Have you ever read a great book, watched an amazing speaker on a YouTube video or seen a live concert and been truly moved...perhaps the world stops for a moment, you felt connected, inspired, hopeful, like you can achieve anything. Your heart lifts, your eyes widen and you see the world afresh, different than before, one which has hope and you feel connected to the writer, speaker/singer/artist.. you feel connected to.. everything...
Then, perhaps a second later, slumped in your chair, frowning, sipping a tea angrily thinking, 'I wish I could do that. How does this person get to live their truth and really be heard...I'm hopeless, I'll never be able to do it. What's wrong with me?!' You wander through an inner collage of thoughts, old memories of times when you failed to make an impact, get your message heard, take those steps. Or maybe you go on an inner rant of whos fault it is, who didn't listen, who never believed in you/didn't support you enough etc.You then conclude that your voice is now meaningless, worth nothing and as a default, probably so are you.
For your voice goes mostly unnoticed, unwitnessed, even by yourself, and that perhaps so much listening to voices of others, inspiring and wise as they may be.. has left you feeling empty, not enough, not allowing that magic inside to be released. And so you go about the rest of your day, perhaps chatting to a friend, watching another video, doing some general work stuff, emails and heading off to bed. A feeling of Meh, nothingness, or perhaps still a swirling thoughts of how, where,when,how, why,?? About stuff that has little to do with the things that truly matter, or your true calling. Yet, a deep sense of, missed opportunity and wasted time. Unsatisfied.
Well.. if you've never thought anything like this. Congratulations!! You're either an alien come to visit planet earth..(what a strange and curious place..) or you've past the test of eternally avoiding the inner critic/ procrastination and probably need read no further. If however, like me, you have thought some, or all of these things, you are not alone. I know this feeling all too well. I have felt this way, in fact many a time, many a day, many a moment. Restless, yearning, craving.. wondering what it takes, when will be my time, to truly make an impact? Wanting to inspire others and be truly heard. Some days I felt, and still do feel, I had so much inside me, so many stories, so many songs, poems, wisdom.. yet it feels I'm wasting my life some days.. not always truly living up to my full potential.
From a young age I have used my voice, often, in various ways, I was fortunate to live in a household where music, singing, dance and other forms of expression were encouraged. I went to drama classes, joined youth theatres and created my own music at home and made videos with friends. Whenever I did this, allowed my authentic creative self out, I felt happy, joyful and free. I acknowledge I was lucky enough to grow up in a time, country and household where I was mostly allowed to voice my opinions, question things and speak what I felt. Although sometimes it wasn't always easy. Even with that permission to know that it's allowed, the inner voices and the reactions I got at times felt stifling and what I said wasn't always approved of, I then would hold back, or paradoxically overshare and then feel incredibly embarrassed or ashamed and worst of all was the worry. Worry, worry, worry. 'What will they think of me??' As I grew older, and got more education and voice training, I began to massively judge my voice, question myself in a critical not always helpful way. I got angry at myself. And if I made a mistake, well, that was of course deserving of the harshest self hatred. 'That wasn't good enough!' 'No one likes you now!' 'You've upset people by saying/doing it wrong' More and more I looked up to celebrities, richer more 'successful' people as better than me, and my own life as somehow less than and my own work somehow not as worthy.
In a world where criticism of voices is so prevalent, it's so much easier to sit and watch others make the mistakes. It's easier to critique other people's writing and speaking, art and say/think 'I could do it better' or 'they don't know what they are talking about' or 'I'd never be able to do that' but what if you can? What if those inner voices that critique others, is actually a message that your calling is near...that you have something to say, a message to give, a voice that needs to be heard. 'Oh I'm not that important' the inner critic says. 'Others have more of a following.' 'They've done it for years' 'It's all be said/done before anyways' 'What I say/sing doesn't matter.' etc etc
Hold on a moment though.. Think a while on those moments when you do share your voice, do make an impact.
Maybe you can't remember any, I encourage you to think and remember more deeply. Perhaps it was a school play you did as a child, where you plucked up the courage to do a solo, perhaps it was a moment you said No! to someone in a place of authority and stood up for what you believed in, perhaps it was a time you said Yes! to writing an article or contributing to a presentation or talk. Think of this time/times and remember the freedom of what it felt like to use your voice. Maybe you got the feedback you wanted, maybe you didn't. Sometimes people like what we do, sometimes they don't.
Remember, however what it felt to take that step. That moment of using your voice. Now think back to the first part of this article, to the first reaction you had to someone else's inspiring talk/book/song etc, that connected feeling. Imagine how much YOU can impact a person, who, just like you, longs to use their voice and be witnessed and heard. Now, as you, they may then have their own inner critic, they may then go into their own downward spiral and criticize you or themselves. Is this a valid enough reason to not use your voice?! Who gives this critic authority? Only You do! I know, I know, we've heard all the cliques, 'You're your own biggest critic' etc etc but I also know how freeing it can be to silence it. To say NO to it, is like I'm suddenly free from my own prison. The gates of liberation are opened and I'm connected again. To say YES to myself. To others. And Your Voice is the key to do that. Your Voice can make a difference. Your Voice can set you free from the shackles of self judgement and hatred. It may not stop them for good. But it can certainly move them aside enough to move towards that step closer to your calling.
After years of silencing, hiding, judging and comparing my own voice, I now make it my mission to not only share it fully with others but to help those who need that extra encouragement and the tools to truly feel safe to step into their vocal potential. Through my music, writing, acting and dance, giving one on ones and group workshops and creating my unique heart and soul lead Creative Life Coaching. Whether you are someone who's new to voice work and sharing your true self, or if you've been on the path a while and just relate, Creative Hearts can be that next step to you truly acknowledging the importance of your voice, your creative essence and the true knowing that, you can make a difference and..
Your Voice Matters.
To connect further find out more about the writer of this Blog Jemma Rosenthal, or to enquire about Coaching or performances with Creative Hearts click the About and Contact pages above. Look forward to connecting to you soon!