As an observer of human behavior in different circumstances, from in person to person interactions, business related events, to social media interaction; I’ve noticed a repeat pattern: the need for many to find their voice through others.
These others are typically industry leaders, whether successful business owners or professionals in a specific field of interest of the individual in question. But another interesting observation is that of the industry leaders themselves too. They don’t necessarily look to others for their voice, but have the tendency to connect with those industry leaders who are helping individuals find their voice.
It’s an interesting dynamic because essentially each individual has their own special voice, their unique talent; yet before feeling confident enough to let it out and share it with the world they look to others for guidance. But not just any guidance, like the how and what from A to Z.
The world can seem scary and everyone starts from scratch with sharing what they are meant to bring into this world, but the question that comes to my mind is why importance isn’t given to their own voice from the start. What makes each of us who we are is truly valuable and at least a part of the people who are looking to others for guidance have had a supportive family that has probably told them to believe in themselves and always speak their mind.
Side note: I specify supportive family because that is where the filter of how we see ourselves and the world stems from. If family is not supportive, it only makes sense that a person feels their voice is not worthy. At least, not until someone shows them otherwise. However, with a supportive family, the filter of ourselves starts with value of our own voice, meaning individuals should be leading with their own voice from the start. Or so one would think.
So why is it that before reaching the point of finally giving themselves the credit they deserve they look for steps one to 10 to maybe, hopefully, gain that awareness of their own value (of their own voice’s value)?
Well, after reading numerous psychology and sociology books on the topic (besides personal and professional observations), I gather that it is just very scary for someone to take that leap without validation. This validation usually comes from external sources, then consequently it becomes internalized. And for those leaders who connect with leaders who impart their knowledge to help others grow, it is because what is alike attracts. It is because they see value in that relationship and because they resonate with those leaders.
But is there a way for people to find their own voice without tainting it with the voice of others? I believe so. It isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible; and thanks to the online world, it’s becoming more and more obvious to individuals that they are just as special and talented as the next industry leader.
Some will argue that in order to be of value or be meaningful, a person needs to create something that is concrete. To me, this is pure BS. In the sense that, the person’s existence in itself is concrete. Their everyday actions are their impact on the world. Even if that impact extends to a small group of people, that small group impacts another small group, and another small group, and all those small groups form a much, much bigger group.
This means that starting today, if you want, (yes, you, because you are reading this, which means you’re interested in using your own voice to share things with the world), you can simply choose to acknowledge your “specialness/uniqueness” and not follow industry leaders to gain a voice, but rather follow industry leaders to connect with peers and people you want to build relationships with, that you may want to brainstorm ideas with or build upon the ideas they are sharing.
You don’t need an A to Z blueprint on how to make an impact with your voice or how to define your voice; you being alive and doing what you do makes a bigger impact than you’ll ever realize; that is, until you finally bring this knowledge to the forefront. You don’t need anybody’s approval to share your story, to make a product, to build a business, or make a difference. You only need your heart to tell you why you know this is who you are, why you feel compelled to share something with your own voice. You want to build a support system with people that make you aware from day one that you are valuable as is, and that adding to your own value is what will amplify who you are and what you share with the world, but that you are no less without those additions.
I would also add that anyone who is a true leader is building peer to peer relationships, they are sharing with others in every blog post, article, or speaking engagement; that each individual should be using their voice and their ideas to make an impact. That they don’t need them, the leader, to make them good; but that they just need to start sharing their ideas in their own voice. As Euripides says, “The wisest men follow their own direction.”
We are each wise when we listen to our hearts, when we follow our hearts through our actions, and when we give value to our hearts. If your intent is to share value, to help others, to make the world a better place with a business, invention, idea; that’s all you need to be on the right path. Just use your heart to find your voice and build a support system of peers with those leaders you value and resonate with; but do not let them choose or dictate your voice.
You do not need to be taught how to speak what is true to your heart, to your person; you just need to believe in yourself! ~ FNM
What is your experience in using your own voice from the start? And what has been your observations when it comes to others leading with their own voice instead of the opposite?