What Keeps You From “Speaking Up?”

Shortly after relaunching my website a new opportunity arose and I accepted the position of Executive Director for the South Shore Women’s Business Network. The new role keeps me busy.

As a result, I haven’t had time to blog. I even thought about giving up blogging.

But then each night when I rest my head on my pillow I think, “Oh, that (insert conversation, idea, experience) would have made a great blog post.”

I use the excuse “too busy” to keep me from “speaking up”. (When I talk about speaking up I mean via written or spoken word.)

Even with a new job I have plenty of time to write early morning, evening and weekends.

What keeps me from speaking up?

The short answer: FEAR

  • Fear of criticism (have you seen the comments people leave on blogs and social media? It’s enough to silence anyone!)
  • Fear of not providing what my audience wants (because in my early blogging days I heard this piece of feedback)
  • Fear of what people will think when I share my thoughts

I talk to a lot of people – friends, clients and workshop participants – about what keeps them from speaking up. Responses include:

  • Negative body image and not liking what they see when they look in the mirror.
  • Memory of a past experience “speaking up” that didn’t go well
  • Fear of vulnerability
  • Childhood bullying or other criticism
  • Lack of experience speaking or writing

I can relate to these, can you?

Silence makes me angry

When I don’t speak up I feel my stomach and chest tighten, my breathing becomes restricted, my jaw clenches. I do not enjoy that feeling of tension.

A fellow writer once said, “Silence is like a metaphor for anger.” And when I think about my own anger and fear, speaking up (or rather not speaking up and especially being heard) is often at the root.

Which is why I will not give up blogging. I love writing! I’ll continue to write here under the theme “make a bigger difference.” I’ll share insights and resources from my life and experiences. And I’m very clear about my audience. When you are clear about your audience – as a writer or in business – the criticism hurts less. Most likely those folks aren’t your ideal audience. To learn more about this blog and audience click here.

I’ve got a few other writing projects in the works and will announce them soon.

Use Your Voice to Make a Difference

Media personality and mystery author Hank Phillippi Ryan recently addressed the South Shore Women’s Business Network. During her talk she suggested that we all live with a song or story. It’s never too late to turn a dream into reality she told us. It’s never too late to share your song or story.

When we do share we provide hope, healing and inspiration to others.

I believe we all have a story to tell. And when we share our stories with truth and respect, we can make a bigger difference.

I look forward to sharing insights, stories and strategies and engaging in conversation with others who want to use their voice to make a difference.

Will you join me? How will you use your voice to make a difference?

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About Stacey:

Hi and welcome to the Brave Communicator blog where I write about communication as the path to well-being, trust, and influence.

I share insights, observations and interviews with brave communicators. I invite you to take a look around and bravely join the conversation. Learn more
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