Freedom Fridays: Journal Prompts for Discovering Your Voice

Are you looking for journal prompts? Each Friday I will share at least 3 for you to journal through so you can continue moving towards living your best life!

~Shell

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Freedom Fridays: Journal Prompts to Free Your Mind

Are you looking for journal prompts? Each Friday I will share at least 3 for you to journal through so you can continue moving towards living your best life!

~Shell

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Are You Waiting Until You Have Permission? Here It Is.

It’s interesting to me how willing we are to take unknown staircases when traveling, but how afraid we are to take the metaphorical ones in life.

Just as the steps in the featured image (by Viktor Hanacek of PicJumbo) lead to another level, allowing him to capture some stunning photos of Morocco because of his willingness to take them, we need to be willing to take the bold steps in life even when we don’t know the outcome! Unknown staircases lead to some of the most beautiful locations and views (see a few of them below, also from Viktor)!


Take the risk and go for that job you’ve been scared to apply to.

Start that side gig you’ve been afraid could fail.

Go for that client you think may say no.

Write the book you’re afraid no one will buy.

The worse that happens is you have what you have now but you’re one step closer to that win you’ve been praying / working towards. Best case, you succeed and get a yes / sell more than you expected!

Is Your Story Lost in the Noise of the Crowd? Rescue It!

Do you feel like your story is drowned out by others who have the same message? Are you struggling to connect with your audience? Do you feel like you’re writing or speaking and no one hears you? 🛑Stop the madness!!

Listen, your audience is out there looking for you! Others will have similar stories to yours but NO ONE has YOUR VOICE! They are waiting for you to connect with your authentic voice so you can connect with them. What you have to do is figure out why you’re struggling. Search within yourself and consider the voices you’ve been listening to: music, books, movies, lectures, and social media posts.

Sometimes the reason you struggle is because you’re listening to so many people that you’re picking up their words, messages, and voice. Take a few weeks to limit your outside influences and take time to journal through your thoughts on how you want to show up for your audience. Think about who you are and what you will do for your audience. Then be that person fully!

If you need help, reach out for a consultation to talk about what you’re struggling with. I’ll share with you three activities you can do that will help you connect with your audience and start gaining more clients!

You Are Your ONLY Competition

This has been weighing on my heart for a few weeks and it’s time we talk about it.

Stop holding yourself back for fear of competition!

So many prospective clients over the years, even when I was ghostwriting books, have said, “There’s so much competition. My voice won’t matter.” This really isn’t the concern but it’s how it comes through in their speech because saying that sounds so much better in our society than saying what they really mean – and we’ve all been there at some point in our lives.

“Am I worthy of attention, love, and someone valuing what I have to say.” 

Yes, that is what you are really saying when you ask about competition. You are wondering if you matter. If your voice can be heard above the others. IT CAN! IT WILL! Only YOU can say your message in the way that you deliver it. You and I can both respond to the same question and will answer it differently because of our individual filters, experiences, thought processes, and values. Neither of us is wrong and we both will reach our intended audience. How is that?

We are wired to hear from certain voices more clearly than others. This is why you can hear the same thing from two friends and a stranger and it will be the stranger’s thoughts you act upon. We have a way about us that determines who we hear from more dominantly than others. For the people connected to you, YOU are the voice they are waiting to hear.

TD Jakes and Lysa TerKeurst both released books on the SAME TOPIC within six months of one another. BOTH books reached best seller status. Why? Because their voices are different. I read both books and I can tell you that TD Jakes is CRUSHING me (no pun intended) with his book. For others in my eGroup (online Bible Study group), Lysa’s book resonated more deeply. We all enjoyed both books. Certain voices sit better with certain people. Both authors shared personal stories, scripture, and sound theology in how to deal with life when it doesn’t go the way you expected. The audience is the same: People going through something that feels like it has shattered their world. People who feel stuck. People who are about to lose faith, if they haven’t already. Yet, I am pretty sure niether of them thought would have considered not writing their book if they knew about the other. They aren’t compeition. They are both people talking to the folks connected to them.

Envision what you want and make it happen.

I need you to be a warrior today. I need you to turn on that place within yourself where you stop being insecure about your voice and start using it. I know it’s hard to discover your voice… I spent YEARS trying to find mine. Then one day it was just there waiting for me to use it. And when I started doing so, that’s when I realized WHO I truly was.

My source comes from my faith. Yours may come from something else. That’s okay. For both of us. What matters is that you know your source, your voice, your vision, and your mission. Then, get out there and walk it out! Combined, these make up your purpose. You ARE worthy. You ARE valued. And your voice DOES matter. People are stuck in chains in their life in numerous ways and it only gets worse as society deteriorates in how we interact with one another. Imagine being able to speak with someone using the platform(s) you were designed to use to reach the people connected to you and learning that you changed the course of someone’s life and released them from chains!

Be the warrior that you are!

