There were times when I hid my voice from the world. My thoughts and ideas stayed bottled up and eventually were lost. Should I say something in this meeting? Some of these people are so knowledgeable. Will my comments sound stupid? Will I be judged? Will they value my opinion? Will I appear pushy? Will they no longer think of me as nice?
I firmly believe organizations today are hiring you to come in and NOT be a copy of everyone else. They see something unique in you. They want that part of you to become part of the organization, to make it stronger.
We admire those who speak up. Often self-judgement sabotages us, paralyzes us and holds us back from contributing. Ultimately, we are solely responsible for speaking up. If they hired you and see your uniqueness, you need to claim it, own it and shine proudly too.
Our inner dialogue can hold us back from speaking our wisdom. I have been in many meetings where my self-perceived “modest” contribution led to a change in the trajectory of the evolving conversation and subsequently the project. It made me feel good to be part of the success. We need collectively remove these internal barriers and create conditions that serve to lift our voice and become a part of the conversation, rather than a mere observer of it.
I learned how to create a safe space for myself, valuing my unique gifts and talents, reflecting on the discussion as it was happening, and then ready to speak when the time came. Knowing my strengths gave me the confidence to speak my mind and to share my knowledge and opinions without fear. Clarity about your wisdom and your passion serves to amplify your voice. You can then tune your voice into a new way of being present, vocal and heard.
So, don’t worry about being “nice” by hesitating to share your thoughts. Go ahead and be a “badass”, in a good way, by letting others know you have been listening and are willing to go on record with your valuable insights. Use your voice to create a greater influence. To do so is a critical part of your ongoing journey of self-discovery.