These are the real indicators that you're not speaking up, despite what you might be telling yourself.
"Speaking your truth is singularly the most important action you can take to cultivate confidence." So says Dr Joan Rosenberg - cutting edge psychologist and author of new book 90 Seconds to a Life You Love: How to turn difficult feelings into rock solid confidence.
According to Rosenberg, speaking your mind with ease, that is saying what you want to who, when and where you want to say it, is one of the most significant factors in developing emotional strength. And yet, so many of us still don't speak our truth, even if we believe we are.
If you're unsure, take a look at these 17 questions which Rosenberg believes will identify if you really are able to speak your mind.
The Prime 17: Signs You’re Not Speaking Your Truth
"I encourage you to really study this list so that you are familiar enough with it to recognise patterns when they arise," says Rosenberg. "Think of these as warning lights on your dashboard; when you notice one is activated, immediately assess the situation to see where the disconnect or incongruence between your feelings and your words might be. Circle the ones that relate to you."
- You feel trapped.
- You feel like you are always holding thoughts and feelings back.
- In a group conversation, you remain quiet and seemingly unnoticed.
- You’re not sure of your own opinion.
- You say, “I don’t know,” “I’m confused,” “Nothing’s wrong, I’m fine,” “I don’t care,” “It doesn’t matter,” “I’m/everything’s okay,” or “It’s up to you” a lot, which allows you to back away from your true reactions and responsibilities.
- At work, school, or in social settings, there are things you want to say, but you hold yourself back from contributing to the discussion.
- You don’t share what is important to you with anyone.
- You believe that people won’t think much of what you have to say.
- You’re concerned people will laugh at you, think you’re stupid, judge you, ridicule you, or ostracise you.
- When you speak, your heart races, your body gets warm, your palms get sweaty, and/or your face turns bright red with embarrassment.
- You hear yelling inside your head, but you do not articulate these thoughts or feelings.
- The people closest to you don’t know what you really feel, including when you’re disappointed, proud, or excited about your life experiences.
- If you’re in a relationship, you “protect” your partner and the relationship from your true feelings by not speaking up.
- You don’t ask family or friends for help.
- Even if you are clear about what you think, feel, need, or want, you ask questions instead of making statements.
- You’re disconnected from your feelings and therefore unable to express them.
- When people tell you what a great, cool, neat, sweet, special, (fill in the blank) person you are, you say to yourself immediately afterward, “Yes, but if you only knew the real me, you wouldn’t say that.”
Sounding familiar? If you're having a dawning realisation that you are in fact, not speaking your truth, fear not - there are steps you can take to train and will yourself to do so. Rosenberg calls this 'turning up the volume' on your thoughts.
Turning Up the Volume of Your Thoughts
- Be aware of what you are thinking yet are reluctant to share.
- Imagine that your thoughts are songs.
- Without speaking, it’s as if you have earbuds plugged in; only you can hear the songs.
- To share the “song” of your thoughts, put it on speaker, turn up the volume, and share the “music” (your thoughts) with others.
A little practise will make perfect and help you to truly speak your mind and in turn lead to a more resilient and emotionally confident you.
"Here's the point," reminds Rosenberg, "If it's important to you, it will be important to others. You have no idea what will touch and impact other people until you open up."
90 Seconds to a Life You Love by Dr Joan Rosenberg is published by Yellow Kite