Have you ever felt like your opinions and/or point of view are being stifled by others? Do you find yourself holding back from saying what you really mean or feel when interacting with others? Unfortunately, this is a problem many of us often face. We do or say what is expected of us instead of saying what we really mean or believe to be true.
Authenticity is not about hurting or demeaning others. It’s about being true to who you are, which often takes time to become aware of and nurture. Finding your authentic voice begins with getting to know yourself.
Tapping Into Your Authentic Voice
Unfortunately, many of us do not spend enough time with ourselves to understand what we do or don’t like and what we sincerely love. This is usually because of all the noise and stimuli around us.
Spending time alone is one of the best ways to explore our inner selves. So think about the last time you spent quality time with yourself. A time when you were free from social media, entertainment, or television. A time when you were sitting with yourself, listening to your thoughts, free of judgment and criticism. If you cannot think about a time when you have done this, or it was too long ago to count, then now is a great time to explore what this looks and feels like.
Questions That Can Help You Find Your Voice
A great place to start tapping into your authentic voice is to get honest about where you stand regarding self-knowledge. What do you know about yourself? It’s okay if the answer is a single item or a short list (if it is a long list, that’s great, too!). The beautiful thing is we can track our progress when we know where we are starting from.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to get you started:
- Who am I?
- What do I want the most out of life?
- Who inspires me the most?
- What do I need at this moment?
- What things or people make you happy?
- What have you wanted to try lately but have been scared to do?
If the thought of being alone seems scary, know this is perfectly natural. Many of us have been conditioned to focus on the world around us for comfort and stability, and exploring our inner selves seems uncomfortable and foreign. With consistency and patience, you will become more comfortable and adapt to alone time and self-reflection.
The more time you allow yourself to become more aware of what makes you feel alive, inspired, and connected, the more you can create intentional opportunities to connect with yourself while tapping into your deepest emotions, thoughts, and energy within and around you. You will begin to recognize the sound of your internal voice from this space. This is where the magic happens! This is where you will learn about the things that matter the most and least in your life.
What To Avoid When Finding Your Voice
When starting this journey, one crucial tip to remember is to steer clear of self-judgment and criticism. We can be our worst critics at times – but often, the voice of criticism is not our own–it comes from elsewhere, and it’s rarely your original thoughts. And this critical voice does not tell the truth. Instead, it holds us back from finding our authentic voice. So, tame your inner critic, and observe the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that arise. It is all about having the right mindset.
The journey of tapping into your authentic voice can be a powerful and rewarding experience. Start by spending 10 minutes being present with yourself each day–no phones or distractions. Connect to the flow of your breath, meditate, journal, or simply enjoy the silence–just begin to get to know the most remarkable person in your life – YOU!
Dr. Chelsea is a Mental Health Professional and Executive Well-being Coach who is passionate about empowering and leading others toward achieving their wellness goals. As founder and Chief Happiness Guru at My Ohm Wellness, LLC, her mission is to create a culture of well-being that empowers individuals to create their brand of happy–at home, at work, and in their communities. Dr. Chelsea hosts the acclaimed podcast “Divine Centered Meditations,” is a contributing writer for Christian Yoga Magazine, and shares her knowledge globally through live events, courses, and corporate programs.