Finding Your Voice: Saying Goodbye to the Comfort Zone.

One of my earliest posts on the blog was about confidence, and how I was trying to practice being more confident and not letting my critical voice be the loudest, allowing my cheerleader voice to be heard also. Fake it till you make it. It’s one of those things that sounds easy, but is actually pretty difficult to carry off. Particularly as you’re trying to break the habit of a lifetime. It’s not that I am unconfident in myself or my abilities, but I suppose have always thought of myself as average and have never dreamt big, and always, always, shied away from moving beyond my comfort zone. Why? Fear of rejection, of people saying ‘ no, thank you’ , of not being good enough. So I stay in my comfort zone, but unhappily – comfortably unhappy. Not much of a comfort zone.

 Finding your voice

I was listening to the Guilty Feminist podcast recently and one of the co-hosts, Deborah Frances-White, talked of the importance of women finding, and using, their voice – whether that be through comedy, writing or blogging. The introvert me has always kept my voice hidden, quiet,  particularly in a group situation, letting the more confident and outgoing take the floor. I make myself small.

This blog is a huge step for me, putting myself and my inner most thoughts ‘out there’ and I have to push myself everyday to keep doing it and not throw in the towel. I am allowing myself to dream, to hope. I am writing, I am planning a line of feminist products and clothing for the blog, and next year I hope to run some events in Dublin.These are not just dreams, I am making small steps to get there: I have produced some t-shirts, held a giveaway and opened my online shop to sell them (pictured below). I am networking with events people on twitter..slowly, slowly. All the books tell you to imagine yourself doing it. So  I am picturing myself, standing in front of a group of women, introducing my guest speaker at an event I have coordinated. I can see myself doing this. I can do this.

Model_goodforherT

Putting myself out there.

As bloggers we all make a decision as to whether we will ‘out’ or selves or not. Some choose to blog anonymously, others reveal themselves. I pondered on this briefly when starting my blog and decided I would show my face and my name, but only my first name. I didn’t want people to be able to put my full name into google and for the blog to come up. I don’t know who I think will be looking for me on google, but such was my nervousness -that was my decision.

 

On Monday,  I was delighted to be contacted by a journalist from a national newspaper asking for my thoughts on the new range of Little Miss and Mr Men books, and on gender stereotyping in kids toys. Do I have an opinion on that? You bet your ass I do. She asked did I want to speak on phone or by email? I’m disappointed to say I took the introverts way out and went by email; I wish I had spoken to her, but this was a first for me, so, you know, little steps. Then she asked could she use my full name. Surname and all. This would mean my full name, linked to themotherhub, in a national newspaper. Eek. No hiding anymore, no making myself small. Putting myself out there. I took the plunge and I did it. You can read the full article from the Irish Independent, here. Small as this may seem to many, for someone not used to speaking out, this is A Big Deal. I still haven’t told my family though. Everyone has you in some kind of box , or in a category –  it can be hard to tell them you want to move out of that box, or that you should never have been in that box in the first place.

Say it louder

As an overthinking introvert, the conversations I have in my head are long and ongoing. Sometimes, after a particularly in-depth internal monologue, I startle myself with the realisation I have not actually been talking to anyone. (That sounds, ever so slightly bonkers doesn’t it?)  Slowly, I am learning to say things out loud. Well, actually not say them out loud , but write them down and send them out to the world via twitter or the blog. Whispering. Each tweet, each blog post, an exercise in strengthening my voice, in saying it louder.

 

Imagine you’re in a glass box: all you can envisage for yourself is outside of the box, you can see it but you’re not able to get to it. You tap, tap away at the glass until the cracks begin to show. You tap a little harder, the cracks widen. You get bolder. You pick up a hammer. You smash it. You’re there.

 

Goodbye Comfort Zone, hello Wide Open Spaces. (Yes, I love the Dixie Chicks)

 

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41 comments

  1. Ah amazing amazing amazing! I couldn’t empathise more with this post and everything it represents for you. Well done you! Also a massive Dixie Chicks fan (yes!). I am just so excited every time I find someone like you, talking about mental health and smashing it. We need to do this more. I’d love to stay connected. Keep it up – you’re doing amazingly. #brillblogposts

