The Wise Words Of Miles Davis

“Man, sometimes it takes you a long time to sound like yourself.” – Miles Davis

As Michelle and I continue to define and refine who we are, what we do, who it’s for, and why it matters, we discover new layers and nuance that we weren’t aware of before; and, in my individual coaching work, I’d say the same is true. 

The power of the word ‘sound’ in Davis’ quote is profound. What does it mean to sound like yourself, and why does it take time? 

Authenticity is intertwined with ‘sounding like yourself’. When your voice comes from a deep sense of knowing yourself and embracing who you are, and who you’re not, there is an authentic quality that is uniquely yours. 

We DON’T sound like ourselves, when our voices aim to hide our discomfort, and come out judgemental, controlling, passive, etc.  We DO sound like ourselves when there is life in our voice, curiosity, warmth, vulnerability, and love.

It makes sense then that this takes time – we need to grow up, fail and recover, face our fears and stay standing, lose ourselves and come back, realize that we are everything and nothing at the same time.  This awareness, humility, and openness is a developmental journey. 

How do we embark on this journey to sound more and more like ourselves?

  • Quiet down enough to become aware of your deepest fears, obstacles, and desires. What’s new or different in what you’re hearing? What’s wanting to be said?
  • Take risks in speaking authentically about what you’re noticing, feeling, thinking, wondering, etc; you are not speaking to be right, smart, or loved.
  • Be patient.

In this time of head scratching complexity and disruption, it can feel impossible to consider quietening down and being patient; and yet both are essential not only to maintaining a base level of resilience, but also to tapping into a wisdom that’s needed in the new world we’re living in. 

photo credit: kindagetmego license