Do you ever find yourself hesitant to speak up when you have something to say?
From time to time we all do, but for some, it’s worse than for others.
This used to be a big problem for me, and it was at its worst for the first couple of years of college. At school, I had a lot of group assignments to do, and at my part-time job, we had a lot of meetings.
I always had lots of ideas and opinions, but I hardly ever spoke up about them.
Instead, I would write down my questions, comments, and opinions, and then email or text them to the group after we all went our separate ways, pretending like these were things I had thought of after everyone left..
That’s pretty bad.
Eventually, though, as I started working on myself and social confidence, things started to change – thanks to one little exercise.
I started making myself speak up just a little more whenever I was in groups of people. At first, it was simple things like saying “yes”, or “I agree”, or whatever else felt very safe and like it wouldn’t attract a lot of attention.
Then, after getting comfortable with that first step, I started asking questions that felt safe enough.
Then I started offering opinions.
Then I was promoted. When my boss quit, my boss’ boss came to me and offered me her job, noting how she had watched me start to take charge over the last several months, and how my colleagues had all started listening to me.
Suddenly I had gone from being the person who was never able to speak up in meetings, to be the person leading the meetings (and everything else, for that matter).
And it all started with small, simple steps that I took both at work, at school, and even when I was spending time with my friends.
If you’d like to become more comfortable speaking up when you’re in groups, the simplest and most efficient way to do that is to start making sounds whenever you can.
Think about what you can do. What is something that’s achievable, even if it makes you a little nervous and uncomfortable?
It might seem like a small thing right now. It might seem like there’s a huge difference in what you can do today and what you really want to do. But I promise, if you keep doing the things you can do, you’ll start to be able to do more and more things.
And suddenly one day, you’ll find yourself speaking your mind without even thinking about it.
Oh, by the way!
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