Afraid to speak up. Why?

31 Mar

“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.”

Jamie Paolinetti – Actor

Just saw this quote today.  After yesterday I am realizing the extent to which I do not speak up.  It’s very limiting, especially in my quest for Freedom in my life.

What holds me back?  I ask myself……………………………….Fear.

I’m going to try an exercise.  You keep distinguishing what is present and characterize it, distinguishing it from being the truth.  (I’m not supposed to give this exercise away, so “don’t try this at home unsupervised.”)

What is present with regards to speaking up?

If I look and see what the fear even is, it feels primitive.  Danger.  There are no words.   “Body sensations”.

If people see the real me, they will tell me how wrong I am and judge and criticize.  “Thought”

No one will want to play with me.  “From the past.”

Sadness. “Emotion.”

Being all alone on the playground in kindergarten.  “Past”

Something’s wrong with me.  “Thought”

I will be alone forever.  “Thought”

Nervous.  Anxiety.  Tightness in chest.  “Body sensations.”

No one can love me.  “Thought.”

Breathing.  Nervous.  “Body sensations.”

I can see that I made that up that “something was wrong with me” when I was 2.  And that I “would be alone forever” when I was 5.  I don’t even know what I did that made me think I was so bad and unlovable.  When I was 2 I think I was crying because they went to the concert without me and they told me not to be upset but I was.  “Thoughts.”

And when I was 5 I was playing on the playground alone.  One day.  Just one day.  And look how it’s affected my freaking life.

My fear is that I am somehow bad and if people find out they will leave me (again).  It is a gripping and physical fear.  So let me really look at that.

What could happen if someone reads this blog or if I speak up to someone?  Will they really leave me in the driveway again?  I don’t think so.  Maybe they won’t want to be friend.  So what?  Then do I really want them to be, really?

Or maybe they won’t agree, or they’ll have an opinion about what I am saying or even tell me I shouldn’t say or publish these thoughts, but so what?  They are not “Responding to me”.  If this is my truth, why should I let people make me think that it is wrong?  It might just be different from theirs, but neither is wrong.

All my life I never even doubted that what others say is right and I’m wrong.  I’ve automatically made myself wrong when criticized or questioned.  It’s freaking crazy!!  I don’t think I’m stupid, as a matter of fact I have never doubted my intelligence.  So WTF?  Why would I think that other people know how I should be or what I should say better than me?

I guess we would call it a “Racket.”  It’s the confused victim.  They are right and I am wrong.  I go over onto the left side of life and lose my energy, enthusiasm, passion, and just about everything good. I become despondent and hide from the world.  (OK, I’m exaggerating a little, but it’s not good on the left side.)

Well, I guess I can give it up if I’m aware of it.  People’s comments are just triggers and I can learn new ways of responding.  Wow!  I could even play with them like I did today on the phone.

“Don’t tell me two hours before the appointment that it’s on,”  my work friend said to me “in that tone that sets  me off.

Instead of crossing over to the left and getting pissy, I just played with her.  “What if I tell you a half hour before instead?”

And, instead of us having a fight, after a minute, she started laughing.  “And you know I would probably go, right?”

And I laughed.  And that was a whole lot better then the other day when I got mad because she was “using that tone.”  And I refused to speak to her for a day.  Very mature, I know, but I was so mad I couldn’t see straight.  Not very productive either.

So, I’m looking forward to a new adventure in speaking up.   I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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