Welcome to the Find Your Voice, Change Your Life podcast. You will hear real-life stories from people who struggled to find their authentic voice.
I’m your host, Dr. Doreen Downing.
I interview people who share how they overcame their fears about stepping up and speaking out. They each offer tips and strategies that you can apply to your own journey to find your voice and change your life.
If you enjoy my podcast, be sure to subscribe and rate it on Apple Podcast or your favorite podcast platform.
Today, I interview Dr. Gary Wohlman, a powerful teacher who is important to me because he was one of my first coaches! I had a transformative experience with him and I am so honored and proud to share him with you all today.
Today, I interview Shawn Langwell who grew up in California in a loving family with two brothers. His father was a fireman, and Shawn looked up to him as his hero. However, when Shawn was 12, his father left the family to start a new family. This crushed Shawn, of course. He missed his father’s presence and affection, and he didn’t know how to cope.
Today, I interview Michelle Prince who grew up in Chicago in a strong, faith-based family. Her parents were from big Catholic families, so she and her brother had deep Catholic roots during their upbringing. It was a safe and happy home, but there were strict rules and high expectations.
Today, I interview Ruth Stitt. Growing up in Connecticut, Ruth notes that she was one of the fortunate ones. Her parents encouraged her and her siblings to explore the world and learn as much as possible. There was lots of travel, education, and trying new things. She was the youngest of three siblings, and the older two grew further and further away from her during school years.
Today, I interview Jean Kathryn Carlson who grew up in a religious family and felt invisible for much of her childhood. The goal was to be perfect and keep the peace in order to secure her place in heaven. She never felt enabled to be herself, to open up, or to color outside the lines. She felt so much pressure to get things right, she was always too afraid to connect with people or truly have fun as a child. Instead, she found her place of fun and play inside her own imagination.
Today, I interview Mary Simon, who at age 11 was in Austria with her Mother and older sister. Her Austrian mother had spent many years in America but returned to Austria after divorcing their father. The country had drastically changed, and she was unable to re-assimilate or fit in anywhere.
Today, I interview Judy Baker, whose parents were both very introverted, and Judy was the youngest child. She didn’t really understand that people could be bubbly and friendly, and she was afraid of strangers and meeting new people. She was shy and spoke with such a tiny voice that many people at school couldn’t hear her.
Today, I interview Vasavi Kumar who grew up in a first generation Indian immigrant family. At home, she says she felt too Americanized. But at school, she felt too Indian, because she attended a predominantly white school. She never felt like she fit in anywhere, so she just learned to do and say all the right things to keep the peace.
Today, I interview Clarissa Burt who tells us that her childhood was stressful and not very much fun. There was a lot of yelling, arguing, alcohol, and violence. Her father switched back and forth between Jekyll and Hyde, going from fun and kind to full of rage. Clarissa was the oldest child, and she spent much of her time trying to keep the peace, look after her abused mother, and check each bedroom to make sure everyone was still alive each morning.
Today, I interview Anna Ditchburn who grew up in Russia. Her father left when she was 4, abandoning their family to be with another woman. Anna was so young, she didn’t quite understand what was going on. She never processed her own feelings about it, but instead focused on her heartbroken mother and helped to keep up appearances, never revealing what was happening behind closed doors.