Make Room For The Stuttering

Make Your Voice Heard

Posted on: May 16, 2013

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.

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3 Responses to "Make Your Voice Heard"

Sometimes having your voice heard means extracting yourself from an unhealthy situation. If you believe you can stand up for yourself and make the situation better, then stay and fight for it. But don’t be afraid to come to the conclusion that it won’t help. Because sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to admit something’s not working and to find something that does.

Been there. In a much better place now.

Nice post, Pam. I think a lot of us, especially those in challenging jobs, face this often. I often have to deal deciding whether to speak up and stand my ground or not. In a tricky political environment, there’s so much pressure to just stay in your narrow path and not venture outside your confines to push boundaries, ask questions, and try to get things accomplished. I keep getting my wrist slapped anytime I stick my hand outside of where it’s supposed to be (or where leadership expects it to be). And if I keep at it, people won’t want to work with me and leadership won’t trust me, so I have to walk a very fine line. And being a PWS doesn’t help because I often doubt my own voice – literal and figurative. I’m glad you have a good sounding board (something I’m missing right now) and wish you luck with this round of vocalizing!

I think it’s to leave a situation or relationship that is unhealthy for you. The line between “challenging” and “abusive” can become quite thin. Sure, one should expend reasonable effort to make it work. “Reasonable” is somewhat subjective, and that’s ok. You seem to know when enough is enough. Wishing you well, Pam.

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