I first met Joel Boggess when he interviewed me for his internet radio show. Since then, I’ve gotten to know Joel and his work. His new book, Finding Your Voice, is an instructive read for anyone who wants to identify and benefit from their authentic voice. I asked Joel to share a guest blog upon the release of his new book.
5 Keys to Finding Your Voice
During the past seven years, some people come to me because they are in a life transition: a child leaving the nest, a layoff, a divorce, a marriage. Some are dissatisfied in their work. Others know they want something different for their lives but are unclear on what that means or how to go about discovering what that “something” is. Whatever their initial reason for seeking out a coach, I’ve learned that most people’s needs run deeper than simply navigating the life changes they’re facing. What most people really want is clarity about their purpose. They want hope that “this” isn’t all there is to life. And they want the confidence to be the most authentic version of themselves.
In every case, finding their true voice empowers them to take their life in the direction that best suits them and their personality.
What does it mean to “find your voice”?
Voice comes from the Latin root vocare, which is also the root word for vocation. One of the many ways you can express your voice is through your work. But Finding Your Voice is about so much more than a career choice. It’s about having clarity of life direction. It’s about giving full expression to your true self – holding nothing back.
It seems impossible that we could ever lose touch with our soul’s voice. I mean, it’s part of who we are, right? Well, if you followed the traditional track – elementary school, high school, college, day job -you’ve spent the majority of your life working to please others. Think about how many times an authority figure in your life – a boss, a teacher or professor, a minister, a parent, or someone else you looked to for guidance – has pointed out areas of weakness (or difference) rather than celebrating your strengths. The overriding message is that in order to be successful you need to be well-rounded. The problem is, well-rounded is synonymous with average. When you spend all your time trying to fit in, you forget who you really are – or, worse, you feel wrong for being yourself.
How do you find your voice?
- Valuing your enduring qualities and unique traits – your gifts, experiences, knowledge, compassion, and skills. When you see your innate value – and yes, you are valuable – a light begins to shine within you.
- Owning who you are and understanding what is important to you – your values and passions.
- Living intentionally and authentically – it allows you to filter out others’ messages, rules, and beliefs when they don’t apply to you. It also frees you to focus your time, resources, and talent on the people and projects you care about the most.
- Creating a life plan by visualizing your best life. Those who make time to create a vision and plan for their lives often receive more wealth, greater pleasure, and better relationships than they have ever imagined.
- Embracing and harnessing your emotions. Consider how you would feel if you did more of what brings you joy. You would feel more joyful!
Intimately knowing your voice allows you to stand your ground. This strength of character enhances every area of your life – from your relationships, to your career choices, to the way you choose to enjoy your free time. It allows you to recover the energy, excitement, and mojo you lost somewhere in the hustle and bustle and ups and downs of your occasionally (or perpetually) chaotic life.
You may feel as if you’ve lost your voice – that you are not the person you used to be, or the person you want to be. Find Your Voice, find your way back.