Make Your Voice Heard
Posted May 16, 2013on:
Today’s post doesn’t have a lot to do with stuttering. Or maybe it does in some way.
Yesterday I had a conversation with someone who challenged me to find a way to make my voice heard. That was hard to hear, as I like to think my voice is loud and clear.
I am open with my stuttering, and have a voice in that community. I let my voice be heard in the Toastmasters community and my voice is certainly heard through this blog and various social media platforms.
But this was not a challenge about my literal voice. He was pushing me to find a way to have my figurative voice be present in a tough environment with a lot of pushback. We talked about the different meanings of voice, which did not include stuttering at all.
For the first time in a long time, I am considering stepping away from a tough situation, instead of “shaking it off and stepping up.” I’ve prided myself on doing that and encouraging others to do the same.
I mustered up the courage to say I think I need to bow out gracefully from a tough work situation. After much self talk, I had arrived at the decision that self-preservation and being happy was more important than the daily grind. That life is too short to be miserable every day.
But this individual would not let me off the hook! He pushed back and debated with me. He is convinced that I am supposed to be right in the thick of things and that my leadership and voice will strengthen and that I will be better for sticking it out. And that the work is important and worth it.
He challenged me to find new ways to collaborate, communicate and problem solve.
My insides are screaming that I’ve had enough, that as long as I can save face, it’s OK to bow out and still stand tall.
But I’ll admit I’m struck by this individual’s confidence in me that I can stay the course and emerge better, stronger and with new skills.
Having your voice heard means being active, not passive, which I am trying to convince myself is OK at this stage in my life and career.
My white flag was not accepted. So I have to figure out how to raise my voice another octave. And do that with grace.