7 Steps to Reclaiming Your Voice and Saying What You Want.
In China, it is seen as a good thing for a female to appear shy, modest, and subtle in how you communicate. The way I would normally say ‘hello’ was I would look and smile – and never actually say ‘hello’. When I moved to Australia, I soon realised that a lot of people thought it was creepy to stare at someone and smile – they didn’t know how to respond!” shares Huan.
Realising that connecting is more than just knowing the language, she began exploring what it takes to really be seen and heard – no matter where you are or who you are with. Dr Xu now travels the world sharing tools for ease-filled communication in her Right Voice for You classes, showing it’s possible to express our voice, whatever our learned or natural communication differences.
Huan says, “We all have these places where we feel silenced, muted or invisible, where we don’t have ease just expressing ourselves authentically. The key thing is to first rediscover you and your voice and enjoy expressing it.”
Here are my seven steps to reclaiming your voice and saying what you want.
Drop your learned standards and judgments
From day one, our families, schools, cultures and peers impose expectations of how we should present ourselves to the world. How many judgments about the right ways to communicate and express your voice have you picked up from other people? Take a closer look at the beliefs you have formed in this area – are they true for you? Much of what we learn has nothing to do with what is right for us. If we question them, we can begin letting old standards go and gain freedom to choose how we would like to be.
True communication isn’t about talking, it’s more about being present. We often develop ways to “check out” from being present with those around us. Do you have avoidance tactics or habits – like staying silent or invisible, interrupting or talking over rather than listening, or being distracted by self-conscious thoughts or feelings – that prevent you from being truly present with others? Start catching the thoughts, feelings and habits that stop you being present and ask, “What would it take to relax and be present here?”
Have childlike wonder
Trying to get communication “right” makes it a significant and serious business! Instead, what if we can enjoy just being curious when engaging with the world around you, rather than trying to do it the “right” way? Rediscovering that wonder is a major key in having more ease with connecting with others authentically. Rather than have any agenda, what if you could approach all communication with a simple interest in learning and knowing more about someone or something?
Don’t forget your body!
When we get nervous, anxious or uncomfortable, we can become quickly disconnected and stuck in our heads, forgetting we even have a body! Reconnect with your body, feel your feet on the floor. Notice your environment, allow your attention to expand to every corner of the room. When you stay connected to your body and environment, the stuff going on in your mind becomes less substantial and impactful and you can become more relaxed and present.
Vulnerability is the absence of judgment or resistance. It is highly attractive and can have profound impact on our ability to connect and communicate with others. When we sense people judging and resisting us in a conversation, we tend to put up barriers or want to push back, which creates more disconnect. With vulnerability, you have no wall to push against, so judgments and barriers from others tend to dissipate very quickly.
Be aware of what others can hear
Ever decided someone “needs to hear this”, and then when you talk, it isn’t well received? Or maybe you avoid speaking up for fear of rejection or pushback. A different way to approach this is to ask, “What can this person hear? What can they receive from me at this moment?” before you speak. This makes you more aware of that person, their energy, their micro expressions, and what they are open to hearing, rather than trying to force anything.
Imagine that instead of worries, anxieties, anticipations about conversations, we had the attitude of, “How much fun can we have and what can we create together?” Engaging with others should be fun, not a hurdle or difficulty! When we enjoy ourselves, enjoy expressing ourselves and invite other people to engage with us, that is where the fun can really begin. How much more fun can you have if you were willing to enjoy expressing yourself and invite others along with you, without worrying what others may think?
This guest post was authored by Dr Huan Xu
Dr Huan Xu has acquired many titles in her career – scientist, dentist, entrepreneur, mother, wife, and coach. Curious about both human bodies and minds and studying everything from biomedical science to meditation, yoga and intuitive healing, Dr Xu now travels the globe sharing the tools of Right Voice For You, a specialty program of Access Consciousness, empowering people to discover their unique capacities and have the life they truly desire. Find out more about Huan at www.huanxu.com.au