Part 1: Claim Your Voice of Authority

Part 1: Claim Your Voice of Authority

What do people hear when you speak? Right now, there is attention and commentary about the voice of women. This topic is being addressed with new levels of analysis and gravitas.
Jessica Bennett with The New York Times asked What Do We Hear When Women Speak? Monica Hesse, The Washington Post asked us to consider What Does Female Authority Sound Like? Even the Female Quotient’s Shelley Zalis writes on Linkedin that, “It’s time for women to embrace and use their real voices.”
Which leaves us with the question: What does the voice of female authority sound like?  The answer to the question is quite simple. The voice of female authority can sound like each and every one of us.
We’ve had discussions about women communicating in an authoritative fashion. At the same time, we’ve also experienced conversations that may sound like the ones I have encountered repeatedly. Picture this: I walked into a room and heard snippets of conversations. In between casual conversation and trading of business cards, I heard women having similar exchanges that sounded a lot like this:

W1: That dress looks great on you!
W2: What this? I’ve had it for years.
W1:  But really, you look great!
W2:  No, that’s sweet of you to say.

On and on it went, back and forth, until finally, I said, “Just say thank you. Own your compliment. Own it.”
The concept of Disruptive Self-Ownership™ had been a seed in my mind at this time. Hearing these conversations deeply motivated me to continue creating and developing Disruptive Self-Ownership™.
Before anyone else can hear your voice of authority, you must hear it and own it yourself. Your voice comes from the inside out—it rises from deep within you. How we own our voice is dependent on how we own ourselves. This is where Disruptive Self-Ownership™ comes in: Disruptive Self-Ownership™ helps you dispel outdated beliefs about yourself. It helps you claim your strengths to unlock your full potential, power, and presence. It also helps you identify and own your abilities to break through what’s holding you back.
We must disrupt and update the stories of ourselves. We do not put on shoes we wore when we were eight years old, but we carry ideas about ourselves that just don’t fit anymore. Yet, we insist and we persist in jamming our feet in them.
We can become more conscious, more aware of ourselves. We can own more of ourselves. You can start doing this the moment you close your laptop and get up from your chair. Start by choosing one step.
Why? Because change can start with one step. That is enough. We may be internally hoodwinked, hoodwinking ourselves. We tell ourselves that, if we’re not taking all the steps at once, we’re inadequate, or that we’re backing off. Often, doing it all is not the best path for success. It can be an artifact of what perfection looks like; if we were perfect, if we were enough, we would take on everything at once (we’ll address “perfect” in another post).

Smiling Businesswoman With Colleague At Table

Photo by Alto Images on Stocksy

Here are three steps to support your Disruptive Self-Ownership™ process:

1. Identify One Accomplishment that You’re Proud Of

  • Build clarity about what you’ve done
  • Be able to have ownership without apology, uncertainty, or minimizing the value of your accomplishment.
  • When your confidence feels shaky, go back to this accomplishment to ground yourself again.

2. Identify One Belief About Yourself that You Still Carry

  • How did this belief come to be?
  • How did it develop?
  • Is this belief supporting you in your life now?
  • Even if this belief was helpful at some point, does it inhibit you now?

3. Know Your Inner Voice

  • Is it your “obnoxious roommate” as Arianna Huffington says, a voice that demeans you, devalues your accomplishments or puts you down?
  • Is it an internal supporter, your internal emoji of clapping hands, thumbs up, or giving yourself a hug?
  • Does your self-talk build up a sense of internal positivity?

You can’t change what you’re not aware of so by choosing just one of these things and focusing on it, you can become more aware of what needs to change. Set a reminder for yourself in the morning to monitor and notice that one selection throughout the day. At the end of several days, if you feel comfortable with your level of awareness, choose the next one.
I believe we are built for change. Positive change can happen at any point in your life. Are you holding onto or wearing a pair of shoes that are broken in but also broken? They may feel comfortable, but they aren’t supporting you in the right way anymore. You have the courage to change. If you keep saying, “I’m not good at…” or “that’s not me,” you engrave it into the narrative of you.
Disruptive Self-Ownership™ can help you to “Be Heard. Be Seen. Be Valued”


Dr. Risa Ryger Is the Founder of 93% Consulting, International Speaker, Clinical Psychologist (Columbia University), and Expert in Change. Dr. Ryger helps people stop feeling invisible and undervalued by harnessing their potential, power, and presence to “Be Heard. Be Seen. Be ValuedTM.”
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series! For more on how to own your strengths, check out: 
Brand Purpose: Discovering Yours and Owning It
In Her Words: Choose a Personal Brand That’s Really ‘You’
Why We’re Over the Word “Balance”