My roar was stifled in my childhood. I never truly felt like I had a voice, like no one was ever truly listening to me.
My roar was stifled during my years in a job where my boss overshadowed me and I never felt seen or heard.
My roar was stifled with friends who were louder, more bold and more extroverted than I could ever dream to be.
My roar was stifled with peers who had more clout, more money and more power.
The result of not feeling like I was heard, was that I felt the need to shout and I grew a sharp tongue as a result.
Sometimes my roar fired back out of anger.
Sometimes it fired back out of fiery passion.
Sometimes it fired back in sarcasm.
Sometimes, now and then, it still does. It’s still learning.
The moment I realized that I didn’t need to be the loudest, the most powerful or the one everyone stopped and listened to was the very moment I found my inner roar.
This is a roar that sends ripples across the world and enters the hearts and minds of people who need to hear my message, my words, my wisdom in that very moment that they need it.
This is a roar that is powerful beyond measure.
Turns out, I just needed to tame my inner roar.
I needed do work that I loved — and to take action on what matters most to me. I needed to learn to live my truth and speak only what matters most to me.
And I needed to believe in myself.
As soon as I did that, my inner roar began projecting more loudly into the world and became a real voice for change.
My people are drawn to my strong, quiet roar.
My people gather around to hear my powerfully soft stories.
My people bring their ears close to really hear me.
Now my roar has a nice balance. It can still speak up when it needs to and it does.
But it’s also found power in silence and softness.
And it certainly doesn’t sit around waiting for permission to speak.
I’ve learned to trust my inner roar immensely.
By learning to trust that deep, powerful voice within — and not being afraid to share it — I’ve built an international community of women who also have a voice and want to be heard.
One of my 9-year-old twin daughters has a loud, powerful roar.
And the other one has a soft please-listen-to-me roar.
I think back to my own childhood and how no matter the sound of my voice, I just wanted to be heard.
And so I listen to my daughters’ BIG stories and their SOFT stories.
I hear them. What they are saying. And what they are not saying.
I see them struggle to get their point across, to be right, to be the wisest one of all.
And I’m teaching them, slowly, that their voice matters. It’s powerful beyond measure.
That they have a voice and they need to trust the truth that lies within them at all times.
I’m teaching them to love and tame their inner roar.
And to believe in it — even if no one is listening.
Because eventually they will.
Shawn Fink is the mom of twin girls, founder of the online community The Abundant Mama Project and the author of book “Savoring Slow.” She is also an early riser advocate and loves coffee more than words can say. Read her weekly roars about motherhood in her weekly emails where she offers tips, tools and inspiration for happy motherhood.