I want to make a promise to you, the reader. And I don’t know if I can fulfill it tomorrow, or even the day after that. But I put the bastards of this world on notice that I do not have their best interests at heart. I will try and speak for my reader. That is my promise. And it will be a voice made of ink and rage.
~ Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary
The challenge for any writer is to find their “voice” – the style, perspective and tone that makes their work uniquely their own. This does not mean, however, that the style, perspective and tone a writer develops is unique. Everything comes from something, and no writer springs from the womb with everything they need in their DNA to reach and move souls on the page. The fact is it takes years, sometimes a lifetime, for writers to discover the most effective and the most truthful way to present their articles, essays, poems, stories, books and novels to readers.
Finding one’s voice as a writer is not a journey for the faint of heart, mainly because it takes tremendous heart. It requires discipline and patience, self-reflection and critical thinking. I believe a writer must view his work as if it is a crime scene and they are a detective searching for clues. With a cool eye, they can seek out recurring patterns, be it images, themes, plots, or character traits. By studying those elements employed most frequently, tracing them back to thoughts and feelings and intentions, a writer can begin to find, and then move toward, a consistent, sustaining, and honest voice.
The essentiality of finding one’s “voice” is not relegated to the writer. In all worthwhile pursuits, be it business or personal, a foundation for achievement is knowledge – about oneself. As the Tao Te Ching stated, “Knowing others is intelligence, knowing yourself is true wisdom.” This wisdom, this core understanding of what makes us tick, what drives us and what is meaningful to us, is truly the “special sauce” of success.
Of course, as the old saying goes, nothing good in life comes easy. Getting to the bottom of ourselves, so to speak, in order to reach the top, is filled with challenges, including, according to Greg Monaco a brand coach, storyteller, copywriter and creative director, “our limiting beliefs.”
So often, we are governed by those ideas that hold us back, stop us, keep us from what it is that we truly want for ourselves. We get distracted by money, obligations, relationships, complexity, confusion, power. Everybody has his/her own gremlin or composite of gremlins demanding their attention, barking and trash-talking BS at them. Haters gonna hate.
In my work, I encourage people to step into their own truth fearlessly to tell the most powerful, persuasive and compelling story to the ones who truly matter to them. I help people believe in themselves and not the trash talking gremlins out there telling them they aren’t good enough, or they “can’t.” F.U. gremlin!
Truth is the foundation for creating a fearless personal brand.
But how can we get to get to the truth? How can we silence the gremlins or at least put them on mute long enough to lay the foundation described above? As the Buddha says, “Conquering oneself is harder than conquering others.”
Again, Greg weighs in, providing five steps one can take to create a fearless personal brand:
- Imagine what the world could be like if you were coming from a position of abundance and enough.
- Imagine what the world will miss if you weren’t living your truth and let the gremlins drive the bus.
- Brands are aspirational: look through the windshield not the rearview. Don’t base your truth on what you’ve done in the past.
- Check your energy. What are you feeling inside? Are you bristling with urgency to create? Or are you resistant to moving into action? Stick with the positive flow.
- How do people you admire and respect, people who tell you the truth no matter what, how do they react to your thoughts and ideas and energy? Are they leaning in, embracing what you are putting out there and building on it with their own thoughts and ideas and energy? Or are they sitting back with skepticism?
Okay, time to get moving. Or to get thinking. Your voice is waiting – ready, willing and able to speak your truth once the time is right.
Hopefully, that is now.