Last Updated on May 7, 2022
What have you learned so far from 2020? I think we can all agree this will be a defining year for humanity.
Maybe it’s taught you how much you value being around others, even as an introvert. Or how much you take for granted the little things like working from a coffee shop.
Or how important it is to have difficult conversations with others, to become aware of your blind spots, and to use your voice to help others.
I think the world is asking us to wake up. We’re being asked to question and revisit our values. To listen, learn, and take action.
I saw a post on Instagram that said, ‘What if 2020 was the year we’ve been waiting for? A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw – that it finally forces us to grow?’
Instead of looking at it as a complete disaster, we can think of how we’re going to make some much-needed change. And that change starts by listening to and using your voice more.
Getting clear on what matters
I’ve done a lot of unlearning and unpacking thoughts and mindsets within myself that I didn’t realize were there. I’ve been reading Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad, which has opened my eyes to ways that I’ve been ignorant and oblivious to my own privilege
I’ve used my voice in a way I haven’t before and spoken up about what I believe in, even when I feared backlash.
More than anything, this year has encouraged me to be more in tune with what I want and the kind of world that I want to live in.
I was distant from this for a while. I was distracted from what I want this world to look like and what role I play in shaping it, beyond selfish and materialistic wants.
The first half of this year has left me thinking: Who am I when I’m unswayed by everything around me? What do I believe at my core? What would I say if I had no fear of criticism?
This past month, I’ve consumed more social media content and spent more time on the Internet than I have in a long time. I’m the kind of person who wants to be in the know at all times, but that comes at the cost of absorbing too much information. I spend too much time consuming that I forget to check-in, ask where I stand, and figure out how I want to move forward.
Sometimes you need to pause and find your voice so that you can take action from a place of alignment, while not using perfectionism and ‘perfect clarity’ as an excuse for avoiding action.
Finding and using your voice
Learn to listen to and trust your inner voice. Once you trust that, you will begin to live with more intention and clarity. Here are some ways to find and use your own voice:
One of the best ways to connect with your inner voice is through quiet stillness. When was the last time you gave yourself full, uninterrupted attention?
For a long time, I stopped meditating. It wasn’t a conscious decision. It was that I stopped appreciating how it benefits me when I practice it.
For the past month, I’ve started looking at meditating as a way to connect with myself daily. I don’t go into it thinking, ‘I need to completely clear my mind for the next five minutes.’ Instead, I think, ‘This is a way to be with myself in this moment.’
I’ve also been journaling more than ever to get clarity when my thoughts are distracting me from what matters most.
Find time for regular check-ins with yourself. Come back to your beliefs and envision new ways to assert them.
Related Post: How to connect with yourself more deeply
Visualize what you want.
I’m a sucker for personality tests, and I’ve recently learned that my Human Design type is a Manifesting Generator. I can’t tell you exactly what that means because I haven’t looked into it too much, but I did find out that I need to visualize and ask for exactly what I want. Vague descriptions won’t work. I have to be specific and direct when asking for what I want out of life.
I encourage you to imagine the kind of world you want to live in. Think about what role you want to play in bringing that vision to fruition. Lean into what the world needs from you. This will give you clarity when it comes to using your voice and standing up for what you believe in.
“By actively asserting the role you wish to play in molding the world to come, the tests you will face in 2020 will help you cultivate new levels of inner strength as well as new skills to share with others.”– Gray Crawford
Practice using your voice.
It’s easy to retreat into silence when you feel uncertain. To feel afraid of saying the wrong thing. To feel like your voice doesn’t matter.
That’s nothing but perfectionism getting in the way. You don’t have to retreat from speaking up because you don’t think you have the right words to say it.
Whatever it is you’re passionate about, speak up. Pay attention to how you feel and use that to guide you.
Speak your dreams into existence with your words and your actions. In writing and conversations. By voting, signing petitions, and donating. With your decisions to follow and associate with certain people.
Don’t shy away from difficult and uncomfortable conversations with family members, coworkers, employers, etc. You may be faced with criticism, rebuttal, or deafening silence. But your voice might be the one that explains something in such a way that it changes another’s opinion for the better, even if it’s just one person.
“People are often so scared of saying the wrong thing that they miss the opportunity to do the right thing.”– Elaine Welteroth, More Than Enough
How can you use your voice more?
If you like to journal, here are some prompts to help you dig into this topic more:
- When have you ignored your own inner voice? When have you listened to it? What has this taught you?
- When have you listened to someone else instead of yourself? How did that affect your future actions?
- How can you use your voice to speak up in the future? What do you need to feel more confident voicing your thoughts?
Here are some ways you can use your voice and actions to make a difference in the world right now: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co
I am so glad I found this article. This is the right piece of advice I wanted. Thanks for the insightful thoughts.
Thank you for reading, John!
This is really good! I love your writing and your creativity.
Thank you so much, Kate!
I’m so glad to read this article, so much inspired.
Thank you so much❤
You’re welcome, Snehal!
This is such a thoughtful post!
Thank you, Cam!
Thanks for your honesty and I love reading your articles. You’re not alone in being the quiet one in the room. I’m also the quiet one who likes to listen to others. But, there are times when we really do need to speak up. I’m so glad that you’ve found your own voice and are owning it. I’ve been afraid to speak my mind for fear of being ostracized. A wise friend once told me that I have to say something even if they’re not talking about me. She was absolutely right because if we’re going to change for the better, we all have to support one another.
Absolutely! Thank you for sharing, Christine!
Thank you so much for this wonderful article! These are some terrific pointers that everyone can use.
Thank you, Karen! xo
Thank you for this amazing article! What are some other ways to connect with your inner voice if your not that interested in journaling?
I’d say meditation, going for a walk without your phone, sharing your ideas and thoughts with a friend (who listens well!), and even talking to a therapist or coach are good ways too. Anything that helps you make better sense of what goes on in your head!
I started journaling back in June of 2020 and haven’t stopped since then! I absolutely love it !