Speaking Up About Speaking Up

It has taken a while, but I believe I have finally embraced the power of my own voice. In the beginning I didn’t even know what my own personal thoughts were which made it impossible to share them. For some of us it is not easy to know what to say, because we are so often in the habit of listening to others instead of knowing our own voice. We look to others or common wisdom as to what to say and when. We give others our power and don’t know our own truth.

As I began to know my mind, most times I kept my opinion to myself for fear of being wrong or not accepted. Often it seems easier to not speak up. We may not want to hurt someone’s feelings, get involved outside our comfort zone, be blamed, or be embarrassed. Holding our thoughts in seems easier than creating a conversation and dealing with differing, possibly conflicting, views. Holding in our thoughts though keeps us from living fully and freely.   

As confidence in my thoughts grew, they unfortunately spewed out in nasty, judgmental, looking-for-a-fight ways. Sometimes we don’t speak our truth, we scream it. We hold things in for so long that they finally spill out in a tirade of anger, attack, and judgment. The result is we are not heard any more than when we kept our tongue.  

Hopefully today I do a much better job of knowing my mind and sharing it in a constructive, compassionate way. Owning and speaking our truth may seem difficult, but it doesn’t need to be. Here are a few tips to help you know, embrace, and speak your truth.

Photo by Maria Krisanova on Unsplash

Get in Touch with You

We must start here. If we don’t know our truth in the first place, how can we share it?  Spend some time in quiet every day to release the voices of others and to begin hearing your own voice. When a thought comes into your head, ask if it is your opinion or that of someone else. Learn to discern your own personal truth from the thoughts and feelings of others.

Just Because Everyone is Doing It

Sometimes we know our truth, but don’t share it because we don’t want to be different. We are going with the flow. We don’t want to rock the boat. We blindly follow conventional wisdom. It takes courage to look around us and say that how it has always been done or what the masses are doing is not right for us or right in general. Bold pioneers have changed the world by questioning what everyone else is doing and thinking.

Speak with Compassion

When we have the courage to use our voice and speak our truth it is important that we do so with compassion. If we yell our opinion or express it in a way that attacks another, it does not do anyone any good. Try expressing yourself gently but firmly. Speak your mind in a way that does not attack or degrade another. In doing so you have a better chance of being heard and understood. Also, sharing your voice with compassion just feels better.

What’s the Worst Thing

If you are on the fence about sharing your truth, gain motivation by asking what is the worst thing that would happen if you don’t share the truth. How is your life and the lives of those around you going to continue to suffer if you do not speak up?

Move Past the Fear

Also ask what is the worst thing that would happen if you do share your truth. Embarrassment? Disagreement? Often what is potentially gained far outweighs any negatives.

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