We live in a time where it is especially critical for women to find the courage to speak their truth. We are moving into a major shift in human evolution, being led by women. Call it feminizing the world or bringing more compassion, empathy, and collaboration into business, politics, and communities. It's called raising consciousness and that is the primary responsibility of the 21st century woman. People are not willing to accept what just okay or good enough any longer. We are being called to no longer ignore or look the other direction when a change or correction needs to occur.
Speaking up on behalf of ourselves or others can often require courage from anyone, but for women the stakes can be especially steep. If you consider the centuries upon centuries where it literally was not safe for a woman to speak her truth or defend herself, verbally or legally, then you can immediately understand why fear lingers with many women when they consider using their voice to drive change or invoke their power. Women have been enslaved, brutalized, mutilated, and burned at the stake for sharing intuition and feminine wisdom.
Although today, within industrialized countries women are empowered and have equality, there can be a deep and old heritage that many of us can still carry. It is carried through cellular memory, heritage, upbringing, and social conditioning. Think about it, women in the USA have only had a voice to vote for 95 years! Not enough time for our submissive history to be well behind us.
Recently, while having dinner with a very educated and career professional girlfriend, she said to me, "Oh you are a great person to ask how to deal with this!" She shared a story about taking her car to a collision repair shop. Someone hit her, so it was covered by their insurance. But, since it was there she decided to pay out of pocket to have the side mirror replaced after having broken it many months prior when backing out of her garage. A month after the repair, she went to adjust her mirror and it fell apart and it looked exactly as before the repair. Clearly, they hadn't replaced it, but attempted to fix it, even though they charged her for a new manufacturer's mirror and labor.
To me, it's a no-brainer. What she needs to do is confront the shop. Why is that so hard to do if we have not been treated fairly or paid for something not received? Yet, I have noticed many people, especially women struggle with this exact type of confrontation.
I wouldn't be happy either to have to confront the auto body shop about my mirror, even more importantly I would be frustrated that I had to spend time and give up my car again to have something fixed that clearly wasn't fixed as contracted upon the first time. Agreed, it's not going to be comfortable. So what! The alternative is to be taken advantage of and feel dissatisfied. Plus you aren't doing anyone a service when you don't speak your truth. You rob them of the ability to face the music, so they can possibly grow, change, or do it differently next time.
We teach people how to treat us.
I see friends do this every day in restaurants too - bad service and they still tip 15-20%. Unhappy with their food quality and will complain about it to the table, but when the waiter comes by and ask if everything is okay, they will say "yes." HUH? Speak your truth and share your complaint with the person that can correct it or make it right, otherwise it is just complaining.
Do you feel you are deserving of being treated fairly, especially when you are paying for it? I am not saying it is a pleasant experience to have to exert your power to be treated fairly, but fear is now an outdated emotional response. If fear is what comes up for you when you feel a need to speak your truth or claim your rights, then start seeing that fear as your compass directing you to GO FOR IT and use your powerful voice!
I know for me personally, not speaking my truth happened in romantic relationships. I would withhold my thoughts and feelings about situations or my partner's behavior when it clearly didn't work for me. I was in fear that I would rock the boat and lose the relationship. (Which by the way, is exactly what needed to happen.) I was trying to accept that which was unacceptable for me, ultimately I wasn't honoring me.
Whenever we are not speaking our truth in any situation, the truth is... you are not honoring you and the truth of who you are - a powerful and authentic woman leader.