As a voice discovery coach, I am often asked by perspective clients what the difference is between their story and their voice. It’s something that people confuse often, feeling like they can’t share their story because it’s not unique or because someone with a similar story has shared it before. However, your story is not your voice. Your voice is unique to you.
What do I mean? I have been looking for an example that may be more relatable to folks than TD Jakes and Lysa TerKeurst. I finally thought of it tonight when thinking about a young woman whose blog I follow.
Caralyn’s story is that of someone who has overcome an eating disorder. You’ve possibly met others with a similar story and maybe even have one yourself. But if you take time to listen to the video, you will hear her voice and understand that you haven’t heard the story told in her voice previously. When you read her blog, the same voice that shares this story in spoken word format shares recipes with you and quips about dating and developing a stronger relationship with God. You recognize her writing because she has a distinct voice, which is apart from her story.
This is a very simplistic way of explaining it, but its one that you can hopefully relate to. As a voice discovery coach, I see so many people struggle with thinking their story IS their voice. But your voice changes with your audience and development; your story does not. Today, Caralyn is well known for being someone who talks about recovering from anorexia. In 10 years she may no longer choose to be defined by something that happened in her teen years and may instead become a voice for those who are raising women who feel insecure or unloved. At that time, her story will still be that she struggled and overcame anorexia but it wasn’t be what her voice is most known for. Think of a young man going through puberty and how his voice changes as he develops. Your voice can change as you grow. This is why people can share your experience but not your voice. Only you have the power to share your story the way you do. Only you speak with the passion you speak with about the things you speak about.
More on this in the weeks to come as we talk about journaling to discover your story!
To learn more about Caralyn, check out her blog: www.BeautyBeyondBones.com.