Your voice is like your fingerprint – unique in all the world. Just as your fingerprint is used to identify you, your voice reveals your identity as well. What does your ‘voice-print’ say about you?
Your voice is a barometer for the pressure of life. A constricted voice impairs your creativity, and your natural personality will be hidden by tensions. We live in a vocally-suppressed society. ‘Be Quiet’ and ‘Be nice’ are two phrases you may have heard growing up. Those messages are appropriate at the right time and the right place. The problem is when you internalise those messages when situations call for you to speak up and speak out, especially in circumstances where others may have a difference of opinion.
Women especially have been suppressed with the ‘Be quiet’ – ‘Be nice’ message over the past 4000 years. It is has only been in the last 120 years in New Zealand (and 94 years in the USA) since women won the right to have their voices count. Prior to that, women weren’t expected to have serious opinions worthy of consideration. That means that in the first 97-98% of recorded history, women had no voice.
Most men, on the other hand, have been programmed from birth that it's not OK to show their vulnerability. As a consequence, men often hide their true voice so they will never be 'seen as weak'. As a result, they can lose touch with their inner voice and suppress their authentic self-expression.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so, you may consider engaging in voice, breath, and ‘presence’ work to reclaim your right to speak. As you begin to breathe more freely and deeply and to voice yourself more fully, you will begin to thaw any silenced emotions of grief, anger, and joy. You will begin to feel your authentic self and want to voice yourself more often. Your own life and the world will be richer with your full vocal participation. Is it time for you to reclaim your right to speak up?
Sally Mabelle, ‘The Voice of Leadership’ Specialist. www.sallymabelle.com - Inspiring clear, confident, and connected communication for personal and cultural transformation