How to find your voice

speaking-up

Have you ever found it difficult to speak up in meetings?

Perhaps you have an idea you want to share, but you’re sitting there with people who are more senior than you and who “know” more than you do. You think what you may have to say won’t be valued. Before you know it, you’re spiraling because of a lack of confidence.

This was me in corporate. I remember many times I wanted to speak up in meetings, share my ideas, and just be heard. But, for whatever reason, I felt intimidated by all the senior men in the room, or I thought that I didn’t know enough about the business even though I did.

It felt terrible. I remember telling myself to just speak up, but that would just add to the pressure. So I’d leave meetings feeling defeated and disengaged.

If this resonates with you at all, you’re not alone. Not only have I been through this but so many Work Bigger members and clients experience this same struggle.

I’m really excited to share Kelley’s story today. Kelley is a Data Visualization Engineer and an artist with a couple of side hustles and many hobbies.

In this interview, Kelley and I talk about:

  • How a lack of confidence can keep you from using your voice
  • Feeling disengaged at work and what to do about it
  • Managing all the things: hobbies, a business, a new job

If you want to find your voice and step into your full potential, I highly recommend reading this Work Bigger Story. It will show you that so much is possible for you if you commit to yourself.

What was your goal in joining the Work Bigger Group Coaching membership?

I joined Work Bigger because I knew it was time to make some big changes in my career. I felt really burnt out and unsatisfied in my work, leaving me no energy to pursue the things that actually “got me out of bed in the morning” and kept me up at night in a good way.

My goal with Work Bigger coaching was to identify a path forward that utilizes my strengths but also energizes me and satisfies me in a way I hadn’t been able to achieve on my own. I wanted to find a way to do what I enjoy every day without feeling the drain of an uninteresting job that didn’t connect with what’s important to me.

Can you tell us about your mission and how you’re currently putting it to use?

I am proud and delighted to say that I’ve found my mission through the Work Bigger coaching! My mission is to create meaningful moments that illuminate one’s truth, to bring forth joy, inner calm, and empowerment. I’m grateful that I get to do this all the time at my new day job as a data visualization engineer and through my creative projects and tarot readings for others!

What challenges have you faced, and how have you overcome them?

One of the biggest challenges I faced was low self-confidence and imposter syndrome. I found myself not speaking up in meetings or sharing my ideas because I defaulted to thinking other people’s input was more valuable or “right” than mine was. When I did speak up, I had a lot of anxiety and thought that nobody would like what I had to say or that what I had to offer wasn’t valuable to the conversation. As a result, I didn’t feel as engaged in work projects, and I always felt somewhat separate from other people in social communities.

However, once I discovered and understood how my interests, values, and strengths already show up throughout my life, I gained more confidence in my approach to life and work. Seeking peer feedback about my strengths and growth areas was really enlightening, too. It helped me see that other people agreed with me about what I’m good at and that it’s not just in my head! In fact, the single most common piece of feedback I received was that I should speak up and share my thoughts more because they found them valuable and exciting! This process also helped me recognize my needs and advocate for them, which brought new opportunities to my door and allowed me to shift how I handle stressful situations.

Another big challenge I had was managing all the things I wanted to do: balancing my work assignments and the various side projects within the company that I wanted to contribute to. I also have a whole separate side business with a gazillion ideas for creations and how to share them, plus collaboration opportunities with friends and fellow creatives. In addition, there were social opportunities, like visits with friends and family who live nearby and who live out of town. Finally, there were all of my various hobbies, like reading (I buy books and request advance copies of books that I review before publication, and I’m in multiple book clubs I participate in), playing video games, baking, and doing crafty and home DIY projects — you name it!

Being able to identify what things most align with my mission and values really helped me prioritize my time and feel better about eliminating (or saying no to) things, even if they are still interesting to me. It’s so much more satisfying to have more time and energy to devote to the items on my list that are the most important to me! It’s easier to decline some other things that sound fun but aren’t as essential to my personal mission and core values.

I’m glad I spent my time focusing on my business and creating memorable experiences cooking a meal with my partner instead of working on a commissioned art piece that doesn’t speak to my heart or having a tasty dinner with someone who just drains my energy.

What else is next for you?

Embracing my most essential creative projects and celebrating the success I’ve worked so hard for!

My new job still feels like a dream, and I am so grateful that I get to make beautiful, useful things for people every day. And, of course, my witchy side projects are only going to pick up steam! I have so many plans for my shop (skelleycat.com), my seasonal subscription box (witchydelivery.com), and maybe even a Patreon community!

Is there anything else you want to share?

Work Bigger came into my life at the perfect time: when I was ready to give up and admit defeat. Belma’s coaching helped me illuminate my own truth and helped me grow into a whole new version of myself. I really feel like I’ve leveled up in a BIG way, thanks to Belma and Work Bigger! I will be forever grateful.

Now I want to hear from you. What came up for you while reading Kelley’s story? How have you managed struggles with confidence?

Work Bigger Team

Author Work Bigger Team

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