Your Voice Is Important

your voice is importantYour voice is important and beyond being able to get clear on what you want in life, the next step is using your voice to either say it and then ask for it. But what is often overlooked is that we also need to use our voice when needed to also say “no.”

Last spring I attended a graduation ceremony/dinner for a group that had just gone through a three-day communications workshop. After the dinner portion, each of the participants were asked to speak on not only what they learned in the workshop but also how they planned to use it in their everyday lives.

Way across the room, one of the women who had attended the workshop stood up and began to recount what she learned that week. When she started speaking two things were evident… 1. She probably did not possess an assertive bone in her body and probably never had. 2. Speaking and addressing a room full of about sixty people was something that was WAY beyond her comfort zone but there she was giving it all she had.

Her speech nearly moved me to tears… it moved me the point that I was having to recount baseball stats and visualize various other unpleasant things lest I turn into a blubbering mess myself while sitting in my seat. But what she said and how she said it was and is one of most powerful things I have ever witnessed.

She said that for the first time in her life she had learned that she HAD a voice and that she COULD use it… Let me reiterate that… for the FIRST TIME in her life she realized that she could speak up and not only could be listened to that she also deserved to be listened to.

Talk about an empowering experience and a new point of view for this woman. I was completely blown away from her telling of her experiences that week as I think was most of the room. She found her voice and she was committed to using it.

Your Voice Is Important

Your voice is important and often that is something that I have to stress to my clients and urge them to begin using and sometimes for the first time in their lives as well. Often it is not something that comes naturally or easily at first but just like with anything else in life, with a little practice, using your voice can and will become a new behavior and habit.

There is the old saying that you will never get anything unless you ask for it. Bust just because you ask for it doesn’t mean you will get it but if you never use your voice and ask, then you are never going to get anything, ever.

Get clear on what you want in life and then resolve to use your voice to ask for it and do that. You might be amazed at how it actually works.

But there is the other side of using your voice which to me, now, seems more important than using your voice to state or ask for what you want, and that is using your voice to say, “no.” To actually speak up and say that no, you don’t want to do something, no, you actually do not like that that, and no, I would rather do other things.

Many of us have a weird preconceived notion that by saying “no” to someone or something makes us a bad person. We have this irrational fear that if we tell someone “no” that we are going to disappoint them or even possibly hurt them, so we just “go along to get along.” We are afraid of saying “no” and in the end by not saying “no” and not using our voice, we do ourselves more harm than good.

Your voice is important so use it… use it to ask for what you want and use it to refuse the things that you do not. You fully deserve to use your voice in any situation… but more than deserving it, it is also your universally given right as a living and breathing human being.

Your voice is important – use it and use it often!

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten – 26 July 2014

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