Hello everyone, welcome to a new week. Something amazing happened this weekend. I hit 200 wordpress followers!!!! This was the highlight of my very fun weekend and I’m so grateful. Thank you all for following me, liking my posts and sharing your thoughts. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Today’s post is about a personal struggle of mine – appreciating my voice. My name is Mariam and I’m a soft spoken person. I struggled with being confident growing up because I considered my voice a weakness. I couldn’t initiate conversations or impact decisions. I was mostly mute and always in the corner, often forgotten.
I grew up not liking my voice heck I just started welcoming it. To people that didn’t know me, my voice made me weak, inferior, incapable, slow and so on. I felt I always had to prove myself and the kind of university I went to didn’t even help matters. I was considered either a snob or a shy person and I was mostly not approached. I used to get comments like “oh I didn’t know you were like this, I didn’t know you could do this” This made me lack every form of confidence in myself and my abilities. To my friends and family I was a chatterbox but to other people I was a quiet girl.
I tried so many things to change my voice; from drinking hot water to raw egg to lime and honey. I asked my Dad and Mum why they didn’t do anything about my voice when I was really young and they told me I was always quiet, didn’t talk much and kept to myself mostly so they just let me be. How can you just let me be???? Then my Mum said it’s probably hereditary because I have an Aunt that talks the same way.
The worst part is when I talk people tend to impersonate me and that’s the second thing I hate most besides someone pulling my cheeks. I felt like I was being made fun of and sometimes I’d rather not talk just to avoid that. By the way, this still happens but I don’t feel so bad about it anymore. I take it as people appreciating the way I sound because it’s different.
During my final year in university, I kind of broke out of my shell a little, talked more and cut some people off. This wasn’t enough though because I still couldn’t stand in front of people to speak. The first time I couldn’t escape this was after NYSC when I was looking for a job. Some companies make you go through hell to be employed from two tests I passed to a group presentation then an individual presentation. I did my best but I could hear my voice shaking seriously and my heart was racing. I just knew I messed up big time when I came out 😂.
I’m glad that happened though because the second time I had to speak to a group of people, I felt like I did better than the first time and I always got better till I got comfortable. When I finally landed a job, it was as a customer care representative and I was a telephone operator. My voice was now a tool I had to use to work. The funny thing that happened was when my colleagues had difficult customers, they begged me to take their calls and said things like “Mariam you know when he hears your voice, he will calm down“. I got moved around the department a lot and I stopped answering calls soon after. I started attending to emails and calling the customers instead😬. Then after some time, my manager asked me to train a group of new members of the unit. This meant I had to address a group of people and guess what? I wasn’t even bothered about my voice at all. The training became a trend and I even coordinated my team sometimes and I kinda became a guru in the unit till I left the company.
The bottomline of my story is to let you know that what you think or perceive as weakness may actually be a strength. So you, yes you if there’s something about you that you consider a weakness try to turn it around today because you can. Remember, the only thing stopping you from doing anything is you.
My voice ended up being my strength and now I know my voice is not weird, it’s just unique. It’s me!
Love everything that makes you you.
Thanks for reading.
Another inspiring piece. Thanks for sharing your story with us. 🙂
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I never knew you’re a Nigerian not until I saw “NYSC”. I was glad to see that. I’m a fellow Nigeria.
Your story touched me. I never knew I could write too. I’ve been thinking I’m not good enough. I am not good grammatically and I commit English blunders. But when I started writing, I noticed I am improving. Even if I commit blunders, I learn from them.
Thanks for your words.
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I’m glad you took up writing irrespective of your blunders. It’s always better to take the bull by the horn. You’re welcome😊
Your personal history and story is really very much interested.
Self-confidence is something that cannot be taught and it is up to the individual to decide how much belief that they possess inside of themselves. I realize that I must first believe in myself before others will believe in me. Nobody teaches us to be happy or sad. They are natural feelings that come along as we develop mentally, physically, emotionally and psychologically. All the best Mariam
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Thanks a lot for your kind words.