Have you ever known the pain of keeping a great idea, a wonderful story, or an infectious melody to yourself because you were afraid of what would happen if you shared it?

I created this reality for myself countless times when I was younger.  The reasoning, I told myself, was that nobody would want to endure the sound of my voice.

But in retrospect, the real reason I kept so much to myself was that I was scared to take responsibility for what I thought and believed.  Sadness and anger were common experiences as I dealt with the pain of my views not being considered. This pain was self-inflicted.  I choose not to speak, so I choose not to be heard. 

As I talk about this, I think of the upcoming election.  So many people, Independent, Republican, Democrat will choose not to vote because they’re afraid that for one reason or another their vote won’t matter, that their voice won’t be heard.

You have views and opinions.  You have thoughts about what’s going on in this country, and the best way to move forward.  Some people will agree with your thoughts and views, while others won’t.   In any case, I urge you to take ownership of what you believe and take the time to vote.  You just might change things.  

Maybe not much.  

Or, maybe, your vote will join other hesitant voices and together you will swing the outcome.

One thing is guaranteed.  If you or I choose not to share our voice through our vote, it definitely will not be counted.

Forget the candidates, the propositions, and the excuses for a minute; vote because you value your thoughts, your ideas, your beliefs and your voice.

JASON FREEMAN is a Professional Speaker and the proud owner of a Speech Impediment.  He is also the author of “Awkwardly Awesome: Embracing My Imperfect Best” and a Perseverance Coach.

He excites and encourages his audience to break through the barriers of their own limitations using a method he created, called “Doing your Imperfect Best ™”.

His Imperfect TEDx Talk can be viewed here.