May 9, 2004
Thinking before we speak
Living in fear of putting our foot in our mouth, or being a fool can be avoided if our intentions and motives are clear. Thinking before we speak is beneficial to us. Itís better than not speaking for fear of being made a fool. When we think about what we are doing and saying, we can speak with intention and not just say things to get attention. But the key is in not just thinking about what we are saying, but also in why we are saying it. If we speak from the heart and treat everyone with dignity and respect we probably wonít say foolish things we would later regret.
Not speaking for fear of being incorrect is a different situation than not speaking for fear of saying something foolish that we would later regret. Many people are afraid of saying something that is factually wrong or that others will disagree with. Itís embarrassing because no one wants to sound stupid. This is based in fear also, and if we find ourselves doing this, we can look at why we feel we need to be right. Getting the error out in the open can actually help us to remember the facts better. If our goal is to learn, itís better to correct the error isnít it? If we are wrong we can take a healthy approach: admit it, own it, and learn from it. Mistakes happen due to lack of knowledge. For example, Iíve taken many language classes and the majority students in every class will not speak up when called on to translate or when the teacher asks someone to try some grammar in a sentence. Itís a natural fear of making a mistake. However, there are a few students in every class that seem not to have this fear, and they are usually the ones doing really well in the class. Do they make mistakes? Yes. frequently. But they also improve at a faster rate. When they are corrected a lightbulb goes off. They get it and retain it.
Not speaking for fear of offending someone or having what we say come out the wrong way is also a fear that we have. However, this fear can be alleviated by being aware of our own intentions and motives for saying something. If we are speaking from the heart, with love, treating each other with dignity and respect, and being genuine, it does not take a long time to analyze what we are saying before we speak. It is being aware of who we are and what our motives are. For many this is not an easy task, because often our own underlying motives are unclear to us.
The answer to diminish our fears is in knowing why we are saying something, knowing who we are and letting our speech reflect that.
Posted by carl1236 at May 9, 2004 8:18 PM | Attitude