9 Ways to Value Your Own Voice
Wait a minute, what do we mean by “your own voice”? Is it your internal monolog? Are we talking about your views and values and how you express them? Maybe this is all about the words you choose or perhaps even your vocal tone?
Here’s some good news: It’s all of the above—and more!
The journey of finding—and valuing—your own voice is fundamental. It helps you understand who you are. It helps others appreciate you, too. Over your life, your voice will evolve and change. Valuing this voice can remain constant.
9 Ways to Value Your Own Voice
1. Tone, Timbre, and Volume
The sound of our voice plays a big role in the first impression we present. Words are important, of course, but how we say them makes all the difference in the world. The tone, timbre, and volume of your voice “speaks” to your:
- Interpersonal and cultural upbringing
- Confidence or lack thereof
- Relationship experiences
- Awareness of privilege dynamics
Silence is golden. Sometimes the best way to honor your voice is to dole it out carefully. Not every space has to be filled with sound. Words often carry more weight when delivered selectively. If you want others to value your voice as much as you do, don’t dominate conversations.
3. The Art and Joy of Conversation
Some of the most magic moments in your life may revolve around a good conversation. What begins as “small talk” could blossom into a wonderful experience. Hone your skills and seek out compatible conversation partners. The rewards can be unforgettable!
4. Inner Voice
Listen to your inner voice. This doesn’t mean you always trust it. Just make certain you hear it. Whether it’s an internal monolog or a confusing dream, be sure to listen closely. Sure, there’s always the “your own worst critic” voice but you might also hear:
- The voice of intuition
- Self-loving advice
- Hard-earned wisdom being shared
5. Expressing Values
What you say and how you say it reflects your opinions. From politics to religion to your favorite sports team, you use your voice to state your beliefs and concerns. Even if your voice shakes, there’s so much power to be found in speaking up and sharing with others.
One of the basics of self-defense is using your voice. Saying NO. Setting boundaries. Yelling for help. Don’t use questions (“What do you want? Do I know you?”). Speak in loud statements like: “I want you to leave!” or “Get back!” and of course: “Stop” and “No”!
An aspect of valuing your voice may be to express your creative side. You can sing, write, paint, or choose another method. But your voice will be heard loud and clear through your art. We all have so much within us. We have wisdom, pain, joy, and love to share. Use your voice to express it.
8. Part of a Collective
Communities have collective voices. It is a basic human need to be part of a social group. Participating in such groups involves valuing your voice enough to speak out. Great changes can result from collective efforts so why not add your voice to the causes that matter to you?
9. Asking for Help
No one can do it all alone. There will be times when your voice is most valuable in its ability to express a need and ask for help. For example, you may use your voice to seek out a counselor. During therapy sessions, you will again use your voice to tell your story, to validate your experiences, and speak awareness. And to discover more about yourself. No one may realize you’re in need until you express it out loud.