We all have deep inner truths, feelings, opinions and thoughts and while it would benefit both us and the rest of the world to communicate our point of view, often as women we do not. One of the things I like to focus on is helping women to make their voices heard – their true, inner voices, not the ones that function on the surface of things.
There are many reasons why women may not feel confident or see the benefit in letting their voices be heard. We still live in a culture that oppresses us through many means. As women, whenever we speak we may be quickly labeled and dismissed as a bitch, a bimbo, a nag or any number of other not very nice words that seek to discredit our views or just quickly disregard the fact that we’ve said anything at all.
Women are generally stereotyped as talking incessantly, which is usually categorised as a bad thing. It’s often assumed when we’re conversing in a group that we are either talking about completely inane and irrelevant things, gossiping, or talking about the men in our lives. You may be forgiven for thinking that the moniker ‘children are to be seen and not heard’ could be applied to women just as easily (and is not right in either case!).
If you have a history of not being listened to, you may well have accepted on some level that you don’t have much to say. Perhaps you’re not the greatest communicator of your inner thoughts, since communication takes practice like anything else. It’s unfortunate that when you grow up in a culture that does not appreciate what you have to say, you may find it difficult to learn how to say it.
For a person who is determined to be the best version of themselves that they can, not being able to communicate freely becomes increasingly frustrating. In order to contribute to the world around us, we need to be able to find a way to be heard. No matter what we’re contributing, communication is the vehicle through which we contribute it. So not being able to speak your mind is a serious roadblock that can keep you from becoming your best self.
There is so much to be gained from sharing your heart with the world. The benefits for yourself are certainly worthwhile on their own. When you value your own voice enough to ensure it’s being heard, you develop a deeper sense of self worth and worthiness. There’s the satisfaction and assurance of knowing that what you think, feel and say, indeed the very essence of the person that you are, is valuable and important.
Often, poor communicators will find that their emotions and thoughts tend to be very muddled and confusing. This happens because, when we have no outlet for these things, they tend to play on repeat in our heads. The freeing of your thoughts allows for greater space to grow and continue to develop.
When you’re strong enough to communicate openly, you emancipate yourself from the imprisonment of your mind.
Sharing your thoughts with others benefits both parties. If you’re willing to openly communicate with other people, you are much more likely to find like-minded individuals with whom you can develop a sense of camaraderie and communion. This is a fertile ground for creativity, support and productivity.
Your unique perspective and insights can be extremely valuable to the world, helping us to shape and develop our understanding and adding the power of your voice to the collective in matters of justice and equality.
So, there is much to be gained from you sharing your voice, your heart, your wisdom, with the world. But if you’re currently still balking at the idea of speaking your mind to others, if it still just seems too difficult, if you’re not sure where to start, let me help you.
The first step is learning to listen to yourself. In fact, throughout the process of finding our voices and learning to speak our minds, what we’re really craving is self-acceptance and self-validation. You simply want to get to a point where you are okay with being yourself. It’s certainly easier said than done, especially if you have built up a habit of ignoring or down playing your own thoughts and emotions.
The number one recommendation I have for learning to communicate with yourself is writing. I realise that many people have different ways of communicating that work for them, but writing is great for a number of reasons. For one, as you write down your thoughts you build a record of them and this helps you to see where your reasoning is at, where you may not be thinking clearly, where you may be repeating untruths to yourself and so on. Writing gives you the chance to reflect upon what you have said and enables you to more actively turn around unhelpful thinking. Developing a writing habit also lends itself rather seamlessly to being able to share your thoughts with others.
Whatever you choose to do, it’s important to find a way to learn to communicate with yourself. In doing so, you will learn that you do, in fact, have important things to say. Even if you only ever speak of your frustration at being taught that your voice isn’t valued, sharing that message is worthwhile and important.
Eventually, you will come to know that it is time to find a platform from which to speak. This may be through art, through publishing your writing or through some other means. These days, much of our ‘speaking’ is done online and this is an accessible and relatively easy option, or at the very least a starting point, for many.
Finding the right audience is a matter of finding people who will listen and resonate with you. Not everyone will, so if your message falls on deaf ears it’s time to shake off your boots and keep walking forward.
Your outlook on life is important.
Your views are worth hearing.
Your voice is needed.
Find the courage to share your voice with the world.