Simple Tips for Eliminating Fear of Speaking Up


Often our justifications or stories could be true or feel true, and that’s what makes them so compelling whatismyreferer. We make negative projections of the consequences that might befall us and offer justification that may be true, partially true, or not true at all. But we still need the real or true story to prop up the action or inaction we decide to undertake. This cycle of projection, justification and inaction is what keeps us from talking about what matters most.

Surface your thinking

You want to identify the projection or negative story you are telling yourself by finishing this simple sentence:

“I’m afraid to speak up because __.”
Don’t stop with just one example. Try and finish the sentence as many times as you can. The more projected outcomes you can surface, the greater the opportunity to expose the source of your fear.

Look for logic

Our brain loves evidence. Our interpretation or judgment of a certain situation should be based on real data — verifiable facts. When we go looking for hard data, it is not uncommon to find little substantiation in our thinking. We often see our assumptions or the projections we invent as the facts. Herein is the problem. If there are no supporting facts, then you know that you are making up the potential negative outcomes.

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Examine your accuracy

Recognizing that your projection is devoid of supporting evidence should help you realize that your thinking is a fabrication you have created to protect yourself. You might also ask two questions to challenge your thinking:

“Is the way I’m seeing this absolutely true?”
“What data do I have that supports my thinking?”
Remember to ask yourself these questions of your assumptions of future outcomes. Do not ask these questions of your justifications because supporting justifications are usually true. Just because the justification or supporting story is true, you don’t want to be hoodwinked into thinking that a true story also makes the projection true or accurate.

Explore what you know

This requires deliberate, conscious self-reflection about what you really know to be fact. Here are a couple of questions to help guide you:

“What do I know?”
“What do I not know?”
“What do I need to know?”

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