I spend a lot of my time thinking about communication. As a coach, I help people tune into their inner voice and learn to communicate from a place of authenticity. My inner voice screams at me to speak up often. I am passionate about advocating for others and the words to do so always seem to find me. I don’t often struggle with finding a way to communicate but I know that it can be incredibly hard for many people to find a way to truly own their voice. Let this post be a call to arms. No more silence. No more muffled words or half truths. No more compromising to pacify others. Right now is the time for radical bravery and radical honesty. GET FUCKING LOUD! (note: there will be curse words in the following words. I use them when I talk, because that’s a piece of who I am and I am not interested in lessening myself for others. Just know, I use them to make a point and they feel good to me).
Why We Struggle To Speak Up
I want to help you truly own your voice. I want you to come to a place that you can communicate and feel heard and not compromise who you are for the comfort of another person or the world around you. I would never advocate to anyone to begin running amuck through their life telling everyone off. If you struggle to speak up, I would start with you and begin to question why you are not able to communicate what you want and need. What do you believe about what it means to speak up? What have you been taught about communication? Have you been taught that you must tow the line and not disrupt the status quo? Have you been taught that you are supposed to behave in a certain way? Have you been taught not to shine or to be happy with good enough? What emotions come up when you think about saying what is on your mind?
In the answers to those questions you will start to gather precious information about what stands in the way of you being able to speak up. This is where we begin. If you have been taught that you should silence yourself, then we need to understand if you agree with that now. When you can start to hear you inner voice amongst all the things that you have been taught you should do, be, act, behave, you strengthen your connection to your authenticity. How do you feel about those things? What is your opinion or what are your thoughts on what you have been taught about communicating and speaking up? Your inner voice is always speaking to you but we can become expert at ignoring it.
I love a soapbox. I love listening to people get fired up about something. I LOVE to get fired up about something that I am passionate about. I also love to see people’s responses when I get vocal about something because almost every time, they say, “that’s so true”. I guarantee that if you have a longing to speak your mind, it is because your inner voice is saying something and what you have been taught contradicts the expression of that voice. I am here to help you chip away at what you have been taught so that you can speak up and truly own your voice.
How to Speak Up
When you begin to separate what you have been taught about how to behave with who you are and what you want to say, you can free yourself from some of the common reasons why we don’t speak up. Some of the most common reasons that I used to diminish my voice or stay silent was because I was worried about offending people, fearful of being rejected and I stuck in the land of trying to please everyone. Those reasons were like mute buttons on my inner voice and ability to speak up.
Let’s smash the mute button!
- Be Curious – When you think about your connection to your inner voice and imagine the prospect of speaking up, be curious without judgement about the reasons why you may have silenced yourself in the past. I want you to get in your own corner and start to release the things that have held you back. If you have been taught to stay quiet and settle, teach yourself to want more and to get loud. If you are an adult that was poorly influenced by bad teachers as a child, teach yourself something new. The curiosity is not an excuse to beat yourself up for the ten times you didn’t own your voice, it is so you can understand the reasons why you didn’t and then work to create a new relationship to yourself and release the barriers to listening to and trusting your inner voice.
- Crystallize your connection to your inner voice – I want you to turn up the volume on your inner voice until it drowns out the voices around you. What do you want to say that you feel like you can’t? Start to take a stand on the things that matter most to you! This is a wonderful way to strengthen that connection to your inner voice. One of my favorite things to see is when a person I am talking to, starts talking about what they love most. Suddenly, this safe space opens up and they BLOOM. It is fucking magical! If you can be passionate about the things that matter most to you it will be easy to speak up should the need or opportunity arise.
- What Does It Cost You? – I wish I could say that people will always have your best interests at heart. This isn’t a statement of bitterness but merely a statement born of experience: you have to be in your own corner. You have to advocate for yourself and what matters most to you. When you have a moment where you are desperate to say something but fear, worry and guilt arise, ask yourself: “what is this costing me?” I have been in a situation recently that I have tried to communicate a boundary in multiple ways using my most articulate and kind communication tools and in failing to truly speak up, I have put myself in harm’s way. When I finally did just state what I needed, of course I felt immense relief, but it wasn’t enough. I have had to become a fierce advocate for my physical safety because I am threatened. This is something I am more than capable of managing and handling, but if I don’t, if I sulk back into the shadows and rely upon other people’s empty promises, it will cost me too much. This recent experience is simply teaching me to speak up. I want to invite you to do the same. You need to speak up! You need to listen to that voice that screams at you because if you don’t, the cumulative effects of not communicating will cost you something.
- Stand Up for Something – I stand for a lot of things in my life. I love people that stand for something. I want you to be that vocal person that knows without a shadow of a doubt what they stand for and can communicate that freely. Be that person! Be a fucking wolf! Stand up for yourself! This is about bravery my friends. Our time on this planet is so very limited. Become an advocate of whatever it is that you are passionate about. Become an advocate for yourself. There is more than enough room in this world for your voice. There is a platform for whatever it is you are passionate about: organic container gardening, chemical-free homes, minimalism, sober living, conspiracy theories, rescue dogs, cats, lizards, making your own baby food or homemade clothes. I welcome it all. I want you to stand up for what you love and believe in. I will do the same and hold space for your voice to be heard.
- Not Your Problem – People will be offended by you. You will make others uncomfortable with what you have to say. Its ok. They own that. They own every single reaction that they have to whatever challenges them in their life. Even if you have to communicate something difficult, you do not own the other person’s response. Say the thing that you need to say in a way that is clear and hopefully strong, clear, articulate and calm and know that you cannot control what the outcome is. Will your need to communicate go away? I guarantee if your inner voice is asking you to have a difficult conversation it will not go away. It will keep at you until you can find the bravery to speak up. Disconnect yourself from the other person’s reaction by seeing that it is not your problem. You own your voice and not the reactions of others. There is simply no way to keep everyone happy. Trying to keep everyone happy is no way to live. It’s a prison. Speaking up is your freedom.
Why Is It So Important?
Having a platform to speak up is so easy these days. There is so much space to be heard. It is also very easy to disconnect using those same platforms. Use them to share your voice. Use them to speak up. There is no way to know the ripple effect of positivity you can have when you speak up. It is a radical act of bravery to stand up for something.
The world needs your voice. When you begin the process of listening to and trusting your inner voice you can begin the work to heal any limiting beliefs that you may have in your life. We must heal ourselves first and then we can teach others to do the same. Let your life be a living example of bravery and an invitation into wholeness. When you are able to speak up, I guarantee there will be one person, ten people or a hundred that experience an immediate connection to what you say, a relief that someone said it and feel accepted and braver. When you speak up you give others permission to do the same.
Can you think of a time where you didn’t speak up? Can you think of a time you didn’t stand up to a bully or a tyrant. There are numerous examples right now of bullies and tyrants that use their voice to perpetuate fear. They may use their power or influence, but it is not true strength. True strength comes in the moments where you stand up to bullies and tyrants. When you say: I will not fucking stand for this a moment longer.
One brave voice is all it takes. One brave voice can change everything. History has been made by one brave voice who could no longer tolerate the conditions imposed upon he or she and decided that they needed to speak up. One brave voice can challenge everything we have been taught and blaze a path forward to a different reality.
I want to hear your voice. I want to know what you keep locked inside because of all the reasons you are taught not to speak up. Speak to me knowing that I am here waiting to receive the gift of your beautiful, unique and extraordinary voice. Tune into the whispers until they become a roar!