My daughter is turning 11 this year and I am seeing the transformation from child to pre teen in her growing independence! New challenges are also emerging with peer groups where disagreements occur, and she doesn’t know how to approach the situation to speak up, get her voice heard and her needs met.
This is something I have found challenging my whole life, and so am always conscious to hold space for her to talk it through, providing guidance on the best approach. Slowly but surely I am hearing of situations where she did speak up, and I’m so proud to hear her share what happened as a result. I always ask her ‘how did that feel?’ and I get a resounding ‘really good mummy!’
Are you someone who:
Doesn’t like rocking the boat or sticking your head above the parapet
Is easy going and don’t mind others taking centre stage
Likes to be accommodating and dislikes conflict
Seeks harmony in all areas of your life
Are used to deferring to ‘authority’
Then you may be able to relate to what I’m saying here.
I have done a lot of work on this over the years, and have made a lot of progress, and yet with certain situations it still has the ability to trip me up.
‘I cannot go through life without being fully expressed.’
This was a very strong and powerful lesson I learnt when working with a coach last year and a mantra I remind myself of frequently.
Let’s face it, speaking with utter honesty and truth can be hard. Whether it involves having an honest conversation with a colleague, a boss, a partner or even standing on a stage and speaking to an audience. .
We have to go through discomfort in order to get there. And it all comes down to perceived fear.
Fear keeps us silent, it puts blocks in our mind and our mouths.
Fear makes us stay and play small, turn away from and avoid things that seem hard to keep us ‘safe.’
Fear will always be a part of our lives. It is the way we are wired. But I firmly believe if you can recognise where it is holding you back, then you can achieve things you never thought possible.
I’m determined more than ever to fully express myself in all areas of my life so that I am staying true to who I am, what I stand for and what I’m available for.
I want that for you too.
So here are a few things you can do in order to start speaking up and expressing yourself fully.
Find what’s underneath
If you feel like you aren’t able to speak up right now, shine a light on the cause and find out what is underpinning the fear. Usually, it is uncertainty about:
Not enough information or facts
A lack of understanding about a situation.
Face your feelings about it and the real reason you are feeling fearful should emerge.
Get it out, write it down and make sense of it, rationalise it and ask yourself ‘from 1-10, how much is this fear validated with evidence?’
Move towards rather than away from
As humans we are programmed to instinctively move away from things that feel uncomfortable. But this just creates more discomfort in the long run. When I started consciously moving towards my fears, things started to change. In my outlook, my life. And in the results in my business! It is definitely a journey rather than a destination though, and things can come along to knock you off course. If you are aware, you can course correct pretty quickly and get moving again.
So what can you move towards this week?
That health appointment you have been putting off
A conversation with a family member or partner that needs to be aired
A proposal or idea that will save your company time and money
A conflict situation with your boss or key stakeholder
A need to break out of your comfort zone and do new things that challenge you in order to experience growth
Putting yourself forward for a speaking gig
Writing that book
Whatever it is: move towards it rather than away from it and see what happens!
Think of the benefits and the consequences
‘If i do speak up, what positive outcome will this give me? What are the potential consequences?
Then flip it round and ask yourself:
‘If I don’t speak up, what positive outcome will this give me? What are the potential consequences?
Taking a few minutes to run your thoughts through this sense check can really help to ground your thinking and take action from a more logical place.
As soon as you face your fears, those things that aren’t being said, feelings that aren’t being voiced, can be brought forward and gain traction.
Turning towards the thing that you fear most will automatically reveal steps you can take towards the goals on the other side of that fear.
With action, you see progress, with progress you see results and BOOM! That thing that felt so scary isn’t after all.
You’ve got this!
It’s my mission to help as many people as possible face their fears, show up, share stories, make money and change lives. If this blog spoke to you, or you can relate in any way, contact me and let me know. It’s always great to connect with you.