I don’t know about you, but finding my authentic voice was a much easier process than owning it! Back in March 2015, I absolutely cherished my PSG coaching journey where I really explored who I was as a person, a coach, what were my values and what did I stand for. I pored over my assignments, my business plan, really pushing myself to define my purpose as a coach & consultant, what was my niche market, what was my coaching style? And in 2016, I embraced my coaching & consultancy journey, wholeheartedly. But if I’m really honest, I was playing it safe. I wasn’t owning my voice & sharing it with the world – for fear of criticism or rejection.
Eckart Tolle once said “Only the truth will set us free” so why is owning our authentic voice so difficult to do?
For so long, I had an irrational need to feel accepted, to belong. We tend to mute our authentic voice, don’t we? We tend to edit our truth, compromise who we are in order to be liked or accepted, or to just feel like we belong. And as I sit here in my office writing this blog, I am still plagued with those self-limiting beliefs – what if I’m not good enough or what if I fail? (By the way, this is my very first blog post which is also compounding these thoughts!)
On reflection, when starting out in business, I positioned myself as an executive coach & marketing consultant – which covered a wide variety of roles & clients. I took on clients that weren’t really my ideal clients for fear that I wouldn’t find work. I didn’t speak up or express exactly what I offered publicly through blogs, articles, or even developing a simple website etc – for fear of public criticism. Despite all the great advice, I still played it safe! I took on work that didn’t fuel my real passion of unlocking young people’s true potential. This ultimately distracted me from developing a business that I truly was passionate about. I spent a lot of my time attracting people or projects that were just not meant for me – and I just didn’t enjoy the business or journey!
What I’ve learnt from the pursuit of my own career, my purpose as a coach is that it requires courage to ‘sing my song’ whatever it may be. We need to be authentic, trust ourselves, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and courageous to withstand the pain of judgement and rejection from others. That courage will indeed take us to the very edge of our comfort zone, that dark place called fear: fear of rejection, fear of failure and perhaps fear of success. But we need to take this opportunity by the scruff of the neck and share our story, bringing the gift of who we are to life.
So for the past 7 months – I stopped worrying about getting more clients, more work, worrying about where the next pay cheque was coming from and truly owned my voice. I am truly passionate about unlocking young people’s potential so I refined my business proposition to support organisations in transforming today’s young talent (primarily Generation Y & Generation Z) into tomorrow’s leaders. I started putting myself out in the market place. Clearly defining and sharing to the world who I am as a business and developing healthy boundaries around my clients and business niche! And to date, I’m feel blessed with the new beautiful & challenging opportunities presenting themselves – that connects to my true passion!
Now my business is only a fledgling practice….it’s not fully formed and will only be launched formally to the world over the next two months……. Which scares the living daylights out of me!
But being on the path to finding my authentic self is what life is about. It’s what my business is about. It helps us calibrate our voice. The power of our voice improves the power of our coaching.
When we are unapologetically authentic & honest – we encourage others to do so too! It’s like a wonderful domino effect, when you behave authentically others will follow and as a coach whose compelling vision is for people to discover their true selves and honour their values and desires, that’s a comforting thought. Being yourself, owning your voice makes a positive difference so embrace it, celebrate it and don’t try and change it.
So open your heart, be honest about where you’re at. Show up. Speak your truth. Do what feels uncomfortable & vulnerable because that is the space in which you figure out who you are as a person and as a coach.
One of the quotes that drives me to ‘own my voice’ everyday is one that Brené Brown shares in her book ‘Daring Greatly ‘. It is a quote from Theodore Roosevelt, The Man in the Arena – delivered at the Sorbonne (Paris) on April 23rd 1910.
According to Brené “When we spend our lives not owning our voice, for fear of rejection or criticism, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make.
So go on….step into that arena and own your authentic beautiful voice!
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