Finding Your Voice

Regardless of our age, professional level, experience, or education, we all struggle with finding our voice from time to time. You might be 18 or 58, just starting out, or stuck in a rut. Maybe my personal experience with imposter syndrome, seeking approval, learning new skills, overcoming fears, and finding my voice will resonate with you.

Related Article: How to Deal with Imposter Syndrome

Seeking Approval

For the past few years, I’ve been struggling with seeking approval from others. This is unusual for me. It started when I left my corporate job. I was very confident professionally. I knew what to do, and how to do it, and literally wasn’t afraid of anything or anyone.

But then, I left my corporate role and started doing something completely different. I don’t know how long I’ll be away from corporate but I knew I needed to do something different for a while. While freelancing for a couple of years kept my insecurity at bay, it came out in full force once I decided to start doing my own thing.

I started creating my own content (blog and videos) for the masses. And this resulted in a bit of an identity crisis.

I thought it would be an easy and natural transition because my corporate job was in Learning & Development – I led training teams so, yeah, I know how to design, deliver, and teach. I mean I’ve been doing this for 30 years so this should be a no-brainer.

Turns out it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

Learning New Skills

So, I started writing (blogging) and making videos on how to do a variety of things.

It’s important to note, that while I had lots of experience with what good training looks like in a corporate environment, I had no experience filming or editing video content. Every time I’d start to edit those videos it was pure chaos in my mind. I didn’t look good on camera. The angle wasn’t right. My hair wasn’t perfect. I looked like I had a double chin. I did actually have a double chin. The dishes weren’t clean in the background of the video. I mean, seriously, you name it, and if I wasn’t critical about it someone else was. It’s hard to put yourself out there like that to start with and then when you open the door for everyone to give you feedback, yeah, it can be overwhelming. I started second-guessing myself, my vision, my capabilities, and my sense of self.

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The more I asked for opinions, the less I had one of my own.

The reason this was so weird is that I’ve never had a confidence problem when it comes to my career and work, at least not in the past 20 years.

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I’m not sure what happened but I kept asking for people’s opinions and they kept giving them to me. And of course, everyone had a different opinion about virtually everything. This resulted in me mentally being all over the place regarding what I wanted to teach, how I wanted my brand to look, and what I wanted it to be about, blah, blah, blah.

A Different Perspective

So, I went back to the basics and explored what I’m passionate about and what I want to accomplish. I’m passionate about three things and they are:

  1. Learning & Growing
  2. Doing (executing on the learning part)
  3. Teaching

Considering my Strategy

And I learn, do, and teach a variety of topics. Learning has been my life. I’m a voracious learner and doer (I’m quite sure that isn’t grammatically correct but I’m going with it anyway because I’m imperfect like that). I knew I couldn’t be confined to one niche topic. That would bore me out of my mind!

I’ve had to spend the past few months in deep personal reflection without opinions. I actually kept creating content, started new channels, and didn’t tell anyone what the names of my channels, blog, or website were. I needed to practice creating without personal feedback so I could get my mind straight. And I needed to focus on the data instead of everyone’s personal preferences. The reality is, I’m not for everyone and that’s okay. Some people will like what I have to say (i.e. write) and how I say it and some won’t. And some people will enjoy my videos and some won’t. There is no shame in that.

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Confidence and Branding

The great news is I’ve gotten my confidence back and don’t feel like everyone’s feedback is a personal attack anymore. I can’t begin to tell you how good that feels! And I’m ready to share my content even with people who actually know me.

And then I hit another little snag . . .

By the time I got my confidence back and things started making sense again, much slower than I had hoped I might add, I had a YouTube channel with a name that four other people shared (poor research on my part), a blog with a similar but different name, and a personal Instagram account with yet another name. There was no consistent branding whatsoever. It was a hot mess I tell you!

I spent hours down the never-ending rabbit hole of figuring out a brand name that accurately depicted who I am, and what I’m about, and was available on all platforms. So, here we are!

Welcome to my new brand reveal and name change!

Hi there! I’m The Gritty Guru!

What’s In a Name

Why this name? I guess first I’d say it succinctly encompasses the three areas I’m passionate about – Learning, Doing, and Teaching. And the only way I have been able to live a life worth living is by having an obscene amount of grit and determination to succeed, experience, and explore. This blog will reflect my multi-passionate approach to life and more than anything, I hope you find something of value, inspiration, and encouragement.

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Hey, thanks for being patient while I figure all this out. It’s a work in progress and you can expect to continue to see changes in the look and feel of this blog as well as all my other media.

And please don’t think I don’t want your feedback. I do! I’m in a better place now and can accept feedback for what it is. You are my customer. I very much want to hear what you have to say. So please, feedback away and let me know how I can best serve you.

And hey, please check out my YouTube Channel too. I hope you’ll subscribe if you like the content. Thanks for being here, reading all the way to the end, and for your support. It means everything to me!

The Gritty Guru

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