Saying What Needs To Be Said

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been aware that I’ve swept a couple of things under the rug — one in hopes that it would just work itself out and another because I’ve been so busy delivering on a project that I haven’t addressed the fact that I’ve been doing work for a client that lies outside the bounds of our contract. The “noise” from these two circumstances is getting louder.

My mentor and friend, Jack Canfield, wrote the book, The Success Principles: How to Get to from Where You are to Where You Want to Be.” Success Principle #50 is “Tell the Truth Faster.”

It’s uncomfortable to step up and speak up — and today in meditation I realized I must. In the first situation, I have to tell a friend how deeply hurt I am by a comment that was made weeks ago. I’ve tried to ignore it, deflect it, and pray it away. I was hoping I could just forget this one moment until I realized that one moment has been amplified by a couple of other actions. I know that initially, there might be discomfort between us — maybe even more distance. But in order to honor me, I have decided to address the situation — not in person because that’s impossible right now, but by writing a letter. Writing allows me to choose just the right words, sit on the initial draft, and then make revisions as needed.

In the client situation, I merely need to draw on the facts of a contract. The emotion I feel is that he may choose not to work with me on the extra tasks, and I might have put in a few hours that go unpaid. I’d learn a lot from that situation! But, we work well together and there is very little reason for me to fear that he won’t continue to work with me on phase two of the project. In part, we already started.

Jack says, “One of the most valuable practices and yet the hardest to do for most people is telling the truth when it is uncomfortable. Most of us are worried about hurting other people’s feelings that we don’t share ‘our’ true feelings. We end up hurting ourselves instead.”

When we leave things unsaid, resentment builds and that is a poison to our health and well-being.

The key in both of these situations I’m facing is that I must do my part and say what needs to be said and then let go. Attachment to an outcome will only create more uneasiness. While I hope that in the first place, the friendship is strengthened and the second the contract is modified, the importance lies in me taking action in supporting and honoring myself.

Places of Pondering

Write about a situation where you might need to speak up. How does it feel to acknowledge the hurt, resentment, or anger that has arisen from a particular situation? What might you do about it? When and how might you take action? How might you let go?

If you already comfortable speaking up for yourself, write about a situation where you have and describe how it felt and what you learned in the process.

An award-winning author, leadership and empowerment expert, and university professor, Kathy Sparrow is the CEO and Publisher of A Writable Life Publishing.

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