Finding Your Voice
“But if you hush, if you listen carefully, you may just hear the call. The knowing voice of you.”
Now, I’m not about to sit here and say that getting a recommendation is wrong or that I’ve never got one. But recently I came across something on one of my elaborate online journeys of procrastination. See I’m studying Psychotherapy at the moment so everything I do, I say, I am is dissected in real time by yours truly. So I’m browsing books on Amazon, I stumble across a gem thanks to the ever sophisticated algorithm. It’s exactly what I’m looking for, the intro looks good and I’ve heard of the author. I’ve added it to my cart but just before I seal the deal I take one last step and search for a book review. I’m taken to a scathing review from a stern faced middle aged man, let’s call him Gunther. In an instance I lose interest. I close my browser and disregard all my prior instincts to buy the book and I go about my day.
Why is it that I would value the opinion of a man I know absolutely nothing about more than my own? Why when I’ve done an evaluation on something that I think is suitable for me must I seek external validation? And yes, I’m aware this seems a little OTT in response to the decision of whether to buy or not to buy the book but it got me thinking. It got me thinking about all the times and the instances in our daily lives that we trust everyone else’s opinion but our own.
See Social Media has in some ways created a very defined version of what life is. Anything outside the Insta norm can be construed as failure. We trust anyone with a voice and these days it seems everyone except ourselves has a voice. But to be honest half the time we know nothing about the person behind the voice. Like where are they from? Do they have friends? Do their friends even like them? We give them more credibility than we dare give ourselves because they know best. Anyone who has a voice knows best. We go to Santorini because ‘are you even a person if you haven’t been?’. We go hiking on Sundays because ‘it’s good to spend time with nature, mindfulness and all that’ - but what if I hate hiking? What if I don’t actually enjoy it? What if my foot hurts or I had a really boozy night last night and fancy laying on my laurels willing the return my dignity while seeping in my own self pity. We jump on the bandwagon with the masses without questioning whether or not it fits for us.
What about that things that you like? The things that set your soul on fire? Mass media has a seriously narrow view of the world. At its forefront mindfulness, fitness, startups and personal development. Achieve, achieve, achieve. Go, go go. It’s never be, be, be. And it’s hard to find your voice when the voice of the mass is so loud. But what if your voice doesn’t quite fit with the masses? We’ve become so limited in our thinking of life that we pigeonhole ourselves. The blinkers are on and the jury's out in force. And god forbid we don’t thrive - what then? We default to scorn. There must be something wrong with us. So we try harder and harder to stuff that square peg into the round hole, dismayed by the mediocre results. But of course they’re mediocre. Einstein has a point when he said ‘If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid’. Now there’s a voice you should listen to.
But if you hush, if you listen carefully, you may just hear the call. The knowing voice of you. The one that knows what you like and what you don’t. Who you are and who you’re not. And when you hear it, heed it because it may just be the key to your sanity.
About The Author
Siobhan is a Trainee Psychotherapist, Mental Health Advocate and Editor of crakd. She’s also embroiled in an intense love affair with eclectic interiors and colourful food.
Follow Siobhan on Instagram @siobhan_scan