The Warm Milk Journal

A nurturing place for people who can't sleep

Finding Our Voice: Speaking Up For Ourselves


For many of who have anxiety issues, often a source of it is being shy and unsure of ourselves. I spent many years of my life not really speaking up: as a child with my family or at school, at work, in my marriage, etc. I think a lot of us have that “nice person” syndrome. We are afraid to really be ourselves because we want everyone to like us.

As a child and young adult I had a lot of sore throats and strep throat infections.  When I was very small, my parents took me to many doctors in Honolulu (where we were living at the time). My parents wanted the doctors to take my tonsils out. They did not and told my folks that I would eventually outgrow these infections. For the most part I did, but was still prone to strep throat well into my twenties. Even now if I am under a lot of stress or overly tired, a sore throat tends to be my first symptom.

Louise Hay in her book, Heal your Body, describes a sore throat as: “the inability to speak up for one’s self. Swallowed anger. Stifled creativity. Refusal to change.”

The affirmation for this condition Ms. Hay prescribes is this:

“It’s okay to make noise. I express myself freely and joyously.  I speak up for myself with ease. I express my creativity. I am willing to change.”

If we don’t speak up for ourselves, who will? I am a second grade school teacher. Little children at my school are expected to be quiet a lot of the time (no talking unless called on, no talking in hallways, in the lunchroom etc.). I was one of those well-behaved little children at school. I never acted up. Never got in trouble.

It is important to have a safe learning environment for kids. I understand the need to have order in the classroom. I sometimes wonder, however, if we discourage our young people from talking too much. It is easy to do this at home too when we are busy cooking dinner or reading the paper, doing emails etc. We need quiet and ask the kids to go play outside or tell them”not now, we will talk later”.

Some of us may have been born introverts. Perhaps though we have been conditioned to not speak up. It’s something to think about. We can work on reconditioning our old programming.

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Affirmations, anxiety, insomnia, Self-empowerment | , , , , | 1 Comment