I don’t know if I’m done with the character series yet or not, but this is something that I’ve been thinking about for weeks, months really, and just wanted to share it with you. After talking with friends, it seems to be something lots of people struggle with, and while I wish I could say I have it all figured out, I don’t. I’m working on it. But if we wait until we have it all figured out before we share and encourage someone else, then we’d never do it. So here’s a snapshot into my journey to find my voice and I hope it speaks to your heart and opens your eyes to how vital your voice is to those around you.
I had an “A-Ha” moment earlier this week. I have been mulling over the whole voice thing for a long time and trying to figure out how to get that in my writing, whether it’s for this blog or for books and courses I am working on. It seems kind of strange that writing and voice would go together, but they do, especially if you have an online business. You have to be able to write your voice. I used to be able to do this. I had a friend who would read things I wrote and say “I could hear you saying this while I was reading it”. That was one of the highest compliments you could pay me as a writer, I think (other than “your writing touched my heart”). And it means who I am in print, is who I am in life. Somehow, I lost that. I lost my voice. (not literally …although my kids would love that!) I have been slowly finding it lately in my writing. I can see it, I can feel it. Writing for me is a release of what’s inside me. It always has been. There’s something that I need to say or process, and I write until I feel like whatever that was is set free. Even as a kid, my teachers would tell me to stop writing such long stories, but I “had” to – they weren’t finished until I had gotten everything out. One teacher told me I put too many characters in my writing and she was confused about who was doing what. I was in 3rd grade. I couldn’t figure out what she was talking about. I knew exactly who everyone was and what they were doing. That’s probably why I have so many kids. I can handle a lot of characters 🙂 (that was a really bad joke…sorry)
I read a lot about online marketing and building an audience for my business. Everything I read tells me I need to find my voice because that’s what people will relate to. Even this week, I got an email from Marie Forleo talking about voice and using your uniqueness to draw people to your business. But, see, here’s the thing, years ago, I was told by someone close to me that my voice didn’t matter. That I had nothing to say of importance and no one would listen to me. So, everyday that I write, everyday that I coach, everyday that I reach out to encourage someone, I hear those words. I have to fight them and push through them. Sometimes, that’s easier than others. Sometimes, those words win…and sometimes, I stomp them to the ground. Little by little, I am making progress in winning that war.
I have no problem pouring my heart out on these pages. Ok, well, sometimes it’s hard, but I do try to be real. Being fake is exhausting. So, while you’re here, you get to see me, with all my struggles and trials and shortcomings, but also my successes and hopes and dreams. And I always pray that you will feel encouraged by someone who deals with the same stuff you do and lives to tell about it. For months now, I’ve been seeking God to bring the real into my business. I am…slowly. I can’t relate to someone who never has a bad sales day or never gets a negative feedback that totally attacks them and makes them feel like a failure or who never has a shopping cart button fail right when they’re making a big sales push. And I figure most others can’t either. I’ve been struggling with that for a long time, to figure out exactly what that will look like. Then this week, I woke up with the realization that I need to bring my voice, that voice I’m starting to find, into my business writing. I try so hard to imitate what the experts say my books or courses or sales pages are supposed to look like, what they are supposed to say. (Anyone else been told what your voice should be??) But, most of the time, it’s not me. So, I have purposed to work on that.
And now for what all this has to do with you –
You have a voice. That very essence of who you are. You may not have any idea what that is. You may have been told that your voice is not important or worthwhile. You may have been told to silence your voice. You may struggle between knowing/finding your voice, and the chatter in your head that tells you your voice has no value. I get it… I really do. But I want to remind you of some very important things today; things I never want you to forget –
You were created for a reason
You are necessary
You touch lives that wouldn’t be touched if it weren’t for you
You make a difference
This world needs you and your voice
It’s hard to push past the negative words spoken over us. I encourage you today to listen to the One Who always speaks life over you. Let God tell you who you are. Let Him help you find your voice. Let Him give you the courage to face those negative words and push through them. If I could sit down with you over a cup of lemonade (I don’t drink coffee or tea, but I’ll gladly support you in your caffeine addiction if you want them instead 🙂 ), I would tell you that you have a purpose, even if you can’t see it yet, or even if you lost it somewhere along the way. Your dreams matter. Your voice matters. Don’t give up. I know you can do it. I believe in you!