Have you ever noticed that the things that bother us most about other people tend to be things that we do, too? For example, this morning a woman spoke at a meeting I attended. Before launching into her story, however, she qualified it; her qualification bothered me. I felt like saying, "Hey, you can just tell your story. We'll believe you."
This little annoyance gnawed at me until I realized that I, too, have a habit of qualifying what I say. Typically, I visualize what I will say or write and anticipate my audience's critiques. Then I circle back to what I plan to communicate and revise so as to fill in the gaps and leave no room for arguments. This little game wears me out. Do you ever do the same thing?
Today as my mind wandered, I wondered how to consciously live a life less burdened. I write "consciously" because we can choose to unburden ourselves from our exhausting mind games. I'll start by ceasing to qualify my statements -- to guard my mouth. I want to communicate in ways that resonate with my audience but stop giving into insecurity. I'll starve the compulsion to justify why I'm qualified to speak or write on a given topic. Let my words stand on their own. Take them or leave them.