By remaining silent you only hurt yourself. Speak up for what you want, what you need and what you simply will not tolerate. Value yourself enough to speak your mind.
 Use your words. 
~J.V. Manning


I told a good friend of mine today to- 
               "Use Your Big Girl Words." 

She is 43 years old. A mother, a wife, and a professional. She has more inner strength than she gives herself credit for. But what she doesn't have is her voice.  Well she has her voice- just not her inner voice that speaks up for herself. She is getting there slowly. However sometimes she needs that swift kick in the ass to remind her to use her words. Which as her friend I am more than happy to provide. Why? Because she is worth it. Because if she doesn't learn to speak up for herself; for what she wants, what she needs and to set boundaries, people will always walk all over her. She knows this. But being the gentle soul that she is she doesn't want to hurt anyone. She doesn't want to make demands, say no, or ask for anything. She is in all ways a giver. Which is awesome. However, one cannot always give and give and give. Sometimes the givers of this world need to receive. 

For many years I silenced my voice. Growing up what I thought, what I needed and my boundaries did not matter. I learned early on that keeping quiet and just following the party line in my family made life easier. Not better. Not worthwhile. Just easier. Less drama and more peace. I told my mother what she needed to hear in order to make her feel better. I did things that I had no interest in doing because that was what was expected of me. I placated and I went along with her. She was the driving force in my life. I silenced everything in order for her to be happy. I resented it. But it became my normal.

Credit: Stacey Phillips- Fresh Minds Matter.
Anyone reading this who knows me personally is going to chuckle. I am known to be outspoken, blunt and to be relied on to say things that need saying. But what they probably have never realized that until recently-my words were always for others. I never made my voice heard for me.  I used my voice for those whose voices were silent for one reason or another. But I never spoke up for myself. Never fought for myself. Until a few years ago when I realized something- If I didn't speak up for what I wanted, deserved or needed- no one was going to do it for me. I had to use my voice and make what I needed and I wanted, known. I had to speak up for my happiness, my needs and I needed to set boundaries. With everyone I cared about and wanted in my life. As well as people I dealt with out in the world. 

Using your voice for yourself is not selfish. It is not conceited nor is it bad. Using your voice for yourself gives you power over your own life. You cannot live your life for others before first living for yourself. A lot of people have trouble with this. It feels selfish. Which speaks highly of their character, it is admiral to always want to do for others. But you deserve words too. You deserve to speak your mind and communicate with the world what YOU want. Your needs however basic are important. If you keep sacrificing them for everyone else- what will you be left with?

Think about that for a second. If you never speak up for yourself-never go after what you want, never set boundaries for what is ok for you,  what are you left with? 

 The answer- nothing.  

Well nothing but resentment, lack of confidence and a strong feeling that you are not worth it. Which is as far from the truth that you can get. Why is it so hard to say what we feel? Why is it so hard to speak up for ourselves? For some we learned silence at an early age. For others it is a lack of confidence, lack of self worth. But we all need to get over this. 
You matter. Your thoughts, your dreams and your needs matter. Remind yourself of this.


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