All of my failures can be traced to my silence. Every. single. one.
Getting fired from the company that I co-founded happened because I had gone months without speaking up. Lot of money on the line. Better keep my mouth shut and give this a chance to work.
When I hurt a colleague’s feelings, which was completely avoidable, it was because I didn’t have the courage to speak to them directly. I overpaid for some things because I didn’t want to appear unreasonable, so I just stopped… negotiating. I didn’t want to demotivate people who worked for me/with me so I just… didn’t bring it up. Shit, I have a tattoo that I’d really rather not have because I didn’t talk back to the tattoo guy.
Failed to protect. Failed to love. Failed to lead. Failed to make art. Failed to speak up.
“Failing” and “succeeding” aren’t very poetic terms. In-between the labels of “failure” and “success” are all of the painful things that make us so much more beautiful.
But after you lose out (like, on a BIG DREAM) because you kept your mouth shut; or you take a piece of someone’s heart with you because you took the easy (silent) way out, then speaking up starts to seem like less of a heroic act and just way more… practical. “Practical” as in… voicing your truth becomes a life practice.
Truthing isn’t necessarily easier to do, but it brings incredible ease to your life. And the more you do it, the easier it becomes. The courage, the classy delivery, the compassionate humour, it all becomes more accessible when you’re using your voice everyday.
Your voice is a muscle. You need it to rise to the occasion of your life. That’s why it’s called speaking up.