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 Doug Brown who was raised by two very hardworking parents. He was encouraged to persevere and accomplish as much as he could, but that put a lot of emphasis on performance and left less time for self-reflection. There wasn’t much room for slowing down to connect. He says that throughout his various experiences and occupations, he’s never had a fear of the microphone. He never felt anxious about delivering a message and getting the job done. But truly letting himself be seen and revealing his vulnerable side was a completely foreign idea for him.
Today, I interview Peleg Top who was bullied as a child growing up in Israel. He knew who he was, and he had things to say, but he felt that no one wanted to hear them. As a gay young child he was teased and felt that he never fit in. Eventually he began to believe those lies and would later require some inner work to rediscover his love for himself.
Today, I interview Ray Bourcier who was five when he experienced the beginnings of what would become a major conflict within his family. Aunts and uncles in disagreement with his own parents led to a complete falling out by the time he’d reached age eight. Ray was excluded from activities with his cousins based on the adults disliking each other, and so began the inner turmoil and lack of self-worth for such a little guy.
Today, I interview Carl Ficks who grew up in a household where writing took precedence over speaking. His father held various positions where writing was a key role, and Carl learned to develop the habit of writing well and listening well. His parents communicated calmly and clearly without the need for shouting or excessive emphasis, and Carl learned to follow this model and attitude.
Today, I interview Kate Vrastak who grew up in a missionary household with a mother who taught her to serve others and love God. After her thirteenth birthday, her life changed forever when her entire family died in a tragic accident. She was left to care for her ailing grandmother, who also died not long after.
Today, I interview Cedric Crumbley who grew up in Georgia. When he was an infant, his father passed away. So unfortunately, he didn’t get to know his Dad. However, his father’s siblings saw so much of his father in Cedric that they truly treasured him. He was certainly given a lot of attention and had great connection with the adults in his family. He was even teased a little in school because he had such an adult-like way of speaking.
Today, I interview Michael Rost, whose young life included the emphasis on “comparative suffering.” He tells us that to his father complaining was unwelcomed and was overshadowed by the reminder that others had it far worse. So his young mind learned not to open up to others. Well, when you don’t speak much, you’re able to become quite the listener.
Today, I interview Donna Tashjian who suffered loss and abuse at an early age. She was forced to grow up fast and put aside what happened, focusing on adulthood without a true sense of her own identity. She hadn’t been able to deal with her trauma, so her confidence was deeply hurt and she was very afraid of using her voice and making true connections with people.
Today, I interview Dr. Pelè who grew up during civil wartime in Nigeria. He and his family were refugees, fearing for their safety with every step, never sure of their next meal. In order to comfort her children, his mother would sing and tell stories. Dr. Pelè says this diversion created a change in his mindset as a child.
Today, I interview Dr. Denny Coates, who was a very driven child, always striving to be a high achiever and to be the best among his peers. Much later in life he became a compelling speaker, and this was only after he faced a reality that he did not know how to engage his listeners.