Most women often wonder, “who am I to speak up and say anything?” My question to you is, “who are you not to?” What makes you any less special or significant than the next woman? Absolutely nothing.

Your voice is to be honored, cherished, and valued, but you first must see it that way.

Owning our voice is really about validating our self and our existence. It’s really about whether we are truly being seen and truly being heard, and often we are afraid to truly “see” ourselves below the surface.

As a result, many women wait for “permission” from others to speak up or never speak at all.

It is a known fact that people especially women struggle with speaking up and sharing how they feel whether it is at work, in school, or in their everyday lives.

I, too, struggled with this when I was younger. I wasn’t shy, but I was quiet. I stayed to myself. I liked “alone time.” I would get quiet on the phone or in person with my boyfriends. I would be terrified to tell a guy how I felt.

I barely raised my hand in class and only responded when I was called on. I always shined in front of the class though when I had to present. People would be like “whoa!” she is talented because they rarely ever heard me talking in class so they assumed that I didn’t know much or was scared.

Truthfully, I wasn’t scared at all—the truth was I was an introvert which I didn’t quite understand at first, and also I wasn’t confident enough in my own self and abilities to speak with confidence, poise, and power.

I simply hadn’t found my voice yet. A woman who has found and owned her voice has unlocked her personal power within. I hadn’t found it yet. It wasn’t until college that my voice began to emerge BIG time!

Honestly, I can attribute a number of things to helping me own my voice and supercharging the confidence I needed to SPEAK up, and here is what I did (this is a journey, never forget that, and also never forget to try what worked for me but also own your personal journey)…

  1. Surrounded myself with confident and empowered women who were unapologetic about speaking up and saying how they feel

    Enter Shirelle [She is an extrovert unlike me]. My college buddy who always, always demanded “RESPECT.” No matter where we were or what was going on she treated every single person we came in contact with respectfully and if they did the opposite—she SPOKE up and let them know! So, you know I caught on over time and realized that giving and expecting to be respected was truly an act of self-love. This sounds obvious but trust me it was a wake up call for me.  No one ever really treated me bad, but I also never really acknowledges deep down how worthy I truly was and how powerful it could be to “open my mouth” fearlessly and speak to anyone anywhere.

And so …one day my mom, cousin, and I went to the movies, and this woman cut my mother off as she walked up to the ticket booth. Whoa! I unleashed the whole beast in there! (I promise it wasn’t disrespectful or dishonoring to the lady!)But I spoke up, where in the past, I would let it slide and be too “quiet” to share. My mom turned around and said, “Wow. Is that my daughter? ” She knew it was a struggle for me to speak up and when she heard me she couldn’t believe it.

Remember we become like the five people we spend the most time with. 


2. Strengthened my relationship with God and my spirit
You were born for a reason. You have purpose and you have value. What you have inside of you was not meant to be hidden away from others. Hiding is an act of fear. Fear is the opposite of love. God is love so when we refuse to speak up and speak our truths we are really hiding our true self, our God self that lives within us.

When I recognized this for myself I began to ask God to reveal to me who I truly am, help me become the woman he destined me to be, unveil my purpose for being here, increase my self-love and self-acceptance of myself, and show me how to speak with confidence. Ask and you shall receive!

3. Accepted myself for who I was and embraced how I choose to speak up 

The more accepting we become of ourselves the more confident we become. Being a woman of color, not only do you have to heal and evolve in general you also have to take into account the various societal factors that may play a role on the ways you speak in the world.

As a black woman, before speaking I’ve always wrestled between talking in Standard English vs. African American English depending on the spaces I am in, and also whether or not I am being perceived as an “angry black woman.” With these additional layers added to the mix, I had to consider how I would let this effect my overall sense of self and the ways in which I do show up in the world.

I chose to accept that I speak two languages “standard” and “African American” and if anybody had a problem with it, it wasn’t my issue, it really is there issue.

Secondly, I decided that when speaking my truth I care less about other people’s ignorant stereotypes and more about whether I was (literally) speaking my truth in a way that was authentic and true for me yet articulated with poise, confidence, polish, and esteem.

I decided that even in a world that literally scrutinizes folk for the way they speak that I wasn’t going to disown parts of myself to make other people feel more comfortable. Now, I know there is a time and a place for speaking in certain ways, but at the end of the day who I am is who I ultimately choose to be.

4. Wrote out my thoughts, my feelings, my desires, and my dreams often  
Besides strengthening my spiritual center, writing has been hands down the second biggest tool I’ve used to strength my mental and emotional facets of myself.

Keeping a journal is one of the most effective ways to heal and get to the root of anything.As a result, I created The Ultimate Self-Love Journal which will release soon for this very reason.

When journaling is used to capture our thoughts and feelings—something begins to shift in you. When journaling is used to reflect on the deepest, darkest places in your mind—something begins to heal in you.

When journaling is used to help make sense of your life and what is actually happening (ie. the truth about yourself and why you are REALLY afraid of speaking up) –something goes “aha” in your mind and helps you discover what is really holding you back.
I have used journaling to break old relationship patterns, become more effective at dating and selecting the right men, forgive my distant father, gain clarity about my purpose, help me finish writing my first book, manifest money and opportunities, discover the root of my emotional eating, awaken myself to self-love on a really deep level, and more! Writing will change your life…I’m just saying!!  When you start writing, your voice naturally forms…voila..it’s kind of like magic LOL!

5. Visualized myself being powerful and speaking with authority and confidence
Right after journaling is visualizing as one of my top secret weapons for being confident overall. You have heard it a million times! So…I’m going to say it again…FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT.

-Look in the mirror. Stand up straight. Shoulders up. Head held high. Put on some heels for height and for the effect of confidence. Take a deep breath and say, “Hi my name is ….. and ….
just talk. Practice it over and over again until you feel comfortable.

Not feeling the mirror?

Then stand in a random place in your bedroom or house and just start talking. It will seem weird at first, but practice makes progress which makes you one step closer to opening up!

-Visualize talking in class or to a friend or to your man or to a coworker or even given a presentation or running a meeting or simply introducing yourself to people. If it feels weird then write out how the conversation would go in a particular situation before you get there.(this really works!)

-Google videos of other women talking to the camera or even give a speech like a TED talk, and take notes on what makes her appear confident and engaging. Then use those tips when you practice.

Speaking up is about owning who you are and then being unapologetic about being YOU! Free of fear, guilt, shame, worry, other’s opinions, and so on. Give yourself permission to be you. You do us all a disservice when you hide your light.

Let it shine! Let it shine! Let it shine!

 Comment Below:

  • Why do you find it hard to speak up?
  • What are you afraid will happen if you speak up?
  • Were these tips helpful? How will you use these in your own life?

How can I help you awaken to your confident power within?
Sign up for a FREE 20 minute Self-love Session here or ask me a specific question here.