Why You Should Speak Up and Let Your Voice be Heard

“I’ve talked to nearly 30,000 people on this show, and all 30,000 had one thing in common: They all wanted vali­dation. If I could reach through this tele­vision and sit on your sofa or sit on a stool in your kitchen right now, I would tell you that every single person you will ever meet shares that common desire. They want to know: ‘Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything to you?”- Oprah

I can still remember how I felt when Oprah said the quote above at the end of her show. I felt the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. It was, as she would say, an a-ha moment. In that moment, I realized that the thing I’ve always been looking for was validation. I just wanted for someone to acknowledge my thoughts, my feelings and my way of seeing the world.

I guess that I am still searching for it in a way. This blog is my daily contribution to the way I see the world, but I don’t think I’ve completely found my voice yet. I can remember when I didn’t say what I thought or felt. Many of my friends and family would probably beg to differ. They would say that I was opinionated and outspoken. They wouldn’t be wrong. I speak up when I think something is wrong and I express my opinions very well when I view an injustice or if I feel like I can share some advice that might help someone.

What I find is that when you are talking about other people, they rarely notice that you’re never talking about yourself. The area where I wasn’t vocal was in my own personal feelings, my personal pain and my needs. I kept those things to myself. I learned that the way to get love and appreciation was to give to other people, but I never knew how to get it for being me. I guess you could call me a chameleon. I was very perceptive of other people’s needs and I morphed into whatever was necessary. In being all things to other people, I had no idea what my own needs were.

I think there are many people like me and then there are people who rebel against the world, but are just as lost in their own feelings as well. Whether you are rebelling or pleasing, you are consumed by the response of the other person. As long as you are consumed by the other person, you are not aware of your own needs. The goal is to become self-approved. It requires self-discovery and developing a true understanding of who you are and what your beliefs are. You are your greatest mystery. I find that my beliefs are becoming more and more fluid as I get older. I’m willing to believe that there is more than one way to be in this world.

I think that everyone is seeking to be heard. But, there are several choices.  You can be heard by saying what people want to hear. You can also be heard by being outrageous and saying the exact opposite. But, until, you find your authentic voice, you are not going to feel heard. It’s important to develop your true voice, because maybe you are meant to say the one thing that the people in your world haven’t heard yet. As long as you keep that inside of you, they may never know your point-of-view. There may never be another you with your set of experiences. And, we often make the mistake of thinking that everyone knows everything. You would be surprised how often people don’t. Many of us are running the same tape of beliefs that has been passed down from generation to generation. Until, we are challenged, we may not think of something a different way.

I will admit that it takes courage to say what you think and feel. You can face rejection for your thoughts and feelings, but when you don’t speak up and share your feelings, you are rejecting yourself. Is it better to be rejected by someone else or to reject yourself? That’s a question you have to ask yourself. But, I can tell you that if you are walking around feeling unheard, it’s not better to reject yourself. Empower yourself. Speak your truth and share your voice. You never know. You might be the voice that changes everything.

“Stop giving your life away to other people.” – Steve Maraboli