Finding My Voice<!-- --> | <!-- -->Assume Wisely
Finding My Voice

Finding My Voice

Posted: September 19, 2021

In my early 20's my first blog failed before it ever started. I struggled with finding my voice. To be candid, I had a voice, just not one I could publish. I feared my voice would betray me as youthful, inexperienced, and stupid, because I was all these things.

My struggle came to a head when I read Stephen Covey's 8th Habit (of Successful People). According to Covey, expressing your voice is a key to lifelong holistic success. I took that to heart but fundamentally found the book frustrating because I didn't see myself as able to offer anything of value. At the time I thought, maybe when I'm 40, I'll have something useful to share. Well, now I do. And while I still fear that I might reveal my inexperience and stupidity, my years of experience betray me. It's about time I stopped using these excuses. What can I say today that could help my 20-year-old self?

Don’t be a little bitch. Man up. Grow a pair. Drop your sack. Do man-shit. Stop caring about what other people think of you. Start caring about what you think of you. While that remains true to who I am and has supported me, it isn’t true for who I was. I’m sure that little bitch had something useful to share. What more could I say to help him out?

Pay attention to the chapter endings. As you live your life, chapters develop. Chapters will begin and chapters will end. Be mindful of when the chapters end. Take a beat. Summarize the lessons learned. Write it down. This is not the same as journaling which is capturing the experiences of the day. Journaling has its value: by all means, journal. But know that the real value is in the stories that leave an impression on your soul. What memories form the cornerstone of your character. What is remarkable? What should be remembered? What is useful? What do you want to pass on? To answer these kinds of questions a little distance is helpful. Give yourself some space to tell the whole story.

Overcoming cringe-worthy writing. When I read what I have written in the past, I cringe. That has held me back. It’s kept me from publishing. It's only natural to feel concerned. It's reasonable to expect judgment on my thoughts and how well I express them. My writing is a reflection of me. I’ve found that when I cringe, it's actually evidence I’ve progressed as a writer. There is a delta between where I was as a writer and where I am today. I remind myself, I can always re-write. There is no such thing as great writing, only great rewriting.

Write. Have the discipline to write every day. Just writing will not make you a better writer but not writing is detrimental. Take it seriously. Take a writing class. Take more than one. Recognize that there are professional writers who have spent years honing the craft. Respect writing as the skill that it is. Work at it.

Inexperience is a liability. I can’t sugarcoat that. It is. Business moves fast. Some degree of on-the-job training is expected but hiring managers have problems that they are hiring to solve. If you don’t have’s going to be a tough sell. Don't wear inexperience on your sleeve, but don’t think you need to experience everything yourself. We do learn best from our own experience but we can leverage the experiences of others. A great place to start is Covey's two books on habits and of course subscribe to my blog.

Default to action. There's no time like the present. You're not promised tomorrow. None of us are. Today is all you have. Tomorrow doesn't exist. Each day you awake, it's today. Tomorrow never comes. The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is today. The same idea applies here. Default to action. Fail splendidly. Learn. Do it again. It is easier to iterate and improve than to "get it right" the first time. Perfection is an illusion. Just get it done.

Your stories and experience have value. In this post I’ve shared some ideas on how to unlock those stories: Default to action Pay attention to the chapter endings Overcome cringy-ness Write Unlocking the stories is only part of the solution. Unlocking value is another part. In my next blog, I'll get into overcoming barriers to unlock and realize value.

Git Sum (un)common sense,

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© 2021 · Rho Lall