After a few painful experiences that left me lost, confused and without trusting myself, the last couple of years have seen me shrink in my ability to speak up and say what I think out of fear of being wrong, being judged, not being liked or losing friendships or connections.
I doubted the value of what I had to say, so I didn’t say much.
Who am I to say this? There’s so many ways of looking at things, what if I’m wrong and this person takes my word for it and their life goes on a different direction because of something I said?
I didn’t want to take responsibility for that because I wasn’t sure of what I believed anymore.
This had an effect, not only on my personal life but also in my work. How could I tell other people how to live more fulfilling lives when I was stuck in this cycle? When I was doubting the very foundation of how I live my life?
This is why I hadn’t been as active in my offerings for a while.
Can you relate with this pervasive self-doubt?
Over the last year, I’ve been finding this trust in myself again, being surer of my convictions, how I see life and what’s important.
I’m finding my voice again.
And with that, came the risks of uncomfortable conversations. Sometimes even the guilt of possibly having hurt someone’s feelings or upset them out of being more true to myself.
Just a couple days ago, I was having a conversation with someone in which I shared my point of view on a few things. Unbeknownst to me, this person was upset by what I said and they sent me an email about it later. And I had to sit with it, feeling the consequences of simply saying what I thought about something.
Part of me thought,
I went too far.
I stepped on this person’s toes and it was none of my business!
I shouldn’t have said this. I should have said it in a different way.
I should have waited until another time to say it.
And other things along those lines.
But then this other thought came:
I was just sharing what I thought, without any ill intention. It’s unfortunate that’s how this person received it, but I really had no control over that in this particular situation because I really didn’t say anything hurtful. I had no control over how this person would interpret things.
There are situations in which we need to be mindful of our words and delivery, for sure.
In this case, I didn’t know the topic was so touchy that I needed to watch out for that. The guilt I felt was unfounded.
So I came to the conclusion that, while I’m sorry the person was upset, I couldn’t have done anything differently… and I wasn’t going to let an incident like this shrink my belief in myself and what I had to say.
Sharing what we think can definitely be unpleasant sometimes, but it’s important that we say YES to ourselves.
Every time we choose to speak up instead of shrink, is an act of self-love. [Tweet it!]
And it builds on itself. We feel more solid each time.
This is not to say that we don’t consider other people’s feelings and how to communicate things before we do (I don’t believe in categorical not caring about what others think/feel as a result of our choices; there is always room for discernment), it just means we consider ourselves first.
Whatever discomfort we have to go through to be truer to ourselves, is worth it.
Living a life held back by fear of what others will think is not only painful, but incredibly unfulfilling. It might feel safer, but we’re the one inside the cage.
I’m not afraid of my truth anymore and I will not omit pieces of me to make you (or myself) comfortable.
Who says it with me?
Please share how this resonates in the comments, and share this post with others if you believe in the power that lies in speaking your truth.