When you think of women speaking up, what perceptions come to mind?
Do you think:
- They’re brave, confident, know who they are, they’re go getters, assertive, determined, honest, forthright, powerful and strong. They have incredible boundaries, they make loving choices for themselves and are taking responsibility for their own life.
- Or, do you see ‘those’ kinds of women as bossy, opinionated, unkind, aggressive, trouble makers, too much, demanding, difficult, unfeminine, unattractive, and ball-breakers? Perhaps you think they’re too rigid, selfish, self centred and have no compassion or empathy for others.
All of us will have perceptions about women who chose to speak up and it will be influenced by a number of different factors. How we feel on the day, who’s speaking up and why, how we feel about speaking up and putting ourselves first, old conditioning, fear and of course past trauma.
With perceptions that fall into the second category, is it any wonder that so many women choose not to speak up. We don’t want to be labelled, criticised or made to feel bad about ourselves, so instead we choose silence, conformity and people pleasing. It’s easier and safer, because we just want to fit in and belong.
I have to say… I admire those women who speak up and are honest, because they are choosing radical self-care. It’s something I’m still learning to do more of, being a recovering people pleaser and all!. As long as speaking up is done in a respectful and kind way, and it’s appropriate, then we should all be free to express our truth.
We shouldn’t have to stay silent, conform or accept bad behaviour because of fear, or to put someone else’s happiness before our own. We shouldn’t have to worry about the wrath of other people; but that old conditioning, fear and trauma can make us feel physically unsafe when it comes to voicing our truth and doing what’s right for us.
So what are your thoughts around women who speak up?
Do you celebrate their honesty, or do you find yourself slipping into negative judgements too? Maybe you love their confidence, but you still find yourself choosing not to speak up.
I want you to know that you’re not alone with this, so please don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’re ready to express your truth and you would like some support with your confidence and understanding why it’s been so hard for you and you’re ready to give more focus to your own inner healing and self-care, then just know my support is available to you and that you’re not alone. It’s time we support women speaking up and we give them the space they deserve.
Until next time!
Helping sensitive souls to embody self-care, self-acceptance and self-belief
The following are some of the most common questions I get asked about speaking up and expressing your truth. If you have a question of your own, you’re welcome to drop me an email.
Why judge women for speaking up?
There are so many reasons that women are judged for speaking up. For some it can be a cultural expectation, for others they simply grew up in families or communities where it wasn’t normal for girls and women to have a voice. Some people experience intense emotions when they see others speaking up. It can remind them that they are not willing to share their truth, or stand up for themselves, or what’s right. If you find yourself judging another, I would invite you to be curious… ask yourself why it bothers you so much. Also ask yourself ‘where am I not speaking up’.
Does fear of judgement silence women?
Without a doubt. If you feared your physical and emotional safety, then it’s very unlikely that you would choose to speak up. What I find so sad at times, is the extent of judgement that comes from other women. We should be supporting and encouraging one another to speak up and make a difference in the world, but so often fear and unresolved wounds lead. It takes someone with a very thick skin, a very sure calling in this world, or someone who has done a lot of inner healing to speak up regardless of the consequences! It’s taken me far longer than I care to admit to get to this point and I still have wobbles.
How to support women speaking up?
It would be incredible to live in a world where every voice mattered; regardless of gender, colour and age. The best way we can support women in speaking up, is starting with those women around us. From the small girls in our families and communities, to our chosen friends and partners, right up to our elders. Let these women know that you are interested in what they have to say, their opinions, their feelings, their hopes and dreams. Give them a space to express, without a fear of being interrupted or made to feel wrong….. just listen and seek to understand.