Using your voice and speaking your mind

And sometimes you realise that you’ve changed. Maybe few years ago or even just last year you’d have said nothing, said it was fine and pushed how you felt aside. You may have been upset, hurt or just frustrated but you were too afraid to show it for fear of your feelings being invalidated.

But now you’re different, you’re not waiting for someone else and you’re not relying on validation. It probably feels empowering because after all this time you’re finally using your voice and speaking your mind.

For everyone else in your life, this may come as a shock because they’re so used to you hiding away and being okay with everything. The shock of others can be enough for some to revert to their old ways, especially if there is a fear of losing people. However, speaking your mind is important, you don’t need to be in a constant state of ‘good’, ‘fine’, ‘not too bad’ or ‘alright’.

Maybe you’re not alright and of course you’ll feel better later but why not honour how you feel in the moment and express it.

Say it now

If something is bothering you, don’t ignore it. Say it now.

Of course there may be times when you need to process and check in with yourself to ensure you’re not making a mountain out of a molehill but that won’t always be necessary.

Often, the reason we ignore things and don’t speak up in the moment is because we don’t want to rock the boat, we’re afraid of what the outcome will be, we’re worried about coming across as confrontational and sometimes we fear we’ll be dismissed.

It sometimes feels easier to say nothing and push the feeling aside. But then time goes by and that feeling grows and often ends up bothering you more than it did initially.

Putting things off also tends to cause anxiety and tension in your body as you’re quite literally holding onto you’re words.

And when you finally do decide to say something you’re reaction is totally out of proportion.

There’s not much use in putting it off, you might as well just say it now and get it over with.

On learning to voice your needs

I just googled not being able to voice your needs and there were about 1,220,000,000 results.

Being able to voice your needs is an important part of life. If you can’t say what you need, you probably won’t get it.

If you’ve ever been that person you might have been lucky enough to find someone that gets you. Not in any romantic sense but just someone that understands you even when you’re not able to find the words. That kind of person comes into your life through you being open and vulnerable enough to voice your needs.

It could be as simple as letting someone know that you need space, at first the person might be surprised or not take it well. But over time a good friend or someone that cares about you will understand that at certain times you need to be alone. And it won’t become an issue, they won’t try and make you feel bad or tell you that you have to have to talk now. They will listen and respect your needs.

On the flipside, people that aren’t able to voice their needs might end up falling into feeling misunderstood or uncared for and then carrying that feeling around them everywhere they go. But more often than not, that feeling isn’t true at all. It only feels true because you’re not saying what you need.

The inconvenience of a tennis ball

When something is on your mind and you choose not to say it, the result is often unideal.

Let’s think of the thing you choose to hold in as a tennis ball. If you say it, you can drop the ball but if you don’t say it, you have to carry the ball around with you.

At first, it doesn’t really bother you because a tennis ball isn’t particularly big and you can carry it in one hand with no issue.

But after a few hours, days or weeks it starts to become an inconvenience.

We sometimes kid ourselves that things don’t bother us but then a few weeks later it’s still on our mind, the tennis ball is still in your hand.

And like with the tennis ball concept, we end up telling ourselves that it doesn’t matter because it’s small or easy to carry. But if you apply this mentality, you’ll find yourself carrying several tennis balls.

The point is that you don’t have to.

When you allow yourself to hold on to lots of little things, they eventually become a great burden instead of a potentially short conversation that you can move on from.

Difficult conversations

A difficult conversation is a conversation worth having.

It’s hard speaking up when you don’t know how to say things eloquently, you’re worried about how people will react and feel like nobody will pay attention.

But that doesn’t mean you should say nothing.

Maybe it means you should take a different approach, ensure you’re talking to the right people and trust that even if you don’t get the outcome you wanted at least you tried.

Sometimes we’re so focused on the end result that if things don’t go our way, we end up thinking that it was mistake to even try.

Here’s an idea

I’ve been thinking about trying something new.

The idea of a podcast appeals to me for various reasons, one of which is that it’ll help me to use my voice more and give me a space to speak about things I don’t usually talk about.

And it reminds me about why I started blogging in the first place. Writing about things that matter to me and being able to express myself through written words is important to me but being able to do that using my voice is even better.

I don’t know what kind of podcast I’d create or if it’s something I’d want to do alone or with guests.

Right now it’s just an idea but maybe one day I’ll bring it to life.

 

If you haven’t got anything ‘good’ to say…

…say something better tomorrow.

Not everything you say will be good, perfect or profound. But that doesn’t mean you should say nothing.

So often we bite our tongue because we don’t don’t think that what we have to say is enough of whatever we think it needs to be. Next time you’re about to keep quiet, I dare you to say something.

Your voice is important. 

How will you ever get better if you’re too afraid to use it?

You might as well say it

Have you ever wanted to say something but not known how to put it into words so you ended up saying nothing.

Well I’m learning that in some cases you might as well say it because the alternative is harbouring frustration over words unspoken and that is something that never feels good.

It’s not about giving someone a piece of your mind it’s about being honest with yourself about how you feel and being okay with expressing that.

It’s okay to say ‘I know you may not have had bad intentions, but I don’t like it when you x, y, z.’

Saying that would be major for someone like me who usually takes the I ain’t gonna let nothing bother me stance whilst said thing is bothering me a whole lot.