When I learned to read, you could pretty much find me with a book in my hands from there on out. Especially if that book had been written by Dr. Seuss. I was entranced by his lyrical use of seemingly normal words and by his imagination when creating others.
It’s with his words that I will counsel you, my sweet E.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. ~ Dr. Seuss
Not only was he a joy to read, but I cut my writing teeth on Dr. Seuss; the lessons he taught me about finding my voice still holds true today. His insight and wisdom, delivered with ease, is as fresh today as it was then.
Be who you are. To have a unique voice, in any venue, can be terrifying. We fear what others might think of us if we say or think the things that are truly in our hearts, yet may be outside the norm of what others are saying or thinking. Once it’s out of our mouths, there we stand, naked for the entire world to hear.
Say it anyway.
Say what you feel. We all want to be liked by our peers, don’t we. The easy thing to do is to get in line, to be the same, to blend in and not stand out. It’s easy, but it’s not very helpful to anyone, especially you.
Consider this: Would you rather make decisions based on your fear of rejection, or would you rather be bold enough to make decisions based on your understanding and your perspective of the world around you, even if some might disagree?
I’m rooting for the latter. That’s where the good stuff, the interesting stuff, the emotion-provoking stuff resides.
Those who mind don’t matter. What’s the worst that can happen if someone disagrees? They tell you you’re wrong? (been there) Someone chastises your choices? (been there) Someone demands you change you mind based on their beliefs? (omgosh, so been there)
I hope that happens to you, Sweet E, because the folks that don’t matter will help you hone your voice, face your fears, and help you clarify your beliefs. My opinion is that you will not only survive the opposition, but your voice will grow stronger because of it.
Those who matter don’t mind. These are the folks you want to speak to, those who matter. You will encounter people from all walks of life, from every corner of the globe and those that matter will share an openness to a voice that has the courage to be who they are, that has the courage to say what they feel.
Those who matter may not always agree with you, but will respect your truth.
Finding your voice takes courage. Have the fearlessness that your voice matters. Believe that who you are and what you feel will resonate with another.
When you do, you will find your voice.