Friday, January 27, 2012

The Fear of Speaking "Truth" to Someone

I know I say this a lot, but here it is again....WHAT A WEEK!

By far, this past Wednesday was in the top two of my worst professional days ever...going back to age 13 even...busing tables was a cake walk...what was I thinking walking away from that??

I digress.

Tonight, the source of my "stress" called to discuss the events of this week (culminating Wednesday), and I had two choices.  I could let it be like any other conversation, they would ying and yang around the events, never really saying anything, I would pacify them, and/or there would be a half-a$$ apology, to be followed by an insincere "we're good...right?". 

OR

I could hear them out, and when they asked the question, "Could I have handled it better?"  I could pause, take a deep breath, and then tell them....EXACTLY how they could do better starting with specifically what they did wrong. 

The outcome could be I resign, I get fired, or a combination....with only a slim chance that they would actually hear me, digest it, and "own" it. 

Did you guess??

Yeah, I took the deep breath and then the deep plunge.  (BTW...Thanks CM (you know who you are)).  I am not sure I took a breath for ten minutes while I explained the situation in detail.  I know I didn't breathe when I heard them say, "Thank you."  Huh?? 

Yep.  They thanked me for speaking "truth" to them, and said you are the first one to do so.  Well, I do have....well, lets just say, I have been known to be gutsy. ;)

Now, in hindsight...it reads like it was no big deal, but it was...in fact...a very BIG deal.  I was fully prepared to walk based on the outcome of the conversation.  I am a big believer in the three strikes you are out, and this last one was pushing the envelope.

Let me just say, that the reason I feel an overwhelming need to share is not because I had a work conflict, but because it took bravery to stand up and tell someone I respect and adore, "You screwed up, and I don't know if I can get past it."  It took equal bravery to hear someone tell them they screwed up, and not only thank the person "for speaking truth to me"...but commit to learn from it.

The fear of speaking "truth" to people who hurt us, offend us, abuse us, or whatever it is...is a very real fear.  It is a debilitating fear when that person holds our livelihood, career, life, family, etc. in their control.  Often you hear people say, "Speak truth to power!"  Well, you and I both know that is a lot easier said than done.  Even for a...well, a gutsy person. ;) 

What I learned today, and this week, is that I am braver than I knew...I AM.  That really brings tears to my eyes.  Isn't it funny learning something about yourself...especially when you are middle age.

I am writing this post, and I just got a message from "my stress" that reads "Thank you."

Wow. 

Maybe, just maybe...if we all were just a little braver...than we believe we can be....we could really change the world. :)

Tonight...I believe we can do just that, and that ain't Pollyanna talkin'.  That is Heather Ruth.

Speak the truth, in love, to someone important to you.  Be brave.  I'm believing that you will be glad you did.


By the way, if you are the one getting spoken to...try being brave and listening...really listen to what they have to say to you.  It might change your life.

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :) 

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