Naturally, I am a quiet person. I have always struggled to find my voice, and have spent years in therapy as a teenager trying to find it and honestly, I think I’ve made more progress in the past few years than when I was working on this with a professional. I think age has been the main factor in my progress and I know I have always to go but here are a few tips that I’ve learned over the years.
- Surround yourself with people who don’t struggle as much you do with speaking up. This is probably the most practical tip. When you are with others who speak their mind, it somehow feels safer to do so yourself.
- Try to make it a point not to live with regrets. I’ve been in countless situations where I wish I had enough guts to speak up, stand up, or network. I hate laying in bed at night thinking about the things that I wish I didn’t (or did) say, so I am trying to work on avoiding bedtime anxieties.
- Learn to be okay with disagreements. I absolutely hate conflict, and naturally am hesitant to share my ideas when I feel that it could cause a rift but it’s gotten easier when I learned that diverse thoughts are alright and good to have.
- Hide behind social media. Yeah, that doesn’t sound like the healthiest idea but being honest behind a screen, can help find authenticity in real life.
- Start a secret blog like I did. When I first started this site, I was a shy kid who had many thoughts but struggled to share them. Writing became the first way I felt able to emote my feelings. Even though I published it on the internet, the first few months of Lama-Leah were kept on the down-low. I didn’t share it on social media or attach any photos of myself. It was my own little thing and it helped grow my confidence.
- Practice speaking up, even for little things. One thing that I’ve been working on recently is advocating to take breaks at my job. My bosses are kind, and 9.5/10 times I get that much-needed rest. However, at my last job, I was expected to work 8 hours with barely a bathroom break. I complained and guess what happened? I got fired. Vocalizing my needs wasn’t the reason I got fired, but it caused tension between my employer and me. Now in my brain, I associate anything that could cause conflict as something to avoid. However, I am slowly learning that I deserve things like rest and boundaries.
- Remember your worth. You don’t deserve to be taken advantage of because you are quiet.
I hope this helps you with your individual journey of finding and using your voice. For me, it can feel like an everyday struggle sometimes. Other times, I feel more confident in myself.
As always, feel free to reach out.
PC Leona Lane Photography