A couple of weeks ago, I lost my voice to laryngitis, and while I was laughing at my failed attempts to even utter a full sentence, I was obviously thrilled when my speech finally returned.
I have lost my voice multiple times before, but it was fear that snatched it away back then. Growing up, I was always the quiet one, but never because I had nothing to say. I would simply keep my mouth shut out of fear that I would say the wrong thing and come across as stupid or naïve.
The fear of feeling vulnerable or exposing something personal crept in frequently and kept my doors of expression closed. Fear snickered at the thoughts I was on the verge of vocalizing and kept me silent.
Now, however, it’s difficult to shut me up.
Talking is a vital means of expressing, sharing and conversing. It’s at the heart of friendships and relationships. It puts words to feelings in our cores and allows us to share what’s happening in our minds and let others in to our worlds. Ideas transform to spoken words to form speeches that can inspire and motivate countless people.
Our voices allow us to agree, disagree, compliment and ask questions.
Your words can have amazing effects on others, even if it's only one person. A simple "hello" in passing can make someone’s day, or even just a "thank you" when you really mean it.
Everyone has incredible individual ideas, thoughts and opinions, but until we designate some method of expression, they remain swimming in endless circles in our heads, depriving everyone else of our unique perspective.
We need to start piping up and offering our two cents; we have no idea what effect we could potentially have.
Here are 10 times you need to use your voice:
When you love someone, tell him or her
Shout it from the rooftops if you want, but just saying it every day will count for something. Whether it’s forever or just for awhile, if you love someone, he or she needs to know it and will likely never tire of hearing it. They’re three powerful words, and they’re yours to give.
When you feel strongly about something
Let your passion carve your sentences and spread the messages that are significant to you. You can make a difference and you can absolutely reach people.
All it takes is one person to begin a train of thought, and when it’s fueled by passion, that train will be hard to stop.
When something is bothering you, speak up
There’s no need to suffer in silence; if anything is causing you to feel down, let someone know. You’re never alone and speaking up is the first step toward feeling better.
Even if the problem is just that you disagree with how things are transpiring, you’re entitled to suggest a different method.
When you feel like you can’t cope, don’t try to get through on your own
Ask for help and advice and don’t stay stuck out of fear for what others may think. Everyone has his or her moments, and it’s only human to need to reach out. Plus, a problem shared is a problem cut in half.
When you disagree with someone
Don’t feel like you have to begrudgingly nod in agreement to everything in an attempt to keep the peace. Say what you think respectfully, but don’t deny yourself your right to expression.
You may have an even better idea or something others hadn’t thought to suggest. Value your opinions and others will, too.
When you’re not happy in a situation, say something
Communication in all walks of life is crucial for identifying problems and venting issues. If you’re unhappy, you don’t have to stay unhappy out of fear that you'll hurt someone's feelings or make things worse.
Honesty is the key to finding a solution. It’s not necessary to deprive yourself of happiness for the sake of another person's.
When you think someone has done something great, tell him or her
How often do we quietly admire someone, but never say how we feel? It might feel weird or be something that’s reserved for drunken admissions, but it’s so important to speak up and say "well done" when it feels warranted.
When you have a question, don’t leave it unasked
It might be daunting, but not asking is just as frustrating. We all feel like we should know or have all the answers, but quite often, what one person asks is the question burning on everyone else’s minds.
When you have an answer, give it
Life gives all of us different batches of experiences, and we might not realize how much we have actually learned.
Oftentimes, you might have many more answers than you realize, but you keep them in your head. Speak up and let others hear what you know.
When you have good news, share it
The world has enough bad news; if you have something to say that could prompt a smile, say it. Don’t fall into the trap of negativity. Brighten someone else's day and your own when you're afforded the opportunity.
Your ideas are worth sharing; your words are worth hearing, and your thoughts are worth vocalizing. Don't leave yourself open to the regret of wishing you had said something, but didn't.