“Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.”
― Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
I love this quote. When I first came across it I was instantly struck by the author’s intentional choice of the words Voice and Vocation. Voice and Vocation both take their origins from the Latin word vocare, which means “to call or invoke.” Our voice is always calling to us, and if we listen and follow, it will lead us to our life’s potential.
Our voice is the intonation of our uniqueness, our own perspective on the world around us, and the underlying “why” of our passion. Before I created this blog, I was in awe of some people’s ability to create moving and compelling stories. I longed to be one of them, yet I didn’t see myself talented enough to “write.” It took me years to overcome the “I am not good enough” mental block. Here I am putting myself out there by launching my own website. In addition to weekly blogs, I started writing a screenplay, while working full-time. YES, it’s A LOT OF PAIN, yet A LOT OF FUN!!
How do I walk across the chasm to find my own voice and overcome the fear?
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
If I compared my writing to every blog writer out there, I would probably end up feeling inadequate in some way, and stop doing what I want to pursue and what allows me to express my true inner voice. Finding your voice isn’t about being “perfect” or “better than,” it’s about being genuinely unique. Understanding and accepting this will free you from self-limiting beliefs and behaviors. It took me a while to understand I am good the way I am.
You Have to Actively Find for Your Voice
You can’t just wait for your voice to tap you on the shoulder one day and announce itself; you’ve got to actively look for it. The way I define “look for” is by getting out of your comfort zone and just “doing” something, anything. I used to sit in darkened movie theaters wishing I could write stories that moved people. So I’m “doing” it. Or at least I’m trying to do it. Finding your voice may be a process of trial and error, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try different things. Once you start “doing” your path will become clear.
The Journey to Finding Your Voice will Never be Over
Finding your voice is a lifelong process, a journey. The voice you find tomorrow may not be the same voice you find a year from now. Living is an organic ever-changing process as is everything that comes from it, your voice included. A year from now I might have a new passion for motorcycle racing and start dedicating many blog posts to it. This is highly unlikely, but I am open to where my inner voice takes me.
It’s never too late to find your own voice. It’s calling to you this very minute – you just have to listen and “do” it.
(Image source: Etsy)