Do you own your voice?
Your voice is your expressions, opinions, and thoughts. Owning your voice is the confidence to speak up and share your feelings or views.
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines voice as a: wish, choice, or opinion openly or formally expressed, the voice of the people b: a right of expression; also: influential power.
It’s rather revealing that voice is defined as influential power. I believe this is because owning your voice allows you to communicate with confidence and clarity, which establishes credibility. Once credibility is established, we hold expert, legitimate, and referent power. Three of the five types of power according to French and Raven. Owning your voice allows you to speak openly and with authority.
Do You Speak from Your Heart?
To be a great speaker (orator) does not always mean one owns their words or speech. Many can speak from a script and sound prophetic and confident. But to speak from the heart, placing values above all, is owning your voice. So, I ask you, do you speak from your heart?
To Be Seen and Not Heard
Is it easy for you to communicate your thoughts or do you sit back and wait for the right time only to discover the right time never comes? There are some individuals that were not permitted to express their opinions as a child or young adult. Some generations were taught to be seen and not heard. This can certainly be true for females. It’s not easy to overcome the norms and expectations placed on us by families or society. These unspoken norms have an enormous impact on our behavior.
We all want to be seen and heard. The most significant benefit to owning your voice is to be acknowledged.
“Shout! A full-throated shout! Hold nothing back—a trumpet-blast shout!” Isaiah 58:1 (MSG)
What is Not Owning Your Voice
Owning your voice is not spouting off your biased opinions or creating conflict in your environment. Owning your voice is about beliefs and values. You must really know who you are and what you believe in when sharing your opinions. If you do not know who you are or what you stand for, you may paint a picture of being indecisive, which greatly impacts your influence. Remember, you derive your power and presence from your expressions and your opinions.
I encourage those I mentor to have an informal mission statement. A statement proclaiming what is important to you, your core values. My core values guide me and help me determine if I’m fulfilling my purpose. I shared my core values in my post, What Drives You? When we know our core values, we are more confident to speak up.
Finding Your Voice Will Strengthen You
As you find your voice, beware, not everyone enjoys a person who owns their voice. Not everyone embraces an individual who displays confidence. Unfortunately, it’s their issue, not yours. Typically, those individuals who love control or those who may be threatened by your strength and confidence will attempt to disrupt your speech. For this reason, it’s important to know your fundamental beliefs.
Finding your voice will not only strengthen you, but it will also allow you to stand up for those around you who have yet to find their voice.
“Speak up for the people who have no voice, for the rights of all the down-and-outers.” Proverbs 31:8 (MSG)
We Are Called to Encourage
As women, we are called to encourage, equip, and empower one another. I can’t think of a better way to support one another than through our words, using our power and influence to better one another.
Let’s proclaim it together!