Louder than Words: Harness the Power of Your Authentic Voice

A compelling, authentic voice is rooted in a strong sense of identity.

A strong, authentic, compelling voice is the expression of identity, guided by vision, and achieved through mastery.

At this point, you have two choices: you can either remain stagnant, using the same methods and skills to tackle the work that’s in front of you and continuing on your present course, or you can intentionally return to Discovery phase and challenge yourself to develop a new skill or means of expression. If you do the former, you are likely to begin a slow decline into mediocrity and misery. If you do the latter, you will be uncomfortable for a while, but you will continue growing.

Developing your authentic voice is the result of lifelong layers of learning, experimentation, and failure.

Empathy ultimately leads to empathic ideas and products, because when you experience empathy you are centering your efforts on the person you are serving,” Haselmayer told me. “Deep down, I think there is a human desire for connectedness. We want to be engaged, trusted, and in touch. The troubling thing is that we are not often taught how to do that, so we approach problems at a distance, without any true sense of connectedness to the person for whom we’re solving the problem.

For us moderns, perhaps, fear of being ridiculous in our own eyes is the greatest shame. —Dorothee Soelle, Death by Bread Alone

If you want to influence someone to see something from your perspective, you must understand that pointing them to the facts of the situation will never suffice. You must instead become a curator of experiences and information so that you selectively weave a story that guides the other person to your point of view.

I have often thought the best way to define a man’s character would be to seek out the particular mental or moral attitude in which, when it comes upon him, he felt himself most deeply and intensely active and alive. At such moments there is a voice inside which speaks and says: “This is the real me!” —William James

It’s about following your through-line.

It’s all part of the process, and it’s never ending. However, the key is to remain focused on your vision and embrace the journey.

No matter how successful you are, or how skillful you may be, stretching beyond your comfort zone will mean feeling “less than” for a time.

Oddly, striving to make something unique in the eyes of others can cause us to lose connection with the one source of true uniqueness we have to offer—our authentic voice.

One practice that I often prescribe is called 50 Notables.

Pushing to the edge of your ability is equivalent to stretching to the point of defeat,

The key to making your work resonate is to uncover, develop, and then bravely use your authentic voice.

We need to overcome this fear of insignificance and replace it with a mind-set of contribution.

we show enough of ourselves to differentiate us from the competition, but not so much as to isolate us.

When you are pouring yourself into your work and bringing your unique perspective and skills to the table, then you are adding value that only you are capable of contributing.

With sympathy, Haselmayer explained to me, you feel something for the other person, but you are detached. With empathy, you cross the line into compulsion. You feel that you must act. “Saying ‘that sucks’ is sympathy, but when that shifts to ‘this sucks’ it means that you are vested in it and ready to act,” Zoeckler added. “It’s not a simple task, it requires a tremendous amount of energy. The emotional state of others becomes a part of you, and you are now vested in the results. It starts with a choice to engage empathically and the willingness to actually act on what you feel.

Work, then, becomes about more than checking off tasks and pushing through projects. Instead, it is a means to carve a place in the world and create value that lasts.

You have to know what you believe, what you stand for, and what you’re willing to invest yourself in (fully) if you want your work to stand against the onslaught of skepticism and critique.

You have to let go of your fear of what you think you must be so that you can embrace the possibility of what you might be.

Your work tells tales.

you will see true growth only when you take action.