In my younger years I was not a very good communicator.
I was brought up in a generation where children were taught to be seen and not heard. Already by nature a sensitive kid, I felt things more deeply than most kids my age, and I desperately wanted to please my parents, especially my mom.
My mom did her best to love and understand me, yet her upbringing brought it’s own challenges into our relationship. Often our relationship felt conditional, leaving me in a constant scramble for her love and approval.
So I learned early on to be a good girl and do as I was told.
I kept silent for years, remaining the good daughter, good wife and good friend, as I tried to fit into what I thought a well-behaved woman should act like.
This left me feeling stifled everywhere, but I sure as hell was not going to be the one to ruffle any feathers, and risk the pain of feeling rejected.
Instead I shoved down my truth, keeping both my feelings and frustration bottled up.
It has taken me a lifetime of years, but finally I don’t feel the need to tiptoe around anyone or anything anymore. These days I hide behind nothing. And yes, I realize I push the envelope sometimes, but I believe the envelope needs to be pushed, even when it makes someone else or even myself uncomfortable.
Especially when it makes me uncomfortable!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that speaking your truth is an excuse to go out and give everyone a piece of your mind. But it is a wake up call to stop making excuses and have that uncomfortable conversation you’ve been avoiding and just speak from your heart.
And yes, you will run the risk of people not liking you or getting mad at you. But chances are those same people are the ones still living a lie; and so are you if you’re not willing to risk being real.
Learning to speak from the heart is not easy, because there’s no doubt in this world that the truth can be scary and not everyone always wants to hear it. But with practice, it will get easier and your confidence will build.
Try starting with something simple, where there seems to be less at stake. But START.
Perhaps something as easy as not nodding your head if you don’t agree — just holding still might be your first victory!
Learn to speak the truth now… and I promise you, regret will not stand a chance of becoming part of your future.