One of the most common things I see with my coaching clients is a hesitancy to speak up for themselves, and a burning desire to get better at. Why do we feel so guilty about putting ourselves first sometimes? Why don’t we think we matter enough? How can we put our unique dent in the universe if we don’t speak up for ourselves and manage our own needs too?

Here are the top 10 most common fears that stop us from speaking up….

Billy’s Top 10 Fears That Stop Us From Speaking Up


1. I’ll be a burden

We’re naturally people pleasers.  We don’t want to cause trouble or rock the boat. How often have you not spoken up for yourself because you didn’t want to hurt someone or be a “burden”?


2. I’ll make them feel uncomfortable

For some reason we’re okay having our own discomfort, but god forbid we make anyone else feel it.  But life isn’t easy, people!  Sometimes the truth needs to come out, whether it’s comfortable or not.


3. I’ll look selfish

Right?  We’re so terrified of looking selfish.  But guess what, if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take proper care of anyone else.  If the airplane is about to crash, whose mask are you told to put on first?  Your own.


4. Maybe I don’t have all the information

This is a great excuse that our ego feeds us to try to keep our mouth shut, especially at work.  We convince ourselves we don’t know enough.  But if something is bothering you, it matters!  You have the right to feel heard.


5. My opinion doesn’t matter

This is deadly.  If you don’t feel your opinion matters, then you’re basically saying that YOU don’t matter.  Goodbye self-confidence and self-esteem.


6. Maybe this isn’t the right time

Another great excuse!  We convince ourselves the timing is off, which keeps us safe in our comfort zone and not speaking up.  Maybe “next week” will be a better time.  Bullsh!t!


7. No one will listen to me anyway

It’s common to keep our mouth shut because we think it will fall on deaf ears.  But you deserve better relationships than that.  We all have a right to feel loved and supported.  Is it time for you to re-think some of your relationships?


8. It’ll be a CLM (Career Limiting Move)

Sometimes it is wise to hold our tongue at work and wait until our temper (or frustration, disappointment…) settles down a bit.  But if worded respectfully, we should be able to raise any issue at work.  Otherwise it’s not a very healthy work environment, is it?  If unsure, get your boss’ advice first in order to CYA (Cover Your Ass).


9. I won’t be included next time

This might be true.  But do you want to be part of something that isn’t genuine?  Do you want to be honest and driven by integrity, or do you want to be part of something false?


10. I’ll piss somebody off

Yah, you might.  But often the truth is like surgery; it hurts but it cures.  They may be pissed off at first as their ego gets the best of them, but hopefully they will respect your courage and honesty later on.



Hopefully this list will help you become more aware of why you limit your expression. BUT, remember, recognizing the fear is only half the battle. The next step is to push yourself to speak up anyway 😉 For more on that check out my latest video on how to get better at speaking up for yourself.

Learn more on this and other courage-related topics in Billy’s book “Your Comfort Zone is Killing You” (available here). Or get in touch with Billy at

Have a courageous day!