Finding my own voice has been quite the journey.
Being from Germany, I have an attention-grabbing accent. I can’t hear it, but I’m told it’s adorable.
I embrace it now, but when I came to the states, it was hindering. It held me back. It made me insecure.
I constantly had people around me pointing it out and using it to push me down.
And it’s the same thing with cursing.
When I get really excited about something, I start talking really fast, and I curse.
I know how to behave if I’m on TV or public speaking. I know not to curse then and I can hold myself back from doing it.
But when I do curse, it’s because I’m really passionate about my clients, I love what I do and I get excited about it. I’m not holding back and that’s clear from the way that I speak.
I’m honest, I’m to the point, that’s what my cursing shows.
It took me five years to get to the point that I’m comfortable in my own German-accent, cursing personality.
You want to know how I did it?
I surrounded myself with clients, associates, and friends who take me for who I am. They don’t have a problem with how I speak or when I occasionally curse in a conversation. They know I love deep down inside, I want to help everyone and this is how I display it.
It’s taken me time and work to get here.
I talk fast and I know people have a hard time understanding me when I do that, so I pay attention and try to talk a little bit slower, take a break, and make sure my point is getting across.
One habit I’m working on is saying ‘so’. I often lead my sentences with ‘so’ and it can distract from what I’m trying to say. I’m putting in extra effort to pay attention to how I speak and work on it. But I will not take out my personality.
Make sure people understand you. Slow down, don’t talk too fast. We all have trouble with different accents at times. Just be conscious of your speech.
It’s the same with cursing.
There are some podcasts out there with a disclaimer that warns you to put in headphones if you have kids around. I would curse on those podcasts. But I also might be on local TV and you don’t want that bleep on there.
Pay attention, adjust to your surroundings, but keep your personality. You can PG-13 curse. There are ways to still be passionate and excited without dropping the f bomb.
And trust yourself. You want to work with people who align with your dreams and your personality and what you do in your business. Those people will be fine with how you display and voice yourself.
Find your voice and surround yourself with people who are okay with it. Sometimes it takes me a minute to find the right word. There will be one word that I just can’t think of, but I know that describes what I want to say.
If the people who surround you aren’t okay with it. It might be time to change your tribe. Maybe they’re not growing with you, maybe they have other plans or goals and they just don’t fit your style. It’s not worth it to keep hiding who you are.
What are your experiences with trying to find your voice? Share your story in the comments below.