5 Ways to Speak Up Through Fear When it Matters the Most; For Bigger Love
There’s a way to move words from your heart to your tongue and speak what your heart aches to, even if you’ve been burned a thousand times by past mistakes, failures and lessons. Your heart was made for all the sorrow and all the joy. It’s time to go for the joy and speak the words that will bring you closer to bigger love. How? With awareness, curiostiy, courage, alignment and practice.
I spent much of my younger years keeping quiet in the name of “good girl.” Not only did I feel there would be not-so-great consequences to my out loud voice, I was afraid of being wrong, stupid, inappropriate, unprofessional or just plain-old rejected, unworthy of being loved.
Certain circumstances would be more paralyzing than others. Male authority figures would keep me shaky, sweaty and timid when it came to voicing my opinions or ideas.
Later when I relied on marketing to mostly male doctors to feed my physical therapy practice I spent most of my hours in dread, forcing myself to feel those feelings and go talk to them anyway. I wasn’t a complete failure in that world, but I spent a lot of years doing things that did not bring me joy, in the name of achievement.
But when it came to speaking to my ex-husband about things that really mattered; our kids, our finances, the love between us…I had the most difficult time. Where the greatest risk was was where I failed over and over again to speak who I really was, give her permission to be herself, and use words that conveyed that to him in a way that didn’t trigger him.
I was great at defensiveness. And hiding. I’d stuff things until I couldn’t anymore, then blow. We wouldn’t talk for a while. That was fun. And slowly the love disappeared and any chance to grow it was shoved aside by resentment, regret, sadness and inevitable failure.
But in my world, failures and mistakes are stepping stones. So I kept stepping.
I stopped asking myself questions like, “What if I’d done things differently?” or “Maybe I should have tried harder.” I attempt to stay in the present moment with purpose in front of me, even when thoughts of past wounds try to wiggle their way into my brain. I see dwelling in the past as a waste of time. I ask new questions now: Did I learn anything? What will I do differently this time? What else is possible? What do I need to think, believe or do to experience bigger love this time?
Speaking my voice, myself, my mission and purpose is therapeutic. It still feels like something’s healing every time I find the courage to do it. They say when something doesn’t have an emotional charge anymore is when you’re really moving past it; really “healing” what needs to be healed.
This past weekend I spoke my poetry out loud, with a microphone, in front of my friends. And for the first time I wasn’t shaking, nervous to the point of paralyzed, or worried about saying something stupid, inappropriate or unprofessional. I waited for the feeling to come afterward…for about three days, when I realized it wasn’t coming. This felt like serious progress.
Something shifted. I’m not sure when or how. (But I have an idea and I’m going to share that now).
The practice I’ve made a discipline — this Brave Healing thing — is the how.
Here are 5 ways to move through fear and speak your voice, when it matters the most; for bigger love.
- Stay in your body. Body awareness is the foundation of courage. It’s from my body and feeling it that I can speak words that come from a place that feels true, worthy, brave and confident. As soon as I’m back in my mind, all bets are off.
- Always be curious. Move away from judgement and into curiosity and your little-girl wonder and sense of adventure will take over again. What if something else was possible here? I ask myself a lot of questions to keep me wondering instead of thinking things I think are right.
- Feel the fear fully. Fear is a feeling. When I have it before I’m about to speak, it’s usually because my body is telling me I’m about to say something that really matters. I’ve gotten used to feeling the difference between that fear and the kind warning me I need to leave. They both feel very similar. This is a skill that when you master it, can create a tool for using the feeling of fear as a compass, directing you to exactly the words and time to speak up for bigger love.
- Align with your mission. They say you big why should make you cry. When you’re purpose and mission-driven that purpose is so big it overpowers fear. If yours isn’t big enough, you’ll keep coming up with excuses. Time to go big with your mission and align with it every day so that speaking up for it becomes something you do because it’s who you are and what you stand for. Your mission is who you be everyday. When you’re aligned with it you’ll tend to do more things that scare you a little, like speaking up about love.
- Experiment. This by far, in my current relationship, has helped me the most. I’m not used to really speaking about the aware love I’m interested in. I’ve never had someone to play in that sandbox with. Now that I do I remember to just try stuff. Say stuff. Do the experiment of speaking up about something and waiting for a response. Not taking that response personally, but using it for my next question. So inside of these voice experiments, I’m using all the above steps: staying in my body, being curious about what I feel, feeling the fear there, aligning with my mission for bigger love, and then speaking as an experiment to find out what else is possible.
Here are 11 things I’ve learned from practicing these steps:
I’m not going to die (even when it feels like it) from speaking my truth.
When I’m with someone who’s awake, I feel safe.
When I’m with someone who steps in half way to meet me, it’s a relief.
Even when we disagree, everything is still okay.
There’s a bigger kind of love and I’m closer to feeling it.
With the right person, speaking up your love feels safe.
With the right person, risking everything by speaking up your love feels awesome.
With the right person, speaking up becomes a healing process.
With awareness I can say things I’m afraid to say.
With awareness I can be afraid and do and say things that align with my heart in a way that creates a bigger feeling of love.
Finding my voice is one of the biggest ways I’ve ever healed myself.
My final note to you is to go for it when it comes to your desire for a bigger, better more aware kind of love. Risk your whole heart. Let it be broken. Let the light move through the cracks and heal the wounds — and try again. Let your mistakes and failures be stepping stones. Learn from the steps. Keep stepping. Learn how to receive. Learn how to stay open to the possibility there’s a kind of love you haven’t experienced yet. Understand you’re worthy of feeling that kind of love. And believe it’s out there. Because it is. And it’s big.
Remember, your words will heal, if you’re brave enough to speak them out loud.
Laura Di Franco, MPT is the owner of Brave Healer Productions and a powerhouse who writes to Feng Shui her soul. She’s the author of Brave Healing, a Guide for Your Journey, her sixth book to help inspire your fiercely alive whole self. Join her and write words that build your business and heal the world. Schedule a call at www.BraveHealer.com