A couple months back, I was feeling all of the feels and was so deeply in my own head, it began to affect me in ways I didn’t expect. It took some time for me to realize or understand that I was in fact very anxious about this situation and after a couple of chats with my nearest and dearest, I decided to speak up. Here in lies this week’s blog post, I wish I had known some of these things before I spoke up- so I’m sharing it. Have a read!
Speaking out your fears or bringing up a “grievance” is something that isn’t easy to do, in fact, many of us would rather swallow the feelings and simply keep it to ourselves. But the problem with that is the fact that it begins to eat away small parts of us. Sometimes it can fester and then the resentment sets in. Which is why vocalising it is important. As this has always been a safe space for me, I will share that the level of anxiety and overthinking hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn’t shut my mind off, my weekends were no longer a safe mental space for me, it was then that I realized I needed to say something, even if it was just for selfish reasons.
1- Know What You’re Going To Say
I’m a planner, so this won’t come as a surprise, but I would recommend knowing what you’re going to say ahead of time. If you need to jot it down, do so- if you need to write a speech then do so. Speaking up can cause a lot of stress and anxiety, and I don’t know for you, but for me, I go blank in moments when I need to be brave. I also know when I get nervous, I babble and go completely off on a tangent. So writing it down, helps to keep it clear, concise and direct. I would also say, to make it about how it makes you feel. Focus on yourself in the sense of what that person’s behaviour brings out in you, or how it affects you. This reduces it feeling like an attack and keeps the focus on yourself and reduces the feeling like it comes across like a complaint or nagging. You really need to know how to advocate for yourself, because at the end of the day- no one else will do it for you, in fact they will probably take full advantage of you, take it from me.
Your silence gives consent.Plato
2- Don’t be Apologetic
Don’t misunderstand me, by no means do I mean to be rude, insulting or disrespectful. What I mean is, don’t apologize or be sheepish about the subject you are bringing up. Speak clearly, in an even voice and project clearly. Be confident in your own ability and in the fact that your feelings are 100% valid. Don’t apologize for feeling that way and don’t allow others to make you feel small or reduce your feelings. Take it from me, I am not the best at vocalizing my feelings, I can write them down, but bringing them up and speaking life to them has never been something I have enjoyed and in some cases I have actively avoided it. So, I know it’s a bit of a stretch to hear it from me that you need to stand by your convictions and speak your truth, but I can’t tell you how great it felt to do so. The feeling of freedom it gave me once I had written it down and then spoke it out loud. Even if nothing came of it or if it didn’t elicit a deep change, I had done my part. I had gotten it off my chest. And change is slow, sometimes people need time to think, it needs to simmer with them for a bit. So, speak it. Say it out loud.
Sometimes the fear does not subside and you must do it afraid.Elizabeth Elliot
3- Feel The Fear
When I tell you I was stressed out, I was anxious and I spent days tossing and turning. At one point I woke up at 3 am and couldn’t go back to bed no matter what I tried, and if you know me- you know that I legit never typically have issues with sleep. If I’m being honest, a lot of the feelings sort of crept up on me. It wasn’t a singular moment where I realized the way I was feeling was creeping into everything I do. But it was slow and cumulative, until that early, early morning where I couldn’t sleep. I had been carrying around the anxiety or nervous energy for weeks. Feel the fear, worrying about it if you have to ( in moderation ), but doing it anyways- do not allow the fear to stop you. Because take it from me, you will feel 10x better when the situation is over and you’ve spoken your mind, it almost takes the air out of it, so it is no longer “living”. Whether that living is in your mind or not, there’s a release that happens once it’s off your chest. It means you care, you wouldn’t be feeling those feelings if you no longer cared, it has meaning to you, therefore it’s important to talk it out. For me, I was more worried about what would happen if I didn’t speak it out, how would I feel carrying the pressure and weight of it all? Would I bend under it or would I eventually grow resentful? It isn’t me and I couldn’t let it become that, all because of a fear.
Life is funny sometimes, it will throw curveballs at you and sometimes keep throwing them even before you’ve caught up. I wish I had the foresight to be able to look ahead and tell my overthinking mind that it will be alright and all these feelings you’re feeling, are all fears. But, the fact of the matter is, the journey and the process of trying to figure it all out, is so very much worth it. Standing firm to who you are and how you feel is the most authentic you can be, and if that person isn’t able to see you for that, then they don’t deserve you or the contributions you provide. Breathe, but do you.