Risking Being Seen and Heard
Risking being seen and heard can be a transformative and empowering experience, allowing us to express ourselves authentically and make a meaningful impact in the world.
Douglas Holladay, the author of Rethinking Success: Eight Essential Practices for Finding Meaning in Work and Life, says, “We need to rediscover and delight in risk. It will enliven
us and engender a sense of confidence and wonder…That doesn’t necessarily mean we must take a big ugly leap of some sort. We can develop a habit of risk-taking in small ways. We then taste the benefits and expand our scope of activity.”
Here are some steps you can take to become more visible and influential in your world:
● Embrace vulnerability: Being seen and heard requires vulnerability, as it involves sharing our thoughts, ideas, and emotions openly. Understand that vulnerability is a strength and can lead to deeper connections with others.
● Clarify your message: Before sharing your thoughts or ideas, take the time to clarify what you want to communicate. Reflect on your values, passions, and the message you want to convey. This clarity will help you express yourself more effectively.
● Develop self-confidence: Building self-confidence is crucial for risking being seen and heard. Focus on developing a positive self-image, acknowledging your strengths and accomplishments. Recognize that your voice and perspective are valuable and worthy of being shared.
● Find supportive communities: Surround yourself with individuals who encourage and support your growth. Seek out communities, whether online or offline, where you can connect with like-minded people who appreciate your voice. These communities can provide a safe space to practice expressing yourself.
● Start small and take gradual steps: Begin by expressing yourself in comfortable environments or with trusted individuals. Gradually expand your comfort zone by sharing your thoughts and ideas with larger groups or through public platforms. Each step forward will boost your confidence and resilience.
“One exercise that might be helpful in expanding your risk tolerance would be to think back to something you wanted to do in your youth but didn’t, perhaps out of fear, or you were told you weren’t good enough to try it. For instance, I always wanted to develop my skill in photography and snorkeling,” recommends Bo Parfet, author of The Precipice of Life: Leadership and Personal Growth Insights from a Mountaineer’s Edge. “I’ve embraced both as a way to eradicate that notion of “I can’t.” I’m more alive, fulfilled, and happy when I’ve taken risks and explored different reaches of the earth and depths of myself. I’m not alone.”
● Embrace constructive feedback: Feedback is essential for growth and improvement. Be open to receiving constructive criticism and learn from it. Constructive feedback can help you refine your message and communication style, making you more effective in being seen and heard.
● Practice active listening: Being seen and heard is a reciprocal process. Practice active listening by giving others your full attention and valuing their perspectives. Cultivating a habit of active listening creates an environment where others are more likely to reciprocate and listen to you.
● Persist despite challenges: Risks can involve setbacks and obstacles. Recognize that setbacks are part of the learning process and use them as opportunities for growth. Stay persistent, keep refining your message, and embrace resilience.
Remember, risking being seen and heard is a personal journey, and everyone's path may vary. Embrace your unique voice, be true to yourself, and let your authentic self shine through.