by Pimmi Pande October 1 2023, 12:00 am Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 9 secs

Today, Pimmi Pande discusses what it takes to own your voice and speak unhesitant, fearless of judgement, because each person in the world is unique.

“When you know yourself, you are empowered. When you accept yourself, you are invincible.” – Tina Lifford

I love the expression “own it,” because apart from the strong, sassy, self-validating connotations, it perfectly describes how we must show up to our unique experience of life.

The trouble is, so many people don’t own who they are. I mean, practically from birth we are inundated with other ideas on how we should think and be. Rarely are we encouraged to develop our natural persona. We often have to follow suit in some way. And true individuation can sometimes come at a cost. We might grow up feeling like a misfit, a weirdo, an “other”.

In fact life can seem like a daily struggle to keep up with everyone else, just so we can fit in. From fashion expectations to beauty definitions; from social morals and behaviours to religious beliefs and political ideologies - the rules on how we are supposed to be are overwhelming. It can be hard to carve out your authentic identity from all that. And still achieve acceptance. While trying not to be “cancelled”.

It’s easy to become nervous about sharing your voice when you are uncertain if your words will be well received. Especially if you have experienced life as an outsider or a minority individual. I see so many people who choose to self-silence even if they do have something to say. Whether that’s expressing disagreement, discomfort or describing an idea in a meeting.

It is merely the fear of the consequence of exposing who they are that leads them to swallow their words. Because of that, you can end up bringing a limited percentage of who you are to your work and personal life. But when you do that, you are actively undermining yourself.

And, it is for this reason that I think it’s necessary to understand that developing your voice is not just about sounding competent and confident. Therefore the task of truly finding that voice within, which, by the way, is not lost in the first place, is not going to happen by practising a few vocal exercises - unless your issue is purely technique related.

Owning your voice requires you to believe in yourself, to have faith in what you want to say, to know that your thoughts are worth sharing, whichever format they may be in. It’s a self-validating process that underlines your right to be where you are and to do what you are doing. And therein, it brings to you incredible, empowering growth.

Understand though, it’s not about how much you speak. It’s not even about the volume or tone of your voice, though these are useful qualities to improve upon. But I have known some less vocal, more thoughtful, individuals who have strong self-esteem and a powerful energy that impacts you before the words they have, in fact, spoken in the most gentle manner.

I love the term, “own it.” It’s about not outsourcing your worth, but, instead, having enough self-trust to accept who you are, so you can truly live your own life and not somebody else’s.

Sharing your authentic voice is about having all the faith in the ‘real’ you, without all the approval ratings, ‘like’ emoticons and the backslapping, regardless of what everyone says or thinks.

And then, of course, underwriting what you have to say with self-love.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.