How To Find Your Feminine Voice
No matter your gender, discovering your voice as an entrepreneur is always the first (and often the hardest) step in starting your own business. Before you throw yourself onto the world’s stage, you have to understand what your message is and why you should be the one to share it. As women, this is challenging because we’re trying to speak up in a world that has, historically, not valued our voices. How do you develop your own feminine voice when it seems that men are still dominating the conversation?
Fortunately, women are no longer expected to imitate masculine qualities in order to be heard. It is our feminine leadership voice that is valued and that is truly beginning to change the world. There are plenty of studies that attest to that, but the many female leaders who are standing up and speaking out also demonstrate how valuable the feminine voice is becoming. So, when developing your own voice, why not look to other women as inspiration?
In celebration of the women who inspire me, I’ve rounded up five of the key lessons of five women leaders who use their feminine voice to start a new conversation in politics and business.
1. Speak From Your Center
Rachel Jayne Groover, founder of the YIN Project, believes in the radical power of the female presence and helps women to tap into that. Noticing the tendency of women to assume masculine leadership qualities instead of honoring their own femininity, she advocates for the empowerment of women through the reclamation of our female energy. How does that help you develop your leadership voice?
Every time you find yourself at networking event or speaking in a business meeting, speak from your center instead of leaving your body. We all have a tendency to analyze ourselves even while we’re speaking, and this lack of presence translates into a lack of power. Rachel believes that our feminine energy is found in the center of our body, in our womb, and by bringing ourselves back to that when we begin to speak, we invite our listeners to trust our authority. She suggests a way to find your center in this video on the art of female presence.
2. Be Lead By Desire
Speaker and writer, Danielle Laporte, is an advocate of desire. She rejects the Buddhist philosophy that desire is the root of all suffering, and instead believes that desire is how women (and men!) speak from a place of authority.
In an interview on embracing desire as a feminine practice, she encourages women not to judge their desires, and to instead examine them to truly learn what you want. Because when you know what you want, you can more clearly determine what you need to do to achieve your desires. This boils down to a simple question in your daily life: How do you want to feel?
I see this as a revolutionary approach because women are no longer expected to bury what they want. Instead, you can trust that your core desires are leading you in the right direction.
I’m always an advocate of championing your feelings – being emotional is a strength, not a weakness.
3. Become the Authority On Yourself
Tara Sophia Mohr’s work focuses on amplifying women’s voices. Her Ten Rules For Brilliant Women have struck a chord with women around the world, and encourage all women leaders to stop playing small. Perhaps the greatest way to own up to our brilliance as women is to stop expecting or needing the validation of other people.
In her article, How I Got My Voice Back, Tara writes about the years of her life when her inner critic prevented her from creating. As women, we are all familiar with the voice that asks, “Who are you to speak?” The truth is that no external validation is ever going to be enough to drown out that voice. Instead, we have to become the authority on ourselves.
That means not waiting for the reactions, whether good or bad, from our audiences. Instead, we need to focus on why our work matters to us and to other people, what our purpose is in creating, and determine the value of our work ourselves. In other words, no one else awards you power or the right to speak. You must claim your own power.
4. Speak Up In Places Where Women Are Not Heard
You can discover the power of your feminine voice when you are one of the only women speaking. Although this can be intimidating, having the courage to speak in political arenas and boardrooms where male voices are still dominant allows you to illustrate just how influential your feminine energy can be.
Tabby Biddle, a women’s leadership coach, uses her platform to encourage women to be more visible, vocal, and unapologetic (hallelujah!). Her theme for 2014 is political leadership, and that translates into using women’s stories, views, and voices to shape the political arena. We can all follow that example by determining an area where women’s voices are sorely needed, and then deciding to become the feminine voice that is heard.
5. Tap Into The Female Intelligence of the World
This phrase is taken directly from Jensine Larsen, founder of Global Pulse, an organization that exists to amplify and connect women’s voices globally. She believes that in order to obtain global sustainability, we need to crowd source female intelligence. I believe that wholeheartedly, too! It is through collaboration that our greatest ideas are realized.
In developing your own voice, look to women who inspire you. It doesn’t mean that you mimic them, but it does mean that you see female energy as a source of strength. Just as I’ve done in this article, discover the women who are lifting other women up, and examine how your contribution can do the same. It is in the celebration of femininity that we recognize the power of our own feminine leadership traits.
Finally, the goal is to not to drown out the masculine with the feminine. Instead, it is to bring the equality that the world so desperately needs and restore the balance between the masculine and the feminine. Your voice is important – speak up.