Finding Your Voice

May 24, 2023

The world today is fast paced, multi-sensory in the extreme and crowded with people whose goal is to 'influence' others. 'Influencing' is even a career these days and an affluent one at that! The key question here is, what is it that makes people sit up and listen to some people and not to others? How do you ensure that people will give you the space to be heard?

I have met so many wonderful people over the years that I have been directing Quest for Success Ltd. Some of the most amazing and interesting people have been softly spoken, exceptional listeners, empathic, intelligent and ... deeply frustrated. The source of their frustration? They are overflowing with incredible ideas and they feel invisible, ignored and irrelevant. They ask the question, "Why does nobody ever listen to me?" So, they are resigned to sitting in the background, grabbing a moment to speak when they can and allowing others to shut them down and talk over them.

Does any of that resonate with you? Are you the person who sits quietly and lets others hold the floor? Do you sit silent in meetings, even though you have great ideas, feeling it is never quite the right time to speak up or feeling the pressure of being judged or shot down? Does your body and mind react unresourcefully when you think about public speaking? Do you feel overshadowed and overlooked? If this is your mirror, then it's time to find your voice!

Some years ago, before I chose to create Quest for Success Ltd, I worked for a national public sector organisation in a middle management role. I represented the North West of England in a National team of Programme Managers and I was the person without a voice. In meetings, I remember sitting and observing the other regional managers, I thought they all looked so confident and empowered, they knew exactly what they were doing and I consistently told myself I did not. I felt anxious in those meetings and it prevented me from expressing my ideas. As I look back at those meetings from now, I realise that there was very little substance to what those other managers said in the forum. They repeated the words of others, stated the obvious and talked a lot about what we had done. There was very little in the way of inspiring ideas offered into the room. I sat quietly and observed, only speaking when I was asked to, after all, there was no point in speaking if I had nothing valuable to add and I wouldn't have dreamed of challenging the ideas of others.

It wasn't until I found NLP that everything changed for me. I found my voice.

Finding your voice is an integral part of feeling heard and visible in the world. I'm talking about far more than just a random process of speaking up and certainly at a far deeper level than making shallow, ill-conceived comments just to be seen and heard. Finding your voice is being confident in your ideas and trusting your own thoughts and being ready and excited to share them with others.

In NLP, there are 5 key elements to discovering your powerful voice:

1. Learning how to be empowered.

The secret of taking responsibility for where you are now is that the decisions and choices you make in your life and the dominant thought patterns you have in your head, put you right where you are.  The sum total of all the decisions you made in the past and all the dominant thought patterns you have held in your mind have created who you are and where you are today.

The moment that you take responsibility for where you are, you seize the power to transform yourself. You create Personal Empowerment.

Many people are at ‘effect’.  When you are at ‘effect’ you feel that change is beyond your reach because of external influences which are outside of your control.  These attitudes are both common and normal.  The problem is that when you are at ‘effect’, you give up all your personal power to others.

You can reclaim and build your personal power by moving to ‘cause’.  By taking responsibility for your own results and taking action, you take the first steps to being at ‘cause’.  Once you are truly at cause, you can make any changes that you want to make and feel empowered to discover your voice.

 

2. Controlling your internal state (your emotional content).

Be aware of your emotional state. Feeling anxious, nervous, stressed, pressurised or even fearful will prevent clarity of thought and will generate negative self-talk. Speaking out required a calm and confident inner-self and a kind and encouraging internal voice. To achieve tis in NLP we have a rapid and effective process called anchoring which can hold you in this resourceful state.

3. Realising that your Model of the World is your own.

Every second, approximately 12 million bits of information enter our neurology through our 5 senses. This is clearly far more information than we can consciously process so our unconscious mind filters the information down to around 126 bits per second, less than 0.1% of the original input.  Our personal thought pattern about the world outside of us is generated from the remaining data.  Luckily, there are only 6 things that we can do in our head.  We can see pictures, hear sounds, feel feelings, smell smells, taste tastes and be witness to our self-talk.  This unique thought pattern is what produces our behaviour.  It is the recognition of this simple model which allows us to respect the opinion of others and to take solace in the knowledge that our ideas and relevant and ought to be expressed. Everyone will think differently, nobody will select the same 126 bits of information to pay attention to and that's ok.

4. Think critically and select your words mindfully.

NLP is all about language and how it affects our internal state and the state of others. Think of it this way, whenever you speak, you impact the way someone feels, so why not learn to use empowering and resourceful language to explain your ideas to others. Language is the foundation of influence and the use of precision language can be learned by studying Neuro LINGUISTIC Programming.

5. Focus on what you want to achieve.

What you focus on is what you get. Energy flows where attention goes, so if you find yourself consistently focusing on what you don't want to happen, that's where your energy will be focussed. When you focus energy, it projects out from you and is then reflected back by the world around you. Whatever you project out is what will be reflected back. Focussing on what you want means that what you want will be returned to you with astonishing reliability.

We can help you to find your voice. You will feel confident to speak up in group settings, contribute powerfully to meetings, be influential and relevant and to be an exceptional presenter, trainer and public speaker. Find your voice and speak with us, we are waiting to hear you.

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