At times, we find ourselves speaking when listening is more appropriate. Conversely, there are moments when we remain silent, though our voice is needed.
Frequently, the reluctance to speak out stems from a fear of being overlooked or misunderstood. However, it’s important to remember that by not voicing your thoughts, you ensure they won’t be heard.
Advocate your interest
For those who find it challenging to assert themselves, don’t lose heart. It’s possible to learn and grow more at ease with expressing yourself. Below, you’ll find some effective methods to help you build confidence in speaking up.
Understand That You Are Not Alone
Crucial Learning is a company that offers performance, leadership, and communication courses. A study they conducted in 2021 showed that 9 out of 10 people they polled were often afraid to speak their minds.
You aren’t the only person who struggles to speak up for yourself. This is a common situation for many. Understanding that many people have this issue might make it easier for you to find the courage to speak when needed.
Ask Yourself One Simple Question
Ask yourself, “What will happen if I don’t speak my mind?” You may have some valuable input that could help yourself or others. You might need to stand up for someone who cannot do it themselves. You may need to point out the obvious. You might need to set some boundaries to improve your own mental and physical wellbeing.
Whatever the reason, what happens if you don’t speak up? Answering this question makes it easier to offer your opinion or stand up for yourself.
Find a Place Where You Feel Comfortable
It’s easier to let your opinion be heard in a place where you feel comfortable and safe. An environment where you feel confident, comfortable, and stress-free is the perfect place to speak your mind. Practice speaking up where you are most comfortable, and it will become easier to do it in other environments.
They say that practice makes perfect. When it comes to speaking up for yourself, perfection isn’t needed. You need to feel confident and capable. Practice what you want to say before you have to say it. Using a mirror, speak aloud in a calm, clear manner, using eye contact. The more you practice, the better the chance of having a positive experience.
Get Someone to Set the Stage for You
Talk to a friend or someone you respect. Tell them your situation. Explain what you want to say and your nervousness about speaking up. Ask if they set the conversational stage for you so you can slide in with your comments.
Have them talk about something that makes what you want to say relevant. This makes it easier for you to speak up and produces a positive environment where others are more likely to listen to what you have to say.
Ask People What They Think
People love to give their opinions. Empower them to do that. Consider what you want to say. Then, ask your audience questions that are relevant to that topic. This prepares your audience for what you want to talk about and makes you more comfortable. In this case, you are setting the stage by opening the topic without the focus first being on you.
Be Selective When Speaking
If a conversation doesn’t truly need your input, be quiet. Choose the appropriate time to speak up rather than constantly talking just to be part of the group. Consider what you are going to say before you say it.
When you only speak when necessary and what you say has value, people will respect you for it. That receptiveness can give you the courage to speak up for yourself when needed.
Just Get It Out
It’s tough to speak up if you continue to imagine negative possible scenarios. Rather than rehashing the “what ifs”, just spit it out. Stop thinking about it and say what you need to say. Often, you’ll find that all the worry was for nothing. Worse case, you learn from the experience, so you do better next time.
You Are Your Best Advocate
Your life may be filled with people who make you feel comfortable, appreciated, and safe. No matter how much they love you, you are still your best advocate. It is your responsibility to stand up for yourself. Only you can do that and make your words heard. Tell yourself in these situations that there is no one better to speak your mind than you.
Fast Action Steps 🏃♀️
- Practice what you want to say. Do it as often as necessary until you feel comfortable speaking up when needed.
- Stop dwelling on “what ifs”. Instead, imagine a wonderfully positive outcome. Visualize success. See yourself as a confident speaker who has your audience hanging on your every word.
- Ask yourself, “What will happen if I don’t speak my mind?” What will the outcome be if everyone is too scared to or simply doesn’t speak up? The answer can boost your courage and self-confidence. It makes you realize you are your best advocate.
Further Readings 📚
- The Unlocked Leader: Dare to Free Your Own Voice, Lead with Empathy, and Shine Your Light in the World
- Unmute Yourself: Speak Up to Stand Out : https://amzn.to/494dAJP
- Speak Up: A Young Adult’s Guide to Engage in Difficult Conversation, Address Conflict, and Earn Respect : https://amzn.to/3vETojg
- The Art of Everyday Assertiveness: Speak Up. Say No. Set Boundaries. Take Back Control. : https://amzn.to/47FuA84
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I’m Janice Dugas, online marketing strategist and entrepreneur helping local businesses and entrepreneurs refine their message, reach a larger audience and grow their revenue by maintaining consistency and dedication to enhance online visibility. Claim your copy of Boost Your Digital Presence: 11 Steps To Increase Your Online Visibility . These steps will help you build a trustworthy reputation!