I remember like it was yesterday, I was around thirteen years old and my mother had punished me for what I had written in my journal. At the time I felt my journal was a safe place where I could express how I was feeling and capture my daily events from my oh so crazy middle school life.
I didn’t understand why I was being disciplined for confiding in my journal which I felt was helping me get through my strained relationship with my mother. And because of this experience I chose to be very selective with what I wrote and most of the time I kept my feelings bottled up inside.
I chose to silence my voice.
In high school, I was the goofy girl who loved to joke around and be silly so I could make my friends laugh. Since I was the jokester, no one really took me seriously.
I had issues speaking up for myself and engaging in conversations. So when my friends and I would have “real juicy” discussions, often times I would observe and just listen.
A few times when I was felt bold enough to speak up, I would get laughed at, or someone would say, “Siobhan you don’t know what you’re talking about. Plus it didn't help that I stumbled over my words and what I intended to say never seemed to come out right.
I chose to silence my voice.
The negative voice in my head said...
- Keep your feelings and thoughts to yourself because how you feel may get taken the wrong way and you don't want to hurt anyone by sharing your feelings
- Don’t speak up in conversations because you don’t know anything and you can’t add any real value so it’s best to be quiet. Plus you don't want to mix up your words and get laughed at
These false truths that I created followed me all the way to my adulthood.
I had become this person that never really spoke up for herself and if I was hurt by something someone said or did, I kept it to myself until I got over it. I always did my best to avoid conflict or confrontation and in return I was not internally happy with myself.
It took me going to counseling three years ago to get my voice back. I had to learn that it's ok to tell people how I feel about something as long as I did it in a respectful way. My voice deserves to be heard and by keeping my feelings bottled up inside, I was only hurting myself.
Growth is a beautiful thing. This was the start of my journey to being free.
I had to give you a little back drop so I can fast forward to today. I’ve learned that my story is no longer mines, but it’s meant to be shared to help someone else on their journey. I know that the words that come out of my mouth are valuable and what I have to say can help change someone’s life for the better.
When I launched my business, my main purpose was to help women go from feeling stuck to being free. That’s all. Women are living lives that don't represent who they really are. They're overcome by fear, negative thoughts, lack of motivation and what I hear most often is procrastination.
I'm able to identify and relate to my audience because I know what it feels like to feel unfulfilled with the life you're living and unsure where to start to begin to make positive changes.
I know how it feels to allow people to steal your voice and then have to fight to get it back. I know by speaking my truth I'm going to help millions of women be free.
If you remember, I told you one of my goals for 2015 was to work on my public speaking.
I joined Toastmasters at the start of the year, which is a group designed to help you perfect your leadership and public speaking skills. I really love the group I joined, and I’m prepping for my first speech at the end of the month.
I also read the book Talk like Ted by Carmine Gallo, which is about the nine key secrets that makes the best presenters great and memorable.
Most recently I had the opportunity to be a part of Amber Wrights webinar, How to Speak with Less Fear and More Finesse. Amber is a conversation coach where she teaches bloggers and entrepreneurs how to speak with more confidence and less fear.
I met Amber IRL (in real life) at Blogalicious last year and she was so cool and down to earth, I absolutely love her personality and I was looking forward to working with her.
I must say her webinar was fun and I actually looked forward to attending class every week. I felt like I was chatting with my girlfriends and learning great info at the same time. The e-course was very informative and it touched on topics that I needed to learn more about such as...
- How to Pick a Topic + Present it With Ease
- How to Engage Your Audience + Make Them Love You
- How to Design the Sexiest Slides You’ve Ever Seen
- How to Deliver Like a Pro
Plus she created a workbook and Facebook Group specifically for the course. Awesomeness, right?
Since taking the class I’ve spoke on a panel with other influential women to empower, motivate and inspire women in business. I’ve also been invited to speak at a conference this upcoming September.
If you're looking for ways to step up your speaking game, definitely check out Amber's webinar. Click here to learn more about How to Speak with Less Fear and More Finesse and be sure to tell her I sent you. :)
Has there ever been a time in your life where you lost your voice to speak up for yourself? Have you ever considered public speaking and sharing your story with an audience?