If you Google “how to find your voice,” the search engine will display about 1,710,000,000 results in less than .53 seconds. That is almost 2 billion suggestions of how to speak your truth from sources outside yourself. Now more than ever, it is crucial to operate from a place of alignment and authenticity in our personal and professional lives, and the truth is… you’re the only expert there is on what that means for you.
In my own life, this became very clear when I felt it was time to leave a Fortune 500 company, but I also couldn’t bring myself to take any of the four silver-platter alternative offers—so instead, I decided to start my own business. Seventeen years later, I’m beyond grateful to myself for taking the risk and letting that inner whisper become a full-volume life.
The best way I’ve found to connect to your own truth is to take care of yourself and then get out of your own way. In the words of American saxophonist Branford Marsalis, “Do your homework and your voice will find you.”
1. Take your M.E.D.S.
If you’re pouring from a less-than-full cup, you’re showing up in your life with less-than-full effort. Mental health, physical health and self-confidence are all interconnected. Prioritizing meditation, exercise, a healthy diet and quality sleep is the best way to set yourself up for success and self-awareness.
2. Celebrate small wins.
Most of us tend to hold off treating ourselves until we’ve accomplished something over the top, or reserve personal celebrations for that one day of the year we grow older. Taking the time to honor your efforts will accrue valuable emotional deposits (or as I like to call them, EROI: emotional returns on investment), as well as establish great reflection points to track your progress.
3. Reflect on what went right.
We’re evidence-based beings. If you adjust your focus to what you’re proud of, or what you did “right,” you’ll start to see two beautiful side–effects: First, you will begin to cue-in to similar experiences, and then, build confidence by reiterating your ability.
New York Times best–selling author Kris Carr has said, “It’s not about finding your voice, it’s about giving yourself permission to use your voice.” By taking care of yourself and celebrating your capabilities, you can connect to what is true for you, share that truth and operate above the noise.
If I could leave you with one last piece of advice that my own mentor shared with me recently, he said, “You do not have to compromise to be recognized.” Your voice is important and worthy of being heard.