We’ve all heard the saying “honesty is the best policy,” and it is, so why are so many of us afraid of being honest? We may be afraid of being judged, afraid of upsetting the other person, afraid of being seen as different, or just afraid to speak our minds. But when we don’t speak up we typically don’t forget what we didn’t say, it stays with us, playing again and again in our heads like a song on repeat and we beat ourselves up for not speaking our truth. Now, speaking our truth can be tricky, sometimes our truth, or honest opinion, may not be the popular opinion, or what everyone wants to hear, but if we don’t speak up many times it turns into a resentment, either towards the person or people we didn’t speak up to, or ourselves for keeping our mouth shut when we should have spoken up. Being afraid is never a reason not to do anything. So how do we learn to walk through that fear and share our true thoughts with those around us?
1) Stay Calm And Take A Moment. Again, life is not a game show there are no points for speaking up first and having the fastest response. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a moment, breathe, even step away for a second to collect your thoughts. It’s OK to say you need a moment, you don’t have to come up with something right away. Sometimes taking a step back is just what you need gather your thoughts in a concise and clear way so you can share them in a way that will be easily understood. If it’s something you’re very emotional about, definitely give yourself some time, letting your emotions take over will not help you convey what you’re wanting to say in a way that will open the door to a healthy and calm discussion.
2) Be Confident. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and yours is just as important as anyone else’s, so don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Speaking up also opens the door to a conversation or discussion, something that is always useful and understanding and getting to know those around you, and, also yourself. If you feel strongly about something, speak up, share it, and also be open to listen to other people’s points of view. Again, as always, we all have our own perspectives and even though you’re feeling very strongly about yours, there are always different sides to each story or situation, so don’t be afraid to share yours, but allow others to share theirs as well.
3) Overcome Your Fear. You may be fearful of being made fun of, or being listed as difficult, or different, but don’t put so much weight into what other people think, what’s important is what you think and that you’re expressing that. Now, we as SLAYERS don’t set out to say things we know will purposely hurt or anger someone else, we share our thoughts in a thoughtful and mindful way, but we don’t amend our thoughts to appease someone else. People typically will appreciate your honesty with them, even if it differs from their own opinion, they’ll usually respect that you shared your thoughts with them. If they don’t, then that tells you something about who they are and your relationship with them, that’s a red flag and not a good sign of a healthy relationship.
4) Use Your Problem Solving Skills. If there is a differing of opinion, this is an opportunity to work on your problem solving skills. To see if you can find a middle ground or resolution to our differing of opinions. Keeping an open mind and letting others talk are two to elements to this, and you may find that after hearing what they have to say, you may alter your own opinion, or maybe not, but just going into a discussion with the mindset that you are open to new ideas, while sharing your own, can bring an amicable sense of energy to a discussion which opens the door to having a good outcome.
Always be confident in who you are and what you have to offer. Your opinion is unique to you, and your thoughts are valid. If someone has wronged you, has asked for your opinion, or you’re working together on project, speak your mind, collaborate, and be open to other perspectives, you just maybe surprised how easy speaking up can be, and how when you do you gain more confidence, self-esteem, and a stronger sense of self.
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you speak your mind when you have an opinion? If not, why not? Do you have fear around being honest with people? Why do you think you do? Are the reasons you have fear around speaking your mind valid fears based in facts? Or are they old narratives from your past that are no longer your truth today? If they are your truth today, what does this tell you about the people you have chosen to surround yourself with? Are there better choices you can be making with the people you have in your life? I challenge you SLAYER to speak your mind this week, to share your opinion, or speak up if you feel you have something to say, the more you do it, the easier it becomes, and, if you take a misstep, that’s a part of the process, that is how we learn, but if we are open an honest we are not hiding our true selves and walking around with unsaid ideas and opinions that are taking up valuable space in our minds, let them out and show your real you. SLAY on.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you