Finding Your Voice
Whether you feel great or crappy, you did it! You decided it was time to be heard and you started taking the first steps.
You got off your butt, freed yourself from Netflix and finally got the courage to go and see someone about how you are really feeling – physically and emotionally.
It’s time. You’re ready to share how you it’s been living in your body for the last 6 months (10 months, 10 years). It’s time for answers! You are done with good enough, and getting by, and you are ready for great.
Patiently you are sitting in your doctor’s office. Your name is finally called, you march down the hall mantra-ing to yourself ‘I will ask for what I want’ the entire way. You perch down on the plastic chair in the clinic room, and wonder if the person before you had the same concerns, and you wait.
You wait, until the healthcare professional (doctor, naturopath, dentist, chiropractor, life coach, psychologist, etc…), comes into the room and in the interim you practice what you want to say.
Your appointment starts, their voice questions, “How are you?”
Instead of sharing the prepared speech you have practiced. The one about how you are really doing. You respond with the most expected answer to the most asked question each and every day with “Good, and how are you?”
Ugh! And just like that, you feel deflated and defeated. What you had hoped to share seems like it has long ago been swept away in the tide that washes over the room.
Your appointment becomes this lobbying of expected responses back and forth, a renewed prescription and you are ushered out.
The cycle starts again. Where you work your way back to this very space. You will once again feel you can try again to ask the questions that brought you in, in the first place.
You are stuck feeling like you have not been heard.
When It Feels Like You Can’t Find Your Voice?
It’s hard sometimes to ask for what you want. What you really want and need, doesn’t easily slip out of our mouth. It takes courage and intention. We’re people pleasers and have become automated at putting everyone else before us.
We each have our automated answers, breaking this pattern is hard.
We complain to our families and closest friends. However when it is time to share what really matters with someone who may be able help you make a shift, the words sometimes feel forced to come out.
3 Tips to Help You Ask for What You Need
Tip 1: Finding Your Voice: Write it Down (and Bring It with You)
Memory jogs are so incredibly important in a world where we have information thrown at us in all directions.
Write down all the things you are feeling and want to talk. Bring this list with you, or even better send it ahead. Hand your note to the practitioner when you are lost for words, or feel derailed.
Tip 2: Finding Your Voice: Don’t Give Up Your Power
This appointment/conversation is about you and your needs. Start the conversation with what you need.
Answer: how are you? With…
“I’m really glad you asked that, there are a few things that I have written down that I was hoping to talk with you about today.”
Tip 3: Finding Your Voice: If You Don’t Get What You Need, Book Back in on the Spot
Sometimes we get derailed, or our practitioner doesn’t have time for us, or a fire alarm rings in the middle of our appointment (true story).
But instead of leaving feeling deflated, before you cross the doorway stop yourself. Turn around and make a follow-up appointment. Ask the reception to type in the notes what you want to talk about, what you didn’t get to today. Schedule yourself in, and revisit shortly.
Don’t get mad at yourself, or your practitioner. Instead, the most important thing is to take it all in stride. It’s easy to get down on yourself for not covering off everything you want/need in the session. As practitioners we are equally responsible to help you feel safe, and ask you enough questions to help guide it out of you.
It’s a two-way street, but sometimes the traffic doesn’t flow smoothly and that’s ok. There will be time to be heard, but you may need to make the first step to have that happen.
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Or listen to my interview on the Mom’s Sipping Sangria podcast, where we talk about taking control of your health.
The Author, Christina Carew, is a naturopathic doctor who practices functional and strategic medicine in Toronto. As a medical investigator, she is in the business of changing people’s lives.
Dr. Christina focuses on finding the biomedical reasons for symptoms that are often unique to each patient and helps her patients remove the obstacles that stand in the way of living a healthy vibrant life.
Want to know if her approach is right for you – sign up for a free 20-minute consult at https://www.healingme.ca/book-appointment-naturopathic-doctor/
Note: This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed health care worker