Self-Care: Speaking Up

Self-Care: Speaking Up by: Erin Cummings


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Self-care is not getting facials, drinking rosé in the bathtub, or getting a mani/pedi. Self-care is taking care of your inner YESself. It’s taking care of your inner self so that you can do all the things you love, fill yourself back up, and live your life on purpose.


Part of my self-care practice is speaking up. It’s no secret I’m loud, I’ve been called “dominating and intimidating,” and while those two words I’ll leave for a conversation for another day. I know I am assertive, I take action, and I use all of that to my advantage when practicing speaking up. 


I used to completely bulldoze people. I have always had this innate sense to be honest, tell people how I felt, or stand alone in some sort of “opinion.” The problem with how I used to do things and I still am in constant practice of today is not giving myself permission to just crush everyone including myself in the process. Ever hear the phrase “don’t take this personally?” When I used that, it gave me permission to be a total b*tch. 


What does this have to do with self-care? Two things: 

  1. You just through a bomb at the other person and said “Hey dude, hot potato this shit.”
  2. You denoted a bomb on yourself. Total and complete self-sabotage for all the great you could have done. 


What happens when “your heart is in a good place,” but you don’t care about the delivery or your purpose in the process? You’re just yelling truths while standing on a large pile of shit. It stinks, and you gave yourself permission to stink too. 


Brené Brown said it best, “Clear is kind.” What she didn’t say, “be sure to get a zinger in,” “take them down a notch,” “who cares how you feel, you know I’m right,” “go straight for the jugular,” “don’t forget to bring up that thing you talked about 3 months ago, even though you already dealt with it, talk about it again to prove your point.” 


When you are in the practice of self-care with speaking up. You are doing so in an elevated higher purpose way. And yes, if you aren’t like me, you’ll need a good batch of courage to do so. But pick your battles and start small. Say stuff like “hey, that really hurt my feelings,” “please don’t use that word around me anymore,” “I would appreciate it if you didn’t bring up [insert topic here] with me,” or even “Next time, will you ask [name] to speak during our meetings.” Super clear, and you won’t have to deal with the constant stressor of whoever doing that same thing to you over and over.


Adding speaking up to your self-care routine might be challenging to start. Don’t forget it’s a practice. But if you don’t, you only sabotage your success. If you are having trouble getting going, think about what’s possible now in the conversation or the conversations you can have, instead of trying to make the other person wrong and make yourself write. Don’t give yourself permission to throw a self-sabotage bomb. Give your YESself success by speaking up, and refill your cup so that you can continue doing the work you are really up to. 


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