Your voice is a muscle (use it or lose it)

Story for you.

When I was 24, I read a book about violent crime that scared the crap out of me called The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker.

It pointed out just how vulnerable I was—and how two summers of Tae Kwon Do wasn’t going to cut it if I came face to face with a desperate man.

The author recommended a self defense program called Model Mugging where, rather than swing at imaginary assailants, you actually fight them—in this case, trained (and well padded) men who could take a hit.

The first thing our teacher Marie, a clone of Jodie Foster, had to do was get us to use our bodies and our voices—without apologizing.

“Please do not ask your assailant if he’s ok after you knee him in the nuts.”

It’s rare that any of us, women in particular, get to experience the full force of our own strength—especially in combat. But once I felt it, things changed.

It was, in a word, freeing.

But one of the hardest things to do, I found, was to use my voice. In the beginning, I struck out silently.

“If you’re not using your voice, you’re not breathing, and if you’re not breathing, you’re not tapping your full strength,” said Jodie Foster. “Tell him no! Call for help!”

Using my voice was just as hard, if not harder, than using any other muscle group. It felt vulnerable, and scary, to scream “no” in a world where we’re told to comply, say yes, or say nothing at all.

What I learned is that your voice is a muscle. It’s even stronger than your fist or your foot. But if you don’t use it, you’ll never know what you’re capable of.

Once I experienced this, I felt unstoppable.

(At the time, there was a rapist on the loose in downtown Boston. “We should all go down there and get this guy!” I cried exuberantly one night. “No, no, we are not doing this,” said Jodie Foster.)

I have never had to use what I learned there, thank God. Jodie Foster quit teaching and became a massage therapist, using her hands to heal instead (I went to her! She was great!).

Today, I teach people to use their voices—on the page, the stage, in Zoom meetings, anywhere.

The only way to know your own strength is to use your voice, to practice using it.

During the Unmute Yourself training I just launched, I don’t teach you how to break someone’s nose, but I do teach strategies for breaking your silence.

But what I’d love even more is to give you the opportunity to experience actually doing it.

Why I’m telling you this today:

If you register for Unmute Yourself now, you qualify for one of three remaining FREE spots in a 90-minute face to face private training THIS Friday 4/2 @ 9:30a ET — where you’ll get to experience the strength of your own voice.

>> Check out the Unmute Yourself training here + I’ll send you an application for a free spot for Friday!

(No one is kneeing anyone in the nuts at my workshops. The opposite! We look for what’s working, what’s strong, and how to lean into that strength.)

Questions? Ask away. Just don’t grab me in a dark alley or you will live to regret it.


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P.S. Here’s another one of the many emails I received about this training:“Learning to interrupt is the skill I need more than anything in life. I learned more from this video than from anything I’ve seen online in eons. – Liz Nania, director of OUT to Dance