I wish you could have a glass of wine with me in the afternoon – or a cup of coffee – as I joyfully, and often clumsily, juggle my evening do-everything-before-the-husband-walks-in-the-door routine. At this time of day my kitchen reaches the epitome of organized chaos. Ellie is in her Johnny Jumper, happily chewing on a frozen banana and cooing to the French version of Peppa Pig on the iPad. Baby-free I blast an audiobook, a podcast or Netflix from my MacBook, strategically placed by the stove and I get to work baking chicken, sautéing vegetables and chopping salad fixings. My puppy Finnegan insists on being glued to my heels at this time, hopeful for any scrap that might fall from my cutting board, and creating out of himself an obstacle to dodge as I move from counter to counter.
This week, in the middle of this circus, I heard a voice I knew. I stopped everything I was doing, put Peppa Pig on silent and put Finnegan outside. I was “watching” Hotel Impossible, a reality Travel Channel TV show I enjoy – and a voice being interviewed make me jump. The voice rang of familiar childhood afternoons spent next to the Barnegat Bay at the Jersey Shore; it was the voiceprint of the Shirley, the mom of my summer beach friend Doug.
Hearing Shirley’s voice was like being a kid again. As a local, she was being interviewed by the show as they unveiled the renovation they had done to rebuild one of the beach playgrounds destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. The camera scanned the community gathered to celebrate the new playground before it ended on Shirley’s face, but I didn’t need that confirmation to I know it was her. After fifteen years of not seeing her, I didn’t need to see her to know who it was. Her voice stood out.
To be honest, I was surprised by the familiarity of the voice. I’ve always known that our voices, or voiceprints, are unique to each one of us, but I never thought it would be so clearly obvious to me to connect a voice from decades past, a voice I had limited interaction with, so very quickly. There is more power in the power of our voiceprint than I have previously considered.
Our voices are unique – each of us has our own voiceprint. Our voices are carved out and the sound is shaped by the three main characteristics of sound, frequency (pitch), amplitude (volume), and waveform (timbre). Additionally, the shape of our biological vocal tract determines the sound emitted from our mouths, combined with the shape of the voice resonators (or air filled cavities) we possess. These voice resonators exist all over our body: in our throats, our mouths, our nasal cavity, our sinuses and our lungs. Not to mention, a final component that ensures uniqueness is that the shape of our mouth and how we move our mouths also determines our voiceprint when we speak. To say that there is no one out there who has the same voice as you is really true.
You have a voiceprint.
I have a voiceprint.
Our voiceprints are beautiful.
I can pick out your voice.
I will remember your voice.
Your voice matters.
I am in awe of this concept. It’s just another confirmation of the truth that we are uniquely created, beautiful crafted and far, far, far from being average. Too many of us live with the ache of the little whisper in our minds that tells us we are just average, that we are forgettable, that we don’t stand out. The whisper is wrong. Our voices matter. And I mean this in the absolute literal sense.
You are not forgettable.
You are not average.
You are not unimportant.
Be confident in your voice: it is way in which God empowered you to communicate with and connect with the world. Here are five questions to ask yourself as you wrestle the whisper that keeps you from knowing just how incredibly powerful your voice really is:
- Now that I know my voice is literally the only one of its kind in the world, how far into the world will I allow the echoes of my voice resonate?
- What is currently holding me back from letting my voice shine – figuratively and literally?
- How can I be more confident about the projection of my voice?
- How can I inspire and uplift others to speak from their own voices with confidence?
- Will people associate my voice with words of life – that is, positive, encouraging, life-giving words and comments – or with words of death – that is, negative, critical, judging or gossiping words that tear others down?
Celebrate your voiceprint today. And, if for some reason you find yourself facing your own internal obstacles of doubt, self-sabotage or fear to let your real voice – and your real dreams – shine, then sign up to come work with me one-on-one in my revolutionary, and life-changing thirty-day signature program Breakout. Breakout will help you have the confidence to let your voice and your light shine, guaranteed. Start shining at tb.creativewebguy.com/breakout