Don’t let your voice condition define your self-worth

If you look up self-esteem in the dictionary this is what it says, “noun: confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.” Self-esteem is confidence and satisfaction with yourself. It reflects your overall subjective emotional evaluation of your own worth. It is self-judgment and an attitude about yourself. There is no doubt that the change in your voice had a dramatic impact on how you feel about yourself. But remember, you are still the same person inside and nothing can change that. Now it is time to rekindle your relationship with yourself and find the fabulous you again. You cannot let the impact of your voice control all your thoughts.

It is not how you saw yourself, but something has changed and now you’re trying to come to grips with this so you can come out the other side feeling good about yourself. What can cause it:

• Negative thought patterns
• Daily functioning challenges like a drive-through
• Discrimination or harassment as a result of your voice
• When exclusion takes place

This a worthy topic to address because when you don’t feel good about yourself, it can lead to a spiraling effect including depression. You are a worthwhile project. How you feel about yourself comes out in your behaviors, your choices, how you think or problem solve. It may also negatively impact your work and can make people treat you differently. It can create barriers that would not have existed before. It limits motivation, your self-care, and makes you less resilient to change and stress. Bottom line, this is often the difference between success and potential failure.

Self-Esteem Strategies

  1. Eliminate the inner critic. “I’m too fat, I am ugly” can quickly become a habit and influences how others see you. It is worthy to become aware of your inner critic. Speak to yourself like a person that you love. To change this, become conscious when you are criticizing, change it to the positive statement and restate it with something that is constructive. You have to continue to do this until it becomes a habit.
  2. Avoid comparing yourself to others. There is always going to be human beings out there that will have more than you do, be better at something, etc. There is no point in comparing yourself. When looking at others, find role models that inspire you. This provides the opportunity toward growth.
  3. Avoid living in the past. By living in the past you’re failing to acknowledge what’s great about what’s happening today. You are also impacting the people in your life because they cannot participate in the past.
    It may be that you’re creating unrealistic standards for those in your life. Find what’s great about right now. Focus on what you are grateful for now. Keep a journal.
  4. Look inward to understand your emotional intelligence. Create goals to check in on yourself. Inspire yourself to create a plan for self-improvement.
  5. Learn to be assertive. We may have to advocate for ourselves and is important for all sorts of life skills as well as at work. You and your opinions are just as important as anyone else’s. Practice asserting yourself and to help, use these starters to insert your opinion into a discussion.
    a. My opinion is…
    b. I have something I’d like to add…
    c. I disagree because…
  6. Do kind things for others. When you stop focusing on yourself, you have replaced your agenda with something else, and you will feel pretty good about yourself.
  7. Access your failures and figure out how you can do things differently. Don’t dwell on the failure and more importantly apologize only if you messed up. Do not apologize for being who you are, for example “I’m sorry I cannot project my voice”. This is self-deprecating.
  8. Don’t be a perfectionist. Life is about resilience and your ability to navigate through life’s ups and downs effectively.
  9. Have a sense of humor about yourself.
  10. Be tolerant of yourself. It will likely provide an increase in your tolerance of others.
  11. Spend time in the presence of those who support you, accept you and love you.
  12. Communicate about your voice first so that people can stop thinking about the voice and focus on your message..

Strive for Self-Actualization

Those still asking questions like why me, and how can I get a serviceable voice, are not at an emotional place to find a high purpose. But there are those with a voice disorder that are asking loftier questions like, “What will make me feel fulfilled as a person? How will I be successful, even with a voice disorder? How can I help make it easier for others living with a voice disorder?” Once your life is back on track, you will be trying to find meaning.

To be at this place, you have to accept your voice as your new normal. You know it will always be a part of your life but it will no longer control your life. You have to be at peace with your voice.

“I beg and implore all with a voice disorder to stop letting society, your family, your spouse, employer or your medical providers define who you are. Only you can do that. If you think of yourself as a victim, you will become one.” Jennifer

Find fulfillment

Ways in which you can find fulfillment in your life:

  • Doing work that you enjoy
  • Raising a family
  • Socializing with friends
  • Pursuing hobbies
  • Reinvigorating your faith
  • Volunteering or mentoring
  • Advocating for others with the same condition