Tall order, right? “Rock Your Voice Without Fear” …. just thinking about that makes me a little nervous!
I’ve recently (within the last year or so) become quite politically active. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s the state of the world, maybe it’s that I worry about our children’s futures. Maybe it’s a perfect storm of all of it, I don’t know. I’ve taken on a platform of a very heated issue in this country, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t scary.
What I do know is that this drive to make the world a better place was too strong, and it overtook my fear. Also, finding a community of like-minded individuals really, really helps. Below are a few things I have learned about getting vocal.
- Find a community. My Moms Demand Action community is so strong, intelligent, resilient, diverse, and driven that it blows me away. I feel proud to stand with these women (and men, too!). And be patient- I got involved and met people slowly, and sometimes trust on both sides takes time. It took me over two years to really grow into this community, and now, I look forward to the future there.
- It’s a muscle. Just like working out- or even singing!- your voice gets stronger the more you use it. You’ll get more comfortable with your points and overcome emotions that may be attached around the subject.
- Stay calm. Suppress the urge to name-call or lash out (even if it’s well deserved). Share facts and legitimate links when you can to support your point. Then move on.
- Don’t reply to everyone. That’s right! Block words on Twitter, block rude people on Facebook, or let others have a discussion nearby while you bow out. You don’t have to respond and engage with everyone. You have more work to do. Keep moving forward- don’t get mired in a fruitless and time-sucking discussion.
- Accept imperfection. Go and do and don’t get hung up on being perfect. You’ll feel more confident down the road even if you stumble a few times off the bat. I just did my first interview as an official spokesperson on live tv, and I wasn’t perfect. I was nervous about missteps with our messaging. But so what? I did it, and I am happy to say that I learned a few things for the next time.
I hope these tips help you when speaking out on something that impacts you. It’s so much easier to not do this….trust me, I get it. But know that I’m in your corner if you do decide to get vocal or are now….fear be damned!