This morning I was listening to a call by my mentor Paul Martinelli and he posed a couple of questions that really caught my attention and got my wheels turning, “Who have you allowed to have a voice in you life?” and “Who have been listening to and WHY?”
Growing up EVERYONE had a voice in my life because I thought EVERYONE was way better at everything and way smarter than I was. Everyone spoke louder. Everyone had the answers. For a long time I had no idea I even had a voice or even an original thought because I was so focused on listening to them. They knew better. I never even thought I could trust my own instinct. Why do we count so much on other people to validate our thoughts and decisions? I touched on this before in my last blog entry and that question has been sticking itself in one conversation or another, daily, since then.
Thanks to social media, this influence has now gone outside of your close circle of friends/peers. We now instantly know/hear/see/read what celebrities think, what the news people think, what the president wants you to think (or at least what you can decipher what you think he wants you to think). Why do we listen? Is it out of habit? Because it's popular? Or, do we listen because it actually strikes a tone in our thinking that creates an evolution? And, out of those that we habitually listen to everyday, are they really giving us advice for us to build our own truths on or are they opinions to sway us from one side to another?
I love meeting new people and hearing what they are passionate about because 9 times out of 10 it is something completely different than me. So I ask questions. I learn from them. We discuss. We learn from each other. We grow. It's not a game of who can convert whom, it's an assembly, a town hall, an open space to be able to take pieces of our passions/beliefs/thoughts that resonate with us and use them to grow. THAT’s what sharing your ideas is about!! We are never going to all believe the same thing or think the same way, how amazing is that? There are always opportunities you can expand your knowledge and give you a direction to grow and learn, some in 140 characters or less. That's why we should listen to each other because, at the end of the day, it will helps us listen to ourselves.
All relationships, professional, personal, or that weird in-between where the other person doesn't really know you exist but they “talk” to you every day via social media, are a two-way street. Dig deeper in that later “relationship”. Why do you consistently check their posts? Why do you consistently read their tweets? Its is actually productive and fulfilling for you as you are on this journey? Yes, we all have our guilty pleasures. People that we can just turn off our brains with and enjoy the amazing mess that they are, but there is still a piece of them that inspires you one way or another to evolve.
The last 3 years I have really listened to the people around me, I have taken what I love about them, along with my why for following them, and use those characteristics to grow my voice. I am who I am, my confidence, my strength, my tenacity, my truth, because of them. Because of them my voice is strong.
Grab a pen and paper, write down the following questions and answer them:
Who have I allowed to have a voice in my life?
Out of those people, who have I been listening to and why?
Is what they say helping me grow or keeping me still?
By doing this you will start to recognize where you need to shift your focus and who you give permission to to have space in your head. As well as, truly discovering and strengthening your voice, your thoughts, and your journey.