Do you think of the perfect comeback 2 days too late? Do you ever find yourself thinking, “Why didn’t I say that when I had the chance?” We all have times where we regret what we said or didn’t say.
Good morning to the best people on earth! Today we will be talking about taking risks in your communication and saying the things that need to be said in your most significant relationships.
I teach public speaking at Northwest University, and seriously, if they stopped paying me, I think I’d still teach this class. I have a ridiculous amount of fun with my students. Most students do NOT look forward to this class in the beginning, but it quickly becomes one of their favorites- partly because their fear of looking foolish in class disappears, and partly because they begin bonding with their peers. I do my best to create an environment where failure and success often come in the same breath, where risk-taking gets the highest score, not perfection, and pushing yourself beyond your limits is just part of the deal.
Each student is encouraged to push themselves until they feel uncomfortable. Each student is required to take a risk with their topics, their delivery, and their style. I want them to know what if feels like to be scared, and then to work through it. I want them to lose their place and have to get creative. I want them to tell a joke that doesn’t fly and learn how to recover.
After all, if you can’t experiment with yourself here, where can you do it?
Same applies to our relationships.
I wonder if we could all create that same kind of environment inside of ourselves. One where it is safe to mess up, safe to try new things even if they don’t work, and safe to experiment. Especially when it comes to communication. I wonder if we gave ourselves permission to say what we needed to say, to push ourselves to be uncomfortable, to take a risk in a relationship and to speak up- I wonder what growth would happen.
You should see my college students after the semester is over. They are truly different speakers- brave, confident, self-secure and skilled- not to mention life long friends with their class mates.
What about you? If you created a loving and safe place inside yourself to truly be yourself, what would your true self say? Who would she say it to?
Often times, fear of rejection, abandonment or humiliation keep us from speaking up. We can’t stop these things from happening around uss- but we can stop them from happening INside us. Promise yourself, that you will not abandon or shame yourself. Make your internal world a safe place to take risks, speak up, and stand up.
For the quiet/passive type: what you have to say is important, even if you’re afraid of rocking the boat. Without your full participation in the world, the world lacks what it needs. Your relationships are counting on you showing up.
For the over-functioner/controlling type: don’t speak up. Try breathing deep and letting go. Do the opposite of what you usually do and see how responsibility shifts to the appropriate person. Learn the skill of EDITING yourself down. Say less, and make what you say more powerful.
Saying (only) What You Need to Say is not only risky, scary and hard- it is liberating. The secret to powerful communication is standing firm in who you are, reaching up to the One who made you, and out to the people you love.