A few weeks ago I was pulled at work about a comment I had made at work, apparently, it wasn’t appropriate, basically, it wasn’t the right time or place to have shared my opinion. A wave of shame smothered me but being compliant, at the time I took it on the chin and apologised.
But after the meeting, it didn’t sit right and after a lifetime of feeling misunderstood or unheard, the feeling of shame hung around me and I needed more time to process it.
I find it hard sometimes in the workplace, after all, I am well known for my honesty and for the most time, it is welcomed, refreshing even, I am often praised for it. I am normally the only one brave enough in room to say what everyone else is thinking because they are too afraid to speak up. But when my opinion goes against the status quo, the party line, I am expected to stay silent.
"Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.” ― Barbara De Angelis
Whilst I recognise that life is all about compromise and everyone has the right to their own opinions, what I struggle the most with is comprising my voice, or feeling like I have to compromise my true thoughts out of fear of offending someone. Particularly those in authority, or who are on a higher grade than me.
Some people assume that me speaking my truth comes easily. That it comes from a place of confidence, self-assurance, and to be fair most of the time it does, but there are other times, when it can be scary and daunting.
After a lifetime of feeling misunderstood (mainly because I was unable to articulate how I felt because I didn’t either know or was more concerned about upsetting someone else), I now realise that the feeling of being misunderstood didn’t come from others, but came from a lack of understanding myself.
I have worked hard and I am still working hard on being happy in my own skin and being true to myself. This hasn’t and isn’t easy either, this has required me to work on reversing years of self-doubt, undoing limiting beliefs and assumptions that have held me back from being true to myself.
Asking me to be silent, is like asking me to go back to the person I was years ago, pretending to be a person I no longer recognise or relate too.
Shhhhhhhhh Don't like what I say? Then look the other way I'm sick of being mindful of what I say Just in case it is taken the wrong way I won't conform To societies norms Don't worry about me I’ll carry the slack It’s ok I've got a strong back I won't change me I won't give me away This is me
I am here to stay Finally happier in my skin I won't be silenced out of fear of not fitting in Like me or not That is your choice But I will never be silenced I will always have my voice Tracey Ford #Havingawordwimesen
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