Suppressing our voice can come in many different forms, which we’ll get into in a minute… but it’s important to understand why we do it. 👇🏼
Withdrawing and suppressing was engraved in us from childhood, and it served a purpose: to protect ourselves from being punished/hurt. As long we played by house rules, and didn’t rock the boat with our “endless” questions and “childish antics”… then we were safe. When we were nice and quiet, we were “good girls”.
But feeling the need to withdraw in childhood perpetuates into our adult years when we continue believing that we need to protect ourselves. This childhood belief crystalizes into behavioral patterns that causes us to be afraid of our voice, and fearful of being hurt.
Here’s what your hidden voice might look like:
Being withdrawn and fearful of our voice manifests into our decision-making and relationships. Here are a few common examples:
Fear of Conflict: Not wanting to “ruffle feathers” or upset anyone. Fearful that our words and beliefs will negatively impact those around us, so we keep quiet.
Unable to Say “No”: Saying “yes” is so much easier for those that were raised to fear saying “no”. Within the word “no” often lies fear, guilt and shame. To avoid disappointment, we say “yes” to people and situations that may not serve us.
The Inner Critic: a voice that has been trained to live in a dark, quiet space often has a strong inner critic that works relentlessly to keep it there. This inner critic cautions you at every turn, makes you doubt your natural instincts, and leads you towards shrinking rather than being seen.
Hiding Emotions: Alexa, play “Big Girls Don’t Cry” for a perfect example of the emotional conditioning we were exposed to. At some point during our earlier years, we adopted the belief that crying wasn’t appreciated, and keeping our emotions to ourselves was safer than expressing them. In turn, we avoid feelings by burying them deep down.
De-Valuing Your Ideas & Opinions: When our inner critic gets the best of us! It feels almost natural to de-value your opinions as an adult if they were not heard and valued when you were young. You learned to question their worth, and now in adulthood you continue to question them and struggle to validate them.
It never felt safe being bold and powerful when we were younger. As a result, the above behaviors, attitudes and beliefs are a product of continuously giving that power away to others.
If we continue to give away our power, our voice remains quiet, boundaries are crossed and our mental cave remains our home.
1. Discover Your Patterns:
Do any of the above examples ring a bell? In what ways do you habitually give away your power and suppress your voice? Take some time this week to explore your role in relationships and how you have allowed your hidden voice to manifest itself.
2. Notice How It Feels:
Truth is found in feelings. How does playing this role make you feel? How does it manifest in your body? This could be anger, resentment, frustration, sadness, guilt, overwhelm, etc. Tune into your body when these situations arise and listen closely.
3. Determine Your “Why”:
Knowing your “why” is a huge motivator and will support you and your goals as you move towards positive change. Ask yourself: why do I want to find my voice? In what ways will finding my voice benefit my life and those around me?
4. Action Towards Change:
Ok so you know your suppression patterns and how they are negatively impacting your life. You want change. Great! Now how are you going to move forward? This could be listening to your intuition, creating boundaries around your time, expressing your feelings more freely or simply learning to assert yourself. This step is where your work moving forward lies.
5. Boldly Speak Your Truth!
Now we put our words into action, and boldly speak our truth! Every time we choose to authentically and courageously speak up, we are choosing to love ourselves a little bit more. Taking action creates the change!