I admit to being a little reserved at times. Blame it on nature or nurture, at this point in my life, I have to take full responsibility.
It’s often much easier for me to keep my mouth shut, than to take the risk of saying something before it is very well thought out. But this Valentine’s Day I plan to give my internal editor a bit of a vacation.
How about you?
Have you ever found yourself at a party, with something funny to contribute to the conversation, only to have it get stopped by the “consideration police” who have set up an impromptu checkpoint between your brain and tongue?
By the time you prove the worth of your joke and get waved on through by the friendly officer, the subject has changed and you’ve missed the last 5 minutes of the conversation.
How about at the office?
Have you ever sat around a conference table with your co-workers, knowing that you are expected to make a meaningful contribution, but so locked in thoughts about what to say and when to speak, the meeting ended without the benefit of your brilliance?
What are we afraid of? We might offend someone. We might sound stupid. They may not like us.
What do you tell your children when they experience similar concerns with friends? Believe me, I’m not advocating the spilling of ALL the beans. Some things are better left unsaid.
But chances are, if you are someone who errs on the side of staying quiet, you are not likely to offend people left and right if you loosen the reins a bit.
So how would it be to trust yourself more on this Valentine’s Day? The gift is to love yourself enough to speak your mind, share your intuition and maybe spill your guts.
That sounds even better than chocolate, right? O.k., it doesn’t sound better than chocolate – but a close second?
Coach Me Quick Tips for Not Holding Back:
Start with humor. The next time you think of something funny.. put it out there. The worst thing that happens is that people don’t laugh. The best thing that happens is that you begin to break down that wall of silence inside you.
Tell your good friends that you are working on minimizing the editor in your head. Let them cheer you on as you take more and more chances.
Identify someone in your workplace that always seems to know what to say. How can you model this person’s behavior?
Remember that you have value to contribute. Don’t hold back!