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  2. teacuptoria · · Reply

    Fabulous news on your contribution to the Independent article! Well done you. I must admit I am terrible at expressing my feelings in ‘real life’ which is why I use blogging to give myself a voice and also as a bit of therapy. Good for you for stepping outside your comfort zone, I’ve just been approached by a journalist who wants to write a story about my alopecia, Half of me is a bit scared saying ‘no way’ but the other half is saying ‘go for it’. I’m speaking to her later today! Tor x #stayclassymama

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  3. Ordinary Hopes · · Reply

    It is really hard to put yourself “out there”. I am not a confident person but my mission is to make the world better for my son. He needs me so I have to just get on with it, whatever it takes. #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As a teacher, I had my doubts about blogging as I didn’t want my students to find it so I can identify with your worries, however as my blog has developed I’ve worried less as I think, if they did find it (which i doubt they will) it’s nothing too incriminating. If you’re in introvert it must be hard for you but I bet your blog will be a great thing for you and you’re a great writer. I look forward to reading more. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday. x

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    1. Thanks for the lovely comment; I’m sure it was a big decision for you as a teacher, but like you say , it’s nothing to be embarrassed about , having an opinion and writing ! #kcacols

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think we all had doubts in our minds and get scared sometimes but we all keep writing. Looking forward to seeing your range of clothes when it launches #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You are certainly not alone and have put into words what so many of us go through. I too, although very confident in who I am, find myself overthinking and struggling to let my inner voice speak in some situations. You nailed it here in this post. Well done. And I Love the shirt you are pictured wearing! #KCACOLS

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  7. I *love* this post. I’m reading it nodding alonh then there’s the Dixie Chicks at the end too! Yay! Your writing is brilliant and may I just say thank you for over riding that make yourself small feeling to write it because whenever I read your posts I really enjoy them. Oh and I love that top I want it. Can’t wait to see how your big dreams pan out. I’ve no doubt you will be successful. I can imagine attending a ‘Motherhub’ blogging event next year 😉 #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for that lovely comment! I genuinely appreciate the support

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post, it sounds like you are doing so well. It’s easy to let that inner critic take over and convince us we can’t do things. And as you say “Smash it!”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Exciting times ahead for you! Its a bit step for you but it seems you are feeling confident in the change #kcacols

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  10. By just writing this post, you are really putting yourself out there and allowing people to see a side that you have hidden. I’m sure you can achieve all you are setting out to and just by writing it down will spur you on to do it! Keep pushing yourself- good luck! #KCACOLS

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  11. Woop woop GOOD FOR YOU! Love your drive on this, I can totally see you getting there! I am very similar, not shy necessarily but definitely an introvert and I’ve always regretted not being more confident in my early twenties. Step by step I am getting better and having my voice heard (blog def helps!). Looking forward to seeing what you get up to #stayclassymama

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  12. fab, inspiring post 🙂 it’s hard not to doubt ourselves and put ourselves down – especially if we are more introverted. ive been working on my confidence too. some Ted talks helped me quite a bit 🙂 #KCACOLS

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  13. Brilliant. Events, clothing and a national newspaper. Well done you! #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

    1. God loves a trier , right ?!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve been a writer my whole life but it’s always been fiction, poetry and short stories. My world was always caught up in my imagination which is admittedly a bit obscure and peculiar. I lost my love for writing and dabbled in tons of other outlets for hobbies until I said no this isn’t for me, I need to write. Blogging can be very personal if you let it be and I’m surprised by how open I’ve been in my blog. My family friends and colleagues read my blog which make me nervous every time I hit publish (or schedule! I’m getting very diligent). I’m afraid of being judged, saying something wrong or offend someone so I’ll admit I edit my inner voice to a certain extent. As the days have gone by I’ve become more honest and brave but it’s been trying. I have my blog goals and know exactly where I want to be in a years time. I completely relate, I’m afraid to put myself out there but for where I want to be in a years time, I can’t do it alone. I admire you Beth. You are building a road for yourself with your writing and your blog which will lead to so many great things and your plans will become real. Your inner overthinking introvert is loud and will help you achieve your goals. I think we need to question ourselves to keep us on the right path. And I would have chosen email too. Congrats on all of your success to date beth. It can only get better.
    #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Geraldine – I think the trick is just to push yourself in small increments. I still haven’t told my family ( apart from husband obv!) isn’t that mad ?!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a stepping stone 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  15. min1980 · · Reply

