Afraid Of Conflict? How To Express Yourself More Courageously
Have you ever wished that you had more courage to speak up and express yourself clearly and eloquently? It's one of the hardest things to do.
Recently, I have had some uncomfortable but very important conversations that I needed to have. Not only did I initiate the conversations, but I also noticed that I was able to clearly express my point of view.
When I was younger, I used to be paralyzed by fear when it came to speaking up for myself. Being highly sensitive by nature, I would just try to avoid ruffling people's feathers at all. And I certainly wanted to avoid actual conflict at all costs.
So rather than expressing my true feelings about a situation, I would typically end up suppressing them with food. Not only did I gain 60 pounds of excess weight, I also held a lot of unnecessary resentment and anger towards others as well.
This week it was a real personal breakthrough to observe myself in this new way, and to see that most of my old fears around speaking up for myself have dissolved. It was a lot simpler than I could have imagined …
Below are four tips that can help you to speak up so that you can feel confident to express yourself and ask for what you want as well.
1. Take some time alone to gain clarity about what you really want.
Self-expression is important in all sorts of contexts, but especially in prickly situations. When it comes time to having a difficult conversation (that may or may not be planned), try to take some time to yourself to set things straight with yourself before actually engaging the other person.
I find that brainstorming works well for me. You can do this in a creative, fun way. For example, if you are going to speak to your boss and ask for a pay raise, know how much you want and be prepared to demonstrate why you should be awarded it. Free-associate. There are no wrong answers at this stage.
So start by taking a piece of paper and asking yourself this question: "What do I want to get from this situation?"
2. Ask yourself (and your heart!) for intuitive guidance.
To overcome feelings of discomfort, work with the wisdom that lives inside of you. Tap into your heart, your sense of self, your inner strength. Ask your heart for support and guidance. I guarantee you it will give you those things.
Your heart knows the truth of your being. Unfortunately, in our complex, ever-changing, modern world, we often end up leading from our heads and disregarding the wisdom of our hearts.
But we can choose to reverse this process. A great way to do this is by first asking your heart what it truly wants in the situation. Be open to receiving intuitive guidance, including insights that may even surprise you, especially your mind.
I find a great way to connect with my heart energy is through a simple meditation. Close your eyes and breathe. And keep a pen and paper handy so you can write down any answers and ideas that you receive should they happen to arise during your meditation session.
3. Take action without thinking too much about it.
Once your heart and mind are in alignment, now is the time to take action.
Schedule the meeting, make the phone call or do whatever it is that you need to move things forward. In the past, I typically used to stop at this step but know that nothing in your life will change unless you take courageous action at this point. When you are doing something outside of your comfort zone, know that it is normal to feel uncomfortable. This is where growth happens.
Remind yourself that any feelings of anxiety, fear or nervousness are totally natural and to be expected. Even if you feel uncomfortable, continue to affirm to yourself, "I can do this."
Be kind. Go softly on yourself, encouraging yourself to be brave and strong. Breathe deeply. Feel yourself growing with each action you take.
4. Make a commitment to feel unattached to the end result.
Stay true to what you want but stay unattached to how it may come into your life. Be clear about what you will and won't accept. When you do this you send a clear intention to the universe about what is, and what isn't acceptable in your life.
Staying unattached to the outcome will help you to reduce anxiety and will shift your life for the better. All of this is a learning process. You can learn how to confidently express yourself and your feelings. It's not some trait you either have or don't have.
Even if you feel afraid to speak your truth, know that it is possible for you to speak up and get what you want and deserve. Start with clarity and then connect with your inner courage to express yourself and your feelings.
Remember that being courageous is like building a muscle. The more that you do it, the stronger you will become and the easier it will be to express yourself and ask for what you want from life.
You can download the first chapter of my book Losing Weight is a Healing Journey for free by clicking here.