Afraid of Speaking Up?

Afraid of Speaking Up?

According to most studies, the number one fear for most people in our society is the fear of public speaking. This comes ahead of the fear of death or the fear of being injured. Many people are terrified at the thought of having to speak in front of people they don’t know so well, and some are also fearful of speaking up among work colleagues or friends. I spent some time this week focusing on this topic during my Periscope session #Tap4Wellbeing, and you are able to view the replay by clicking the link Periscope.

There many aspects that are related to the fear of speaking up, and it is helpful to try to understand your particular aspects. What is it exactly that has you feel afraid to speak up? We heard from a participant on the Periscope broadcast that it was the fear of being attacked by others for expressing opinions. For other people, the fear is related to being judged harshly (others might think I’m stupid or dumb). Other reasons that people are afraid to speak up include: the belief that others are smarter; or that they don’t have anything important enough or worthwhile to say; or the worry about saying something wrong; or they just don’t like drawing attention to themselves. girl2There are numerous aspects or reasons that may contribute to the fear of speaking up, and some of these may have been formed in childhood.

As with most issues, when we understand the specific aspects or reasons involved, we are able to come up with more effective treatments and solutions. In the #Tap4Wellbeing periscopes, the treatment focus is the energy psychology tool of EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). EFT can be used for reducing or overcoming the fear of speaking up, and is particularly effective when we can identify the specific aspects that bother us. If there are several aspects involved, we can incorporate these into the EFT tapping sequence.

In using EFT, we commence tapping on the Karate Chop (side of hand) point (instructions with diagram can be found on the EFT tab on my webpage, When we apply EFT to our fear of speaking up, we can use the following words as we tap:

While tapping on the Karate Chop point:EFT hand

Even though I’m afraid of speaking up, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I’m afraid of speaking up because others might attack me for what I say, I deeply and completely accept myself

Even though I’m afraid of speaking up because others might think I’m stupid or dumb, I accept myself anyway.

While taping through the tapping points commencing with the top of the head:EFT person

– people might think I’m stupid

– others might attack me

– people might judge me in a bad way

– I might get my words muddled up

– I don’t know what to say

– I was always told to be quiet when I was little

– I don’t feel confident

– I’m not smart enough

– this fear of speaking up

When we finish with tapping through all the points, it’s a good idea to take a deep breath and slowly release it. After that we can check how we feel now about our fear of speaking up, and if any particular thoughts have arisen for us, which we would then need to pay attention to and do further tapping rounds. This is just an example of how EFT can be used to treat the fear of speaking up. If these words don’t sound right to you, substitute your own words – whatever it is that you say to yourself about not being able to speak up.

If you have a fear of speaking up, remember that you are not alone; it is a very common fear. More importantly, you will most likely be able to reduce this fear by using EFT. It may not be a one application fix; it may be that you need to do more work on the most fearful aspects or reasons that have you feel fearful of speaking up. If you apply EFT often (i.e. do it several times), you are likely to get greater benefit.tagxedocloud3400x350px

Keep in mind, that you have as much right as anyone else to voice your opinions and be heard.

Margaret welcomes your comments. You may have your own healing story and some insights to share, or some questions or responses to this article.

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