In this day in age, trying to voice your opinions, muster enough confidence and courage to speak, or expressing yourself can be nerve-wracking with the subconscious thought of am I overthinking? Am I doing too much? lingering in the back of your mind. The hardest tasks are easier said than done. Despite the seemingly effortless solution which is to avoid the circumstance altogether, what good is it to bottle up your valued thoughts? You will more than likely not feel relieved and still yearn to release what is eating you up inside. Let this be a sign to first, acknowledge that however you feel is valid regardless of the situation and secondly, being able to properly communicate is an essential part of self-growth which will definitely leave you feeling confident in handling any issue life can bring.
Communication is more than trying to tell someone “how you feel” in hopes that the problem will dissolve. It is about knowing how to deliver your message effectively and having confidence as a foundation. At some point, we’ve all been in the semi-stressful situation of wanting to say something but just couldn’t in subtle fear of what the other person will say or how they’ll act. I am guilty of doing this too and in fact, I was this way from elementary school to my sophomore year of high school. I did not realize how this would affect my ability to communicate with others until I was faced with rude customers at a part-time job that pried the confidence out of me. Why does this matter? You may ask, well, recognizing the fact that me lacking confidence affects the way I communicate with others is the beginning step to becoming a woman that is confident in herself as well as in her voice.
After recognizing that you may lack confidence when confronted with a misunderstanding or disagreement, now it is time to understand why you do it. Why do you not speak up when you feel as if you’re being ignored? Why do you put yourself in the shadows and allow others to speak over you? Well, if your answer is “I don’t know” then you already have started in the right direction. If you don’t know then there isn’t any reason or excuse not to. Coward-ing away into silence is just as bad as potentially offending the other person with your own valid, rightful opinion and feelings. If your answer is to avoid potential confrontation and not piss them off, then allow me to ask you this question: did they spare yours that concluded in making you feel ignored, unaccepted, etc.? The answer is obvious, however, I am not encouraging to disregard their personal view of the situation. Not everyone is going to see eye to eye so there is no harm in taking the risk of voicing your thoughts, it is better safe than sorry.
Now that you’ve recognized the underlying cause of lacking in the communication sector, now let’s talk about improving the deliverance of your message with the cushion of confidence to support you while doing so. It is important to make sure that you try and do the following:
Maintain eye contact when you’re talking, listening, and giving feedback
If you’re sitting or standing, have your shoulders relaxed and upright, not slouching
Be clear and clarify any space for misunderstanding, detailed, and loud; not loud to the point you are yelling over them but loud that the person has no choice but to acknowledge yo
Most importantly, take the spotlight when you are speaking, lay everything on the table; this is your opportunity to relieve yourself of the never-ending “I wish I would’ve said that” regret talk
Try these methods and watch how your communication and confidence improves beautifully. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing physically and mentally that your self-growth journey is blossoming. Just remember, everything you say and feel should be heard and accepted, no ifs, ands, or buts!