While growing up I was constantly told I was “too loud.” I talked loud. I sang loud. I think I even sneezed loud. In fact, just ask my mom and she will tell you that year after year my elementary school teachers would encourage her to get my hearing checked. They thought I was hard of hearing due to my speaking volume. Another true story involves a certain group of boys who nicknamed me “Mic” as in microphone. Ouch, right?
I think there are a lot of reasons why people talk loud. For me, it was a combination of growing up in a family with 5 sisters where I had to be loud to be heard and, I was simply born with a voice that projects more than others. Sadly, more times than not, I felt like having a loud voice was something to be ashamed of. How I wished someone would have said “I love how enthusiastic you are! Your excitement really shines through in your voice.” Unfortunately, it always seemed like my words and emotions were lost and I ended up hearing, “Pam, use your inside voice” instead.
After a lifetime of hearing “Shhh” and “keep your voice down,” I’m wondering how many of you have heard this same message? How many of you have been made to feel like having a loud voice was a character flaw?
Well, today I”m here to tell you there is nothing wrong with you or your volume. I am giving you permission to use your voice at whatever volume you choose. Your voice matters and I want you to use it powerfully, confidently, and boldly. You were given that voice for a reason and you have an obligation to positively inspire and change the lives of others. Your loud voice is a special gift and it should never be silenced. Never let anyone mute your voice.