I was working with a client recently who was terribly challenged by a very old block that forced her to hold back from expressing herself freely and authentically. As I listened to her share with me her experience, it took me back to a time in my life when I had the very same issue.

For both my client and myself we grew up hearing, “It’s not what you say, it’s HOW you say it!” For me, when I heard that kind of feedback, it would cause me to NOT want to express myself for fear of doing it wrong.

I would hold it all inside where it would fester and grow toxic. Eventually, when I couldn’t hold it in any longer it would come out of my mouth, riddled with emotion and usually resentment and I would find myself right back in the same place hearing, “It’s not what you say, It’s HOW you say it!”

In defense of my client and myself, and perhaps even you if this resonates, we had trouble with HOW we expressed ourselves because we were either not taught about effective communication, or more likely, we modeled someone in our lives who could have used some help in this department as well!

Although the why isn’t as important as the awareness, it is helpful to acknowledge that we haven’t done anything wrong! We can only do what we are taught or what we see. Until we learn something new.

What I learned, and what I shared with my client is first, we need to forgive ourselves. There is a different, and more effective way of expressing and we get to implement that now that we are aware.

Second, when self-expression is one of your top values, it feels like there is more at stake when you are compelled to share and are operating under the fear of “Am I going to say this right?” Preparing to express can cause a lot of anxiety, and it sometimes feels easier to just not say anything.

For my client though, she is not about taking the easy way out anymore. She is in this for results and she is prepared to step out of her comfort zone in service of communicating in a way that feels good to her AND to the people in her life.

Your Assignment

Is there something you want to say to someone, and you are afraid of how it might come out?

Do you sometimes know ahead of time exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it, then when you are in the conversation you freeze and mess it all up?

Do you often find that when you speak to people they become defensive and the conversation gets worse?

Try these simple steps to help you communicate in a way that makes everyone involved feel safe, heard and fully expressed.

Prepare ahead of time ~ write down your thoughts and feelings so you can get clear about what you want to communicate. (If you need to refer to your notes during your conversation, that’s OK! It’s what my client felt most comfortable doing.)
Set your intentions ~ what would you like to accomplish from this conversation? Resolution? Sharing? Venting? Do you want advice?
Come from the energy of love, compassion and generosity ~ when you lead from your heart you can create magical moments and deeper more meaningful relationships.
Use “I” statements ~ especially when you are sharing how someone did something that didn’t work for you. When you say, “you did this” it automatically puts the other person on the defensive. When you say, “I felt . . .” you are taking responsibility for your role.
Be unattached to any specific outcome ~ be open to whatever may unfold. Trust that by honestly expressing yourself and coming from an open heart, it will work out for the highest good for all.

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Author's Bio: 

Want to use this article in your eZine or web site? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:
Aimee Yawnick has been mentoring women to make personal growth and development a priority for over 15 years. First, in the Health and Fitness Industry, now as a Personal Life Coach. With proven tools and systems Aimee helps her clients move swiftly and smoothly from a life of just ging through the motions and merely existing to being an active participant and living life to the fullest!
If you are a highly motivated and results-oriented woman who understands the value of developing your SELF, and you are ready to accelerate your personal growth in order to play a BIGGER GAME in your personal and professional life, contact Aimee today.
And now I would like to invite you to claim your Free Report, “Three Secrets to Stretching Beyond Your Comfort Zone and into Your PERSONAL POWER” when you visit http://www.coregrowthanddevelopment.com. You’ll get the “How To” of facing your fears and overcoming the obstacles that hold you back. Compliments of Personal Development Mentor and Coach, Aimée Yawnick