How do I stop my voice shaking?
Maria asks, “How do I stop my voice from shaking when I’m not totally confident about what I’m saying?”
We all have a ‘cybernetic loop’ which is a channel of communication between our brains and our bodies. Even when we perform the simplest of tasks, such as walking down the street, our bodies continually communicate with our brain using information gathered from our five senses.
If your voice shakes when you speak, it may be because your body is receiving a message from your brain to stop talking.
Why would my brain tell my body to be quiet?
We all store in our unconscious minds a set of beliefs about ourselves, other people and the world. The majority of these beliefs are formed when we are young children and, if left unchallenged, stay with us for life. Some beliefs are true, some are untrue. Some beliefs are helpful, some are less helpful.
Maria may have stored a belief in her unconscious mind that she should only speak when she is confident that what she is saying is correct. If her mind believes that she is speaking about something that she is not confident about Maria’s brain may send signals to her body to ‘stop talking!’. This may be why Maria’s voice shakes when she is not confident about what she is saying. It is her mind’s attempt to stop her doing something which her brain believes is dangerous! At the same time, Maria knows she is not in dangerous so she feels a sense of conflict and can’t understand why her voice is shaking even though she doesn’t feel scared.
Beliefs are not fixed.
The great news is that our beliefs are not fixed. We can very easily ‘train’ our minds to hold different and more helpful beliefs.
I suggest the following exercises for Maria:
1. Think about what you believe about being right. Ask yourself, is it really the case that I have to be right about everything all the time? Do I really need to know all the facts about a subject to have an opinion about it? Is it okay to speak about something even if I don’t know everything about it?
2. Write the following statements on a piece of paper and put the piece of paper somewhere you’ll see it many times over the course of your day:
It is okay if I don’t know everything about my subject
Nobody knows everything about any subject and that is fine
When I talk about something I’m not confident I become open to the possibility of learning even more about it
My opinion is just as valuable as my knowledge
People understand that I don’t know everything about this subject and they still value what I do know
Put these statements into your own words if you prefer.
Be sure to read these statements aloud to yourself every day for the next few weeks and over time these statements will replace your current negative belief about your right to speak. You will move from the belief ‘I shouldn’t speak unless I know everything’ to ‘It is really good if I speak because people value what I say even when I don’t know everything’.