You have a right to be 'there' ...

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I'm not sure at what point in my life I decided that my voice mattered, my perspective was worthwhile and that I had a right to be "there". Maybe it's genetic because my Dad always believed his voice needed to be heard; whether it was standing up and sharing a contrary opinion in a community gathering or writing a letter to the editor. He assumed that his voice mattered. He was a simple man - no college degree, no privileged background, no title or status. Yet, I never saw my father question his 'right to be there' - wherever he was.  I'm not here to say that his perspective was always welcomed or agreed with, nor was he free from ridicule.  That didn't stop him.

So, maybe it's my DNA that has me ignore the majority, the titles, the gender, the years of experience - whatever might be perceived as a reason that my perspective doesn't matter. Whatever it is, I am grateful for it! 

I work with several people who sit quietly, burying their perspectives and hiding their voice because they don't feel their voice would be heard or honored or needed. Those are examples of what we call limiting beliefs. Our brain doesn't know the difference between real and pretend - truth and story. So, if you tell yourself that no one would listen to you or that you don't deserve to be in the conversation, then your brain (which informs the rest of you) believes that story and acts accordingly. 

Is it really as simple as changing your story?  Actually, it is!  Your perspective is always valuable. Where you might get stuck is when the decision made doesn't align with your perspective. You need to learn to let go of that part of the equation. Say what you need to say and then let it go.  Your bit of information or opinion or perspective matters and at the very least you have been courageous and shared your voice.

So, find your voice, disconnect from the story that it doesn't matter, stand up straight and speak.  The more you do it, the easier it gets. The more you do it, the more that people around you realize that have something to say. Saying something adds value!