    Well done on getting your name into a national newspaper, and I can’t wait to hear about/attend Motherhub events! Keep us posted! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This is really cool! I really enjoyed reading this. I can be a bit introverted too and much prefer to email rather than talk in the phone if I don’t know the person. I get quite nervous when I meet new people too. I think you’re doing amazing! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  17. madelinelittlejohns · · Reply

    I love this, you don’t always have to take a big leap out of your comfort zone, you can do it baby steps instead, then before you know it you’re miles away from where you started! x #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  18. What a wonderfully inspiring post! Welldone for your piece in the national what an absolutely fantastic achievement. I think we should all step out of our comfort zone every now and then and see what we are capable of so good for you! #fortheloveofBLOG

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  19. Despite the confidence required to start a blog the contemplation of how much of yourself to put out there, on the line for all to read, still haunts me daily. I tend to swing from moments of ‘this is fine’ to pure terror and the desire to delete the whole lot. Well done you for getting that article and being a person someone wanted to ask- we all need that hammer really!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. aliduke79hotmailcom · · Reply

    Congratulations on the article. Keep breaking the walls down, you are amazing x
    #fortheloveofBLOG

    Liked by 1 person

  21. This is such an important post, I feel very similar and it was a huge step for me to put myself out there on via the blog and post some of the things I have. It is liberating though, if a little scary. That’s fantastic new about the clothing and product range, I’m really excited to see it all when its ready. Good luck and keep listening to that cheerleader voice. Thanks for linking to #fortheloveofblog xx

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  22. It’s funny about how you can have an opinion about someone and then realise you got it totally wrong. I always thought you were super confident! And I thought everyone had those conversations in their head, I know I do!! It’s good to step out of your comfort zone once in a while, I’m pushing myself to do the same x

    #fortheloveofBLOG

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  23. That’s just brilliant. Well done – you have smashed your own glass box and why not. You are right that blogging does tap into areas that can make us squirm but I am also a great believer in self-development and ‘having a go’. You are on your way! And I do love your blog #KCACOLS

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  24. A FABULOUS article!! Well done you for the article AND for putting yourself out there and finding your voice. I can completely relate to all that you say and I hope I can follow your lead in the future. I love your blog and you’re a fantastic writer. Thank you for sharing. #KCACOLS

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  25. There are no words to express how great this post is and how perfectly timed for me. I’ve have been extremely introverted my whole life and made the jump into blogging 6 weeks ago. I’m fighting the nervousness and insecurities every day and while it’s scary it’s also liberating and I feel like I’m finally becoming me, if that makes sense. Congratulations on the national article and well done for putting yourself out there x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you ! I’m glad it meant something to you. It’s hard to keep pushing yourself , i often want to give up , but I’m not quitting ! Not this time ! Thanks for reading – look forward to reading more of your blog too

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  26. reimerandruby · · Reply

    Well done you for being featured in the Irish Independence. I have not experience such fame yet, I don’t know I’m ready for it either. But yeah, I should be ready to say good bye Comfort zone and hello to wide open spaces because being a blogger, the opportunities are unlimited and unpredictable. #BloggerClubUK

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Wow well done you!! I am an introvert too, and really suffer with anxiety, so the two combined result in me feeling out of my depth a lot of the time. I put myself out there in my blog but in “real life” I find it very hard. I think I need to follow your lead and smash out of that box, wish me luck! #stayclassymama

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  28. Bravo to you! Live out loud lady! Every day. #Stayclassymama

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  29. This is brilliant. I think the ‘little steps’ you’re taking are actually amazing and you should be so proud of yourself! I wish I lived nearer so I could come to an event you organised, I know they will be amazing. The world needs more women’s voices out there. #StayClassyMama

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  30. This is by far my favourite post from you, and I absolutely love every post from you so this is BIG. I love how you summarise this into an analogy at the end, this will really stick with me. I can totally relate to this, just this week I broke out of my box and did a presentation in front of a large room of top dogs and nailed it ; ). Doesn’t it feel amazing when you finally get out of yourself? That’s amazing news on the Irish Independent!

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    1. Oh wow – thank you so much! You’ve made my day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh god I meant metaphor not analogy. Sorry I can’t think, no sleep.

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  31. Woops on my phone, sent to soon. I’m so impressed with you, your writing skills and your online shop and the newspaper article, GO GIRL. : ) Thanks for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

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  32. […] pick was The Motherhub with Finding Your Voice: Saying Goodbye to your Comfort Zone, I love her blog but this post is definitely my favourite. This inspired me on so many levels, but […]

    Liked by 1 person

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