Everybody trying to make a difference in the world comes up against it. It’s not that we don’t think we have anything to give to the world. No, much worse. We make the mistake of believing anything we have to offer has already been covered by every other guru/coach/mentor out there. So, we think “Who am I to try to change the world?” This is also known as the impostor syndrome. In other words, surely anybody we could potentially help has already gotten somebody who can tell them what they need to know to succeed.
Of course, while you’re starting out, it’s easy to feel like the student and not a teacher. As your experience grows, you see value not only in what you’ve learned from your mentors but also in what you learned before you started reading and listening to them.
There are problems with this belief. First of all, just because YOU know of somebody who has a message similar to yours, it doesn’t mean any or all of the people you could help have ever heard of this person. Secondly, the people you can help are the ones that need your unique message crafted from your experiences, failures and point of view. All these things are what makes your message resonate with the people you’re trying to help.
A warning here would be if your message is merely trying to imitate one of your influences then you are on a crash course with failure.
Test Your Voice
Here’s a simple exercise to help you decide if your message is unique or just a copycat.
1. Make a list of five principles you know your resource believes.
2. Ask yourself do you believe every one of these principles without exception.
3. If the answer to all five principles is yes, list more of them until you find the issue where you split from them.
4. Congratulations! You’ve just found your voice! The place where your message comes from your unique perspective and speaks to those with a similar background.
The more you do this, the more you’ll see you are your own voice. You have a lot to share with people who are struggling with the same issues you’re having or have had.
One More Check
Here’s another way you can discover your unique voice. Let’s say you follow somebody’s podcast. You listen to it weekly because you like the insights they share with you. It gives you a lot to think about and you gain knowledge from their experience. That’s all well and good. However, at different times, they talk about their past and how they got where they are. At various times you hear them talk about doing things you either don’t know how to do, don’t believe you have the nerve to do or you don’t have the financial means to do.
Guess what? If you felt that way, there ARE others. This is where your voice can speak to them and help them find a solution to a problem you had that your mentor wouldn’t have had.
Quitting Is The Ultimate Failure
Don’t believe for one second that your message has no value or distinction to make it helpful to anybody. The only way your audience is going to give up on you is if you quit trying to be who you are and instead trying to mimic the words of your mentors. So keep talking to your audience with your voice and help them see they too have value and you’ll not get lost in the sea of voices again!
I hope you’ve found this post valuable. Let me know how you found your voice. Leave a comment below and let’s talk about it.