You are in a group and the energy has become thick and uneasy.
Things have gone on between people, things have been said that are unresolved, and you do not regard yourself as the leader or authority in the room.
You know that things will continue to get worse if no one says anything.
You know it is the leader’s job to address what’s going on yet, for whatever reason, they don’t.
What do you do? Speak Up or Shut Up?
You have put yourself out of your comfort zone again because you know that is what grows you the fastest and furthest. You’re taking a risk of some sort physically, emotionally, or professionally. Then, someone in authority pushes you harder than seems necessary and you recognize they are more in service to their own agenda than in tending to yours.
Somehow, you no longer feel safe. You lose trust. You get scared or angry.
You have to push back to protect yourself, and you are ultimately successful in getting what you need in the moment.
What do you do when the dust settles?
Do you Speak Up and say to the authority what did not work for you? Or do you Shut Up and let things roll?
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These two scenarios are a sampling of the say-something-or-stay-quiet dilemma.
It may be one of the most repeated, common conundrums we face in our daily lives. When these situations repeat it is because we are drawing them to us until we figure out how to handle ourselves in an honest way.
When we get it – when we know and trust ourselves to handle things in a way that makes us strong – they will stop showing up.
The point is, Speaking Up or Shutting Up is a classic DSM paradox from the Realm of Danger.
The proposition goes like this: If you name the elephant in the room it could squash you. However, if you don’t expose the elephant in the room and instead turn away and run, it will follow you and it will come to squash you another day in another room!
This is such a big lesson for everyone to get that it ought to be taught in elementary school (its not likely it ever will!).
Remember, though, you always have a choice in any matter.
And you have to play the cards you are holding.
How you play your hand in a Speak Up or Shut Up scenario is in direct relationship to how well you know and act from your personal Essence Values.
Have you done the work to know what your personal E-Values are?
How firmly are you committed to them?
How thoroughly do you trust that choosing based upon E-Values will lead to the resolution, completion, and outcome you want?
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As mentioned, Speaking Up or Shutting Up situations keep occurring because you are learning how either option can be empowering to you.
It’s easy to think how speaking the hard truth, saying what no one else will say, or going against the grain of the majority, is a courageous act. Which it is IF (and it’s a big IF!), the speaking up is with intent to bring greater wholeness and balance to the moment.
On the other hand, when you hear someone speaking with intent to create discord, controversy or attention (listen to hate radio for 5 minutes!), you can be sure they are trying to manipulate a situation and are driven by fear.
The same is true if when someone “parrots” the words of someone else. That usually doesn’t count as Speaking Up.
You would have to question their motives and authenticity.
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y contrast, choosing to remain silent and walking away from a situation – ie; Shutting Up — can be a powerful act of courage that honors personal Essence-Values.
Think of any of the icons of non-violent protest: Gandhi, Mandela, King.
They all had moments where they Spoke Up, and they also had great moments when they knew that power came from retreat, being quiet, and not saying anything.
They knew exactly what to do by virtue of listening to the deep language their Heart and Body was telling them.
They allowed themselves to trust completely what was True. Not the True someone told them, but the Truth they had discovered for themselves.
We know from writings that they doubted their choices on occasion, and felt enormous pressure to be different.
But because they trusted – because they had faith in what they felt in their whole body and not just their heads– events proved them to be right and History judged them to be Great.
It’s not necessary to move mountains like Gandhi, Mandela or King to feel fulfilled. But when it comes to Speaking Up or Shutting Up, we can take a lesson from them and know that either act can be powerful.
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Appreciating the difference between Speaking Up and Shutting Up and making the call, is central to our new coaching programs, Unleash Your Brilliance and Get Your Game On.
Coaching with DSM will get you back in the driver’s seat whether you are hurting for money, struggling in relationships, or just trying to get out of your own way and get going on the life that lights you up.
These are important times and the stakes are high in ways seen and unseen.
Look for more information about these programs in the coming weeks.