Speaking Up – Take It One Step Further

Posted by on Sep 25, 2013 in Playing BIG, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Speaking Up – Take It One Step Further

Over the Labor Day weekend, I went to a concert featuring Sara Bareilles at the St. Michelle Winery in the Seattle area. I am a new fan of Sara – mostly because of her song called “Brave”. By the time Sara came on, we had spent a couple of hours picnicking and drinking a glass (or two) of wine.  I stood with everyone one else in that sellout crowd, lifted my arms and sang “Brave” with all of my heart….

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

Everybody’s been there,
Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy
Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing,
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your BRAVE is

Have you ever really wanted to be brave and “let the words fall out? “  Yet… somehow the moment passes.  In a meeting or with your significant other or with your boss, your parents, your siblings – well, just about anyone – even the hip restaurant host that sits you in the dark, back corner next to the kitchen.

Often the things you want to say are not very important in the big picture – like “this is a really important evening for us.  What alternatives do I have to this table?” Sometimes, the things you need to say are really, important – to your relationship, to your company, to your family but most important – to you.  Not saying what’s on your mind can have a big impact on your life – like “I really don’t like working with numbers” when making a career choice in accounting.

If you are anything like I am, the next set of thoughts we have go something like this – “darn, why didn’t I speak up, what is wrong with me!” or “wow, I didn’t tell him/her, I guess I will have to try again tomorrow”.  You know the old saying… tomorrow is always a day away.  The opportunity to contribute is either lost or what you didn’t say becomes such a big issue that you HAVE to deal with it.

So why do we struggle to let the “words fall out? “ The answer to this question is as varied as there are people in this world – however the root of the issue usually lies with fear and safety.  In a new coaching class I attended today, Coach Dave (Institute for Coaching Mastery, CoachVille) said, “we are all born with the desire to play big in the world but we are also born with the desire to play it safe”.  Moving beyond our safe place or comfort zone is a choice we all have to make when we want change how we approach life in general but especially when we want to speak up more. So how do we begin move beyond our comfort zone when it comes to “letting the words fall out?”

  • Start small – ask that host to move you to a new table – go on ask!
  • Prepare for a conversation or meeting – write down the important things you want to say, if possible, keep the list short. Having too many things to say can make saying them overwhelming.  Take the note with you to the meeting/conversation.
  • Practice what you want to say – practice with a friend or in front of the mirror or on your drive to work – just practice.
  • Hire a coach – when you need some extra support to move forward.  A life coach creates a safe and judgment free space in which you feel both supported and challenged to grow.

If you begin to make small changes, you will begin to expand your comfort zone.  Then before you realize it you be speaking up more often. Reach forward and take the first step – be BRAVE!  Oh here, I will let Sara say it in song!  Enjoy!

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