Find Your Voice, Own Your Gifts

Lisa Manyon

“Children should be seen and not heard.” This is a Victorian-based idea that obedient, quiet children are superior to other children. Interestingly enough, it originally applied specifically to young women.

With history like this, it’s not surprising that the societal and generational impact of specific sayings like “It’s not polite to brag,” and rhetorical questions like, “Who do you think you are?” continue to hold back women (and men, as well) even today. It’s hard to imagine a time when keeping to yourself was seen as a superior quality.

Fast-forward to present day, and we see that many women still find themselves bound by the invisible chains of antiquated thinking and even familial programming. They shrink, hold back and don’t speak up. They are subconsciously afraid, maybe because they were taught as children that bragging isn’t polite or they simply don’t want to outshine their peers because they crave acceptance. The possibilities are endless, but the fact remains the same: Each of us is born with a unique gift.Our particular gift or talent might be similar to others’ but it cannot be fully duplicated because it is uniquely ours. To take it a step further, we must accept that we are meant to share our gift with the world. When we don’t, without realizing it, we actually do a disservice to the world.

Our unique gifts are meant to help people, to truly make a difference and to evolve our planet in a positive way.Understanding this, the antiquated beliefs of history, society, friends and even family become less impactful. Knowledge is empowering. When we know in our hearts we are meant to make a difference, we owe it to ourselves and our fellow humans to step forward and be heard. More women are choosing to express these gifts by starting a business or becoming an entrepreneur. We create new opportunities as a conduit to share our gifts by providing services and benefits for the greater good. We have the power to share our gifts in many ways, and one of the most important ways is by letting people know how our unique gift can benefit them. This is where the challenge of overcoming those old-fashioned negative thoughts begins.

When you feel your gift with your heart and soul, you know you are doing the right thing. Yet at times those ingrained, limiting beliefs can creep in and hold you hostage. We feel the gifts, we want to share the gifts and there is still a niggling feeling of guilt. So, how do we overcome this? How do we move past the uncomfortable feeling of sharing our gifts with the world, especially when we’re entrepreneurs or small business owners? It all begins with our innergame, the way we feel about ourselves, and the work we do to make a difference in the world. The more we own our gifts and support ourselves, the more we can support others. This is true both in our professional and personal lives. At the same time, it’s vital to our livelihood to share our professional message in a way that resonates with our individual authenticity and, equally important, connects with our ideal clients. Often, before we can step into a place of confidence and create marketing messages that really resonate, we have to step back and look at what has caused resistance from the inside out. We can do this by making a list of our gifts and how they truly help others. From there, it’s important to embrace those gifts and own the responsibility of sharing (after all, if you don’t tell, who will know?).

Approaching your message from a perspective of service helps your message flow seamlessly. If that doesn’t work for you, it’s time to consider reaching out for support to make sure your marketing message is effectively conveying both the gifts you have to offer and how they will make a difference for potential clients. Sometimes an objective perspective can highlight your gifts in ways you’ve never imagined.

Finally, and just as important, we must continually celebrate our wins. As women we have many roles and we are often far too hard on ourselves. Keep a journal of success and jot down all the wonderful things you are doing — big and small. No one can define your success except you. Revisit your journal of success if doubt creeps in.Once you own your gifts and find your voice, you can finally break free from the “no bragging zone,” and from there the sky is the limit.With this newfound clarity, you’ll find even more ways to help more people and make the difference you know you are meant to make.