I got laryngitis last week… Here’s what I learned and how it can benefit you!
1. A lot of the things I wanted to say while I was sick were negative, and would have negatively affected my relationships and life, had I said them!
When I first realized I had lost my voice, it was because I tried to yell at my (sweet, innocent, beautiful) dog, basically, just for being a dog. I quickly realized that not only was I often yelling at the dogs, complaining about a mess in the house, nagging my husband (thank goodness he’s not on this email list) or voicing something negative, but during all those times I was NOT being positive! I consider myself a pretty positive person so this one surprised me. This was something I vowed to correct right away because I have seen this truth at work with every client I’ve ever helped, as well as in my own life: the more time you spend looking for, focusing on and talking about what’s GOOD, and RIGHT, and POSITIVE, the more success you will enjoy. Needless to say I am being much more aware of what I think about and say now that my voice has returned!!
2. I normally talk quite a bit…. ok, way too much. My poor husband really enjoyed his week of silence, I think. For one, he didn’t have to hear me verbalize negative things about a dirty house, or things not being done. Second, we were SO CONNECTED without me putting all of those words in the way! Third, I realized that BECAUSE I USUALLY TALK SO MUCH, he doesn’t often share what he’s thinking. But he WOULD if I would just be quiet! I found myself thinking “hmmm, he actually does talk when I’m not talking!” Being quiet and letting others speak sounds SO SIMPLE, but it’s SO POWERFUL. The things you will hear if you can just be quiet will give you new insights and connection in all of your relationships. Things you wouldn’t have gained if you’d been talking!
3. I don’t have to say everything I’m thinking! In fact, it’s often better if I don’t!
I realized that often times, I would think something and say it, without considering WHY I was saying it. I didn’t ask myself “what purpose is this going to serve?” Talking without thinking is just messy, and unnecessary. I related it to eating: you might WANT to eat every cake and donut you see, but you DEFINITELY don’t have to act on that urge!!
Many times (when I couldn’t speak), I thought of something to say, couldn’t say it, and low and behold the sky didn’t fall! In fact, I found that because I wasn’t able to say a lot of the things I was thinking, my relationships with EVERYONE in my life improved! People have a lot of value and insight to give us, if we would only hold in our thoughts, and really focus on LISTENING to them. If you give people the space, they will show up in it!! *Hint: this is much easier with laryngitis.
4. I need to schedule more time to work on “non-talking” activities! When I couldn’t talk, I started to dig for work projects I could complete, that didn’t require talking. I realized that there were hours and hours of work I could do to improve our online products, and it really should have been done years ago! I dug in, worked in 50-minute deep-focused work blocks (because we know these are proven to be most effective) and got IT ALL DONE in one day & evening! If I was at the office, talking, with other talking people, I wouldn’t have gotten 1% of that work done. We need to book alone time, free from distractions, to get “non-talking” work and other important projects done!
So, in short, I hope you can learn from my somewhat frustrating, sort of hilarious, week without talking. I know I did!
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