Speak up for yourself.
Speak up for others.
Speak up for the good & against the not-so-good.
I’ve spent most of my life keeping quiet. I listen. I observe. I take it all in, and when I feel really comfortable & confidant I will say what I need to say, but even then, I often hold a lot of it in. I wouldn’t say I am a full blown ‘people pleaser’ but I for sure have an element of that in my life. So i keep quiet. I over-think everything that was said around me, make up stories and scenarios with the perfect answers, the best one liners & also the truth of what my soul really wants to say. I don’t want to cause any disrupt. I get ‘afraid’ of others reactions, or what might come out of my mouth not being as clear as what I have playing around in my mind. I often stumble when I actually get the words out, when I just can’t hold them in anymore. They come out at the most random of times, because the courage has finally come to me, and so I just need to let them out. But it’s never easy.
My stomach is often in knots for days as I build up on what I need to say, my mind gets overwhelmed by only this one thing I need to say. So, I often will just let it slide, if I don’t want to have to deal with it’s outcome. This goes for major or minor things. Big things that need discussing, as well as just the mundane ‘silly’ things.
There are only a select few who I’ve really felt comfortable with speaking confidently to. It just flowed nicely. I don’t feel ‘ashamed’ or awkward when I stumble on my words, or go on and on with too many words to something that really only needed a few to get the point across. Maybe that’s part of why I love theatre so much. I have a script to learn, a character to dive into and I can let go over worrying about what to say in situations, because it’s already perfectly written out for me.
But over this past year, or 6 months at least, I have really tried to let go of the fears and just, speak up. About the big, about the little and all the in between. A very small example; I bought a bag of clothes off of someone, without fully knowing what was inside. It was only $40 for a whole big garbage bags’ worth, and there were a couple pictures shared to show what was in the bag, and those (of course) were the nicest items. So when I got home, and discovered that I would not wear any of the clothes, I was choked. The ‘old’ me, would have just sucked it up and kept the bag, and try to re-sell the clothes or just donate them. But the ‘new’ me, was brave and wrote to say that I did not want the clothes, and I would like my money back. To you, that may seem like an ‘of course’ moment, that would be the thing to do. But for me, it was a major breakthrough to speaking up for what I needed & wanted, instead of just keeping quiet so as to not bother anyone else.
Its these little baby-steps that have been my focus, and what will get me to where I want to be; speaking up. Building my confidence, my courage, my opinions, one word & deep breath at a time.