THE BLOG
12/14/2012 07:38 am ET Updated Feb 13, 2013

The Art of Putting Yourself Out There

Being vulnerable is scary... That's just the way it is.

However, that doesn't mean that you should avoid putting yourself out there at all costs. Quite the opposite actually! The only way to form real, deep and meaningful connections, to get exactly what you want and need, and to grow as a person is to put yourself out there. Fully and completely. Voicing your innermost thoughts, desires, fears, hopes, dreams and needs. Whether just for yourself, or with someone who you need to hear it.

Because this isn't as much about them as it is about you.

Think about a time in your life where you wanted to say something to someone else. Maybe it was to your old boss, the one with zero respect for your time and talents, who talked down to you on the regular. Or maybe to that "buddy" of yours that you were actually madly in love with. Maybe it was that time your mom or dad completely forgot about an important event in your life.

What didn't you say? And more importantly, how much do you regret not saying it? If you don't regret it, I'd venture to guess that the need and desire to express yourself in this area still linger deep inside of you. Here are some things you need to know:

You deserve to be heard.

You deserve a life of no regrets.

You deserve to receive exactly what you want and need.

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So how do you get this? You put yourself out there.

If you have something to say, say it.

I know it's scary... I've been in this position many times, myself. Having something on your mind, festering deep inside of you, that you just need to get out there in the open. Sometimes it means you're running the risk of making a fool of yourself with someone you care about, losing everything or making a mess of things. Vulnerability automatically assumes there are risks involved.

But the risks of keeping things to yourself can be far greater. You may never get the chance to tell someone you love them or to let them know that you think they're amazing. You may never mend relationships with family, set boundaries at work or get exactly what you want. What's worse? You'll always wonder what could have been if you'd have just said what you needed to say.

When we hold back our truth, we bury it deep down inside, where it begins to fester. That's not a pretty word, and it's not a pretty thing. The guilt, wonder and regret will literally eat you alive. It will make you stressed, and possibly sick or depressed. None of which are good things. So speak your truth.

Find a way that works for you.

There is no right way to communicate. Some of us are writers, others speak with great ease. I'm a huge fan of pushing yourself outside the normal comfort levels, but in this case, it's more important that you say what you need to say. So write a letter, email or text message. Pick up the phone and leave a voicemail if that's easier than face to face. Of course, if you can sit down and have a real conversation, please do it, but don't hold yourself back.

Remember, this is about you and your needs, not them.

Most importantly, you have to remember that this is not about them. It's not about getting them to say what you want to hear, change or do anything else. You can't control anybody -- all you can do is speak your truth and hope for the best. For you to be healthy and happy, to have a chance at getting what you want, you have to put yourself out there without the slightest idea of what will happen.

If you don't tell someone what you're feeling or needing, they won't know. Again, you deserve to be heard, so speak up and do it for you.

It will get you what you want.

Now, it may not be from the person you're sharing with or in the situation that you need to speak up in, but it will move you one step closer to getting exactly what you want. Why? Because you're being honest, clear and setting boundaries. You're standing tall and shouting to the universe, "This is what I want and need."

Take action now!

Where are you holding back your truth? What is it that you need and want to say, and to whom? Start by writing a letter to this person, just for yourself. Say everything that you need to say to them. Then decide how you're going to approach them with this information so that you can feel heard and start moving towards what you want and deserve.

Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique. Here she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help young women build passion-based businesses. Click here to download her free guide, "The Unexpected Trick to Transforming Your Life With ONE Single Question."

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