Jennifer Van Uffelen
Say what you mean
30th November 2022
Now that the season of gatherings and celebrations has come along, I feel it's a good time to write about our conversations with the world. As you come together with colleagues, friends, family and long time no see relatives, what will you be sharing with each other?
" What you say to others, you say to yourself "
Therefore it is important to say what you mean! There's a time and place for everything and there's no need to share our deepest thoughts with everyone we greet. But I'd like to invite you to reflect on how you tend to respond to questions about yourself and your life.
Here's a few things I noticed in myself over the years : downplaying achievements because I'm feeling like an imposter or don't want to sound like a show off, avoiding talking about my passions or beliefs because I fear being judged, getting insecure when asked about my own business because I haven't got it all figured out, not speaking up with an opinion because I'm worried what people will think, not promoting my services because I don't want people to feel I'm selling to them, not being clear about my needs and wants because I don't want to upset anyone. I could keep going, but you probably get the point :)
" You are not responsible for other people's feelings "
Speaking truthfully to others is like a medicine for my mind and body to heal and find it's way to what feels truly aligned. By uncovering more and more parts of myself to the world around me, my conversations have become authentic, uplifting, inspiring, moving and heartwarming. But we owe it to our hearts and souls! Once we've taken a step or spoken out loud for the first time, the second time is so much easier and the rewards are real.
This topic came up in one of my gatherings and it seems to be a recurring theme in my work. We can start bending ourselves in different directions because other people's reactions makes us uncomfortable. And it is in the discomfort that we learn! The first time we try to set a boundary with someone, celebrate ourselves openly, share our viewpoint, ... we might mess up, feel awkward, melt a little or a lot.
This holiday season, listen to yourself when you are speaking to others and know that these words are moving through you. Rather than holding yourself accountable for the reactions you receive, become compassionate and genuine with your own intentions. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
Talking about first times ... Have a listen to my conversation with Justyna on Instagram, our first live! We felt it was important to open up the conversation about grief to honour the loved ones that are not with us this year.