Remember to take things slowly at first. I believe that taking smaller steps is more sustainable than taking a big leap when we are not ready. Yes, being ready begins with making a decision, but from there, it is accepting that it is a process rather than becoming frustrated with oneself. It’s committing to the process for however long it takes for us.
It may feel intimidating, and I completely understand. That feeling you get when you know you’re about to step outside of your comfort zone, and you can just feel your heart racing, and then when you try to get your words out, we feel like we’re mumbling and fumbling, and we walk away questioning how well we were received/what others perceptions were) is not a pleasant one.
That is why it is critical to focus on what went well afterward as well as simply giving ourselves a thumbs up for doing what scares us. Even if we wholeheartedly believe that “well, this could have gone better,” rather than viewing it as a source of criticism, consider it as something to remember for the next time.
If you’re afraid to be seen, if you’re afraid to be heard, then give these a try.
- When you feel your nerves rising, take deep breaths (practising treating techniques on a daily basis can help us in moments when we can’t control our breathing and have a racing heart).
- Attempt to walk slowly.
- If you believe people will challenge you for using your voice, prepare assertive statements ahead of time.
- Take it one conversation at a time; if you use your voice only once in each interaction, you’ll find that it becomes a habit you enjoy over time.
- If you try to sound perfect, you’ll never put yourself out there.
- Begin by practising in environments where you feel more at ease, and then progress to more difficult environments.
- After that, instead of ruminating on “what you could have done better,” practise self-compassion and congratulate yourself on doing something that scares you.
What has your experience been when you have attempted to be seen or heard? Is it usually a pleasant or difficult experience? Let us help one another.