If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I will tell you, I came to live out LOUD.” ~ Émile Zola
My daughter recently brought home her University yearbook and on the cover, embossed in wild, bright colors, were the words, ‘Live Loud.’
I loved it! She was being encouraged to not just have a life, but to live it LOUD – emphatically, boldly, not concealed or quiet but overtly and with undeniable purpose and passion.
As I read the words on the yearbook, I thought of a coaching client of mine, Rob, an entrepreneur with incredibly creative business ideas. He had recently shared his fears of putting his ideas out into the marketplace. As our coaching session progressed, he described how he had chosen to live quietly, keeping any idea that might put him “out there” to himself while feeling discouraged in his business.
In short, Rob had chosen to live a life of fear and safety, settling for less while missing the opportunity to experience the full potential of his business.
He had not lived loud.
As I think of Rob, I am reminded of the people I have worked with who choose to settle, while believing that their goal, whether in relationships, business or in creative pursuits, is to “get through” quietly, without risk or danger. Yet, the only place where truly amazing things occur is when life is experienced loudly and boldly.
I wonder what your life would look like if your focus was not on what others might think or how it might turn out.
What if your commitment was simply to allow yourself to live loud?
The American poet, e.e. cummings, once said,
“It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.”
The enemies of living loud keep us from growing up and into our uniqueness – fear of the unknown, lack of permission to ‘go for it’ and a general sense of ‘that’s good enough’ cause the ‘music’ within us to stay quiet and our potential to remain invisible to the world.
If you are like me, it can feel so challenging at times to raise our ‘voice’ in order to be heard.
THEN WHAT CAN WE DO?
Here are 4 Principles to help us Live Loud:
1) Quiet Your Inner ‘Enemies’ (i.e., Tell Them to “Shut Up!”)
The critical, negative messages that we tell ourselves keep us quiet and afraid to move forward.
“Who do you think you are?”
“What were you thinking?”
“What if …”
For example, if you love to write, yet hear that voice of fear and doubt (“Who do you think you are?”) as you work on your story or book, answer with a loud, “I AM A WRITER! Shut up and leave me alone – I have writing to do!”
2) Take Charge of Your Future
Make conscious and deliberate decisions. Become Pro-Active. Stop giving the ‘power’ away to other people’s opinions or perceptions of your ideas or work.
As a performing artist, you may hear the enemy of living loud say, “What if I don’t get the part. Maybe I shouldn’t audition.” Answer with a loud, “I AM GOING FOR IT. I am not going to let ANYTHING get in the way of my success!”
3) S-t-r-e-t-c-h Yourself and Take Some Risks
As an entrepreneur, confront your fears with, “IT’S TIME TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. I’m tired of letting my fears hold me back.”
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed in the things that you didn’t do than in the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover!” ~ Mark Twain
4) Let the world know what you have to offer
Are you the world’s best kept secret? It’s time to put yourself and your work out there.
Creatives love to create, yet are afraid to market. Entrepreneurs are often fearful to promote through public speaking. Yet, as Management Consultant Alan Weiss says,
“There is no music if you don’t blow your own horn.”
Yes, you CAN raise your ‘voice’ – To live loud is to experience life freely and with passion.
It’s time to go for it.
Question: In what ways have you lived ‘loud’ in your business or creative pursuits? In what areas do you need to raise your ‘voice’? I’d love to hear about your experiences. Click the Comments Box above and let me know what you think!