I Didn’t Speak Up! Me!! Can You Even Believe It?
(Originally published July 31, 2019)
A couple years ago I had an electrician come out to fix the power to my deck. He was lovely. Spent several hours crawling military style under the deck, following the electrical line and changing the outlets.
I popped my head out to check on him and saw he had installed a large and incredibly unsightly motion sensor light. I asked him, nicely, I swear, what he was doing? He said he installed the light so I would feel safe and it was at no cost to me. Well, wasn’t that kind…was it?
I looked at it more closely and he actually hacked at both a built-in bench and the floor of my deck. There was a large cylinder that was crooked and aesthetically it looked extremely unappealing!
It doesn’t look as bad since staining the deck gray!
He saw the look on my face and immediately said he would remove it. Well, that would leave a hole in the bench which he poorly puttied. Then I looked at his face. I could tell he was disappointed in my reaction. He was simply doing something nice. I stood on the deck frozen, having a conflictual conversation in my head that felt like a political debate.
Nice Lesley: “It’s not that bad. He was so sweet to install it. Maybe it will keep the animals away.”
Not so nice Lesley: “What the hell? I did not ask for this. It looks terrible. Why wouldn’t he ask me first? I want it down.”
Nice Lesley: “Look at his face. He was so happy to show it to me. I don’t want to hurt his feelings.”
Not so nice Lesley: “I do not have to take on his feelings. Seriously, what was he thinking? He can’t think this looks good and I never said I didn’t feel safe and needed a million-watt light that’s going to wake my neighbors!”
This went on for what felt like an hour, although only a minute. I ended up thanking him for being so thoughtful and off he went. Then came the rumination…
I can’t believe I didn’t just tell him to take it down and fix my deck!
I can’t believe how terrible this looks!
I can’t believe how bright it is!
Why the heck didn’t I just nicely tell him to take it down?
Every time I’m out here at night, it blinds me, I hate it!
With all the anger, (and to be clear, the anger was towards myself, not him) it really just came down to, Why didn’t I speak up and tell him thanks but no thanks?
I am a firm believer that we can’t make anyone feel anything. I teach this concept and I live this concept…most of the time. Now, I am not saying to be intentionally cruel or malicious to each other. Yet, for some reason, many of us don’t speak up out of fear. Fear of hurting someone else’s feelings. Fear of others judging us. Fear of not knowing the outcome if we were to speak up.
Think about it.
When was the last time you didn’t tell your significant other/friend/family member you wanted or didn’t want to do something for fear of hurting their feelings?
When was the last time you didn’t share your thoughts or ideas in a meeting for fear of being judged?
When was the last time you didn’t ask for what you wanted or needed in the moment?
It’s all too common that we don’t speak up, or as some like to call it, speak our truth. I don’t blame the electrician for me feeling guilty. That was all me. ALL ME! Your boss or team isn’t making you feel not smart enough in some way…that’s ALL YOU.
Where are you not speaking up and why?
Here are 6 questions to begin to gain a little clarity. In the moment you aren’t speaking up, or the moments after, ask yourself:
1) What am I actually most worried about when I want to speak up? I thought the electrician would think I wasn’t grateful and hurt his feeling.
2) What am I actually feeling when thinking about speaking up? I was feeling guilt, worry, and fear.
3) What narrative am I writing in my head about what is happening? I was writing the story that the electrician would be hurt and in turn believe I was an ungrateful b!$@#.
4) What do I actually want in this moment? I wanted to stand in my power, kindly, thank him, and ask him to remove the light.
5) What am I learning about myself by NOT speaking up?
I learned that I was tolerating situations in my life that were dis-empowering and zapping my energy because the choice was based in fear.
6) What’s the opportunity for growth if I DO speak up?
The opportunity is to see that I can have a voice and not always be worried about the ‘what-if’s.’ What if he believes I’m rude or ungrateful? What if I hurt his feelings? What if someone doesn’t agree with my idea in the meeting? What if someone judges me? What if I fail?
We spend so much energy on the ‘what-if’s.’ The ‘what-if’s’ are all in the future. Then we ruminate on the moment wondering why we didn’t speak up. Now all that energy is in the past. The more energy we put in the past and future, the less energy we have in this present moment. No wonder we’re tired! No wonder we don’t have the energy to do all things we really want to do!
BTW the Nice Lesley & Not So Nice Lesley are judgments. We often equate speaking up with not being kind to someone else. This could not be further from the truth!
Stand in your power, confidently. Speak your truth. And tell me how it goes!!
For those of you ready to take this to the next level, to fully step into your power, use your voice, and create a life of purpose and passion, then this all-inclusive, intimate, immersive weekend retreat is for you!
Even your special dietary requirements will be met!
You working gals out there…consider this professional development. The more you stand confidently in your power, the more efficiently and effectively you lead.
Ladies, (Sorry fellas, your retreat is coming soon! Support the women in your life to take time for themselves!)
If you’re tired of putting others’ wants and needs first all the time; If you’re tired of not speaking out your brilliance; If you’re tired of not having clarity of what you want out life, work, and/or relationships; If you’re feeling disengaged at work; If you’re feeling disconnected to yourself or others; If you’re wanting to release guilt, doubt and worry and all the ‘what-if’s’; If you want to step into your confidence and find your voice; If you’re ready for a reset…
Join me, Addie Smits and Barb Heenan for a women’s retreat
Reset and Renew – The Light Within You
October 4-6, Wingspread Retreat Center, Racine, WI
It’s time Ladies!
It’s time to use your voice!
It’s time to make yourself a priority!
It’s time to fully step into your power!
It’s time to shine your light!
It’s time to create a life you want and love!
Make a commitment to yourself for yourself!
Plus, enjoy the $400 savings with our Holy Cow, It’s July Already discount! Cause who doesn’t love a good savings!
Space is limited so book today.
And just for being your awesome self, The ‘Holy Cow It’s July Already’ Discount will be accepted through Friday, August 2!!
Click on the link for all the info and to register.
We are so excited to see you! The REAL and WHOLE you! Now get out there and enjoy the end of summer!
Lesley Picchietti, PCC, CPC, ELI-MP
© Inspire Bliss Coaching and Consulting 2019
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