4 Ways We Can Stop Poisoning Ourselves With Passivity

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Let’s talk a bit about passivity – one of the most misunderstood modes of being in our modern day. Passivity is often misunderstood as kindness. People intending to be polite often keep their mouths shut about their needs in order to ‘not rock the boat’.

While there are benefits to keeping up with the status quo, it is our authentic self that suffers at the expense of pleasing others.

The name of our company, True Participation, is more than just “fully” participating. “Truly” Participating means that we are honoring how we feel at our core. If we are being true to ourselves, it means that we have our own backs, and that we can trust ourselves to act (or refrain) in a way that we will feel good about in the future.

Here are four simple reminders of how you may honor yourself by speaking your truth:

1) Identify your needs and state them

By identifying and then by voicing our needs, we find that we increase our ability to be true to ourselves and to help ourselves feel good. By taking cues from others about our needs being unwelcome, we are abandoning ourselves for fear of being abandoned by them if we ask for what we want.

If you’re not familiar with identifying your needs or don’t know where to begin, the system of Non-Violent/Compassionate Communication suggests stating how you feel, and what you need in order to improve communication with your loved ones, co-workers, friends. NVC even offers participants a list of needs, all of which humans have at one time or another.

2) Honesty is the best Medicine

Many times, our well-intentioned course of not sharing, turns out to be a slippery slope, because when we fail to voice our needs, we fail to be honest and transparent. Dishonesty tends to make others angry. Essentially, disallowing our real desires to be known can be called a fear of intimacy. True Participation means creating intimacy with every moment, every person, and every situation. It means moving into discomfort when it feels beneficial for our future happiness.

3) There’s no such thing as a dumb question

By creating more transparency within ourselves, we are giving others permission to be transparent as well. By warmly asking questions and encouraging others, we are making it clear that it’s important for everybody to have their needs met.

4) Creativity> Reactivity

Passivity may feel like “nothing”, but it is in fact usually a reaction. Reactivity is the opposite of creativity. When we truly create, we focus on what we want. When we are passive, we are letting that which we want slip through our hands because we are identifying with our brain’s fear instructions to either fight, flee, or in the case of passivity: freeze. We always have the option to take the less comfortable and more productive route, thereby moving through the passivity as opposed to punishing ourselves for our in-action later. This can be challenging at first, and yet will reap a lifetime of rewards.

Always remember that you play the lead role in your life- you’re not the sidekick in this movie! We hope these reminders will help you move through your truth more gracefully and bring about simple changes in your everyday life. Keep rockin’ the boat!

If this felt helpful or inspiring to you, please share with others!

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Joshua Falcon-Grey

Co-Founder/Program Director and Creativity Leadership Trainer at True Participation
Joshua is a filmmaker and artist creating new ways in which story and technology can be combined toward healing experiences for a better world. He enjoys public/comedic speaking as well as providing personal, business branding, and relationship coaching. More info can be found on his personal site.

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