Another week and I have been beginning to get used to going out again. To be honest it is only to a limited extent but it is really the first week since restrictions were eased. I don’t think the rule on wearing face masks should have been lifted in the way it has been and I have been interested to see how many people are still wearing them and how many shops have signs asking people to continue wearing them when they enter their shops.
I had a business meeting yesterday and had agreed to meet the person at a local hotel. I knew it to have spacious indoor spaces so nobody would be on top of each other and that it also had quite extensive outside tables should it not be raining! What did surprise me was how full the hotel was with most of the tables being used for serving “afternoon tea”. There was a quiet corner where it would have been possible to sit socially distanced but as it was a sunny day we took the opportunity of sitting outside in the garden which as well as being outside the tables were well separated.
However that is really a different issue. What I took away from yesterday was this was of the first times I had been out in a primarily a social setting for over twelve months and that the nervousness and anxiety which had crept in through lockdown had largely ebbed away. My strategy of presenting with confidence was working. My confidence has been strengthened by the voice work I have been doing and to receive many “Madams” with no sarcasm or pointed irony was a real boost. Apart from yesterday’s experience I use the phone for work and I have realised that I have not been addressed as “Sir” in the last ten days. I knew it would make a difference to sort out an acceptable authentic voice. I had not realised how much of a difference it would make and how it reduced the anxiety of going into places. There is still quite a bit to do yet I know now I am on the right track to establishing an authentic voice. The key to this is about your voice being authentic, it seems it has little to do with the actual pitch and more to do with the subconscious assumptions we all have about our expectations of how a feminine voice should sound.
I still say that the key to being able to operate in a manner which reduces anxiety is to be confident in who you are and I would whole heartedly recommend the inclusion of voice work to make it easier.