Have you ever scrambled around trying to find your glasses, only to realize twenty minutes later they were perched on your head the whole time?
Finding your creative voice feels that way too. You search, you wonder, you pray, you take classes, you read every trending article about how to find your voice… until you realize your voice was sitting on your forehead all along, waiting to be noticed.
Finding your voice isn’t a scavenger hunt. We don’t have the luxury of sitting back and refusing to create until we know exactly what our voice sounds like.
When we’re feeling disconnected from our voice, it just means we’re disconnected from ourselves. Here’s my quick three-step process to reconnect with yourself and tune into your marvelous voice:
1. Quiet the noises outside of you.
When we spend too much time on social media, peering through the glimmering screens of everyone else’s lives, it’s hard to remember what our own thoughts sound like.
Take a few moments to ponder these questions. Bonus points if you write in a journal for 5-10 minutes on each one:
*What beliefs, goals, vocabulary, and concepts have I adopted from the people I follow on social media?
*Do I actually believe those things? Are those actually my goals? Where might I be losing myself in the images that I see online?
*What are some ways I can tune out the outside world and reconnect to myself for a few minutes each day?
Nothing on the internet is going to help you find your voice more than the simple act of tuning into yourself.
You can spend five minutes making a gratitude list, or freewriting in your journal with whatever thoughts come to mind, or meditating, or clicking through your own Pinterest board (not anyone else’s!) and reflecting on what themes connect the pins you love.
You can use apps like Headspace or Screentime to limit your time on social media. You can listen to a playlist of your favorite songs when you’re feeling disconnected. You can try any of these things, or make up a practice of your own, that will help you focus inward.
Find one thing that you can do today to quiet the noise and reconnect with yourself, and try it. Hear yourself. Put a conch shell to your heart, and listen hard.
2. Remember what makes you YOU.
Resist the lull of thinking that you’re just like everyone else. Resist the sleepy urge to tone down your unique vibrant energy.
No matter how hard you try to be humble and understanding, someone will eventually criticize you. You will fail in your quest to tiptoe on eggshells and keep everyone comfortable. So you may as well forge unapologetically ahead into discovering and embracing who you are, because that criticism is going to come anyways.
You’re not like everyone else. You have unique traits that no one else shares, such as…
The specific toppings you put on your pizza. The sweater that makes you feel most comfy. Your favorite flavor of tea. Whether you’re a cat person, a dog person, or some other combination of pet-person. The books you love, and the books that you couldn’t finish to save your life… even though, by the calculations of the algorithms/reviewers/friends/awards, you should have swooned over them. The unpopular opinions you have. The phases you’ve gone through. The secrets you’re ashamed of. The people you admire.
Everyone has unique quirks, preferences, memories, oddities, and influences. What are yours?
3. Use your voice.
Whether through making art, journaling, attempting new things, having awkward conversations for the first time, or speaking out on politics: you find your voice by using it.
Be like Prince, a musical genius who was booed offstage in 1981 after opening for the Rolling Stones, but kept making music anyways — and eventually gained the recognition he deserved. Be like every artist you have ever admired, who made tons of mediocre first drafts before they got it right.
Make a habit out of exercising your voice the way it sounds right now. Before you know it, you will look back in awe and surprise — because without meaning to, you will have created a body of work that holds your distinct voice.
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If you love this topic and crave small, tangible reminders to tune into your voice — I created a “Find Your Voice” program on the free self-care app Sanity and Self!
We dive deeper into hearing your voice, embracing your creative contradictions, and sharing your voice with the world to make an impact. Each session includes one actionable activity so you can bring your voice to life in your actual life.
It is an honor to work with Sanity & Self, and I hope the program serves you deeply.
Peace and Fearless Self-Expression,