Be the kind of warrior that kills the bad things and releases the good by sharing your story through your art. For you that may be KILLING IT at work when you give presentations. It may be scultping something that moves people to tears. It may be taking a photo that tells a story more potent than any blog someone can write. It may be acting in a play and adding flair to a part people never understood. Your art may be writing a book, sharing poetry, or producing music. It’s time we stop boxing ourselves in to thinking that our stories can only be told through one medium: books. It just isn’t true. The written word is powerful, but we are in a society where some folks will never read a book or blog but will visit an art show, attend a conference, or listen to a podcast. You’ll know your platform when you understand your voice and who is connected to you. Start being willing to use your voice and watch how it all unfolds before you!

 


 

If you like what you read here, follow me on social media for additional tips and thoughts about discovering your voice, developing the courage to use it, and identifying the right platforms to connect with your audience.

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Are you afraid of the dark?

I saw this quote at the beginning of a book I read many years ago. I couldn’t help but think of how so many people are afraid of who they truly are, especially Christians who believe they have a BIG purpose but don’t know how to get there. They become afraid to step fully into their being and live a small life seemingly afraid of their voices. I dislike when I see this because my life goal is to see people walk in their purpose, especially people who have felt like they live in the shadows.

I live from a Christian perspective in which I believe God created us to be amazing. I don’t believe He desires for us to live small lives based upon the scriptures. So I challenge each of us to explore what it is that scares us and makes us feel okay living invisible or small lives rather than stepping fully into our purpose. Release the light within you so you can shine the way for others who have dimmed their light.

You Have Permission…

You have permission to change, grow, and expand. You are encouraged to change how you think, how you feel, and how you view things. You are allowed to outgrow your role, job, hobbies, and anything else that you desire to elevate in your life. You are able to expand your desires, your social circle, and your current beliefs anytime you feel like it’s too small or feel challenged to go to the next level (even the Bible encourages moving from milk to meat). If anyone tells you otherwise, ask them to provide you with any reference that says we are to remain the same throughout life. (Hint: There are none. There’s no Scripture, book, or philosophy that encourages people to remain as they are.)

Once I realized this truth and gave myself permission to grow, my life changed. I’m not yet where I’d like to be but I’m in a space where I know I’m challenging even my best beliefs about myself. I’m growing each day and ensuring I am living life as I am purposed in this time while preparing for the future.

Grab some tea or coffee and give yourself permission to think about how you’d like to change, grow, or expand. Then put your plan together and execute! It may not be easy but you won’t know whether it is hard or what challenges you may face until you take the first step.

Step Away from the Crowd for Clarity: Journaling

A friend once told me that before she wrote her album, she spent a year without listening to any music because she wanted her voice to be authentic. This is a beautiful idea. If you spend too much time reading what everyone else is writing and listening to how everyone else is singing, you may forget what makes your voice so special. Since we don’t all have a year to step away due to our roles, journaling is a perfect activity to allow you to step away and hear your own voice loudly.

One of the best ways to learn your voice is through journaling. Take time this week to journal about your “ANDs”. These are the things you are tired of feeling like you have to choose between.

  • You CAN crush your goals AND be a great mom.
  • You CAN be selective in who you spend your time with AND be a great friend.
  • You CAN be a strong Christian AND love everyone you encounter even if they live lifestyles you believe aren’t Biblical.

Society has taught us that we must choose either / or when we can have both / and. I can be a great coach AND still be walking through some of my own processes in growing my own voice each day. You can be a great client AND still be unsure of whether you are cut out for sharing your own story. Life doesn’t demand we choose; it commands we make room.

Envision Your Future

When you envision what you desire, you can take the steps to make it happen. You can pursue education, new connections, personal and professional development, and new hobbies to help us achieve what you see. You can meditate, pray, and share your vision with friends. You can look at where life is versus where you want it to be, and pivot where needed. But if you don’t see it, how will you know where you’re going?

Vision boarding isn’t some “woo” thing that only folks who believe a certain way create. It is a tangible way to see your dreams and goals. That then helps you take action each day as you actually see yourself achieving what’s on the board. You can create one for the quarter, year, or five years. You can do it for life, business, family, or all of the above. It’s yours to create and there is no right or wrong way. Just think about what you want and add words or pictures that represent those things. When you’re done, hang it where you can see it daily, several times throughout the day. And then do at least one thing daily to prepare for receiving and achieving what you’ve envisioned for your future!

Your Story May Come from Your Devastation

What if I told you that some of the best stories come from people who thought their life was over?

In this TED Talk by Majd Mashharawit, she talks about how she is making bricks from ashes. Literally.

Do you feel like your life is currently beyond repair? Ms. Mashharawi’s life was literally in a state of devastation and yet she was able to think outside the box and discover a new way to build materials from her war-torn city.

What can you do with your life and the resources around you by drawing from strength and thinking outside the box to see solutions you hadn’t thought of already? What is sitting in front of you daily that you can use to get your life back to a place where you feel good about it?

From a story perspective, I love that Ms. Mashharawi is sharing her story through TED Talks and motivating many while also educating people about the women in her community and how they are treated and viewed. In one talk, you can learn about life in Gaza, how women are treated in another area of the world, and a story that will help you reflect on your own life to think about what is right in front of you that may be the solution to all of your complaints currently.

Listen to the talk today and get motivated!