I have always been a team player, but today I have a voice. My assumption was that in order to participate fully as a group, I went with the directions of the leader and didn’t ask questions or assert my dislike or discomfort for items on the agenda. I was silent. It took me a long time to realize that part of being a team player is to be able to voice my concerns or ideas even if it brings me anxiety.
I can do this with a lot of respectfulness. I can do this without bowing down to someone else’s instructions and respectfully hearing why they feel this is a good idea. I can own my truth. I have choices. Whether it is freelance work or a trip with a group, I can be me without offending anyone. I used to believe that it was fight or flight. If you didn’t agree with me then we would either bicker or I would leave. Sometimes it was both.
I also didn’t know how to communicate effectively without yelling. Actually, I thought that I was communicating effectively, but no one really listens to a screaming lunatic, so I realized that wasn’t the route to take. Then there is the backlash to myself, if I don’t speak up. Keeping quiet only lets it spill out in other areas.
The basis for not speaking up is usually fear. Fear of their reaction. Fear of not being heard and the list goes on, but I have finally embraced the thought that there is nothing to lose by being my authentic self. In fact, this morning I was able to share by email how uneasy a situation has made me and I am currently waiting for a response. The result will be whatever it will be, but I spoke up. Advocating for others is easy, but doing that act of love for myself is difficult.