it (again).
- That voice has always been there.
- It’s been very loud.
- I haven’t always respected it, but I’ve always listened to or heard it.
- I haven’t always heeded the advice it had, but I’ve always heard it.
Part of learning to use that voice and exercising it is understanding what it means to exercise it. For me, it’s actually talking about my beliefs, it’s talking about the lessons that I’ve learned along the way and it’s sharing more of my values, being vulnerable and being able and willing to put yourself out there, and having people be like: “you know what, I don’t agree with you”; or “oh my God, yes exactly.”
I believe in standing up for your beliefs when the time comes. Finding your voice and using your voice. Being vulnerable and creating, for me, means that I truly want to create an impact in the world. I really want to help people find more freedom; whatever that means to them.
We can each find freedom in our own way, but the basis of that is impact. It’s not how much money we can make along the way. Your money is a side effect of that impact. What is the impact? The impact comes in so many ways in the world. Understanding that when we can do good in the world, when we can make an impact, when we can help more people get closer to where they want to be, it’s a better place for everyone to live in the world. If I can help empower more people to bring their programs to life and show up authentically and be themselves fearlessly, then I feel I have succeeded in the world.
Moving forward despite some fears
Finding that voice and using that voice has certainly been a journey. I go through periods because I do feel very vulnerable where I don’t necessarily feel comfortable sharing because I feel like a lobster who’s shed its shell and I’m waiting for the new shell to grow. But for a lobster to grow, it has to physically shed that shell and grow a new one. I am certainly in that phase of growing a new shell and sometimes when you do that it feels riskier and more vulnerable to do certain things. Despite those fears that are coming up for me, I’m still choosing to move forward and take action on those things.
I shared this with you because I think it’s amazing how the words of one person on one random night in my life three years ago have impacted me so much into my future. I was joking that night saying: “Oh man, she’s like my spirit animal. I want to be just like that when I grow up”. If I can be that amazing in owning my talents and owning my long, white hair, and just owning myself and showing up as myself at that age, how amazing would that be?
Ultimately, I think I am becoming that much sooner than I really expected
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