I am on a roll with the whole ‘fear’ thing…maybe it’s close to my heart but it’s also indicative of what is going on right now. Massive fear induced by an out-of-control media machine.
So, are you fearless? I think this is a question we probably ask ourselves on many occasions over the last year or so. I have often thought that I have spent most of my life being in ‘fear’, not a great feeling because fear breaks down your immune system and does not help you have the easiest of lives.
My fear has often come from not believing in myself and not feeling confident enough to speak my truth and accept the consequences and the responses, whatever they are. That has led to vocal nodules which have caused damage to my voice, if I ever get stressed, they make themselves known. As you know, I am a big fan of Louise Hay and I believe every ‘symptom’ is linked to an emotion.
As a child I never felt I could speak out and up for myself and as a wife, my thoughts were left unspoken and often unheard. I kept them inside, smouldering away instead, never a good thing as it will show up in your life at a later date.
Strangely however, there have been many times in my life when I have shown strength and those times are the times you need to cling to, if you are struggling right now. We all have bravery inside of us, sometimes, it gets smothered by self-doubt.
But as I was reflecting on this subject matter today, I suddenly realised that there have been moments in my life when I have not been a people pleaser and have truly stood up for what I believe and, indeed, have gone against the ‘grain’ and been prepared to stand out for what I believe.
My defining moment was at the age of 27. I had found myself working for a Narcissist (NPD personality disorder. The word is bandied around but I use it properly and appropriately. The lady I worked for was very challenging.
I was sworn at on a daily basis and told I was incompetent. I took those words to heart and struggled for 18 months; however, I never left the firm as I was determined to leave with unblemished record and not succumb to the bullying which had led other employees to lose their jobs or resign and struggle with their mental health because of the torturous environment.
One day we were sent to a hotel in London for an ‘away day/personal development day.’ One of the tasks we were given was to ‘critique’ each other and then report back to each person, to their face, what we thought of them. We were to be honest and constructive.
I had no struggle speaking my truth about most of the staff, we were all bullied, and we stuck together like glue, but how was I going to speak about my boss? Lie……pretend she was wonderful and be a total people pleaser OR speak my truth. I decided to opt for the latter. All 27 years of me, wet behind the years, newly arrived from Cornwall into the cauldron of London. With a trembling voice, I told her she was a bully and that we were all terrified of her, I looked around the room for support, I had none. Everyone had their eyes down and looked horrified at the words I spoke. I said she was cruel and that we were a loyal bunch only wanting to do a good job. My bosses’ eyes filled with tears and she stood up and left the room. The other stuff turned on me “What had I done that for”, they asked? I turned to them and said that they should be ashamed of themselves, that all I had done was speak the truth, we were required on this course to tell the truth and not hold back. So, I did what my soul told me too, stand up for myself but for all the other people whose lives she had ruined. I was more concerned at them, people losing their livelihoods and their minds, at the sake of someone else’s ego. Apparently, she worked on reverse psychology, rip your staff apart and then raise them back up again in the image of what you want from your team.
I never got the sack. My boss changed overnight and showed me the biggest amount of respect. The day I resigned of my own accord, she held a leaving party for me and wrote the sweetest note. As I hugged her goodbye she cried.
The moral of this tale is this
- Always stand your ground
- Always be true to yourself
- Always speak your truth (whether others like it or not)
- Be prepared for any response you may get (good or bad)
And in the case of this story, being a people pleaser does not always win you favours. By speaking my mind, I found respect from the least likely person.
What moments do you recall in your life where you have showed no fear? If you feel kind of scared right now, remember those times and embrace them, they are the essence of who you truly are.