• Sheridan Labbe

How to Find Your Voice



We live in a time where there are more distractions than ever. Whether we’re overstimulated by people’s reading thoughts and activities 24/7 online, watching the news, our growing list of obligations, or the endless ways we find to fill our time during the weekends, right now is a paradise for those looking to be distracted from their lives.


And hey, I get it. Life can have its ups and downs and sometimes all you want is a distraction from reality but what happens when we become so distracted that we lose sight of ourselves and our voices?


I recently watched a cute movie on Netflix called “Look Both Ways” and (semi spoiler alert) the main character battles with finding her voice in life, especially as a rising illustration artist. At one point the main character receives feedback from her boss that her art resembles so many other artists that it lacks authenticity and a voice of her own.


If we’re being honest, finding our voice is a common struggle for many of us nowadays. We have goals in mind and we think the quickest ways to those goals are to replicate what we see someone else doing online. While I’m a fan of working smarter not harder, we still have to be mindful of adding our flair to what we do. After all, if you think of most people you admire, I’d bet most of them are unique and authentic and that’s what attracts you to them…so knowing this, why not follow their lead and find our voices?


As a very spiritual person, I resonate with the idea that we all have our own special talents, gifts, and purposes in this world. To take it a step further, I believe that living in OUR purpose activates and inspires someone else to do the same. Recently, I felt inundated with too many thoughts, ideas, and opinions that I couldn’t decipher what was MY truth and voice and what was something just adopted from what I read online or advice a friend gave.


I almost felt suffocated. I just wanted to quiet the noise and distractions. I longed to just be with my thoughts and find out what it was that I wanted for myself and out of life, how I wanted to show up in the world and live life in my truth. So for 30 days, I fasted. I abstained from a variety of things including alcohol, social media, excessive spending, therapy and so much more. I limited my time from TV, music, and even talking to friends.


I’ve done fasts before but this time felt more intentional and purpose-driven. I developed a morning routine, I spent more time outside, I got back into activities like dancing and consistently working out, and I went to bed at a decent hour.


Having time away from all the things that fill our time allows us to see ourselves for who and what we are outside of the normal habits of our lives. Enjoying what you do and doing something because you’re used to it are two different things.


With me being a new city, I told myself I didn’t want to move across the country and keep all the same habits like brunching and drinking every weekend. New city, new goals, and so much more.


Now, this isn’t to say you have to go on a 30-day fast as I did or even move to a new city to find your voice. However, a little fasting never hurt anybody either. lol. I developed so many insights and just peace during this time and I’ll share a few tips on finding your voice. Whether you’re an artist looking to develop your voice or a 20/30 somethin’-year-old searching for purpose, here are a few tips to living your life in your truth through finding your voice.


Intentional Quiet Time


Find 15-30 mins a day to cut out all noise (yes even those meditation youtube videos) and just hear your thoughts. There’s no perfect way to do this; you could meditate, ride in the car to work with no music, journal, or get ready in the morning with zero distractions. There are so many ways to find quiet time and the benefits are unbelievable. Your inner voice and Higher Power (if you believe in one) have SO much to communicate to us but we never have the space for those thoughts to flow in.



Follow Your Intuition


Building off the previous tip. All of us have intuition. Do we listen to it or even hear it? Debatable. Listening to those little nudges that tell you to take a new way home, stop by that restaurant after work, call that person or take that class could be leading you to a pathway you hadn’t imagined. I’ve met some of my best friends, made great business connections, and just had unforgettable experiences just by listening to my intuition and doing something on a whim.


Nurture Your Inner Child


Now I’m going to talk more about this in a different blog but we all have an Inner Child who has thoughts and desires long forgotten and pushed aside due to our environment, society’s pressures, and how tiresome adulting can be. Finding your inner voice starts with getting in touch with old hobbies and passions long forgotten as we abandoned them for “The American Dream.” What are some passions you had that you forgot about? During my fast, I got back into taking dance classes and playing tennis more for no other purpose than enjoyment and burning some calories in the process.


Ironically, I’ve always loved writing (blogs and poems) and as you can see, I’m getting back into those hobbies as well. A word of caution: all hobbies and passions don’t have to be monetized. It’s perfectly ok to enjoy eating out and not feel the pressure of posting a reel about it or making art that you never intend to sell.


All in all, I believe many of us are striving to find our voice and truth in our lives, relationships, and even careers. The good news is that the work starts within us. Finding our voice takes radical authenticity to live our truth outside of the world’s pressures. Saying yes when we want to say yes and saying no when we want to say no.


If you’re reading this, the amazing thing is that you’ve already recognized on some level that you aren’t living as purposeful a life as you could, which is a realization some people sadly may never have until it’s too late. This week, I urge you to make time for quietness, listen to your intuition, and do something that makes you happy. Look to your inner being for resonance versus seeking validation from others.


Be Untamed,

Sheridan


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