The issue with finding my voice is, I have to never forget what it is like to not have a voice. To constantly fight to be heard. I have to remember to give a voice to those who do not forwardly speak out. Generally, not always, but generally, I think most people are more comfortable with speaking up on their own behalf more than I am. However, I have decided to choose myself, as I have spoken about before. I have to remember there are others who need to be chosen, who have not chosen themselves.
Obviously, I have not always chosen myself. In the times I was not choosing myself to speak and not choosing to have value, the situation I could best speak my mind is when I was chosen. When someone else saw my quietness and called it out. Someone else noticed my lack of contribution and asked me to add to the conversation. And I would add to the conversation, if I had anything to say.
Through this process of being chosen. I came to notice a very striking pattern, I was never allowed to fully speak my mind in my turn. Usually, I would be cut off before I was done. I would land enough of a thought that someone else would choose to butt in and say their piece about whatever I was saying. They did not have to work hard to butt in either. I have a habit of leaving space in my speaking.
I put these things into my natural cadence of speaking. I put these things into my cadence for myself, my audience, and artistic nuance. There is no reason to always spew as many words as possible out as quickly as possible to share them with people so that they can be bombarded by you and your thoughts.
Other people do not speak so that you can have time to think of what you are going to say next. As a matter of fact, you should be listening to what people are saying.
Ahem, YOU should be LISTENING to what OTHER PEOPLE are SAYING.
Think about this last statement for a minute. (I actually mean a whole minute. Take 60 seconds, set a timer on your phone or your watch. Think about what it means to actively listen to the person on the other end of phone, the couch, the coffee table, or the conference room. Do you actually listen? Or are you simply composing your next thought and preparing for your turn to talk?)
Go ahead, I’ll gladly wait.
Did you see anything about yourself? Did you notice anything?
When other people are talking are you preparing your turn to talk or are you actually listening?
What if after someone finished speaking, you took a minute to think about what they said every time they finished?
What if you did not bothering thinking about what you think or feel about what someone else is saying and instead focused so intently on what they were saying you actually drew out of them more than what they were saying?
Then, when they are done speaking their piece, you thought about what you had to say.
During the silence.
During the moment when you sit there staring at each other while you think, and they think about what they just said.
How would your life be different if the person across from you is more important that what you are going to say next?