The pressure to always know exactly what to say in the moment can be overwhelming.
Especially in conversations fraught with tension. The pressure can increase so much that we feel like our voices are being slowly compacted - shrinking and twisting and bending in an effort to adapt to the often competing (and never-ending) expectations that surround us.
Unwinding ourselves and (re)discovering our voice takes time.
Time to recognize that our voice became crushed in the first place.
Time to learn how to use our voice in ways that line up with our integrity.
Time to recognize that we get to make a choice about how to use our voice - and that we don’t have to let the tide of pressure and expectations sweep us away.
Finding our voice isn’t something that happens in a sudden shift as we move from one moment to the next.
It takes a willingness to open up and practice when it’s awkward, uncomfortable, or just plain strange.
It takes listening, and learning how to maintain healthy boundaries.
It takes carving out time to be still so we can hear the murmurings in our own heart.
As we take these steps, we continue to unclench and drift away from the pressure to always have the perfect thing to say. Instead, we slowly move towards building meaningful relationships, and being more present in our conversations.