By: Jessie Jing
LET YOUR VOICE AND OPINIONS OCCUPY SPACE IN THIS WORLD
That is the first statement I’m starting this article with.
Speaking up for yourself and for others is a skill in itself – most of the time we shy away from this prospect in fear of inconveniencing others, or facing confrontation. This hesitation tipped the scales so much so that when we do speak up in times of urgency and fear, it is deemed an ‘outburst’ and further derogates our will to say something. On a global scale, the lack of speaking up has been utilized and weaponised against Asian women (and women across the board).
Speaking up is not just a physical exercise, but mental as well. The more you accustom yourself to it, the more reflexive you become to respond to confrontation and pushback. You become clearer of your intentions and/or even learn about yourself through realizing that what’s in your head is not the same as when you say it.
This will be what gives you confidence.
You are also training yourself to stand up and not resort to the default: submission mode. “Going with the flow” does not mean you do not use your boat and let yourself drown.
“Being argumentative” or “being difficult” are not negative statements. They are statements of being and that is ok. Society wants submission, but rather, what society needs is conversation.
Let your voice and opinions occupy space in this world.
Let you body occupy space in this world- another statement I’m throwing into this article about confidence. The more you mentally train yourself to speak up, the more you will develop in the way you use physical space. At first it may feel as though you are forcing yourself to take up more space “than you should” but eventually you will realize this is not the case. You learn to command and delegate space – you lead; a skill you can then use to protect and embrace others who have yet to reach that place of confidence.
Don’t let yourself disappear. Stand up. Stand out.
Jessie is a South-East Asian dance artist and writer currently based in London. She is currently completing her Masters in Fine Arts in Choreography at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, as a Leverhulme Arts Scholar.
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