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Silence May Not Be Golden

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”- Martin Luther King

Are you silent about things that are important and matter to you? Many times when we’ve been morbidly obese, we learned to keep quiet. Our opinions didn’t matter or we were taught early on to keep quiet to preserve the status quo. We learned to keep silent, we stuffed down what we wanted to say by emotionally eating.

A major source of stress is caused by unspoken feelings, not getting what we want, and not asking for what we want. This stress can cause headaches, insomnia, emotional eating, avoidance, and depression just to name a few. I have experienced all of the tell tale signs at one time or another in my life.  I learned not to make waves, challenge the external appearance of the “perfect” family I grew up in, and not to be myself and to try to fit a square peg into a small circle hole.

Is your silence causing you stress? Is your silence causing you to stuff yourself to keep quiet? A good question to ask yourself is your life working or not working for you? A good place to start looking for answers is to take a good long look at your relationship with yourself and others.

Check in with yourself on the following questions:

• How many times do you say YES when you want to say NO? Are your fearful that they may not like you, approve of you or pull their relationship from your life?  You valued the other person more than you valued yourself.

• How many times have you kept quiet because you were afraid to speak up?  Do you have the fear of what might happen or not sure of yourself.   You sucked it up and paid for it on the inside and outside by gaining weight.

• How many times have you spoke your feelings, but did not ask for what you wanted? This can occur due to the fear that you didn’t know how to ask or felt you weren’t worthy enough or too needy or high maintenance just for having needs.  You walked away unfulfilled and sometimes even resentful for not having spoken up and stated what you really wanted.

• How many times have you let others dictate the course of your life because you didn’t think you knew enough?  You lived the life they wanted, not yours, simply because you wanted to please them.

• How many times have you settled for less when you could have had more? What do you think doing this did to your sense of self worth?

Think about it. When you become silent, don’t express your feelings, and don’t speak up, you give away your power and are not true to yourself. If this only happened one time or occasionally, it may not be a problem. You learn from the experience and you take care of better care of yourself next time. However, keeping silent time after time causes a slow demise of the quality of your life, not to mention your integrity, dignity, joy, passion, and prosperity in your life.

So…how do you reclaim your power?

The first step is to be accountable. You are where you are because of the choices you have made in your life. Don’t beat up on yourself for those choices in the past. It’s not bad or wrong, it’s just where you were at the time. Now is the time to make better choices for yourself – stand up for yourself.

The second step is to take a look at the areas of your life where you’ve sabotaged yourself. Determine what it is that you want and start putting in corrections. In other words, start taking different actions than the ones you took before. And every time you take a new empowered action, you begin to reclaim your power little by little.

Being silent does have its place in everyone’s life, but staying silent when you really need to be standing up and showing up for yourself serves nobody well, least of all you.

At first, it may feel awkward, uncomfortable and scary when you speak up for yourself. There are no guarantees the outcome will go as you want when you speak up for yourself. What will happen is that slowly but surely, you’re taking back the power for yourself in being true to you. You are worth speaking up for.

Cathy, CLC
Certified Life Coach, Weight Loss Surgery Coach
Certified Back On Track Facilitator

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