Finding Your Voice Within – Part One
Part One of the Three Part Series “You Have a Voice”
For those of you reading this that have heard and known your own voice throughout your life, I applaud you. I admire you. I acknowledge you.
I was not so lucky.
I have had to work extremely hard at finding my voice, trusting my voice, and speaking my truth. So, you can only imagine the doubts and fears that came into my head when I was put into a management position.
My first management position came six years into my military enlistment. Up to this point I had mainly been a chairside assistant, with a few years of administrative duties as well. Taking a leadership role was extremely easy because everything was spelled out for me and if I followed the rules, the dental clinic ran smoothly. I oversaw a little dental clinic on a reserve air base with three doctors and 11 enlisted personnel. I never needed to have a voice because we all had so many rules and regulations and there was no gray area. I will also add that there was no worry of losing patients because they had nowhere else to go.
However, when I became a civilian and continued in the dental field, suddenly, everything changed. Yes, there were still rules and regulations. However there were so many areas that were open to creative development.
I had to learn how to speak my voice effectively and get others to listen.
Truth #1 – You must trust yourself.
Believe in yourself. I honestly struggle with this to this day. I will say it does get easier. Nowadays, I believe what my gut is telling me. I trust it so much more than I ever used to.
I was told, growing up, that what I felt was wrong. When something didn’t feel right, I wasn’t allowed to speak that. I was told how to feel. Growing up this way messes with the ability to trust your instincts. You need constant validation from the people around you that you trust. This has gotten easier over the years, and I thank my inner circle for being there for me when I need them. You know who you are, and I love you!
The more you own your inner voice, the easier it gets to speak it out loud.
Truth #2 – Your past does not define you.
I never had strong role models around me growing up. In fact, I’m afraid to tell you the words that were my lessons growing up. But there comes a time in your life where you need to stop believing the lies you were told and instead believe your truth. Believe in the magic within yourself that drives you to be a leader. Put the past behind you and look at what the future holds.
There is this big, open world full of possibilities for you, just waiting for you to jump into it and leave the past behind. You are not the product of your environment once you are on your own. You can be whomever you want to be. Be the person who others will listen to, who others will trust.
Truth #3 – Your magic is enough.
You are enough! Repeat this until you believe it! Someone believed in you and saw the magic inside.
For years I wanted more than my position; I was sitting around waiting for something magical to happen. I was talking with a dear friend, while driving into work, and told her, “I’ve been waiting and waiting for something magical to happen.”
There was a pause in the conversation, and it hit me like a brick wall. I said, “Wait a minute, I am the magic! The magic is within me!” My friend affirmed this, and we were screaming, “I AM THE MAGIC” back and forth to each other. I was covered in goosebumps, tears in my eyes, and it was such a pivotal moment. We do not have to wait for something magical to happen to us; we create our magic from our voice within!
Listen to yourself. Pay attention to the inner voice that speaks to you when you are quiet. Reaffirm and believe in yourself. Be kind and compassionate with every conversation you have with yourself. If it helps, place post-it notes around with positive affirmations written directly to yourself. Never forget that you are enough!
About the Author
Jana Haller has worked in the dental field since 1983. With almost 40 years of experience, she has served as a Dental Assistant, Patient Coordinator, Office Manager, Business Manager, and a trainer for dental insurance submissions. She currently works as an Operations Manager for Dr. Donald Flihan, DDS, MD, an oral surgeon in Utica, New York.